Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summertime and the Living Is (Not) Easy!

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

We've reached the end of another GREAT month in the Lair and I'm thrilled to send July out with a BANG (or is that boom?) by welcoming my good friend and Lair favorite Marie Force back for a visit. The third book in Marie's "Fatal" series, Fatal Consequences, was released this month, along with a lot of other stuff. But I'll let Marie tell you all about it:

Greetings to the Banditas! Thank you SO much to my dear friend Aunty Cindy and the gang for having me back again to celebrate the release of my new book, Fatal Consequences. This is book 3 in my Fatal Series, which pairs D.C. homicide detective Lt. Sam Holland with U.S. Senator Nick Cappuano. The Fatal books mix romance with politics and mystery, and book 3 has plenty of all three. Here’s a brief bit about the book:

The murder of two members of the Capitol Cleaning Service might’ve been just another homicide investigation—that is if one of them hadn’t been romantically involved with a married senator from Arizona. Lt. Sam Holland and her team are plunged into another complex case that at first seems open and shut. But as Sam tugs on the threads of the investigation she uncovers a deep, dark Washington secret that threatens the careers of some of the government’s highest-ranking officials. Racing to catch a killer before he can strike again, Sam and her fiancĂ©, U.S. Senator Nick Cappuano, attempt to plan a wedding while her colleague Detective Tommy “Gonzo” Gonzales faces life-changing news.

It’s fitting that I should end what has been one of the most insane months of my life with my friends at the Romance Bandits. I definitely need to celebrate that July 2011 is coming to an end. Let me give you the rundown… keeping in mind that Fatal book 4, Fatal Flaw, was due yesterday.

July began with the final day of the Romance Writers of America conference in New York City. Fatal Flaw was about half done at this point, and not going well for reasons to be discussed later. After sprinting home to spend the Fourth of July holiday with my family, I had to re-pack for a six-day trip to Atlanta for my day job’s annual meeting. Not a word got written on Flaw while my daughter and I were in Atlanta.

Returning home, we celebrated her 16th birthday and the launch of Fatal Consequences, both on the 18th. That same day, she started driver’s ed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for ten straight weekdays. Oh the joy of hauling a sixteen-year-old out of bed at 5:20 a.m., in the summer, for driver’s ed. Around that same time, she got her first real job, working as a hostess in a five-star restaurant in downtown Newport, RI, which is about thirty minutes from where we live. And did I mention my son, soon-to-be 13, is attending sailing camp, also in downtown Newport, but during the day. One kid to Newport in the morning, the other kid to Newport in the afternoon and an 11 p.m. pickup for the working girl. My husband helps, but since I work from home, most of it falls on me.

Did I mention that we are gearing up at work to move our company’s website to a new platform? To save some money, we decided to hand move all 800 pages and 10,000 linked files and images ourselves. And that started this week , the same week my book is due and the same week the quarterly magazine I edit for work is on deadline. Calgon, where are you when I need you? Thankfully, (and I never thought I’d say this), our designer is running late on the magazine, and it got bumped to next week. There is a God.

Back to Fatal Flaw, which hung over my head like a shiny, sharp guillotine this entire month. I finished it at 9 p.m. on July 29, the day before it was due. I wrote 18,000 words in three days, and my hands feel like they’re 80 and arthritic. Thankfully, I have three faithful beta readers who were critiquing as I went, which is how we managed to discover. . .wait for it. . . a fatal flaw in the story.

This is my 19th book, so I have somewhat of a routine by now, but nothing was working, and I didn’t have the luxury of time to blame it on the stress and chaos of my life. The writing was like pulling teeth, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then, when I was 70,000 words into the book, my betas helped me identify a major problem (aka the fatal flaw) in the story. Once I fixed that by writing five new opening chapters—something I have never done before—the writing flowed the way it normally does, giving me an ‘ah-ha’ moment: If the writing is like pulling teeth, something is wrong. Figure out what’s wrong and fix it. My editor and I have chatted about watching out what we name future books so as not to bring the bad karma to the writing.

To say I am THRILLED that July 2011 is behind me is putting it mildly. I plan to spend August working on that website migration at work and in my free time, catching up on my TBR, lolling about on the beach and my dad’s boat, hanging with my kids and having a bunch of family and friends visit. I am sooooo ready for a break from the pressure cooker. Later in August, I plan to get to work on my fourth McCarthy book and hopefully a Christmas novella for that series. In addition, I have four other books I am preparing for publication, starting later this year: Georgia on My Mind as well as my beloved Treading Water trilogy: Treading Water, Marking Time and Starting Over, so be on the lookout for all of them soon!

