This and that

P.S. 8/8/11 – I got an email this morning saying Rottweiler Rescue is going to be featured on Daily Cheap Reads tomorrow to look for it at noon. I know those of you who read here come because of the romances, but DCR asked me to put out the word on my blog, etc., and just in case….

I’ve been kind of among the missing again, haven’t I? This time I have an excuse. I’ve been going like a madwoman on the next romance and if I don’t have any more bright ideas am only a couple of chapters from done. Now that doesn’t mean done as in ready to publish. If I were a more organized person I could tell how long it took for Sing to get from this stage to published, but I’m not, so my estimate is still October or November.

When I’m what I call “done,” it’s not really a first draft. I believe the people who advise sitting down and pouring out the story any which way and then going back to shape it up are right and that would be the most efficient way. However, I’m incapable of it. Every time I sit down to write more new words, there I am going over the last old words — tweak, tweak, pick, pick. The terrible truth is that I find getting the story out of my head and into the computer the first time hard work. Everything after that is my idea of fun, so of course I’d rather tweak and pick and have fun than sit and get the original words out, which is work, and my talent for procrastination is limitless.

I am, however, trying to be a more disciplined person and write at least 1,000 new words a day and while I can’t claim 100% success, I’m managing something like 80%, which is a great improvement over Me Not Trying. During one of my last procrastination fits, I worked on the blurb for the new book, and with a little help from a friend (thanks again), came up with this:

After escaping robbers intent on murder, Katherine Grant says, “I jumped from the fryingpan to the fire. Before long I’ll be dancing on the coals.” The highwaymen were the fryingpan; the handsome young Apache who saved her from them was the fire; and the coals? Gaetan.

Rage against the enemies of his people has consumed Gaetan from boyhood. The only use he ever found for any white was to test the sharpness of his knife. Forced by his brother to endure Katherine’s company, Gaetan tries to deny what he sees — the white woman has a man’s temper and a lion’s courage. She has an Apache heart.

In spite of hate, distrust and fear, surviving in the rugged country of southern Arizona and northern Mexico forges a strange bond between Katherine and Gaetan. When the bond turns to love, can they admit it? Can they bear the consequences?

I would, of course, appreciate any input from anyone on your reaction to this, good, bad, indifferent.

Tidbit: McD recently pointed out to me that Barbara Samuel has released her backlist Native American romance book Dancing Moon for $.99 for Kindle. I haven’t read it, but did download it. She’s also the author A Bed of Spices, which I did read and thought was pretty good in spite of a time period and setting that don’t usually appeal to me (Medieval and Germany).

Yay! Looked like links are working for me again. Do you have a word you can’t spell no matter how often you look it up? Medieval is the one for me.



28 Responses to This and that

  1. Marcia Montoya says:

    Dear Ellen
    It’s me again…Marcia. I can’t wait for this new book to come out…Already told my son to get ready to buy it for me :} Especially since we live in Arizona and My husbands family is mainly from New Mexico. Sounds like another great one and can’t wait!

  2. Hi Marcia – Do you have your son off buying you actual paperback books? Maybe you could talk him into getting you a Kindle for the next birthday or Christmas or something.

    Hope you do enjoy the next one as much. I’m hoping not to get a flood of emails from Arizonans telling me I got it all wrong.


  3. mesadallas says:

    Hi, Ellen,
    I figured your were busy writing your life away. I’ve been in the same boat. The first day of school is tomorrow and I’ve spent the last two weeks putting in 12 hours per day to get ready.

    Looking forward to the next book. Thanks for the sneak peek regarding the plot element – I’ve been wondering. I’d be happy to serve as a beta reader again. I’m in Arizona and am pretty savy to the western history here so I could propably tell you if you got it right or not.

  4. Hi mesadallas – You remind me of long ago summers when school was out for me. This was the time of year when I didn’t want to think about how close that first day of school was – and I liked school.

