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    August 2012
    11 - Nancy Martin
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I know it seems lately that my life revolves around a wee one, and that’s not far from the truth, but things are moving right along in my career too. As a fortuitous coincidence, though I planned this blog weeks ago, it coincides with this in RT magazine. : ) Yes! I just signed a three—and option on fourth—book deal with Carina Press.

This is my first full length novel and the story of my heart, the one that wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it down and then convinced me writing was part of who I am. It’s been interesting rewriting it. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt my writing has matured…I tended to lean toward purple back then. ; )

Publication date for the first, Journey to Awakening, is January of 2013. With each of the other books publishing at 6 month intervals. For those of you in the know, that means every spare minute I have is spent in front of the computer screen…and there just doesn’t seem to be enough of them. See? Back to baby. I should write a NF book called Deadlines and Diapers.

So if I’m a little bit more spacey or invisible, you see I have some very good reasons. Forgive me until December…when I plaster you with shameless self promotion. : )


Did you miss me?

I’m back! Please don’t tell me you didn’t realize I was gone. I can’t believe how quickly eight weeks flew by. Then again those eight weeks were so full of new experiences and adventures that it also seems like it’s been longer than that. For those of you who don’t know, baby Emily Hannah Guzman was born on May 31st.  It’s been a busy, sleep-deprived, joyful, and awesome time, but I have missed all of you.

Although there is a lot going on with my professionally right now, and I will share, today I’m going to stick with the mom hat I’m wearing more often than not. If I had a wallet with pictures, I’d pull it out right now, or the more modern cell phone with pictures. I really do this by the way. Go ahead, ask how the baby is and I’ll grab my cell phone and show you one of over 300 pictures I have on my phone. I’ve even been known to randomly attach pictures to messages or emails because of course you want to see my little angel. I’m really not sure what the mortgage broker thought of that…

Any way, here she is!


I’m not talking about book proposals or anything like that. I’m referring to real proposals of the will-you-marry-me kind.  A friend of mine just became engaged. I’m so happy for her. She’s giddy, planning her wedding, and hopelessly in love. This made me reminisce about my own proposal and the whirlwind months that followed. So I thought since this is a blog about romance, and June, and wedding season, is coming up fast, I’d love if you’d share your proposal with all of us. It could be a funny proposal or a romantic proposal. Did your then boyfriend hire a skywriter or was it spur of the moment?

I’d also love to hear about the sweetest, most romantic or most unusual proposal you’ve ever heard of.

It’s only fair I’ll start with mine. ; )

It was March 31st, a Thursday if I remember correctly, and I had a killer headache, but I’d made plans with my boyfriend to go on a walk. To be fair, I had a feeling something was up because he’d seemed out of breath for a few days. ; ) He asked if I’d rather go on a drive to not aggravate the headache, which was getting better. Then he said he wanted to take me somewhere that was a surprise. I agreed to be blindfolded and he drove in what seemed like circles…or squares as the city blocks allowed. Once we stopped, he led me out of the car and sat me down. When he took my blindfold off, I was sitting at a tiny bistro table with a candle and a piece of cheesecake, and he was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. He’d led me to the school soccer field where we first met and fell in love. (he was my daughter’s coach)  I honestly can’t remember what he said before “Will you marry me?” but I do remember saying “You bet!” and thinking I’ve waited for this for what seems like my whole life and I didn’t say, “Yes.”

I found out later that he’d gone to the principle of the school to get special permission to propose to me there. The teachers, custodians and office staff were all in the loop. The next day they all asked to see the ring and congratulated me.

I still don’t know what the cheesecake was for….

But I can’t pass by that field without smiling.

Okay, it’s your turn. Tell us your story, or a story.

Are we there yet?

If you have kids, I’m sure you’ve heard this a bizzillion times. But this time I’m doing the whining. I’ve always scoffed a little, quietly of course, when I’ve heard women say they can’t wait for the pregnancy to be over. I thought, you know you do have to deal with a baby then and you’ll look back on this time as well rested and calm in comparison. In my defense, I’ve always had fairly easy pregnancies. Back ache, swelling, running to the bathroom every 30 minutes? Not me. Well, guess what? I have a whole new perspective, and I’m the one saying it now.

Last week the doctor told me, based on Emily’s position and the severity of the Braxton hicks contractions, that it could be any day now. He recommended that I take it easy for the next two weeks. Um, yeah, right. But you see, I don’t have time to have a baby any time soon.

This week I am 36 weeks. This week I also have two baby showers, a school event, and my son’s baseball game to attend. Oh yeah, and Mother’s Day. The next week, I have a doctor’s appointment, my daughter has a dentist appointment, it’s my anniversary,  we have a tour of the maternity wing scheduled, and that Friday is the annual school carnival that the kids are wildly excited to attend. Oh, and I still have editing to finish for the day job before I can officially go on maternity leave and give in to my nesting instincts….which means my house isn’t ready! ; )

A baby? Really? She’ll have to wait until the week of the 21st. That’s all I’m saying.

Okay, since you put up with all of my whining above–or maybe you skipped to the end. I don’t blame you–I thought we could do something fun. Ms. Emily’s official due date is June 6th. Why don’t you all guess which day between now and then (or after, who knows?) will be her birthday. Date and time in case of a tie. After she’s born, I’ll send a .pdf copy of Altered Destiny to the person who guesses the closest.

Sound fun?


Celebration Giveaway

It’s not every day yourbook wins an award and Altered Destiny winning the RT award for fantasy/paranormal is so far the highlight of my career. So I think a celebration is in order! Don’ t you? And what better way to celebrate than to give away some fantastic prizes. My fellow writers have graciously offered to donate their e-books for a ginormous give away.

