Monday, July 31, 2006
Great Review!!!!
I received this great review from Fallen Angel Reviews and wanted to share.

Lyric James’ A Thin Line is a delightful tale that will captivate the reader. The intense sexual chemistry that blazes between Melodie and James is balanced by the friendship and emotional connection each feels towards the other. I enjoyed that while the characters intended to have a completely physical relationship love quickly comes into the picture.

***5 Angels***

I also got this review from Coffee Time Romance.

Ms. Lyric James has written a sexy romp full of hot sexual couplings. Melodie is a hard working woman who allows her heart to experience the joy of letting go, and Sam falls for a woman who gives him space while fulfilling his every sexual need. Having agreed on a week of no commitments, their emotions quickly take a turn towards love, and a misunderstanding leaves them both aching. I enjoyed this sexy romp and it was nice to imagine myself in Melodie’s place.

***3 Cups***

I'm one happy lady!!!

Smooches, Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 1:17 PM   4 comments
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Cobblestone Contracts Another Book!!!
Sitting on pins and needles, I finally got word that Cobblestone Press will contract my contemporary tryst, One Day At A Time.

I submitted this story back in early July, but found out last week that somehow, my submission was eaten by the cyber monster and disappeared. So, I resubmitted and received the happy news today. Not sure on a release date, but of course, I'll post it here when I found out. Here's a short blurb about the book.

One Day At A Time

Xavier Sparks has a problem. He lost a bet to a friend and now has to pose nude for his friend’s graduate school art class. While posing for the class, things begin to sizzle between Xavier and one of the students. That same student shows up a few days later to interview for the open associate position in his law firm. Because she’s the best candidate for the job, he has no choice but to hire her.

Kellye Matthews has wanted to work for Sparks, Martin and Baker, one of the most prestigious African American law firms in Dallas since she got out of law school. Little did she know that the lead partner was a closet nudist. How can she practice law when all she wants to do is practice learning all the angles of her boss’s body? Can Xavier convince Kellye that when it comes to finding love, all they need is one day at a time?

Smooches, Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 3:05 PM   3 comments
Monday, July 24, 2006
Do They Really Like Me?
This is a question that many authors, romance or otherwise, ask themselves. Writing is such a personal journey. You hear often that we have so many stories running around in our heads that we *must* put them down on paper. Some succeed in selling those stories, some do not. I read on Tawny Taylor's blog that at least 1.2 million books are printed in the U.S. every year, and of that 1.2 mil, only 25,000 sell more than 5,000 copies and only 500 sell more than 100,000. That is a staggering number.

So, it makes an author wonder, will I ever get in that number? We all aspire to be the next Nora or Janet. But only a few of us will. We learn and perfect our craft to someday sale to that NY agent/editor, and hope to see our name in a Barnes or Borders. This is the ultimate dream for us. And it all depends on someone we've never met (agent or editor) believing in our story enough to give it a chance.

Then, we have to connect to the reader so she/he will keep coming back for more. So we'll be the author who is always a *must buy.* Jodi Lynn Copeland referred to it as a *scooby snack*. Remember Scooby Doo? He was always rewarded this wonderful treat if he did something well, or agreed to do something for the gang. As authors, we want a scooby snack from an agent, editor, and of course a reader. We want to know that we've pleased you, that we've written something really well; that it made you laugh or cry. And yes, we want you to answer that question - Do you really like me?

I like you!

Lyric :-)

posted by Lyric James @ 10:30 PM   5 comments
Friday, July 21, 2006
Cozy Mysteries
Confession time....the first book I ever wanted to write was a romantic suspense with some hot sex in it. Not necessarily cozy, but it was a mystery. I'd starting reading a lot of Harlequin Intrigues and Silouette Intimate Moments. I loved the suspense in those and watching the hero and heroine fall in love.

I haven't read a lot of cozy's, but I just finished one called Snipped In The Bud by Kate Collins and loved it. It's a series about a flower shop owning mystery solver, and I just had to go back and order the first one in the series to see how it all came about. I am so waiting for my box from Amazon to come in next week.

Another cozy I love is by Kyra Davis called Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte. It was really good too. It was her first novel and she got rave reviews for it. I also ordered the follow up to that book called Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights. Aren't those titles cool? Makes you want to pick them up.