    Yes, I’ve been thinking if you did a beta read you could straighten me out anywhere I really screwed up the landscape, so I’m glad you’re willing again. Although as you know, I’m not much for detailing every blade of grass. 🙂 Have you got a Kindle yet? The wifi model with ads is only something like $115 I think.


  5. mesadallas says:

    No, I still don’t have a kindle yet. I keep seeing too many pairs of cowboyboots and tiered skirts that keep competing with my want of a kindle.

    Unless you’re in Flagstaff or the White Mountains you won’t have to detail much grass. Those are about the only place you’ll find any. your hero is Apache so he could well have been in the White Mountains.

  6. My guy gets around Apache style a lot. Story starts in the mountains east of Tucson and ranges to Mexico’s Sierra Madres, no specific area given, but I’m thinking of Juh’s stronghold. Also goes as far into NM as the Black Range and to San Carlos and Fort Apache.

    I was in Arizona many years ago, east to west across old Route 66 I think, and with a jog to Phoenix and back. I remember thinking of it as very barren. If you pasture animals down there, what the heck do they eat with no grass?

    I bet a Kindle would make you much happier than another pair of boots.


  7. McD says:

    @ mesadallas
    Put the new pair of boots off till next year. I’m with Ellen, a Kindle is essential!

    @ Ellen
    I assume this is the hero of your new western?
    Or have you some naughty and delicious tale to share about “my guy”??
    And for that matter what is “Apache style”?

  8. McD says:

    The in the above comment is –
    “My guy gets around Apache style a lot.”

  9. Hey, McD – As you know the current book’s hero is “my guy” until the next one seduces me – although I’ll have to admit I’m not and probably never was tough enough for this one. You know that old “better death than dishonor” thing that women were supposed to adhere to? I’d never have had to worry about it; I’d have died of fright.

    “Apache style” was a reference to the fact the Apaches were nomads. They roamed all over the American Southwest and Northern New Mexico. Of course a lot of the reason was undoubtedly that as mesadallas says, there isn’t much grass (or anything else) in a lot of that area, so a lot of traveling was necessary just to round up enough to eat.

    Don’t I remember it wasn’t that long ago when a certain person who is now a Kindle fan was saying she didn’t think she’d ever want one?


  10. McD says:

    “…until the next guy seduces me…”
    Gosh Ellen, you never struck me as the lov’ ’em and leave ’em kind.
    Who knew?

    “I’d have died of fright.”
    And you’re a tease! Get the book out already!

    “…a certain person who is now a Kindle fan…”
    Well a girl can change her mind. Big time, in my case. And thanks for prodding me to get one. Seriously I don’t know what I would do without it now.

  11. I feel as if I’ve ‘fessed up here before – maybe on the old Amazon thread – that as a writer I’m an inconstant hussy, always in love with the new guy. ~Ellen

  12. mesadallas says:

    Your probably right about the kindle- actually I know you are, but I just couldn’t resist the boots. Navy blue with a white tooling and they look great with several of my western tiered skirts.

    Fort Apache is in the White Mountains of Arizona and the terrain there is lovely- green meadows, cool rivers and lakes, and tall pines. it looks nothing like the Fort Apache setting from John Ford’s film. If iou google in Fort Apache you can take a visual tour that’s almost as good as visiting in person. Many of the original buildings are still standing including the cavalry stables and the building where Geronimo was jailed.

    As to keeping horses where there’s no grass- well you just have to buy hay year round. Most people I’ve asked tell me it is costing them around $100.00 per month for hay and oats.There’s also bands of wild mustangs still around here and somehow they survive.

  13. Yes, the research I did showed that the Fort Apache area is one of the loveliest in Arizona, as opposed to the areas where the government was determined to force the Apaches to live. I missed the virtual tour, but it wouldn’t work on my dial up anyway. Next time I’m at the library with access to their wifi, I’ll look for it.

