The Creative Mind – Going Crazy

The last few weeks, things have been a bit wonky here at Casa Betita. And honestly, can anyone take speculation to a higher point of absurdity than a writer?

Sigh.

My dentist is a wonderful man. A cancer survivor. I’m not certain exactly what it is/was. But it’s throat oriented and has left him nothing more than a bare whisper of a voice. I love him and travel nearly 3
hours to see him several times a year.

Why am I talking about my dentist? He saw something odd inside my mouth on February 24th, a dark spot. He made a note of it, ‘just a blood blister and should be gone when I saw you again, in three weeks’. Well, it wasn’t. And he recommended I see a regular doctor and have it looked at.

Sigh. Imagine, my dentist…who I’ve been seeing for decades. Who has fought cancer for years…

Imagine my imagination. Now, multiple that by 1000 times.

The spot was biopsied two days later… Since February, the fear would flit across my mind…

‘what if…?’

‘shut up’

‘but…what it…?’

‘damn it, shut up!’

By the time he saw it the second time, I was teetering on the edge of a precipice, the worst an imaginative person can conjure. The week between the biopsy and waiting for the result… I have been buried in insanity.

Unable to focus on anything but editing. Editing. Editing. I sat up until 2 in the morning. I woke early. I didn’t sleep well. I spoke very little. I bailed on Facebook, a favorite social media. I didn’t email. I had projects I needed to work on. Print editions, promotional investigation, tweeking existing ebooks…
Nope. I edited. Nine volumes of my Forever A Pirate novels. Books 10-20.

And when I was reading, fixing, fixating, focused…I didn’t think about that spot.

I’m still waiting for results.

And I tell myself, it must not be horrible, I’d be hearing already.

And I tell myself, there is no history of cancer in my family.

And I tell myself…

And I tell myself…

And I tell myself…

Sigh.

An imagination running wild can be a marvelous thing. For me, it resulted in a 30 volume series about pirates. Another 3, soon to be 4, volume series of about different pirates and a matchmaking kraken. A 6 volume series featuring sex magic based in modern Ireland. A 3 volume series exploring alien/human interaction. An dystopian urban fantasy. And more short, sexy, really filthy stories than I can admit to.
(Ooops.)

I love my imagination.

And right now, I hate it.

And I tell myself ‘when you hear it’s nothing, you’re gonna feel like a fool’.

I sure hope so.

*Update… Got a call and it’s not cancer. I don’t really know how to react at the moment. I am overwhelmed with relief. And terribly, terribly exhausted. At least now…I can let my mind consider the future.

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I want to thank Louise Baccio for tagging me to participate in the blog tour. I love answering questions!

1) What am I working on?
I’m very heavy into publishing right now… One book a month is the new schedule for the remaining 24 books in my pirate series. But for those who are waiting… I am over 35,000 words into the fourth of the Kraken’s Caribbean series… Yes, the story of Lee and his journey toward love will be out this summer (I hope!). The Kraken’s Promise…Lee and Karen Silvestri, the child of Janie and Benjamin, will both find a true course to sail, and face a very nasty dra…uh, villainess!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Are there other books in this genre? Okay, seriously…in the genre of romantic pirate adventures series my books differ because I write of one couple. Same world, same ship, just the continuing adventures and challenges of Jake and Miranda. A bit like a television series…

3) Why do I write what I do?
I fell in love with adventure stories from a very early age. From Tarzan on TV (Ron Ely – sigh), the stories of Robin Hood and a very early exposure to swords and sorcery…so that is what I had to write. Pirate movies, the great Hollywood versions, totally corrupted my version of what pirating is all about. Romance, bright colored clothing, lots of room… I write what I love. And I love pirates!

4) How does my writing process work?
I’m a total pantser who secretly outlines. I don’t call it plotting because I do nothing in detail… I generally haul the laptop onto the lap and dive into it at night. The days are spent with the many other tasks of an author… Tho I have been known to spend a day buried in a plot point at Starbucks…

Okay! Next week, follow the tour to the blog of Fran Colley, a book reviewer extraordinary and a writer working on a handful of projects at the same time. One…about Adam and Eve is wonderful! Check her out at Hellie’s Radical and Frequently Raving Reviews and Other Random Ruminations.

