Posts tagged with: Dani Wade

Ruby Reprise: Writing Thru the Christmas Crazies

I’ve shared this post with y’all last year, but it can’t hurt to hear it again. If you’re like me, you struggle to sit down with your work in progress during the busy, busy holiday season. So I thought it would be fun to share some coping strategies once more. I’ve added my 2 cents worth for 2013 near the end.  🙂  Happy Holidays, everyone!


It’s December, and we are currently knee deep into the annual holiday season. As women, we are usually the ones responsible for the planning and plotting that goes into holidays, even if they aren’t being held at our house. The same is true for me—I do the planning, my hubby does the inviting (usually without telling me until the last minute). We end up with a house full of family and friends who eat, talk, laugh, and play games all Christmas day. That’s after a month full of other parties, family celebrations, gift buying, etc. Something I enjoy with a heart full of gratitude.


But all this partying makes it tough to get any writing done. The list of things to do can extend to infinity sometimes (or at least feel like it). All this extra party planning can really cramp my writing style. I’m sure even you non-writers find time short during this busy season. So what’s an author to do?
Here are a few tips:
1. Up your word count on the days you CAN write.
I know this sounds like it will take even more time, but when you do get uninterrupted writing time, do your best to up the amount of your goal. My usual goal for weekdays is 750 words, but for December I’m aiming for 1250. This way, I can manage a few days off during the month without guilt or getting really behind. So push yourself to do more, and enjoy your reward later.
2. Take it One Small Step at a Time
It can be overwhelming to sit down and face a 1000 word goal, but how about 250 words? Oftentimes, I don’t write my whole goal in one sitting. I can’t, because I have very few uninterrupted chunks of time in my day. So here’s how I approach it: During my morning break at work, I plot out the scenes I’m going to work on that day. Then on my lunch break (30 minutes) I type on the Alphasmart. I also have 1 hour set aside for writing directly after dinner. I try to keep that sacred (doesn’t always work, but I try).
Then thirty minutes while the kids do homework or clean their rooms or 30 minutes while the hubby watches a television show. Just 30 more minute before bedtime, then I can sleep. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to tackle any large project in smaller steps.
3. Be Prepared
For plotters, this is much easier. But it is also doable for pantsters too. Before putting down your pen for the day, take a few moments to write out the first few sentences of your next scene. Make sure your notes on the coming pages are complete and you have a decent map for where you are heading. This will make jumping into the next session much easier (no staring at a blank page wondering what the heck you were thinking to have them break into the warehouse so soon…) and your writing will flow more quickly from the start.
I find a To Do list essential for big projects and my writing is no different. This way, I can see how much time I have, then jump into whatever task I have time for, without worrying I’ll forget what else needs to be done.
4. Utilize the Buddy System
Find a writing friend who needs to accomplish as much as you do at this time. Vow to keep each other accountable. Daily emails require you to send in those totals, even if the sum is 0 (and embarrassing enough to force your hands to the keyboard). Set up times for write ins (getting together for the sole purpose of writing—bookstores are great for this).
And don’t forget a reward. Plan an outing to get your nails painted or a massage when all the hard work is done. A night out to dinner with some girlfriends. Or form an accountability group where everyone pitches in $10, and the top three performers during the holiday season get to split the pot for After Christmas shopping! This will give you a tangible reward, other than the relief you’ll feel when you see all those words on the page.
Addition: New Thing I Learned in 2013
One of my goals in 2013 was to learn to enjoy life in the midst of chaos. I have a full time day job, write at least part time, have 2 kids and a very supportive husband. I felt like I worked from the moment I forced myself to roll out of bed in the morning. About halfway through the year, I realized I wasn’t really LIVING. So I’ve tried different approaches to try to remedy this. Here’s 1 for the holidays: Don’t feel guilty when you aren’t writing. I know it sounds counterproductive, but guilt is only going to bog down your writing, not help it in any way. When you are at a party, or chillin’ with your family, enjoy it. Don’t spend it feeling bad about what you’re not accomplishing. Oddly enough, when you get back to the page, you’ll be MORE refreshed and productive without all that negative emotion hanging around. So there’s my 2 cents worth for this year! 🙂
My hope is that you’ll be able to be as productive as I hope to be this holiday season. We’re all busy. I know that. But you can still manage something (this is me giving ME a pep talk here). So tell me your best advice for getting writing (and other holiday tasks) done during this busy time. (because I need all the help I can get!)


