DEADLY GAMES…Book Three

deadlygamesClose friends…a band of brothers…caught in a firestorm of betrayal and passion.

Two years ago, three CIA operatives perished in a horrific explosion that occurred at an undisclosed location outside the US. Or at least that’s what their families and friends were told.

Now it seems one of them survived. But what about the others? And what about the insidious rumors that one of their own sold them out?

First, there was DEAD RIGHT

Then, DEADLY SEDUCTION

And now comes…DEADLY GAMES

CIA operative Rocco Taylor always knew his enemies would come after him. And now the worst of them have come back with a vengeance, putting him at lethal odds with the Agency… by daring to go after the only woman he ever loved.

Except…Gena Armstrong doesn’t want a hero. She’s survived things Rocco can only imagine, which has left her even more capable and resourceful than when Rocco made the colossal mistake of letting her go. Keeping Gena safe now means facing the past, even as it reignites a passion more dangerous than the conspiracy they’re facing.

Two old Lauren Bach titles EXCLUSIVELY for Amazon’s Kindle!

I’m pleased to announce the Kindle release of my first two Lauren Bach novels, LONE RIDER  (Nov. 2001) and SLOW HANDS (Aug. 2002.)  Both of these novels have been out-of-print for a number of years and I’m delighted to re-release them in digital format.  Right now, these e-book are only available through Amazon, which —  thanks to all the Kindle widgets — are readable on virtually all devices.

As many of my readers know, I published four romantic suspense novels under the pseudonym Lauren Bach before switching to my current pseudonym, Cate Noble.  My Bach novels were all stand-alone books, whereas my Noble books are an ongoing series.

More soon!   But in the meantime…Happy reading!

 

The series continues…

DEADLY GAMES – Book Three

Are you ready for book three?  DEADLY GAMES releases in February 2011 and is  available for pre-order at your favorite bookseller.

An excerpt of chapter one will be available soon.  Here’s a sneak peak at the back cover blurb:

EYES ONLY

 INTERNAL AGENCY E-MAIL

FROM:  Rocco Taylor

October 3, 11:50 p.m.

It’s the waiting I can’t stand.  Let me belly crawl across a minefield into an enemy stronghold.  Or give me an MP5 and a load of clips and just let me shoot my way in.  Anything but this: playing along with the perps while an innocent woman pays the price.

I know the last thing Gena wants is a hero – or me.  I made the mistake of letting her go once, putting the assignment ahead of the heat between us.  Since then she’s survived things I can only imagine, but no one can escape a death agent alone. Now I’ve got one last chance to win her trust, to get it right.

Game on.

DEAD RIGHT Nominated for RT Reviewer’s Choice Award

RT Book Reviews, the leading magazine for reviews of romance and popular fiction novels, has released their annual “best of the best” – a list of authors and books nominated for RT’s Career Achievement and Reviewers’  Choice Awards.  Picked by RT’s review staff and editors from among the more than 3,000 titles reviewed last year, the  complete list of nominees will appear in the February 2010 issue of RT Book Reviews.  The list is also available on their website at http://www.rtbookreviews.com/temp/RT.09.Nominees.pdf.

I’m thrilled to share the news that my novel DEAD RIGHT – book one of my latest trilogy – has been nominated for Best Romantic Intrigue.  Winners will be announced just prior to the 27th annual Booklovers Convention in Columbus, Ohio, April 28 – May 2, 2010, and honored at a ceremony on Thursday, April 29.

I feel like a winner by virtue of having made the list, so thank you, RT!   And congratulations to all my fellow nominees.

 

Tears on paper: remembering Kate Duffy

Once upon a time, in the land of Manhattan, there lived a lovely editor named Kate Duffy.  Kate was so amazing, so brilliant, that the gods finally relented and decreed that henceforth the sun would rise each morning in her honor. (“Took ‘em long enough,” Kate muttered.)

Kate’s inimitable presence enriched the lives of everyone she encountered.  Crowds clamored to get closer; audiences hung on her every word.  Lions even snuggled up with lambs. (“Get real,” Kate said.)

To state it simply: Life with Kate Duffy in it was Good.  (“Agreed.”)

Then one day, last Monday, the sun didn’t rise.  The land was gripped in a cold, dark sadness.  (“Sounds cliched.  You can do better.”)

* * *

Kate Duffy was my editor, mentor, friend.  There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe her wonderfulness.  I will forever hear her voice in my head when I write.  I am a better storyteller for having worked with Kate; a better person for having known her.  I am also incredibly selfish and wish like hell she hadn’t left so soon.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Kate’s family and those who were closest to her.

My Writer’s Handbook

I have a LOT of books on the craft of writing.  (I’m currently packing for a move; a painful reminder of exactly how many books I own.)  Craft is a subject I never tire of, in part because I’m eternally seeking to grow.  I’m also guilty of eternally seeking the magic bullet; something to make the creative process easier.  Or at least less messy.  (I *know* it’s out there.  I BELIEVE it exists.  I bet Stephen King probably has it.)

At the beginning of each new writing project, I always find that the tools that worked the last time no longer function.  It’s just how my process works.  (Unrelated aside: Honor your writing process!  Yes, you can change it, but in the moment always love it.  It’s yours!)  Thankfully, I have a variety of methods for plotting, for fleshing out characters, for triangulating goal-motivation-conflict, etc.  Some methods are blessedly short and sweet; others are laborious.  If the story is crystal clear in my head, then a brief plotting system is perfect.  But when the story idea is hazy, a more detailed plotting technique helps flesh it out.

I store my rag tag collection of tried-and-true worksheets/forms in a tabbed, 3-ring binder. Sections include: CHARACTERS, GMC, PLOT, SCENE/SEQUEL, SETTING, REVISION.  Tried-and-true is a crucial differentiation.  Not just any/every form makes the cut.  A true handbook is not storage; it’s a distillation.  These are forms I’ve collected and used over a twenty year span. (Yes, I’ve been at this a loooong time.)   While many forms have come from books or conference handouts, a few are originals I’ve devised, then tweaked, to fit me.  (OK, I admit it; I’m a checklist junkie.)

I frequently refer to this handbook as my writer’s ‘bible’.  Just flipping through it inspires me; gets my creative sparks a sparkin’.  (Hmmm.  Maybe this is what a magic bullet looks like…)  In future blogs I’ll share more of what’s inside each specific section.

Your turn.  Go.  Write.  Make sparks. (And honor your process!)

Everyday Writing: On Perseverance

My writer friend Jenn and I are following a sixty day program from one of John Demartini’s books.  Today is Day 19: the Law of Perseverance.  As has been the case almost daily (I am so predictable.) when I glanced at today’s chapter heading, I thought, ‘oh, I know what perseverance is: hard work.’

But as I read Demartini’s upbeat account of how he regards perseverance, I realized my definition had a negative slant.  My definition of perseverance ran along the lines of ‘fighting the good fight.’  Or the bad fight.  Fight, fight, fight.  Why did I view it as a struggle?

Again – as has been the case almost daily (I hate being predictable.) when I completed the chapter’s reflection exercise I made an important distinction.  Somewhere along the way, probably while telling myself I was multi-tasking – ha ha ha – I tried to make perseverance a two-step procedure: a process and a conclusion.  No wonder it’s a struggle.

Perseverance is not about judgment.  Perseverance is simply forward motion.  It’s action, not analysis.  Action and analysis cannot simultaneously co-exist.  They are sequential events. You act, then – later! – you assess.  And if necessary, you take modified action.

My failure to remember this in my everyday writing trips me up.  Drafting and editing cannot co-exist.  If I form a sentence in my head and then immediately question its appropriateness, it takes for-freaking-ever to draft a paragraph.  It’s no better if I write the sentence, then stop and edit it.  Forward motion ceases when I analyze.

My big take away?  Perseverance is action.  Perseverance is flow uninterrupted.  All acts have beginnings and endings.  Creation is no exception.  Only after the act of perseverance has ended do I begin another action.  The editing/analyzing/trashing is simply another action.  Which likewise has an eventual ending.  Then it’s on to a new beginning.  A new action.  When I look at it this way, persevering is inherently more joyful.

Your turn.  Go.  Create joyfully.

Plan Less – Write More

I’m a member of Club Fearless, an online success group led by Steve Chandler.  (His book, REINVENTING YOURSELF, has a permanent spot on my keeper shelf.)  The following quote, from a recent Club newsletter, provided a much needed jolt:

“Create a structure for yourself.  Who is going to run your life, you or your fantasies? Choose. Then create a routine to follow. Develop a system that minimizes distraction.”

Three words jumped out at me: CREATE, CHOOSE, DEVELOP.  Aack!  Spit!  Why couldn’t he just leave it at create?  See, I can scribble incessantly.  Brainstorming on paper, recording fast and furious thoughts, delights me.  Sometimes it’s fun to let fantasy run my life.  Or is it?  Now that I think about it, being stuck in create mode is messy.  It yields reams of unorganized, raw notes that are daunting by sheer volume.  And the lack of structure renders those notes useless.  Sometimes it’s easier to just start over with a fresh notebook; a spanking new idea.  More fun creating!

Do you see the trap?  Steve’s words made me realize that eternal creating can become an exercise in endless planning – a loop that doesn’t include the pit stop of choosing.  In my case, choosing means sorting the trash from the treasure, and then getting rid of the trash. (Not neatly filing it away “just in case.”)  Choosing means picking one idea and developing it.  (Character sketches?  Plotting?  Scene lists?)  Developing means taking the next logical action.  (Writing the first draft?)  Then the next.  (Revising?  Polishing?  FedEx-ing?)  Because that’s the only way a story gets written and finished.  And only finished work gets published.

All action is not equal.  Be more selective.  I’m revamping my current system to make certain that it yields more of my desired end result: finished works.

Now go.  Write.

 

GET OUT! Best places to write…#2

My office is comfortable, quiet, and filled with cute stuff.  It’s MY space and generally off-limits to anyone over the age of ten. (Besides me, of course.)

As much as I love my office, I sometimes feel cooped up.  Well, maybe more than sometimes.  The need to flee hits regularly enough that I keep a writer’s bag packed.  Okay, I actually keep three different writer’s bags packed.  All cute.  All stocked with basic office supplies and ready to roll.  I just drop in my netbook or printed pages and run.

One of my top places to go and write is Panera Bread.  Good food, good people, free wi-fi, lots of space. There are two here in Ocala.  At each location, I have a favorite spot to sit, plus two back-up positions.  Because even though I try to get there by 6:30 a.m. to nab my special spot, other people happen.

I eat breakfast there.  (Love their new granola/fruit/yogurt cups!)  Sometimes I have a bagel with my yogurt. (Like when I’m waiting for that person to get out of my spot.)  If the writing’s going well, I end up eating lunch there, too.  (Love their Greek salad!)  Then I take something home for later.  (Basically I love their everything!)  The problem is, food is rent.  Since I have little will power when it comes to food, I only go to Panera once a week.  (Twice if it’s a bad week.)

And since it’s been a bad week and it’s only Thursday, I have to go to one of my other favorite (translation: low-cal) writing places today.  Happy writing!

How I Recharge…Method Number 7

One of the most challenging aspects of writing, for me, is the nonphysicalness of it.

I sit and think.  I sit and write.  I sit and brainstorm.  I sit and read.  My inner gears are smokin’ but the outer parts are pokin’.  A day of scribbling – literally, I’m a paper-and-pen girl – means moving my fingers.  Period.  So while the digits get a nice workout, the rest of me doesn’t.  Sure, exercise and walking counter that lack of movement, but I’m frequently left wanting more.

And one of my favorite ‘mores‘ is getting a Reiki treatment.  Reiki originated in Japan and is a technique based on facilitating a person’s life force energy for healing and stress reduction.  Lousy explanation, I know, but I’m really not trying to explain it.  If you’re not familiar with Reiki and you’re interested, you’ll look it up.

I’m just saying I like it.  A lot.  It makes me feel balanced.   Recharged.  Life is too short to scribble unhappily.  Find what recharges you and do more of it.