Pirate Invasion!

Facebook Invasion

Welcome to the world of Captain Jake Reynard and his witch, Miranda. These two are the stars of my renamed series, Forever A Pirate. In honor of the release of the sixth book, as well as the new cover reveal for books 1-5… I’m taking over Facebook. All day, you’ll see scattered images of pirate things, all pointing to this page…

I love pirates, I think I always have. But I’m not a purist, give me the great Hollywood pirates and I’m content. More than content.

Forever A Pirate reflects my love of the long lasting life-of-adventure couple…as they struggle through personal conflicts and the difficulties of saving the world, facing down personal demons and discovering what they are capable of doing, together. I grew up on McMillan and Wife, Tommy and Tuppence, Tarzan and Jane… I like to follow one couple… So, be ye prepared. Forever A Pirate presently consists of 30 books. And one couple!

Meet Jake…pirate, thief, rogue, captain of the Moonstone. A born leader. A born liar. A man who knows his way around a woman, but likes to play. Never stays. Until Miranda. Once he hauls her out of the sea, he is struck. And the more he learns, the more he lingers.

Miranda! Time traveling sexual witch. Flung from her world by sorrows few could imagine, she can slide between the portals of time and space. But she never stays. She loves many, for she needs a lover’s touch to stay magically charged. No one had ever caught her heart. Until Jake.

When they met, it was magic. When they stand against adversity, they are fearless.

Forever A Pirate, books 1-6 available on Amazon. And a new title, every month. I promise!

I Love My Friends

Terri Osburn created this for me! Ain’t it great?

2014 Update!

Year Theme

I started 2014 with the determination to spend each day celebrating something. Anything. Thirty some days later and how is it going?

Well…

Not bad. I’m not strutting down the middle of the road everyday, but I find something to be pleased about fairly consistently. And some days? Well, some are golden.

January saw me put out the 5th book in my Caribbean Spell series…it went up with all sorts of bobbles… I gave the wrong edited version to my formatter… Ooops. I got it fixed pretty fast, but it was pretty funny.

Though not as funny as the re-release of the Kraken’s Caribbean series. I redid the covers and for several hours that first day The Chameleon Goggles was The Chamemeon Googles. Yup, when I set out to screw something up, I do it right!

TKMforBlog

But! Sales are good. In fact, January saw me with a very good month. Broke my personal record for sales!

Starting February with my first slight snafu…Missed a booked date for the formatting of a boxed set of the Caribbean Spell series. I haven’t really made up my mind… A five book boxed set or a six book boxed set?

Opinions?

There’s More to a Love Story Than the Love Story

I want to welcome Terri Osburn to the blog today! I’ve known Terri for some years, after crawling aboard the gone, but not forgotten, blog the Romance Writers Revenge, where I set up a bar and served drinks to the crew. Terri’s been working on her writing skills for years and years… Where I just threw myself into the water to see if I could swim, Terri took the time to actually learn things. Gotta admire that!

Nominated for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart in 2012, she went on to conquer the world and has taken her place as a force to be reckoned with in contemporary romance. I’m a big fan and the Anchor Island series is fun, heartwarming and sexy. Just enough sexy.

I’m looking forward to when she strolls to the stage to accept a RITA.

Please, put your hands together for my dear friend, Terri Osburn!
(And stick around…follow the link…she’s having quite a contest!)

Thank you to Maureen for allowing me to bring the Belated Book Blog Tour for UP TO THE CHALLENGE, the 2nd in my Anchor Island Series, to your blog. Since you’re one of my closest friends, it seemed only fitting to do a blog about friendship.

As a reader and writer of romance, I love a good love story. I enjoy watching two characters collide into each other, spar and swoon, and eventually give in to the love that neither can deny. But, the love story is not the only kind of relationship in a good romance.

I love reading about friendships. Whether it’s character who have been inseparable since kindergarten or ones who meet somewhere during the course of the story. There’s a certain rhythm to watching any relationship grow and thrive. Or stumble along on its way to something new and real.