Summertime and the living is easy—or not. Which is it for you? Thanks for coming by and helping me to celebrate the end of the month from hell! I’ll give a copy of Fatal Consequences to one commenter today.

Keep an eye out for the Sept. 5 launch of the FREE Fatal wedding novella, Fatal Destiny, in which Sam and Nick tie the knot. Until then, I’ll be at the beach!

Enjoy the beach, Marie! Sounds like you could use a rest!

Marie Force is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press. The series includes FATAL AFFAIR, FATAL JUSTICE, FATAL CONSEQUENCES and FATAL DESTINY, which is out Sept. 5. FATAL FLAW is coming in February 2012.

Earlier this year, Marie published her popular, bestselling McCarthys of Gansett Island Series: MAID FOR LOVE, FOOL FOR LOVE and READY FOR LOVE, with more books coming soon in the series. Find out more about Marie and her books at her website:, on her blog at, where she runs the weekly Romance & Oreos Book Club, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @marieforce.


flchen1 said...

Well, summertime isn't as easy as I would have hoped ;) It's lovely, but still plenty to do! And as always, so many books, too little time!

donnas said...

Congrats on the release! Looking forward to reading it.

Summer is never as easy as I hope it will be when it starts, something always comes up.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Way to grab the Chook, Fedora!

Darn, Donnas, you missed by a mere 2 mins!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

You said it about "so many books, too little time!" My TBR pile is so huge, I'll probably need an oxygen tank to get to the top of it! :-P


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I KNOW what you mean about "something always comes up." I had car problems and a family health emergency this past month. SHEESH! Could have happily lived without both of those.


Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora, you've got the chook! I hear he found Jo's book but he was too busy reading it to hand it over!

Marie, lovely to have you back again. Wow, 19 books! That's a major achievement.

It's actually winter down here where I am although it's a lovey day today. Cool and crisp and bright blue skies. About to skive off the computer and take a walk.

flchen1 said...

Drat! I wonder if I can get him to give me a peeky at Jo's... :) He's such a wily guy though, I highly doubt it!

Helen said...

Well done Fedora how is he today after the grilling of question he would have gotten yesterday maybe he needs a rest LOL

Whoo Hoo Marie is back in the lair I bought Fatal Consequences this week and it won't be long before I dive into I am loving this series and Sam and Nick. I have also got all of your other books on the E Reader ready to read but I have such a mountainous TBR pile I really need to retire.

WOW July has been very busy for you but Augsut sounds like it is going to be lovely it has been quite cold over here in Oz one of the coldest winters we have had for a long time but busy for me with 6 grandchildren and working
40 hours a week and trying to find me time with my books LOL.

Congrats on the release Marie and thank you Aunty Cindy for inviting Marie back to day.

Have Fun

barb said...

Have you got Jo's book off him yet Fedora????

I think we all have big TBR piles ...I have your books on my reader waiting for me to read Marie.... as Helen and Anna say it is cold down here so no spending time in the sun although I do have a sunny spot in a corner of the garden when it is cold in the house..... and Helen the TBR pile seems to get no smaller when you retire LOL

Donna MacMeans said...

Well Marie - I'm popping out of the deadline cave to wave hi! I guess that answers the question about living easy (grin). But this torment should be over soon - hopefully today. Then I can catch at least a month of summer.

For now though - it's back to the cave to enter these edits.

marybelle said...

I kind of love that my reading list is ever growing, it means great books are out there in the world.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on the new book Marie! I don't remember summertime living being easy since I was a kid but your July sounded like nonstop action. I hope your August is easier.

Marie Force said...

Morning everyone!
Happy July 31. I actually slept until 8:30 this morning and woke up with a big phewwwwww. It's over and I did it.

Fedora, congrats on grabbing the rooster. I did pop over here just after Cindy posted and saw that no one had commented yet, and decided it would be poor form to be the guest and the taker of the rooster. It's just not done. LOL Thanks for coming by!

Donna, thanks for reading and I hear you on something always coming up to take the easy out of summer.

Morning Cindy! Thanks again for having me!