I ordered several that I'm anxiously waiting for in the mail. Will be standing by my door next week waiting for the mailman to deliver my box. Murder Uncorked by Michele Scott, Better Off Wed by Laura Durham, Slay It With Flowers by Kate Collins (this is the one I mentioned above), and Permed To Death by Nancy Cohen.

All the books I ordered are "series" books. And this seems to work best for cozy's. The authors seem to have a loyal following. So, what do you think? When you finish reading a good book, do you ever find yourself wanting to read more about those characters lives? Have you ever written a series? Are you going to?

Until next time....:-) Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 9:20 PM   11 comments
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Great First Lines
As a writer, you always hear that the way to pull in an agent, editor, AND the reader...is a great first line. It's called a "hook." And if you can grab your reader, whoever it may be, from the beginning, then they'll be sure to read your story.

I've been delving into the *cozy mystery*...because I'm thinking about writing one, along with a YA mystery, and I've come across these great first lines or hooks.

Slay It With Flowers by Kate Collins. Just for the record, I am not, in the true definition of the word, a meddler.

Better of Wed by Laura Durham. Planning a wedding can be murder.

Dead Men Don't Lye by Tim Myers. As I looked down at the corpse sprawled on the back steps of my family's soap shop and boutique, I knew in an instant there wasn't a cleanser made anywhere in the world strong enough to get rid of the acid stains and burns on Jerry Sanger's face.

Snuffed Out by Tim Myers. I was hunting for the short circuit that knocked out the power to River's Edge when I stumbled across Aaron Gaston's body.

Killer Hair by Ellen Byerrum. Lacey Smithsonian looked down at the unfortunate woman in the coffin and thought, Oh my God, that is the worst haircut I've ever seen...

Through The Grinder by Cleo Coyle. She had to die.

Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle. Men are pigs.

The Chocolate Mouse Trap by JoAnna Carl. "I'm sick and tired of killing this stupid inspirational junk," I said.

Chocolate Dipped Death by Sammi Carter. "I can't believe she had the nerve to show up."

Invitation To Murder by Elizabeth Bright. "You've got to tell her I won't stop it!

A Flicker Of Doubt by Tim Myers. As my kayak brushed against the woman's body, I thought I'd hit another half-submerged log.

Death Waxed Over by Tim Myers. I didn't hear the shot that killed Gretel Barnett, even though her life was extinguished just fifteen feet from where I stood.

And let's not forget the queen of romance, Nora Roberts/JD Robb. Her *In Death* series is awesome for hooks.

"The dead were her business..." , "Getting married was murder...", "The alley was dark and stank of piss and vomit...", "The business of murder took time, patience, skill, and a tolerance for the monotonous...", "Death surrounded her..."

I could go on and on..by I'll stop now. So, what do you think? Did you like these one-liners? How about sharing some with me that you remember, or sharing the first line of your current wip. Post away. Let's see what you got!

:-)Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 6:52 PM   11 comments
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Layering
I explained in another post that I'm usually a panster when I write. Another thing that a writer must do is self-edit. Well, I'm not one who *chucks* the entire manuscript out and then goes back. I like to self-edit as I write. What I usually do is write my self-required word limit for the day and then stop. The next day, I go back over what I write and edit it, adding and taking away what I like and don't like.

Well, the other day, I learned something new, a technique called...layering and texturing. Now, don't get me wrong...I'd heard about this before, but it wasn't until I read an article by Julie Elizabeth Leto that I clearly understood what it was.

This is how she explained it. Layering is writing in pieces. And the pieces are dialogue, action, reaction, emotion, and body language. Write the dialogue first. Layer in the setting (when and where are your characters. This will determine how they react and what they do). Action (movement, gestures they make, steps they take, places they go, touches they exchange).

Reaction (comes from the viewpoint character, internal thought, internal dialogue, more dialogue and emotion) - the non-viewpoint characters body language, dialogue and action. Your characters *must* react to each other. Backstory is best served as reaction to current compelling action and it must be brief.

Sensuality and Description (this is where you add the sexual tension, smell, taste, sound, odor, textures). Above all else, each scene must have plot, characterization and conflict.