In my Anchor Island series, Sid Navarro and Beth Chandler are complete opposites. Strangers when Beth arrives on Anchor Island in book 1, MEANT TO BE. An added obstacle to their friendship is that when the series starts, Beth is engaged to the man Sid has loved for half her life. Not the best circumstances upon which to build a friendship.

And yet they do. The women find a common ground and develop a real affection. Not one either would come out and discuss, but the connection is there nonetheless. By the second book in the series, which is Sid’s story, the friendship has grown to include Will Parsons (who goes on to become the heroine of book 3.) The women have a standing Girl’s Night at Opal’s Sweet Shoppe, where they treat themselves to their favorite desserts, share they’re hopes and fears, and laugh. A lot.

There are several scenes in book 3, HOME TO STAY (coming May 2014) that center around these three friends, and those scenes were some of the most fun I’ve ever had while writing. Is there anything better than spending time with your girlfriends? The women who accept and understand you, but at the same time would call you on your bullshit without hesitation?

We hear the word bromance thrown around a lot these days. I have a friend who used the word womance in referring to her girl crush on a famous singer. I love this word, and I think we need to embrace it more. Women get a bad rap for being catty and competitive. Thankfully, that is not my experience. I say we celebrate the womances in our books.

What are your favorite womances in the books you read? Do you like books with a larger cast of characters where many different relationships are developed by the end? Or do you prefer an author keep the focus on the main love story?

One lucky commenter today will win a kindle version of UP TO THE CHALLENGE, and if you’ll hop over to the contest page on my website, you can enter for the Belated Blog Tour grand prize of a Kindle and a $10 Amazon gift card to get you started.

Up To The Challenge Cover High Res

Morning of a New Day in a New Year

2014 themeWow.

Can I say I’m not too distressed to leave 2013 behind. There were a lot of good things, but in summation, it was a very frustrating year. Not enough ups to balance the downs.

But this year should be better. I’m not shooting for fabulous. Just…better.

I have no resolutions this year, though I may toss that word around a bit. I am working on being more emotionally reactive. I know that must sound odd, but I’m talking about letting the reserve fall away. Cry at movies. Make faces at the camera…that sort of thing. I have an overabundance of fear when it comes to looking like a fool. (Wouldn’t know it to see the pics I post on Facebook, I know.) But it’s harder in person to let go and be a goof. Or show emotions at movies, concerts, etc.

I figure January will be a good testing ground. I have tickets to see Analuna by Cirqu de Solei in a few weeks. I want to let tears trickle and not hold back. I see something beautiful enough to bring me to tears, I’m gonna cry.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” did that to me. Wanted to just take a deep breath and not fear the tears, but I kept control.

Sigh.

It’s a wonderful movie. Everyone should go see it. Beautifully filmed, wonderful message… Live life.

So, Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s live life! Let’s celebrate! Let’s remove our masks and be genuine this year!

I’ll keep publishing my Caribbean Spell books, I’ll reissue my Kraken’s Caribbean books. I promise a new Kraken’s Caribbean book – finally telling what happens to Lee when the Kraken’s promise comes true. I’ll record the further adventure of Holmes and Jenny as they fly through time and space… And keep writing!

The Coast Romance Authors Holiday Blog Tour!

coastal romance jpeg

I love living on the Monterey Bay. I’ve always had a deep connection to the Pacific Ocean and taken great inspiration from it. From my early days on one side of the bay, to my later days, on the other.

It started with the fog. And the otters, the cypress trees across from where I lived… Jacque Cousteau specials…so many things! There is something very life affirming about the ocean. About water in general. And although I don’t know how to sail, I do enjoy the opportunities I have to go sailing.

A few weeks ago, the Lady Washington visited Moss Landing, at the apex of the bay. And my husband and I booked ourselves on a two hour excursion tour. Beautiful day, sunny, a fair wind and a sweet bit of swell. I. Was. In. Heaven.

LW

Alas, it was too short, but such a delight. For those who aren’t aware, the Lady Washington is the tall ship which appeared as the Intrepid on The Pirates of the Caribbean; Curse of the Black Pearl. She was blown up and sank – oh – midway through the movie. Ah, the magic of Hollywood, she still sails!

And pirates? Well, they are my favorite thing to write about. From my first published series, The Kraken’s Caribbean to the present series, A Caribbean Spell. I never give up the opportunity to include an ocean, a ship and a bit of pirates in my writing. Or a lot of pirates.

(shrug)

The Kraken’s Caribbean is a trilogy that may well morph into a four volume series, with several shorts along the way. I adore this world. As I write of sailing without being a sailor, I also write of historical eras and places without being historically accurate. But I have fun! The tagline of this series? Where anything can happen – and usually does. Take care if you enter this world. It will surprise you…a mix of paranormal, some time travel, steampunk… I not only ignore the rules on this one. I trashed them. Oh, and did I mention the romance in the first book is between a fifty-three year old widow and a seventy year old pirate?

3 covers

(grin)

A Caribbean Spell has just started, even though the fourth in that series just came out. But it is all considered a start, because there will be, at least, thirty books in this series. And one couple. (I believe that sexual tension and a rewarding adventure doesn’t end with finding your match. It never stops, if you’re doing it right.) Join the adventure… Pirates! Romance! Adventure! Sexual Witchery! And More!

4 cover pic

The newest, Magic’s Hostage, is on sale now! For a limited time, only 99 cents on Amazon!

I was asked to write of the coast, a coast, a body of water, my books…and I believe I have.
Tell me, what your favorite body of water is and why… I’ll pick from the comments someone to receive a stone trivit, with a handsome pirate ship painted upon it. Now, Follow the link to the next blog!

And don’t forget to enter the big rafflecopter contest for the $100 Amazon card and an ebook from all us at Coastal Romance Authors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And there will be chances to win, again and again…don’t forget to check up the rest of the author’s as they blog, all the way up to Christmas!

Our Christmas Blog Hop Calendar 

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24 December

Countdown!

For a limited time, A Caribbean Spell, book one of my new series, is .99 at Amazon! But take advantage of the deal fast! I’m taking part in the new Amazon promotion, called the Kindle Countdown Deal… the ebook will be 99 cents for three days, then 1.99 for two days, then 2.99 for two days…then back to full price! Which isn’t really all that much at 3.99. Click on the image to purchase!

A Caribbean Spell, Betita, SM100x150

Why am I doing this? Because come December 4, the fourth book in the series will be available. Magic’s Hostage…where Miranda finds that Jake was right. She needed to be more careful regarding her magical abilities. Now, she’s in trouble, at the mercy of those who want to use her magic. And will do anything to force the issue…

Magic s Hostage, med size, low res

The Hat Wins!

I spent the second weekend of November in New Jersey, attending PhilCon. The oldest scifi/fantasy convention in the US. And as far as I know, anywhere else.

I had a very good time, and sat on many a fun and fascinating panel. And I came in second on the hilarious contest of which character makes a book a winner… Pirate/Ninja/Steampunk/Dragon.

I know now, I really needed to pull out the Pirate Mad Libs book, but I plain forgot. That, and a bottle of rum might have done it. And maybe an issue of Pyrate Magazine.

But Steampunk, represented by Savan Gupta, was impossible to beat.

I did, however, bring home a costume ribbon! Well, my hat did. I was but a prop to show off the hat…

hat

Maybe next year, the hat and I can manage a ribbon together…

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Maureen O. Betita
April 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm

"So, you made a spider do it with an alien. That's messed up."
Big Ass Spider

Maureen O. Betita
April 19, 2014 at 10:16 pm

"Hey! You were at the airport..." on Sabrina Shields's photo.

Maureen O. Betita
April 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Whoohoo! Loved her!

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I got : Cher! - Which celebrity are you from the 1970s?

http://www.playbuzz.com

You're a radical, real, person, who tells it like it is. You are not afraid to tell people what you think of them but make mistakes sometimes by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. You're a heart breaker but at the same time a really loving person. Against all odds you still know how to look powerful at your weakest moments. Long story short, you're a legend.

Maureen O. Betita
April 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

Maureen O. Betita shared Pirates Among Us's photo.

Wait!

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By: Pirates Among Us

Maureen O. Betita
April 19, 2014 at 10:41 am

Maureen O. Betita shared Island Windjammers, Inc.'s photo.

So, which boat to board?

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reflecting — with Bill Barrilleaux and Rober Bonilla.

By: Island Windjammers, Inc.