Anna, for a brief second I read that comment as you were going sky diving off the computer. I was hoping there would be video of that. :-) Enjoy the day and the walk, thanks for all the RTs and support on Twitter. You are the best! I'll be able to start paying ti back now that I can do something OTHER than write until my hands hurt.

Helen, thanks so much for getting FC. I so hope you enjoy it and my other books!

Barb, thanks for checking out my books. I hope you enjoy them, and too funny about the TBR growing during retirement. After this last month, retirement is looking pretty good!

Donna, good luck with your deadline. It's the worst feeling to have something so big hanging over you. Hope you get it done today and can rejoin your summer already in progress!

Marybelle, absolutely! What you said!

Maureen, thank you so much! Looking forward to August!

Nancy said...

Fedora, congrats on the bird!

Marie, welcome back. I have the first two in your Fatal series and am looking forward to reading them when life settles down. Summer can be harder than winter, I think, if there's something extra loaded into summer. Hauling kids around can be very time-consuming, especially if it alters the routines of the rest of the year.

We have one child, and he now has a driver's license. While he doesn't drive everywhere (he doesn't know how to get to some places, and the curmudgeons raising him refuse to spring for a GPS on the theory that doing so will mean he never learns to plan a trip using that low-tech tool, the map), he handles routine trips around town just fine.

I don't know how people with multiple children juggle the summers.

Marie Force said...

Hi Nancy, funny about the GPS. My sister-in-law told a funny story about telling her daughter when she was first driving to get them home from my dad's one town and ten minutes away. After 30 min of driving in circles, my nephew begged his mother to intervene. LOL! When you think about it, why should they know how to get anywhere? They never had to get themselves there on their own. Good for you about encouraging the map. My DH is a total map nerd. No doubt my kids will learn how to read a street map, whether they want to or not! Thanks for checking out the Fatal books. Hope you enjoy Sam and Nick's story.

Cheryl Brooks said...

It certainly hasn't been easy this summer. I'm already looking forward to fall! Congrats on the new Fatal book and all of your success with the McCarthys!

Marie Force said...

Thanks Cheryl! I know you've had a humdinger of a summer too! Let's hear it for easier living soon!

Marie Force said...

Me again--I'll be away from the computer for much of the rest of the day, but will check in when I get home tonight. Hope everyone has a great day!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Marie!!! Welcome back to the Lair; it's always good to have you here. I've just finished the book in your Fatal Series and am eager to read more.

LOL about the Fatal Flaw title. Karma is a red-haired beeyotch, isn't she?

I've always found it one of life's great ironies that summertime, when we generally have more time (for me as a former teacher anyway), I also have less energy due to the weather. Not fair! Now if I could afford a cabin at Tahoe or a house on the Monterey Peninsula, maybe it'd be different. But inland here in northern CA, we get some really hot temps in the summer.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Marie! Welcome back!!! So glad to have you in the Lair.

As to Summertime...eeek! Where is it going???

Janga said...

I love Sam and Nick and am looking forward to the wedding story. I read Fatal Consequences and wrote my review last week. I think it may be the best one yet, and that's saying a lot for what has become one of my favorite RS series.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oops, meant to say, that with Summer camps, baseball tourneys, and so on, summer is a "no rest for the weary" time for me.

And don't even MENTION the extreme temps this year.

And terrible air quality...ugh.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

And that doesn't mention deadlines...yeah...THAT>


Back to the cave (at least it's cooler in there!)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning Everyone!
(Aunty rubs her bleary eyes) We had quite a day yesterday trying to find Jo's missing book. I'm not sure it ever turned up.

That's the beauty of an e-book. Much harder to misplace! Unless, of course, you lose the e-reader. ACK!

Fo, Helen, and Barb, I'm envying your cool weather just a little bit. We've had a few wicked hot days here this summer, but luckily they don't last long.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

YAY Donna! Glad to see you are almost out of the writing cave. We've had several cave-bound Banditas this past month or so and we miss all of you terribly when you can't come out and join the fun!

Marie, glad you got to sleep in today! Here's to a much more leisurely August!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

You are so RIGHT about being lots of GREAT books out there!