We have:

Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer http://www.cindyspencerpape.com/index.html

Acceptable Risks by Natalie Damschroder http://www.nataliedamschroder.com/

Target of Betrayl by Melissa Ohnoutka  http://www.melissaohnoutka.com/

Rough Ride by Keri Ford http://keriford.com/

Texas Two Step by Cynthia D’Alba http://cynthiadalba.com

The winners choice of book from Liz Talley http://www.liztalleybooks.com/

Demon Crossing by Eleri Stone  http://eleristone.com/

Priestess of the Nile by Veronica Scott http://veronicascott.wordpress.com/about-song-of-the-nile/

Quarter Square by David Bridger http://www.davidbridger.com/

The Last Slayer by Nadia Lee http://www.nadialee.net/

And last, but not least,

a key chain compass in honor of the tool that led Jaden through the White Forest

So what do you have to do to win all this wonderful? That’s easy. Just mention Altered Destiny on the web somewhere. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, your blog, etc. Take your pick. Just be sure to paste a link at my blog or here at Everybody Needs a Little Romance so I know about it and that’s it! You’re entered! The winner will be announced on May 4th 2012. So what are you waiting for? Link away! : )

Sophomore Slump

When I tried to come up with a title for this post, many possibilities came to mind. “This ain’t High School”, “Only in the land of make believe.” Suffice it to say I’m sleep deprived and a wee bit loopy.

So this is actually a difficult post for me to write because it feels like admitting to a weakness. And you all know I like to pretend I’m super woman, right?

I’ve heard the term before, Sophomore Slump, but never really gave it any thought. It refers to the difficulty authors have writing the second book and I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. I mean I wrote my first through third book in about a year. Of course those books aren’t published. Yet.  When I did finally publish under a pen name, I had the second book written during the time between edits and release day. The third and fourth followed quite easily.

So why have I been sitting, staring at a nearly blank screen for almost 8 months? Why has the self-imposed due date to have this next book finished been moved 3 times? And why have I changed focus several times from project to project because I just don’t “feel” what I’m currently working on?

It hit me the other day. Sophomore Slump. Altered Destiny is my first published full length, fantasy novel. It’s received fairly consistent and good reviews. There’s the RT nomination-which is huge-and I can’t seem to type to save my life. Or my career.

My husband’s theory is that when I was a more prolific writer, I wasn’t quite as happy because I wasn’t married to him so it was easier to slip into fantasy world. Yeah, little bit of an ego there, but you know? He has a point. I used to spend every evening writing. Now I’m cuddling with a gorgeous man and a very large stomach. (Less than 8 more weeks till D day) He also had some very good advice which mirrored Queen Noras. He said, this is your job. Some times it’s harder to do than at other times but it’s your job and I know you love it. Sit down and do it.

Imagine that. A complete outsider to the publishing world told me to get my butt in the chair.

So what’s a writer to do? Well, so far 3K + and better, a game plan for what’s ahead. Yes, folks, there will be a follow-up novella about Jaden and Selia and soon, Nathan’s story.


And to celebrate and as part of our blog hop. I’m giving away a copy of Altered Destiny to one lucky commentor. Please see the full rules on the blog hop to your left. : )

Valentines Day.

Valentines Day.

Right now I can’t think of any more controversial words. Or words that bring such diametrically opposed reactions.

When I saw that my blogging day fell on Valentines Day, I was a little excited, then the pressure hit. This is the day of love. This is a blog devoted to all things love. I mean we are romance writers. What could I write that would possibly be good enough?


And doesn’t that reaction just fall in line with Valentines Day? What do I give him/her? Will it be enough?

I’ll be the first one to say I love this day. I’ve never been anti-Valentine, though I understand the sentiment a little. Yes, it’s commercial. Yes, it sucks when you don’t have a significant other, but then…not so much.

I was a single mom for many years and started a few traditions I think I’ll keep for as long as I have children in the home. We start celebrating on Feb 1st. I have little mail boxes for each of my children. Every time they show love, I put a little prize in the box and raise the flag. I don’t say anything. There’s no fanfare, but I love seeing their eyes light up when they see that little flag raised. Sometimes they ask and I’ll remind them of their action. Most of the time they’re surprised. Their actions can be as simple as saying: “No you use the ketchup first,” using their Chuck E Cheese tokens to buy a sibling, who didn’t get as many, a prize at the counter, or just walking in the house and hugging someone. It is those little things that really do count. And yup, these are some of this year’s prize winners. We usually do this for a week or so after Valentines Day or when I run out of treats. (Gotta love the Dollar Store)

This year, my husband and I decided instead of individual gifts, we’d buy each other a pay-per-view event that we both really wanted to see and couldn’t really afford. Okay, I’ll tell you, The Royal Rumble. Yes, I love wrestling. I got to see one of my favorite wrestlers, Seamus, kick butt. I got to cuddle on the couch with my husband and didn’t have to eat dinner. Yay Subway! I loved it.

Today, my dear husband stopped me in the hall and said, “You are different from any woman I’ve ever met.”

I paused, waiting, then asked him what he meant.

He went on to say that when I asked for the Royal Rumble for Valentines Day, I really meant it. I didn’t really expect flowers or candy too. I wasn’t just saying it and he could trust that.

That little confession warmed my heart more than a dozen roses. If he had a mailbox, I would have put a treat in it.

Love is shown in so many ways. Sometimes it comes in the shape of flowers, sometimes candy, sometimes it’s just knowing that someone appreciates you and will take the time to tell you that.

And aren’t we the luckiest people in the world that get to explore every facet of the most amazing emotion in existence?

Happy Valentines Day everyone. I wish you much love today and every day!

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