    I always used to figure $100 a month per horse. That included more than just feed, but that was also some years ago. Depending on the part of Colorado, you wouldn’t need as many acres per animal to support a horse or cow year round as in Arizona, but you’d need more than the typical horse owner has. I’ve heard figures like 30 acres per cow/calf unit for parts of Wyoming.


  14. mesadallas says:

    How much per month do you spend on the total upkeep of your mare?

  15. The one I’ve got left is an older retired girl on her own in 5+ acres of pasture, which means I don’t have to feed her for about 3 months of each year (I give her a little grain every day to keep her thinking I matter in her life). She simply doesn’t get the kind of upkeep her mother and other relatives got when I was showing. For instance, she hasn’t had her feet trimmed by a farrier in years. That sounds awful, but as it happens she’s so straight-legged she wear her hooves evenly and doesn’t need it (she’s barefoot). I worm and vaccinate myself. So my guess is she costs more like $75 to 80 on a year-round average.

    I think keeping a riding horse up year round would have to be considerably more than it used to. Grain prices are more than double what they were five years ago, and I expect the price of hay to shock me again this year. I think I paid $160 a ton last time I purchased hay.


  16. P.S. A lot depends on your individual horse. Mine were Morgans and relatively easy keepers. I used to figure 3 tons of hay per adult horse per year. ~Ellen

  17. mesadallas says:

    You can get a good quality hay here for $8.00-$10,00 a bale if you buy it right from the farmer. It cost around $13.00 a bale from the feedstores.

    Reason i’ve asked is my son and daughter-in-law found a min-ranch that was up for a short sale. The people who had it paid $200,000 for it four years ago. My son was able to get it for $95,000. It has two acres and is already set up for horses. One whole acre has been fenced off in a corral. It also has chicken coops and a fenced area where goats were kept. It’s in a rural area about 30 minutes from where I am. Plus, there are miles and miles of good-riding as it sits on the border of undeveloped government land.

    As you can imagine I’m beside myself with excitement! I just hope I can last until the bank gives a closing date. Short sales take forever to close!

  18. @mesadallas – I hope the mini-ranch works out. I know you’ve wanted something like that for a long time and having it in the family is almost as good as having it yourself. I expect the per bale price of hay would be about the same in this area. ~Ellen

  19. Ooh!!
    I LOVE the blurb!
    When is it due out? 🙂

  20. Hi MBR – Thanks so much for saying. I’m hoping for October, but definitely no later than November. A cover is going to be a major project as my searches of the usual image sites definitely don’t pop up bunches of Apaches (or one).


  21. Saying that I am looking forward to its release is an understatement. LOL!

  22. mesadallas says:

    Thank’s Ellen. I’m keeping muy fingers crossed for everything to go smoothly.

  23. Mervi says:

    Your new book sounds very interesting. I can’t wait for it to be published. I love Native American heroes! I like your previous books Sign My Name and Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold very much. The longer the book, the better it will be in my opinion. So I wish you very productive and inspirational days finishing it!

    Mervi from Finland

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ellen, i’m a big fan from England, read all your books plus the short ones! cannot wait for the next one. You are definitely My new favourite author!

  25. Hi Mervi and Anon – One thing I didn’t expect when first publishing these books was how international I’d feel. Hearing from readers around the globe is a thrill. This book isn’t going to be as long as Eyes or Sing, but it’s not short either. I hope fans of those books really do like it as much – or more of course. ~Ellen

  26. Kathy Martin says:

    Just finished reading Rottweiler Rescue and I loved it! My husband and I had Rotties years ago and even showed them. Really liked the book and will get the next one as soon as its out! Thank you!

  27. Beth says:

    I can’t wait to read the new book. I LOVE Eyes of Silver and Sing My Name. I have recommended them over and over again. Please write faster!!!!

  28. Linda Braun says:

    Hi Ellen,
    I just read your book Rottweiler Rescue. It was great! Please write more dog mysteries. This is the first book of yours I have read, but I will try the others. I prefer mysteries. I own, show, and breed Japanese Chin dogs.

    Linda B.
    Charleston, SC

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