Saturday, June 21, 2008


Meet my (first!) guest blogger, fellow ByGrace Publishing author Cindy K. Green! Cindy's the author of six titles, and she's an author to watch. She drops by to share some insight on writing, plus an excerpt from her fun new book, Meeting Mr. Right Online. It is a sweet, chick-lit novella and it's available NOW!

What is chick-lit?
Chick-lit is primarily about young women in their 20’s or 30’s dealing with life (some newer titles include older women as well). It contains a light, humorous and most importantly a confiding tone (like you’re speaking to your girlfriends)—almost always in the first person. The themes focus around love, relationships, friendships, professional dilemmas, and a penchant for fashion—usually facing hilarious and embarrassing situations. But what it all comes down to is the heroine figuring out herself and what she really wants out of life. There is usually some kind of epiphany that blows her mind away and finally she can see clearly about what she really wants—or more importantly—needs.

Chicklit is a completely different genre from romance because the focus is on the woman and how she navigates her way through the twists and turns life throws at her. But the romantic angle is usually at the forefront of the story. Another things about chicklit is that it does not always end in a happily ever after for the heroine and her love interest. Now I am an HEA girl all the way, so never fear, mine is very romantic and sweet and ends with an HEA.

How did you go about writing MEETING MR. RIGHT ONLINE?
This story resulted from a few factors. I was reading a couple of chick-lit novels last spring, I’d just watched several episodes of a certain TV show with my sisters which resulted in the names of all the side characters, and I really did have an online friend like this who I had come to rely on and then all of a sudden didn’t hear from. My friend though was only a friend and we started writing again in a very short time. But the situation made me think…What if??? It all went from there.

Did you plot out this story or write it pantser style?
There was no plotting to this story until toward the end and then it was only ideas of what I wanted to happen to bring about the conclusion. I began writing this story on my PDA late at night in the dark (this is also how I wrote NovelTea #1). Sounds weird, right? :D Well, we authors are an odd lot. LOL! I was in the middle of editing a full-length novel and to those of you who have ever done that we know how consuming it is. I needed to write something new. So, there in the dark as my husband slept, I began this story.

Is the finished version much different from your first draft?
Yes, actually, it is. It is about 5,000 words longer to begin with. I changed the heroine’s profession, adding a secondary plot line about her work worries. And I made her love interest British instead of American. My husband calls me an Anglophile as I love all things British especially Period Dramas and British television. I thought, ‘I can write an English bloke.’ I had a couple English author friends read through his passages to make sure he seemed real. It seems he passed muster.

Meeting Mr. Right Online
By Cindy K. Green
Sweet/Chicklit Novella
By Grace Publishing

Watch the book trailer

What’s a girl to do when she’s thirty-three and all her friends have started their lives and left her behind?
Lucinda Kelley works for a local cable television show, assists her sister in her tumultuous relationships, and yearns for the day she can meet Mr. Right. All that seems to change when she meets Londoner Julian Crawford in an on-line tv chat room. Eight months later, via email he has become her best friend and closest confidant. Then one day the messages cease, and Lucinda feels lost until she makes a vow to end this infatuation with someone she has never met and move on to something real. When an alarming revelation is exposed, it could be Lucinda’s undoing or it might be exactly what she was looking for.
Excerpt #1: The Opening

Good evening, this is Amber Heffernan reporting live for Channel 11 entertainment news outside the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. In just a few minutes, the glamorous Lucinda Kelley will emerge with her new husband, that handsome British financier. This couple has been in the media limelight since they first started seeing each other almost six months ago, outshining all of the other popular Hollywood pairs. The bride was married today in a Vera Wang strapless scoop-neck wedding gown, and I’m told she looked absolutely stunning. When the couple exits the hotel, they will travel to JFK International Airport to board the family jet to Jamaica where the twosome plan to depart for a two week honeymoon. After that they will settle into their Malibu home in California where Lucinda produces her award winning television sitcom…

The computer beeped letting me know it had finally booted up, and there I was, daydreaming again. I really had to stop doing that. I clicked the button once more, hoping this time it would be there. I held my breath for the few seconds it took to check my email messages, feeling that depressed, empty sensation yet again when I didn’t see it. Rubbing my forehead, I closed my eyes. This was absolutely ridiculous. Why did I torture myself so?

Read a couple more excerpts and watch the book trailer on my website.

**********Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Return of Consuelo Vazquez

I wasn't going to announce this yet, but when I find a home for my new WIP (of course, I have to finish it first), it will be published under my other pseudonym, Consuelo Vazquez.

Originally, I'd planned to write only under Connie Keenan, which is the name you'll find as the author of my newest works, like THE COP & THE MERMAID, PARADISE ROAD, and the novela "Prince of the Forest," which you'll find in Midnight Showcase's STRANGE DESIRES digest. Consuelo Vazquez was the name I used when writing for Kensington's Encanto line, for which I wrote SALSA KISS, SEA SIREN, and other books before the line was closed.

The old saying of "Never say never" surely applies here. Encanto was fun while it lasted. But when it died, I was sort of adrift for a couple of years. I was trying to decide, "Well, what do I want to write?" Following my heart, I began focusing on what I enjoyed doing, which were paranormals and contemporary romance that ranged from sweet (PARADISE ROAD, the upcoming novel "One Hot Chocolate Night") to sensuous (THE COP & THE MERMAID) in heat levels. Small presses have been great to work with because they don't allow marketing departments to dictate to them; instead they rip the sky open and tell their writers, "Go for it. Push that envelope. Write from your heart or don't write at all."

I've heard people say lofty stuff like, "Writing is like a blank canvas; you take the brush and dab this color on, give it this little stroke, that, until, voila! you have a picture." Poetic, no?

Not necessarily accurate, though. My experience? It's more like, "Writing is like a blank canvas; you slash your heart open as deep as you can without actually dying, then you bleed all over that thing." Worry about making it pretty later. In other words, writing cannot be bloodless, depending solely on skill and tipsheets and "experts" teaching writers how to write, being done as if by rote. You want to follow a recipe, make muffins.

That said, I completely rewrote my new work-in-progress from scratch when I realized in which direction the story really needed to go. And I also realized something else it needed...and that was Consuelo Vazquez's name. Her heart. Her blood.

In the past, works written under my pen name were always higher on the heat level. That's going to hold true to this new WIP, too. I'll be writing sexier works under Consuelo Vazquez, but I will, of course, continue writing under Connie Keenan, too. Don't expect anything like what I wrote for Encanto. You could say I'm reinventing the pen name and her projects, many of which will be for sci-fi and magical, fun stuff.

So if you've never read my works under Consuelo Vazquez, be sure to drop by my website and check out her backlist. And whether you're a new reader of hers or you remember her from yesterday, hope you like what she's got in store--beginning with the upcoming DEEP BLUE.

It WILL be fun. ;D