*Nina slides in breathless*

I know I’m very late getting back to my blog after the holidays. It just seems I’m having a hard time rolling into 2012. I don’t have any more excuses reasons than any other woman who has a family and holiday responsibilities. Yep, Mr. Nina and I managed to have a wonderful Christmas morning with our kids. They are adults, but we still keep up all the *Santa* traditions we’ve held on to since they were children. It was fun.

We drank a lot of wine. Ate too much food. And laughed continuously.

Now it’s time to settle into 2012. So here I am, sitting before my computer and a blank calendar. As 2011 came to a close I realized I needed to reassess and really look at what I hoped 2012 would bring. One of the things I’m already doing is cutting back on the number of RWA Chapters I belong to. Though each one was wonderful, I found there were more emails than helpful information coming through. Out they go.

As I always do, I’m looking at my blogging time. With the explosion of social media, I think fewer and fewer people are finding time to stop by blogs. But it seems I go ’round and ’round this ride and keep coming back to the fact that I enjoy it for the most part. I think more than anything it’s my opportunity to spew about my life. Whether it’s good or bad, I can kick sand or jump for joy with people who understand the publishing journey. So for now, I’m sticking to my Mon-Wed-Fri schedule. I hope to fill the year with some fun and humor, introductions to new authors, and keeping up on the latest in the publishing world.

But the biggest decision I’ve come to is about my writing. I’m an analytical person. I couldn’t stop myself from looking at the market and studying other successful authors. I’ve tried to emulate them, not in their writing style or voice or anything, but how they handled their career. And after six years I’ve come to realize in the end it’s done nothing but frustrate me. This BLOG POST really opened my eyes. Especially numbers 17, 18, and 19. There is just too much I can’t control. And many times something one author does that skyrockets their books to the bestseller list, rarely translates over to another author’s success. Trust me on this one. I know it from experience.

So my goal this year is to slow down. Stop chasing the money and just write what works for me. I’m convinced the money will follow. Does this mean I’m rolling over and not being logical about my marketing? No. It just means I’m going to stop trying to recreate other people’s success.

Oh, and I’ve also decided I’m going to figure out this weight situation that has gotten out of control. Not sure how it’s going to work since I’m spending more time in the electric wheelchair, but I’m thinking there’s got to be a balance between feeding my body and expanding my waistline when exercise isn’t an option. Hmmm, wish me luck on that one.

So what about you? Do you have goals for 2012?

Since time flies so quickly I’ve decided to take time the first Sunday of every month and sort of “assess” where the last month has taken me both professionally and personally. That way, when the year is over, I won’t wonder if I actually managed to accomplish anything. I’ll know I’ve actually enjoyed the year!

So, let’s see, in January I did submit a short story to my editor. If contracted (fingers crossed), it will be offered as a free read. This story involves the three shifters, Jayda, Cole and Zane from my Shifting Bonds series. I’m in hopes of finding some new readers to fall in love with this trio. I expect the next book in this series “Bonded by Pride” to be released in 2011.

January also saw the release of “Maid for Master”, the first in what is turning out to be a series. I’m pleased to say the second novella in this series is cooking along quite nicely. 😀 I expect to have that out to my editor by the end of the month. Which is really awesome for me. Sometimes I fall into a slump with my writing and I’ve promisaed myself this year I wouldn’t do that. So far, so good.

I’ve also been plugging away at a couple of books in my backlist that I hope to have released directly to Kindle by the end of this month. This is new to me and I’m looking forward to sharing the news as I figure out this new technology that seems to be exploding.

On the personal end of things … well, it’s a long haul for me as perspective buyers for my house don’t seem to be braving the cold winds of Maine. Hopefully February will be different and someone will just fall in love with my house and I can sell it and join Mr. Nina down in Rhode Island. This being separated is for the birds. Neither one of us is too fond of maintaining two households. On the good news front, if someone makes an offer, it doesn’t take long for everything to fall into place and to get us moved out.

So there you have it. Probably waaaaay more than you needed/wanted to know about the Nina. And just for something different, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from “Bonded by Need”. Enjoy …

She looked up the side of the mountain, down into the ravine and back up the rock wall, anywhere to avoid looking at him. “Yes, well, I guess we need to find a way to get out of here. And quickly.” Jayda used the wall to get to her feet, but her head spun again and she swayed. She slumped into Zane’s embrace and he held her while she retched.

“Really, Jayda, I’m pretty sure you have a concussion.” He brushed the hair from her face, his gaze raking over her features. The upturned nose fit perfectly with the rounded cheeks and full lips. Christ, she was beautiful.

Whoa, back up. What the hell was wrong with him? He had just been named head of the cougar shifters. Even considering getting involved with a wolf shifter was just a bad idea all the way around. And here he was, thinking lusty thoughts about the mate of the head honcho. Down, boy, down. He mentally refocused his libido. “There’s no hurry. We need to take this slow. Getting up the ridge may prove a little trickier than coming down.”

Once again she realized how close their bodies were and pushed from him. “Yeah, well, I think there is a reason to hurry.” She shot a glance over her shoulder. “Let’s just get out of here. You can take me back to the clinic and you and your cougars can come back and find the kits.”

The kits. He’d forgotten all about them. Zane went down on one knee and purred low in invitation. They popped out of the small crevice one at a time.

Jayda cooed. “Oh, you found them!”

“No, Jayda, you found them.” He picked one up by the scruff of the neck and smiled. “Not that I’d recommend this method again, but we have them.” Zane looked up the wall. “Now we just have to figure out how to get everyone back up to the truck.”

“Well, how did you get down here?” Jayda looked up, shading her eyes against the noonday sun. “I’m not sure I can climb.”