Ruby Release: Finding Her Rhythm by Dani Wade

One of the joys of my Indie-publishing endeavors is being able to write a book how it wants to be written– let the characters lead me and follow them without restraints (or into restraints, if that’s where they want to go). My editors have led my Harlequin books in great directions, strengthening them and my skills. But there are just certain things Harlequin books don’t do. So Indie publishing lets me explore different aspects of my creativity.

In this case, I was able to follow the leading of my hero – my rock star hero.


When I first envisionsed Michael Korvello, little voices nagged at me. There’s a long-held rumor that editors don’t want Rock Stars. They aren’t popular enough. But still he hung around – that bad boy, brooding rocker attracted to the anti-thesis of his high profile lifestyle, his nanny.

I just couldn’t get him out of my mind, and before long, despite the push and pull of my first print release and new proposals, I had the full-blown story of a man who was lonely but afraid of revealing his true nature. And a woman so battered by life that trust had been all but obliterated – especially for a first rate performer.

So I chose to follow my characters and discovered a world beneath a world. The performer who wants to be seen and loved as a real man. A family who misses him. A woman who learns to trust him to protect her. A brother who teases and torments him, but who always has his back – on and off the road.

They took me on a journey and I enjoyed every minute! (Well, until I reached revisions.) A journey of a family trying to find each other again, and a man hell bent on using his sexual talents to teach a woman everything that she’s capable of, and everything they can be together.

So let’s celebrate those fun journeys we get to take when we follow wherever our characters lead! Share the last “fun” discovery you made about your book/characters while writing!

One commenter will win a giftie! An Amazon or B&N giftcard for a new journey of discovery.


Ruby Release: Snow Bound by Dani Wade

Today I am thrilled to host the fabulous Dani Wade as we celebrate her debut release, Snow Bound.  I was instantly sucked into this story as soon as I started to read.  The writing was beautiful, the characters nuanced and engaging, and the chemistry just jumped off the page.  (Excuse me while I take a moment to fan myself.)  This is EXACTLY the kind of book you want to curl up with on a winter’s night (and I’m Alaskan, I know winter nights).  A perfect winter’s escape, and I got to grill the author!

So now, without further ado, let’s hear what Dani has to say about her fabulous new release!

Vivi: Damon is exactly the kind of guy you want beside you in a tough spot – or cuddled up in the middle of a snowstorm (yum). Studly ex-military who will protect you no matter what? Who can say no to that? And just because I like daydreaming about him, who would you pick to play Damon in a film of Snow Bound?

Dani: OMG, Channing Tatum ALL THE WAY! Ahem, sorry. I may have a little obsession when it comes to this actor, but he most definitely embodies most of Damon’s studliness and rough-and-tumble attitude. Did I mention his body?

Vivi: Oh wow, excellent call. 😉 Trapped by a snow storm and stalked by an unwelcome blast from her past, it would be easy for Tori to fall into the damsel-in-distress category, just waiting for a big strong man to save the day, but I loved the way she broke away from the pretty princess image Damon had of her. How did you strike that subtle balance between a heroine who can accept help, but also defend herself with shotgun blazing when she needs to?

Dani: Tori spent her life being typecast by those around her — head cheerleader, abuse victim, orphaned and alone — but she refuses to let those stereotypes change who she really is. She forged ahead to build a profitable business on her own. Supported herself with no family around. She’s not above accepting help, but only when she can’t do it herself.

She’s not a bad ass — more of a woman who does what she has to when the situation arises. A girly girl at heart, she loves skirts and sexy underwear. While she’s not comfortable with a gun in her hands, as us southern women know, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.

Vivi: Cadence feels so real! I get the sense you really know a lot about small town life. Is it based on a real place? Are any of the characters taken from real life?

