Teacher’s Pet Event!

Welcome!  I’m Noony, and my favorite Teacher’s Pet is Steve, the romantic lead in TIGER TIGER.

1. In high school my crush was…? The captain of the debate team.

2. The craziest thing I did in high school was join ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps).

3. Growing up I wanted to be…? A soldier.

4. On Friday nights you’d have found me… At the beach, by a bonfire with my friends.

5. The hottest teacher at my high school was Mr. Callahan and he taught…? Biology.

To win a copy of TIGER TIGER of your very own (or another of our backlist of your choice), tell us:  in high school, who was your first crush?

Remember, visit the other stops on the hop by clicking the link below.  Enter your favorite teacher’s pet at the Nice Girls Writing Naughty blog and be entered in the drawing to win the grand prize.

When you grab a tiger by the tail, sometimes he bites back.

Chicagoland Shifters, Book 2

Veterinary trauma surgeon and animal empath Sasha Soskoff has found everything he ever wanted with his new partners Neal, Steve and Carlos. Life feels as safe and secure as it can be among a group of ex-Marine tiger shifters. Until a homeless man is found, gruesomely mauled and murdered, near Neal’s BDSM club.

When it’s determined a rogue tiger did the deed, the jaguars’ accusing eyes turn toward Sasha’s lovers. The precarious balance of peace tips dangerously toward war.

Neal knows damned well none of his tigers committed the crime. Someone must be in Chicago without his knowledge or permission, and they’d better find him fast before uncertainty and conflict rip the tight-knit band apart from the inside.

As Sasha struggles to heal the stress fractures forming among his tiger family, he begins to wonder if his dreams of a home, and love, were too good to be true. And it’s precisely that moment the killer strikes at the heart of the tiger clan—Sasha himself.

A to Z Challenge, Day 26: Z Is For Zen Garden Collective

Woot!  We have made it through the challenge.  This picture is actually two summers ago, but the sentiment still stands.  Hammock, knitting, a relaxing cup of tea – YOU’VE EARNED IT!

But before you go, here’s a parting thought:  Rachel and I have been hard at work, behind the scenes, with several of our cohort at the Writer Zen Garden.  We’ll be launching the non-profit Zen Garden Collective later this year, a place for people to collaborate, create, and grow.

In the meantime, we hope you’ve enjoyed this ride on the interwebs with me, A. Catherine Noon, and my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder.  You can follow us by clicking the “follow” link on the left panel, visit our other blogs, and even join Writer Zen Garden.  The Meetup group is free, and so is the online forum; if you’d like to join the forum, please email me at a.catherine.noon AT gmail – we manually approve new members to cut down on spam accounts.  (We had a rash of Viagra ads one day and just decided, “Enough is enough!”  🙂

The Writer Zen Garden: The Writers Retreat Blog | Forum | Facebook | Twitter | Meetup
And finally, keep your eyes peeled for our forthcoming release from LooseId LLC and the paperback release of TIGER TIGER from Samhain Publishing.  We have more books planned (EMERALD KEEP and Mitch’s book are coming together nicely) and will announce those when they’re done.  Thank you to each and every one of our readers who have made our blogs a pleasure to write and who buy our books:  we love you all!
Thank you for visiting, and happy blogging!

A to Z Challenge, Day 25: Y Is For Yes

Yes is a lovely word, especially when it’s from a publisher with whom you want to work.  Rachel and I have been fortunate enough to work with three awesome houses so far in our career and we’re tickled pink, purple and blue to be among their authors.

What affiliations in your life make you grateful?

A to Z Challenge, Day 13: M Is For Mitch

Our next book in the Chicagoland Shifters will shift focus from Doc to Mitchell Brayden, one of the tigers in Neal’s unit.  A smartass tough guy, Mitch doesn’t seem like the kind to settle down.  But when he meets Lupe Salazar, his wandering days might be over for good.

He got out a clean-ish t-shirt and some shorts and ruffled his hair. A brief detour in the bathroom took care of everything including his teeth and he emerged to find Mitch talking to TJ.

Jealously flared through him so fast he almost felt dizzy.

“Mornin’,” TJ drawled, sipping from what looked like a brand-spanking clean coffee mug.

“Yeah. What are you doing here?”

TJ did a slow blink and set the Sports Illustrated down. “If I say drinkin’ coffee, you gonna kick my ass?”

“I might,” Mitch shot back.

“Here,” Lupe interrupted, thrusting another clean mug filled with black stuff at him. “Drink. Sit. I cook.”

“‘Drink, sit, I cook,’ huh,” Mitch echoed. He sat. “You do windows?”

“Why? You need them washed?” Lupe asked, craning his head around to peer at them.

Mitch laughed. “Slow down, dude! I’m just kidding!”

Lupe shrugged. “I make eggs and bacon. American breakfast. You like this?”

“I like this,” Mitch told him, grinning.

TJ kicked him under the table.

“What the fuck?” he growled, glaring.

TJ tipped his head at Lupe, like he meant it.

Christ. Worse than a fucking wife, TJ. “What can I do to help, Lupe?”

TJ smiled slightly.

Ass hat.

“Nothing, Mitch. You just relax, let Lupe make food. I clean dishes too.”

“You… dude, you don’t have to do that!”

“Is already done,” Lupe told him.

TJ looked up, and then over at the sink. He frowned and squinted at Mitch.

Like he was supposed to get it.

“Lupe, you don’t have to do the dishes, man,” Mitch told him.

“You said I’m yours, Mitch. I do the dishes.”

He went cold. “Lupe – ”

“Is okay, Mitch. You have a dishwasher.”

His eyebrows went all the way up his forehead and tried to climb clear off his head. “Um…”

TJ stared at him, his face reflecting Mitch’s shock. Mitch shrugged. TJ glanced at Lupe. “Don’t take advantage.”