And believe it or not, this worked for me. The first time I tried it, I did exactly what she said and completed over 1400 words. Knowing what I wanted my characters to say to each other in each scene and writing it all down first worked for me. I wrote over 500 words of dialgue and then layered in the rest and it felt awesome to accomplish that.

If you want to read the full article by Ms. Leto, go here. Scroll down and click on *Texturing and Layering.*

Have a good weekend.

:-)Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 9:28 AM   5 comments
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Doing Something Different
When I write, I'm usually a panster. I know what I want to happen in the story and how I want it to end, but I've never actually plotted it all out. So, I tried two new things today. The first was Fast Plotting, a technique I learned about on Holly Lisles website. I didn't follow her method exactly, but I figured out a way to make it work for me.

First figure out who your primary viewpoint characters are. Well, duh! That should be obvious, right? Shouldn't you do this anyway. Yes, but bare with me okay. Second, decide how long you want your story to be. Then, decide how long you want each scene to be. Once you figure that out, decide how many scenes you're going to dedicate to each viewpoint character.

Since I only have two viewpoint characters it was easy for me to just divide them up between my hero and heroine. But if you're plotting, say a 90-100,000 novel, you might have more than two viewpoint characters. You might have a villain and a friend or two also. So, it's up to you to decide how to divide that up.

Next, get out the index cards. How ever many scenes you have in your book, that's how many notecards you'll need. Now, write a one sentence scene you want to happen in the book, one on each card. Hopefully, you'll use up all your cards and maybe even need more. I did, which made me very happy. After I did that, I put the cards in order of how I wanted the story to progress.

Then, I turned the card over and broke the scene down even further, basically the action and the reaction and decided whose point of view the scene was going to be in and wrote the characters name on the card.

What I've described here is a very short and kinda different version of Ms. Lisles method, but it really worked for me. I ended up with 13 scenes that I wanted to be 1000 words each since I'm writing a short story. I wrote my first scene and it ended up being 1450 words. Wow! Aren't you proud of me. I certainly am.

Since this post ended up being longer than I anticipated, I'll wait until tomorrow to share the other "something different" I did that helped me a lot too. It'll give me something else to post. LOL

Cheers,

:-) Lyric

Oh, if you want to read the article I read, click here. It's called Notecarding: Plotting Under Pressure.

posted by Lyric James @ 7:17 PM   5 comments
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
New Challenge for Myself
A YA chicklity mystery series has been brewing in my head ever since last year and I think I'm finally going to take the plunge and write it. But first, I have to do lots and lots of research. I plan for these series of books to have witch's, fairies, vampire's, mermaids, nymphys and all kinds of wonderful creatures in them. Which means, I can't just write it by the set of my pants, which is what I usually do with my erotic romances.

Now don't get me wrong, I do actually have a plot in mind when I begin to write and I know my hero/heroine's issues and the journey they have to take to find love, but I don't outline or plot it all out. But I realize that I must do this for my YA series.

How did this all come about you ask? Well, I'm taking a class with Romance Diva's entitled Writing The Mystery being taught by Michele Scott and it inspired me to start. So, I'm going to take my time, flesh out my characters, plot and outline and do character sketches and all that jazzy stuff and see what I come up with. Wish me luck!

No word on the short story I submitted to Cobblestone last Sunday. I know Sable and Deanne are super busy so I'm trying to be patient, which is hard for me. But as soon as I hear yay or na, I'll post it here.

Cheers! Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 8:03 PM   3 comments
Friday, July 07, 2006
New Cover

Hi everyone! I got my cover for Vindication and thought I'd share a blurb.

Adventures Of A Private Jane: Vindication

P.I. Karyn Harris’ sister was killed in the line of duty and branded a rogue cop. She’s spent the last year grieving and trying to clear her sister’s name. Zechariah Washington, an ex-cop and law student, is there to help ease her pain, but he wants to be more than a shoulder to cry on. Then, an unexpected phone call sends the couple on a life-threatening search to find the clue that will vindicate her sister. Can Zechariah convince Karyn there's more to their relationship or will they both fall victim to the same people who murdered her sister?

APJ: Vindication will be released Septembter 1st from Cobblestone Press.

Smooches, Lyric

posted by Lyric James @ 6:09 PM   6 comments
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