Dani: The town’s characters are an amalgam of the people surrounding me as I grew up in the deep South. But the town, it’s definitely based on one nearest my family during my childhood. I grew up on a farm in Tennessee where the nearest gas station was 20 minutes from home and “town” was even further. Everybody knew or knew of everybody else, and southern expectations reigned, whether you attended cotillion or hung out at the local honky tonk.

I loved writing about Cadence, its inhabitants, and quirks, because it felt like coming home in many ways. I can’t wait to revisit it for another book in this series!

Vivi: Tori remembers (in a rather steamy moment, ahem) a harem girl scene from one of her favorite romance novels. I love those little winks to the genre. Were you referring to a particular book? What would Tori’s favorite romance be?

Dani: That particular thought referred to my own fascination with Bertrice Small’s The Love Slave when I first started reading romance. As a small-town bookstore owner, Tori knows what every woman in town wants to hide behind her Sunday School study guide. But her faves are sexy romps that bring spice into her ho-hum romantic life, like Rhonda Nelson and Kira Sinclair’s Blaze books, Lauren Dane, and Maya Banks.

Vivi: I hear tell there are some exciting things in the future for you. After Snow Bound, I’m hungry for more. What can I expect next from Dani Wade?

Dani: Snow Bound was a wonderful Indie project for me to work on, and I hope to bring at least 2 more to readers in the next year. My website will keep readers up-to-date on my upcoming projects. My first print release will debut with Harlequin Desire in August of 2013. The working title is Master Designs, and features a disavowed heir, uptight executive assistant, wedding gowns, prostitution, and a sexy trip to Las Vegas!

Vivi: I’m so excited to hear you have more in the works – and an upcoming release with Harlequin Desire!  How thrilling!  Would you care to share your call story with our readers?  (I always love to hear about an author’s journey to publication!)

Dani: My first call was a long time coming — 8 years to be exact. I was only just coming out of the worst period of writer’s block I’d ever had — one rejection too many took their toll. An author friend, Andrea Laurence (Desire author), had read Designs and loved it. So when the Desire Senior Editor Stacy Boyd put out a request on Twitter for submissions, Andrea insisted I submit it. After all those years, I finally found editors who got my voice. Stacy passed the book on to Shana Smith, who put me through my paces with revisions, and bought the book just 4 days after receiving the latest version. Though I’ve been moved on to editor Charles Greimsman, I’ll always be grateful to Shana for her encouragement and belief in me!

Vivi:  Thank you so much for letting me grill you today and good luck with all your upcoming projects, Dani!

And now, here’s a peek at Snow Bound!

Snow Bound Cover

The last thing Damon West wants is a trip to his bookish neighbor’s house in the midst of the worst snowstorm Cadence, TN, has seen in a decade. Still, his military instincts warn him that Miss Priss could use a little help. His arrival is met with an attack by an unknown assailant and the sight of Miss Priss in a sexy wisp of nothing-much, confidently wielding a double-barreled shotgun.

Tori Anderson carefully portrays herself as a responsible bookstore owner and capable young woman to anyone willing to look twice. But two men grappling in her backyard called for speed more than decorum. That’s how the guy she’d been secretly lusting after since he’d bought the house next door sees her in a silky robe and panties—with nothing in between. Damon’s sudden interest thrills her, but she can’t help worrying about the unknown threat scared off by her shotgun blast.

Trapped in her house, snow blocking the roads and no way to reach the outside world, Tori finally has the chance to indulge her wildest fantasies. But she isn’t sure which is more daunting—the abusive boyfriend back to punish her for helping convict him of murder or her desire to have more than one night with the town’s most unavailable bachelor.


Today two lucky commenters will take home $5 Amazon Gift Cards for your book shopping pleasure.  Just tell us who would YOU most like to get snowed in with on a winter’s night?

The Latest Comments

  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: Hope your mom recovers quickly, Tammy!
  • Vivi Andrews/Lizzie Shane: I really love the sense of place, time and character that you’ve established in just...
  • Autumn Jordon: Kylie, Good opening. I wondered immediately what the two villains might be scheming about? I might add...
  • Tamara Hogan: Kylie and Ruby community, My apologies in advance for being scarce at the blog today. I’ll be...
  • Autumn Jordon: Also proof to IRS that this is you’re serious about being a businessand not just a hobby.