And Barb, I know you don't need any more books on the TBR heap but Aunty took a peeksey at the coming attractions for August and they look FAB!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I do think you are right about summertime only being easy when you are a kid. I remember been so anxious for school to end and summer to start. But usually by August, I was ready for school to start back up again so I could see more of my friends. ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy and Marie,
I'm LOL about your GPS stories and kids not being able to read maps. *I* could never FOLD them, much less read them! Luckily, my kid did NOT take after me. He has one of the best senses of direction I've ever encountered, and he LOVES maps! He played with them when he first learned to read. :-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Cheryl and Jeanne!

I know you've both been almost too busy to breathe! Hope things are slowing down for both of you so that you can enjoy a bit of August.

You're right, Duchesse, at least the temps in the writing caves are a bit cooler than those in your neck o' the woods. But SERIOUSLY, we need to see more of you here in the Lair!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Morning Jo-Mama!

So did your proof copy of The Watcher finally surface?!?! Any sign of the culprit??? Seriously can NOT WAIT for this book to be available on Amazon.

And LOL on the karma of Marie's title. We both know we've had some pretty funny working titles for out WIPs... (Aunty glances nervously over her shoulder for any glimpse of a red-haired beyotch) :-P


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOO HOO! On already FINISHING Fatal Consequences! I agree that Sam and Nick are a GREAT romantic pair and leads. Can't wait to read about their wedding in Fatal Destiny!


catslady said...

I know what you mean about tbr piles. The problem is I can't stop myself from buying more and more lol. Hell for me would mean no books! As to the summer, it's a really hot one. Family complications stopped any vacation plans but maybe next year.

Cathy M said...

Summertime is pretty easy around here, especially the month of July when the Tour de France is on. Cycling is big in my family, so it's pretty much 12 hours straight of tv coverage. Keeps all my men entertained, and more quiet time for me, lol.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Sorry to hear about the family issues that forced you to cancel vacation plans, Catslady. But glad you have your TBR pile for consolation! ;-)

As I hinted, we'll have even MORE great books in August, so be sure you check back tomorrow.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Cathy M.
My DH is a big fan of Tour de France too! Though I must admit, his interest waned after Lance Armstrong retired. I loved to see the pretty landscapes they cycled through.

LOL on men entertained = quiet time for you. I was EVER SO GLAD to hear the NFL lock out was settled for that very reason. ;-)


PJ said...

Congrats on the new book, Marie! I'm looking forward to reading it.

Summer is usually a lovely time of year for me with lazy days of floating in the pool and plenty of time to catch up on my reading. Not so this year! It's the end of July and I haven't even been to the neighborhood pool yet. Not even once! My 20 hours a week job is inching ever closer to 35 hours and life has tossed me on a non-stop roller coaster since the end of June. Let's just say I'm ready for a quiet (boring even!) August! :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey PJ!
Thanx for dropping by. Here's hoping you get lots of floating-in-the-pool time in August! ;-)


chey said...

Summer never seems to be a easy as it ought to be. My TBR pile is not shrinking at all. Where is my free time to read?

Marie Force said...

I'm back after a big day out with the family to celebrate my first day of "freedom." LOL! Thanks for holding down the fort, Cindy.

Jo, karma IS a red-haired beeyotch! YES!

Jeanne, it's going by far too fast. One more month and the kids are back to school. Sigh... I hate school (the homework, the lunches, the projects..). 7th and 11th grades this year.

Janga, thanks so much for reading and reviewing FC. I'm so glad you're enjoying the series. I can't wait to get the wedding novella out there. Very excited to hear what Sam & Nick fans think of their big day! I'm delighted to hear the Fatal series is becoming one of your favorite RS series. Thanks for that!

Catslady, I have stacks of paperbacks (that I will probably never read now that I am addicted to e-reading) and tons of unread books on my iTouch. I get a little twitchy if I don't have something good to read!

Cathy, my hubby is a huge fan of the Tour. He watches every stage and loves it!

PJ, your summer sounds as crazy as mine. Hope things settle down for you in August.

Chey, here's to all of us finding some time to read in August! :-)

jo robertson said...

AC, the proof has NOT shown up, but I have a very definite idea of who the culprit is. I'll announce the dastardly devil tonight!

Pissenlit said...

Whew! Marie, you make me feel like such a slacker! LOL

My complains about summertime are my usual so there's nothing really special about them. I don't deal with the heat and sun very well, my allergies act up really badly and my birthday tends to make me grumpy. :)

Marie Force said...

Pissenlit, I hear you on the heat making me grumpy. We have the AC on and that makes me too cold. There's no happy medium!