“I came down in cougar form. But I came in from that direction.” He turned and looked at the slope, trying to work out a solution. “I could carry you on my back.”

She didn’t respond. He turned to see her appraising him and his cock immediately stirred under her probing gaze. Embarrassed, he bent and let the kit join his sibling. “Stupid idea. Why don’t we both shift and we can each carry a kit in our mouths.” He shot her a look over his shoulder. “Do you feel well enough to shift?”

Her face flushed. “Yeah, but…” She looked from his ass to her body. “But then there’re no clothes for me when we get to the top.”

His fingers dug through his hair and he blew out a breath. Driving home with a naked Jayda next to him was definitely more than he could handle. “How about you wear my shirt and I wear my pants?” He stood, giving her a view of his shoulder, his hands covering his over-anxious cock. In all his life, Zane was sure he’d never been naked in front of woman and tried to keep his interest in her a secret. “We just need to get the hell out of here. You shift and I’ll follow.”

“Well, turn around. I’m certainly not getting naked in front of you.”

“Oh sorry.” He turned his back to her. Zane heard the rustle of clothing and imagined that tight little tank top coming off and her bra falling to the ground, leaving her full breasts exposed. He bit back a groan when the zipper of her jeans rasped, but he couldn’t control the surge of blood to his cock. He was slime. The woman had nearly lost her life trying to save the tiny cougars and all he could think about was her curvaceous, naked ass.

“Okay, I’m shifting.”

He waited a heartbeat and turned, expecting to see a wolf. But the form before him rolled and shimmied in an odd mix of human, wolf and cougar parts. The kits cried and backed away from Jayda. Zane wasn’t sure how to help her. Tears welled in eyes that were surrounded by the round nose of a cougar then the full shape of a wolf and finally she gave up, her naked form appearing on her hands in knees in front of him. Her breasts hung seductively and her ass curved ever so provocatively toward the sky. Shit.

Whew! I love the holiday season. i really enjoy spending time with my family. But I gotta tell you, by the time New Year’s is over and the Christmas decorations packed away for another year … I’m ready to collapse!

Of course this year was even crazier with Mr. Nina being several states away, our house half packed and children home from college with the usual chaos they bring with them. I spent last week taking it easy on myself while I was down in Rhode Island spending a little one on one time with my husband. But the vacation’s over and it’s time a took a good hard look at 2011 and what I’d like to accomplish professionally this year.

I’ve decided it’s time I turn over a new leaf and really buckle down into my writing. I’ve posted the motto “No one’s ever published a book that isn’t written” over my desk in hopes that my writing resolutions for 2011 won’t go the way of my eat healthier resolution that completely crumbled with my will power on New Year’s day when I consumed half my birthday cake and then finished it off today. Yeah, well, it’s one of the reasons I don’t make resolutions … I feel like such a rebel when I break them.

But not this year.

This year I intend to list my goals right out where I can see them. It’s not so much that I didn’t accomplish what I wanted in 2010, but I just feel like I could have done more. Much more. I see others reaching new heights in their careers and as much as I shouldn’t compare myself with other writers, I can’t help but want what they have. That means buckling down and following their example of butt in chair and fingers on the keyboard. Every day.

It won’t be easy, but I’m going to hold myself accountable. I’ve got stories crying to be written. I’m going to find the fun in the creativity again. Every career ebbs and flows and I’m looking to catch a tidal wave and ride it into a successful year.

I do have personal goals (not the least of which is selling my house and moving) and I’m throwing those into the list as well. I’m hoping that when I see them everyday hanging in my office it will be a motivate me to try a little bit harder.

So what about you? Do you set goals or make resolutions for the new year? Why or why not? And if you do make them I’d love to hear what you’re hoping to accomplish this year.

So, it’s November and I’m looking back and reassessing the past year. Out of the personal writing goals I set for myself this past year, I’m figuring out which ones I met, which ones didn’t quite hit the mark, and which ones I exceeded. (Notice I never share these goals … cause like … I’m really chicken.)

I feel like I’m at a pivotal place in my writing career which requires some real soul searching and goal-setting. Writing is far more than a hobby for me–it’s a new career–and one that really seems to be agreeing with me.

I have to admit. Just 12 short months ago I was looking forward to my first book being released from Liquid Silver Books. I hope I never forget the excitement of being welcomed into the LSB family. The day I got my first ISBN … I cried. That was followed by edits and book covers and finally publication. What an amazing high.

That book was followed by the erotic suspense series, Tilling Passions and then I had the honor of being part of an anthology with Tina Holland and Celia Kyle.

Now, I’m on the cusp of breaking into a new publisher (fingers, toes, eyes, and legs crossed … no, forget the legs  😀 ) and currently I’m brainstorming a story for yet a third publisher. (Because I’ve learned that thinking about a book is an integral part of the writing process for me.)

Who woulda thunk?

I’ve learned so much in the past twelve months. My mom keeps asking me “How do you know that?” and I shake my head, realizing it’s just another thing I’ve learned along this crazy road of writing, submitting, editing, and publishing books.

Anyway, next week I’m hanging out for a couple of days with my critique partner and one of my best friends. The baby’s going to daycare, her hubby’s rolling up his sleeves so we can have someone feed us in our brainstorming euphoria … and you sooooo know she’s warming up the blender. I suspect there will be lots of wine and green drink consumption! Two days won’t be nearly enough for us to catch up and brainstorm our stories and goals. But we’re going to have to buckle down and getur done! The timing couldn’t be better for me.

I hope to walk away with a notebook full of ideas and a clear idea of where I’m going in my publishing career. I have a feeling there may be some big changes on the horizon. Keep an eye out for them as I move with confidence (NOT!) into 2009.