VanessaWitte is ready to finally claim her life. The middle of three daughters born into the Witte family - a powerful Texas name - she’s been content to float through life. Being dumped by her shady ex? A blessing in disguise. Having a one-night-stand with Matias Barnes? Not one of her more stellar moments. But she’s back in Lockhardt with a secret and a reason to start fresh: A baby.
Matias Barnes knows all about society women - it’s part of the reason he left his wealthy family behind and took a job on a ranch. He doesn’t like the endless string of parties, the inane conversation, or the gold-digging tricks those women have perfected. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting Vanessa Witte. Mat knows she’s so not right for him, but with her back in Lockhardt, can he resist her charms long enough to really let her
Kristina is giving a book of choice from her backlist to a lucky commenter
Finding Time to Write
The best advice I've ever gotten as a writer actually came from one of my English professors when I was still in college. She said treat writing like a job from this point on and you'll never have deadline issues in the future.
I'd taken an advanced creative writing elective my Senior Year, every other student in the class was an English major with plans to go into some area of publishing. I think they all had the Great American Novel idea; I was the lone journalism major.
Just after the mid-term, our professor took an entire week to talk about creating a writing schedule before it was needed. When you're young/still in school, you look at life as always having 'time'. Heck, I've been out of school for a few years now and I still think that way. But in the real world there are obligations on your time – there is a 9-5 job for most of us, there are friends who want to go out, family who need attention, a spouse who shouldn't be neglected. During that week she must have implored us ten times to find a way to make writing part of our lives every. Single. Day. Because one day of skipped writing can lead to two and that can lead to a week or a month and then…your editor is very not happy with you.
Before my publisher bought my first book, I had all the time in the world. The only deadlines I had were self-imposed (I still met them, I'm competitive that way.Even with myself). No one cared if I wrote 500 words or 5,000 on a given day.Now that I've sold five books, there are even more demands on my time:
I'm a freelance writer for a business publication
I have a busy 4-year-old and husband
I have a radio show
I have extended family and friends who want a little bit of my time
I have two new series that I'm plotting/drafting
I have edits for the completed books
I have interviews that need to be completed and blogging and social media to be tended to
The list goes on, and I'm not complaining. But because of my early influences, I'm more prepared than I would have been had I not taken that class in that year and heard that week-long lecture series. I made time for my writing when I had a 9-5 job, now my writing is my 9-5 job but it isn't just writing the books –it's the marketing of books and the writing of new books.
Except some of the big authors like Stephen King and Nora Roberts, I think all authors now have to do more than write the books. The writing should be a priority, but the day-to-day 'extra' can seem a little more important. There are days when I look at my word count and then compare that with the other constraints on my time and I want to focus on those other things – because I could clear 5-6 To Dos in the time it would take to write my 5,000 words (or whatever the goal is). It can be exciting to look at it that way. The downfall is when you realize skipping those 5,000 words can put your deadline in jeopardy.
I took that advice to heart, although there were times my daily writing is more of a journaling/free write than work on actual fiction. Making writing part of myeveryday life, though, prepared me for publishing in a way that I'm thankful for now – years after that lecture series. There are still days when I'd rather take a swim in the pool than write my words, there are days when I have a number of blog posts to write or when I'm trying to work up a new marketing plan for my books and those tasks seem much more pressing than writing toward a deadline that is weeks away. But I still make my word count the priority–because those publisher deadlines just don't
"I'll take the bill, Vern," she said,
holding out her hand. It was about time she started paying her own way. One tank of gas wouldn't exactly repay the family, but it was a start. Added bonus, paying her own bills might help overhaul the character she'd found so seriously lacking in the last few months.
"It's easier for ol' Mitch to keep his records if I just add it to the
"I'm not a ranch employee. This isn't a ranch vehicle. I'll take the
bill." Vanessa couldn't remember ever paying for a tank of gas here. Come to think of it, unless she was trying to impress someone, she had rarely paid for anything to this point in her life.
Vern handed her the receipt. Fifty bucks? Holy crap, how much did gas
cost? Stupid question, Van, obviously it costs fifty dollars. She reached into her bag for her credit card and then remembered that was part and parcel of the Witte upbringing. Paying with Grandfather's credit card? Not character building. She pawed through the baby blue Coach bag but only came up with two twenties and some loose change.
"Just charge it to the ranch, Vern." Mat Barnes's voice echoed under the station's overhang, chilling Vanessa. "The Double Diamond will cover it." We always cover her bills,his tone implied.
Vanessa squeezed her eyes closed and swallowed. Her fingers closed over another bill. Please let it be a twenty. Or a ten. She opened her eyes.
Three twenties. Triumph!
"I've got it Mr. Barnes, thank you," she said, chilling her voice as she
handed the cash to Vern. He looked from Mat to Vanessa, obviously confused over what was going on between them. Vanessa held his gaze for a moment. Vern took the cash and hurried inside.
"I think we're past the 'Mr. Barnes' stage, don't you?" Mat watched her
from beneath the tipped-low brim on his cowboy hat, his coal-black eyes boring straight to her soul. Yes, they were past the Mr. or Miss stage, technically,but not calling him Mat helped her keep her distance.
The way her heart raced at the mere sight of him she desperately needed
She looked away, crossing her arms over her chest. Her gaze caught on the frayed edge of his jeans—which were worn in all the right places, she noted—and today's tee, tight across his shoulders, read, 'Chicks Dig Scars' over his well-muscled chest.
Who was she kidding? Calling him Mr. Barnes didn't keep her from noticing just how delectable Mat was. Nothing could do that. Not in broad daylight. Certainly not the twinkling fairy lights during Kathleen's wedding reception.
"I don't think a night spent in my grandfather's hayloft makes us best
buddies," she said, hoping against hope he would just leave her alone.
"Ahh, but what we did in that hayloft is another matter." He lounged
against the side of her Porsche as if he might stay there forever.
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police--no, she wasn't a troublemaker, she was a journalist. When the opportunity to focus a bit of energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she's never looked
back. Now she writes magazine articles by day and romance novels with spice by night. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Happily ever after.
Find Kristina online: