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Retrieval has a cover!

An extraordinary woman genetically engineered to be a weapon, the spec ops soldier tasked to retrieve her, and a mad scientist who will never stop hunting her until she is under his control. 

Skylar is the hunted. Fashioned for the sole purpose of destruction, she has spent her entire life running from the evil scientist who created her, her father. When a team of retrieval experts hired by her father track her down, she is unprepared for the electric pull she feels toward their leader. Neither is prepared for the magnetic attraction that will not let them go. In the midst of danger, with their lives on the line, they will ultimately forge a bond so tight only death could break it. And they will fight an egomaniacal scientist as well as their explosive desire for one another to discover what true power is. 

Love can conquer all, but will it? 

That’s an unofficial blurb by the way, but I wanted to give you some idea of the book as you looked at the cover. And there she is! I’m stoked to show off the amazing cover art by Lyn A. Taylor for my first ever release RETRIEVAL. I had no idea what to expect as I filled out my cover art form but I have to say I think Lyn hit it out of the park. I’m so pleased to see Skylar and Sebastian in real life and they look much as I’d always envisioned them.

What a process this has been. From worrying about whether I’d find a home for the book to seeing her live and in color. I’m on Cloud 9 right not–it’s a place, trust me–and as I struggle to find the words to convey my joy, let me say a huge thank you to Liquid Silver Books. An amazing outfit from the top down with some truly wonderful people who’ve put up with my incessant questions and concerns.

So, there’ll be more to come as we get closer to the release date of January 28, 2013. Thanks for stopping by and may the words be with you.

Lea

Just a Quick Update–Seriously, Quick is the Operative Word

I’m still here! Haven’t gone anywhere, promise. It’s been a busy month and a half for me and as August starts up, I find myself eagerly anticipating the next few months. I don’t know what they’ll bring me, but I’m hoping for nothing but the best. I’m working on new and old material. Putting new words down and revising old ones. It’s been a crazy time for me lately and as I search for time to write I am forced to realize just how much I love doing this.

Yes, I have a day job. Yes, it’s consuming. Yes, I have a wonderful family. Yes, it’s consuming. And I wouldn’t change any of that. Well, maybe the EDJ (Evil Day Job), but that’s it–who doesn’t want to be independently wealthy and not have to deal with work every single day? 🙂 The words still call me and my stories are begging to be written. It can be so frustrating to take care of responsibilities when all I want to do is write, but I wouldn’t trade this life of mine for any other. I’m discovering every day just how much my stories mean to me. I’m forming wonderful relationships with other authors whose grasp of the written word amazes me.

Succinctly put, it’s all good for me right now. I’ll be back in a few days to give a rundown of where I am in my sci/fi paranormal series and my contemporary series. I’ve started a new sci/fi romance that began not from a plot bunny, but a plot LION. Seriously, it roared at me and still is–but the time? Yeah, I kinda have to find it.

So that’s it. That’s where I am right now. I appreciate you stopping by and may the words be with you.

Scary Stuff, Submitting…

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to post about my journey toward submitting a completed manuscript. Now that I have a shiny, revised, edited-out-the-yang-yang novel, I’m ready to begin. But to tell the truth of this journey I have to take it back about nine months. *And in case you can’t hear it, there’s that crazy harp music playing–we’re going back in time people–play along*

Nine months ago, my laptop was uber heavy with five, count ’em five, completed manuscripts. But the stories were just sitting there as I jumped into yet another story and began writing a novella. On the advice of a friend, I joined a little site called Romance Divas and my entire world changed. I knew that my ultimate goal with these works was publication. I wasn’t just writing just stories, I had belted out novels over one-hundred thousand words in length. They needed to be freed to the world and give some relief to my uber heavy laptop.

The problem? I had no idea how to go about this process. Here’s the part where I tell you I have a family and a full-time job. My days are and have been for years now, filled with work, work, work and then a little more work. What time was left, or what time I could manage to steal at the EDJ, was filled with getting the words down on my stories. The rest of the time was filled with sleep. It’s still this way for me to a degree, though I have gotten better at time management. But I digress.

Let’s recap: Five completed manuscripts, more writing occurring, uber heavy laptop, work, work, work, no knowledge how to get my stuff viewed, joined Romance Divas. Okay, review over.

I joined RD, jumped into the threads on their amazing forum and began to pick up on all the ways I was deficient in the knowledge I needed to attain my goal of publication. I discovered a critique partner is a great thing. Since I’m the only one who had ever read my stuff, it was vital to have the feedback of another writer. I lucked into Linda, my CP, and then later I lucked into an amazing program offered by RD–the Mentor Program.

Linda helped me realize that my story was good, but my craft, the actual art of writing, was lacking. The bones were there, but I needed knowledge in order to cover those bones with flesh, give that flesh a heart and make that completed work dance a jig at my command. She gave me what I needed: the truth. Yes, my stuff was a good beginning, but it wasn’t strong enough to submit. I had to work on my craft, hone it and then submit.

Here’s the thing:  I had gotten ahead of myself prior to lucking into Linda. When I first joined Divas I read a few threads that led to agents and publishing houses. I looked the agents and houses up and proceeded to submit, yes, I said ‘submit’, my completely inferior, unpolished work to them. I submitted to five different agents–every one rejected me. Not just rejected, but form rejected. No feedback…nothing but “No.” It hurt.

See, I thought my writing was phenomenal; right up until Linda told me it was strong, but not good enough. I loved going back and reading my own stories, they rocked, kicked arse, all of that. What was she seeing that I wasn’t? I’ll admit to a bit of resistance when she gave me the dreaded truth. She delivered it so very softly, she was so freaking kind, but it was painful nonetheless. My resistance consisted of a few carefully worded suggestions, all unspoken mind you, as to what she could do with her truth. Then I had to stop and reevaluate.

The bottom line: I had read some of Lin’s stuff. She was really good. I compared her completed stuff to mine {not the stories or the voice themselves, rather the quality of the writing} and, well, let’s just say inferior doesn’t really cover it. I had to suck it up. I had to put aside my own personal feelings and insecurities and I had to wallow in the beautiful truth she’d given me. I took heart in what she said, “You have good stuff here.” I picked up my toys, but instead of going home, I rearranged them, sat my happy arse back down and began to play again.

I’m stubborn. I’m sure my family would say it’s to a fault. Yet, this is the one thing that I feel sure will carry me toward success. I loved/love to write. and determined that not one damn thing was going to keep me from doing that and doing it well. Her words lit a fire under me and I began to thirst for the knowledge she’d said I needed to become a top-notch writer.

And this thirst led me to the Mentor Program on RD. A three-month intense program where writers who want to learn can do so from other writers who have achieved success in their field or genre. At this point in the game, I had submitted one final time with the ‘before RETRIEVAL’, we’ll call it that because it’s the same story now that it was then, only bettah baby :). I had submitted to Carina Press.

Yes, yes, I know, what was I thinking? I’m not real sure and there’s a truth for you. I just wanted to get my stuff out there, hit it on a wing and a prayer maybe? Who the heck knows? There was an open call by Angela James and I responded. Hindsight’s always twenty-twenty and I still wince a bit when I think of hitting the send button on that email to her.

Shortly after, I began the mentor program and was paired with David Bridger. You’ve heard me rave about him in previous posts. The bald truth is, he’s nothing short of awesome. I couldn’t have been paired with a better writer, a better person. If the success I’m wishing and working toward ever comes, a lot of it will be due to his influence on my craft. Another truth is this: I had no craft per se until he guided me and directed me toward it. I put words down on paper, nothing more. He led me to water and I drank like a woman who’d been in the desert for thirty years. He gave me link upon link to visit about voice, style, deep third POV and so many more things that are vital when a writer sits down to craft and mold a work of words.

Then he led me to a little workshop called, Before You Hit Send. And irony of all ironies, guess whose workshop it was? Wince with me now… Angela James. The same editor I’d submitted ‘before RETRIEVAL’ to prior to entering the mentor program. I scrambled, could I withdraw my submission? David said, “Yes, yes, do!” So I tapped out an email and wonder of wonders, Mrs. James responded with “Of course” and “Feel free to submit when you’ve revised.” (I’m praying she never read the first submission) I was elated. I now had an opportunity to revise and edit my work with the knowledge that I’d gained from Linda, David and Ms. James herself through B4YHS.

The journey took me through three months in the mentor program with ObiWan Bridger. He’s truly the ObiWan of writing, at least to me. I gained a load of knowledge, remembered things I’d lost over the almost twenty since college–folks, I not only found my craft, I honed the hell out of it. I’m still honing it because I’ll never be perfect. That’s a joy to me. If the learning ever stops, I’ll dry up and so will my writing.

So here I am now. The mentor program is finished. RETRIEVAL is finished. It’s a product of which I’m infinitely proud. It’s the same as ‘before RETRIEVAL’ only much, much better. And the good news? I’m submitting again.

I submitted to one agent. Start of small is my motto. Not the agent, but the number. I’ve been rejected. No need to gasp. It didn’t even sting. Because I have a product I’m proud of, one agent’s pass is another agent/editor’s opportunity. I’m moving forward and one day, hopefully really soon, I’ll be able to update you with a post that says: I DID IT!!

This is what I’m left with: whatever happens to you as a writer, discover the craft of writing. Hone it, sharpen it and force it to cut like a scythe for you. Oh, and never, ever give up. Rejection is another form of encouragement. One’s loss is another’s gain. Plug and plod away and never stop writing. Never give up.

I’m wishing all who read this WORDS. Happy writing and reading. 🙂

It’s been a quick minute, yeah?

I haven’t updated in a few weeks. Man, that’s a while. I’ve taken a little break from Six Sentence Sunday because I didn’t want to give out passages that may or may not change as I go through re-writes and edits. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to rejoin the other amazing authors who put their stuff out on #sss. I miss sharing my story with you. For all of you who check in occasionally, you ‘re appreciated. I’ll be back at it soon.

I’ve been writing. I had a week off not too long ago. It wasn’t that productive writing-wise but boy was it amazing to have some time off from work. This last week though has been amazing as far as my productivity. Literally, I’ve hit it out of the park. I’m waiting as we speak/read/write to hear back from my mentor on the last 3, or was it 4, chapters I sent him for critique. But I’m hitting even more chapters, knocking them down fast and I’ve found my love for this story again.

I’ve been writing for about five years. Yeah. Five years. I am long time lover of all things in the romance genre. Paranormal, contemporary, historical, suspense, it just doesn’t matter–if there’s love involved, I’m all in. But I have my favorite authors and it takes a lot to get me to add new ones to my list. It’s not that I’m old, it’s that I’m set in my ways–like a good pudding. 🙂 Just sayin’. I decided, as I was going through a dry spell where I couldn’t find any new books I could get into, that I’d damn well write my own.

And I did. I wrote one, then another, then another. I just kept writing. It was cathartic, beautiful and the stories just piled up. When I decided to get serious about it, I discovered Romance Divas. From there, the snowball began to roll and I ended up being accepted into their Mentor Program. I know you’ve heard me talk about my wonderful mentor, David Bridger. There aren’t enough words to describe how lucky I’ve been to be paired with him for this journey. The things I’ve learned through him, and also my amazing CP, Linda Adams, have expanded my love for the craft of writing. I’m getting better at it, folks, watch out! 😉

Now the journey continues and I’ve picked Retrieval, a paranormal/sci-fi romance to be my first work for official submission. I’ll have to tell you about my previous experience with submissions in another post–not pretty at all! It’s not that I received rejections, even though I did, it’s that I had no idea why I was receiving the rejections. I do now, trust me. But it’s all good, because I wasn’t ready and neither was my work. I’ve discovered that I love my stuff and it deserves to be the absolute best when I send it out for others to read. I’m really close. REALLY CLOSE. That makes me happy.

So here I am. This is me and this is where I’m at in the journey. I’m a writer with big hopes and even bigger dreams. And now I’ve got some of the tools to help me realize them. I don’t mean to ramble, this was just supposed to be a check in to let you know I’m still out here. But I’m a sharer, so there ya’ go. For the #sss crowd…I’m watching and loving what you’re putting out there. Keep it going, you’re doing a great job!

Now go read, peeps. Or write. That’s even better.

Another Saturday Rushing In

My Saturdays rush up on me. I spend my weeks working as a Practice Manager for an Internal Medicine physician. When I’m not at work, I’m taking my three teenage daughters to practice, somewhere that’s inevitably nowhere near home. I bring them home, cook, spend a few seconds with the hubby and hit the bed to get ready to do it all over again. It’s absolutely who I am. My girls mean the world to me and being their mom is my best accomplishment so far. I love them. I love my life.

But I have this itch(not that kind folks–I know where your minds went!). It’s unrelenting and undeniable. I itch to write. So I’m scratching that itch, using any spare second I have to pen my stories. And it’s yet another thing about my life that I love. I’m relatively new to this writing game. Publication is the goal–and I’m plugging away, doing everything in my power to see this goal met. I’m learning. That’s a process in and of itself. Blade sharp and pure, that’s how I want my writing to be so that when my readers get the finished product, it’s the very best of Lea Griffith. I’ve decided I’m going to devote an entire blog category about my journey toward becoming published. But for today, it’s just another Saturday rushing in.

I’m going to see my nephew play soccer and then I’m coming home to write. Tomorrow, I’m going to post on Six Sentence Sundays (thanks to the incomparable Sidney Bristol for the link) Yep, six sentences of my current WIP are going up tomorrow for any and all to see. Scary stuff that, but it’s another part of the process for me. I’m doing so many exciting things to see my goal of becoming published met–I can’t wait to tell you about it!

One last thing before I go:  I had plans this week to get this blog looking a little bit more like me. Shout out to Amanda Kelsey–Diva!!–because of her that’s one more thing off my plate. She took a couple of ideas and a couple of pictures and turned into an amazing header and background. If you’re looking for a graphic artist whose got mad chops you should visit her at: http://razzdazzdesign.com/ .

Until next time, peeps, Happy Reading 🙂

 

I’m here!!

Today started off like any other Saturday. Except for the pollen–that lovely green haze over my entire world–can’t forget the pollen. I slept later than normal, but I have 3 kids who go-go-go, and I deserved that extra 2 hours, yes I did. I knew I had a plan:  do a bit of writing, re-writing, do some cleaning, start a blog.

Few things you should know about me:  1. I adore my family, 2. I will break your face if you stare cross-ways at my Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, and 3. I am a gadget lover but I am technologically incompetent. That’s being nice. I know my limits. I’m not ashamed. You say “Twitter”, I say “Do who?” You say, “Blog” I say “You don’t have to be all nasty and stuff!” I’m lingo deficient. ‘wtf’ doesn’t mean to me what it means to everyone else. My ‘wtf’ probably means something much worse.  The truth? I didn’t know what ‘wtf’ stood for until my 12 year old told me about 2 weeks ago. It means what it’s supposed to mean to me now…but then? Yeah, not a clue. 

So, I love all things electronic, but social media kicks my arse. The lingo, the ins and outs, I shudder when I think about them. But here I am: with a fresh, shiny new blog  thanks to the amazing Angel Graham–social media/PR extraordinaire.  This doesn’t give you much more than a hint as to who I am or what my plans are. I promise, that’s coming–my plans are huge, you know, rule the world, run this mutha’, etc., etc. But for today–I’m gonna revel in this accomplishment. I’ve gotta blog peeps! WTF  😀