“Dude!” Mitch protested.

TJ sighed. “Too late?”

Heat flared into Mitch’s face from a blush and he glared at TJ.

TJ just snorted and drank his coffee.

“Toast!” Mitch blurted, and shot to his feet.

“What?” Lupe asked, looking over from the skillet.

Fuck, but it smelled good.

“I’ll make us some toast,” Mitch told him. “You do that, and I’ll… um… I’ll do this…” He trailed off, feeling lame.

“Good idea, there, cowboy,” TJ murmured from behind him.

“Thanks,” Mitch said acidly.

The Tigers Are Coming!

Well, okay, it’s one tiger…

The Tigers Are Coming!

Only one week remains before TIGER TIGER is released to the world.  You can pre-purchase your copy now directly from the Samhain website!

In the process of writing it, we learned a lot about writing, editing, and life in general.  Here are our five favorite things we learned:

1. Writing a novel is like anything else that requires a lot of sustained effort over time (weight loss, marathon running, etc.).  Learn how to put small, consistent work in on the project so that you don’t burn out, but that you keep the momentum going.

2.  Editing can be tough.  Allow yourself the time to do it, and use tools like 30 On/30 Off to make it doable.

3.  Collect a master document of things to look for in edits.  If you make consistent errors with something (spelling manger instead of manager, etc.) then put that in your document so you know to look for it during edits, and you don’t have to be paranoid about it during the writing stage.

4.  Remember that it’s play.  Relax and enjoy the project and keep foremost in your mind that you’re doing this because you love the characters and the story.

5.  Trust your Inner Storyteller.  Trust that the Story should be told and give yourself enough time to get the whole thing out onto the page.

Check out TIGER TIGER today!

The Tauruses Go A-Visiting!

Fans of M/M know the name of Sean Michael is synonymous with quality stories, tempting characters, and awesome writing.  We’re tickled pink and purple to be invited over to Sean Michael’s LiveJournal for her author spotlight!  Help show Sean some Taurus love and stop by to check it out.  While you’re there, you can check out her newest release.

Tiger Tiger and NaNoWriMo

Photo from The Ultimate Guide to the Largest Cats on Earth

TIGER TIGER is coming from Samhain Publishing in July, 2013. We’ve signed the contract and will start edits in January, after the holidays. We decided to share a bit about the process for those of you who are curious.

First, a short blurb: TIGER TIGER is the second in the Chicagoland Shifters series, which started with BURNING BRIGHT. brings us back to the world of animal empath and veterinary surgeon, Doctor Sasha Soskoff.  Sasha has found a sense of belonging with Neal Harrison and his small band of Siberian tiger shifters.  When a mangled body is found, clearly the victim of a tiger mauling, they must find the rogue tiger before it destroys everything they’ve built and causes a war between the tiger shifters and the jaguar shifters.

Since we’ve already worked with our acquiring editor at Samhain, the submission process involved sending the manuscript directly to her.  It still required a synopsis and blurb, like a normal synopsis “over the transom”, but had a little less pressure since we knew she knew it was coming.  That didn’t mean she’d accept it, just that she knew to look for it and review it when it came.

The submission process can be scary for any writer, but it’s not the mystery some make it out to be.  Publishing is a business, not an art, and the acceptance of a new manuscript isn’t just about whether the editor likes the piece or believes in it.  It also involves what other manuscripts the publisher has already accepted, what similarities it has to pieces already in the publisher’s catalog, and the upcoming releases that are scheduled.

Now that we have the contract in place, it’s a matter of starting the editing process.  It takes an average of nine months from acceptance to publication and we will start our edits in January.  There are two rounds of content edits where we will work with our editor to fine-tune the story and tweak or change elements as she believes it necessary.  Once that’s done and everything is as ready as we can make it, it will go to a final read-through with a beta reader.  They will look at it from the point of view of a potential customer and see if there are any plot holes or continuity errors that need to be fixed.  This is also an opportunity for final line edits.  The final step is to review the galleys, which is the final chance to see if there are any minor grammar or spelling errors.

In the middle of this process, the cover art will be given to the author.  We get a chance to submit ideas of what we would like it to be, and then the art department does their magic with it.  This is also the time to do the marketing paperwork, which includes the blurb.  The blurb, or the material that goes on the back cover of the book, is critical to the success of the book.  Once we draft our blurb, the Blurb Magicians do their work and it comes out as a finished product.

In the meantime, we’re working on NaNoWriMo.  National Novel Writing Month, every year in November, involves writing 50,000 words or more on a draft of a novel.  This year, we decided to write the rest of EMERALD KEEP, our sequel to EMERALD FIRE.  Of course, what came out of the keyboard is totally different and is a new novel, a science fiction war thriller with a working title of “In the Lane.”  It’s been loads of fun and is totally different from anything we’ve done before.

Are you working on NaNo?  How is the experience for you?  Tell us in the comments.  We’d love to know!

Resources

Photo from “Siberian Tigers,” by Alex and Gregory.com, the Ultimate Guide to the Largest Cats on Earth, website URL http://www.alexandgregory.com/siberian_tigers.html Accessed 11/18/2012

Join me at the Samhain Publishing Blog today!

I’m at the Samhain Publishing blog today, talking about writing with a collaborator.  I hope you’ll join me!

Two Articles For Today

I have two new articles for your enjoyment today.  The first, Who To Write About (When You Can’t Write About Your Friends and Family), shares some of Rachel and my secrets about how we come up with characters to write about.  The second, Why Big Goals Don’t Work – Baby Step Your Way To Success, discusses some thoughts about how to go about setting goals that lead to accomplishment and not disappointment.

Enjoy!