Rainbow Snippet July 6-7

Hi all,
This week I’m busy doing laundry and packing for The Golden Crown Literary Society’s annual conference. It’s a short drive from my house to Pittsburgh, and I’m stoked to meet a bunch of folks in real life that have been so very supportive of my work. My fantastic publisher and the ever fabulous Natasha Snow have created another gorgeous cover for my next novel, Complex Dimensions, set to release in September.

I’ll be reading from the manuscript during my Author Spotlight so if you’re at the conference on Thursday, July 11th come on by and listen. I’ll be reading with four other authors, including Erin Zak and Carsen Taite.

This week’s snip is from Complex Dimensions.
Millie looked up and grinned. “You okay?” A tiny smirk twisted her mouth. “Have I stunned you with my Scrabble talents?”

Veronica laughed. “Dude, you have thoroughly spanked me. All I have left is Us and Ns. And nowhere to play them.”
Millie grinned. “You’re good. The last person I played with I beat by three hundred points.”
Veronica leaned back in her chair as a tiny flare of jealous ignited in her chest. Ridiculous. I am ridiculous. She’s not mine. So what if she played Scrabble with someone else? “Thank you. We played a bunch growing up. I’m rusty.”
“If that’s your version of rusty I better be prepared for our next game.” She stretched and her shirt pulled tight across her chest and Veronica had to look away before she embarrassed herself.  “I hate to say it but I’ve got to go and try to get some sleep. I’ve an early pickup tomorrow.”
Veronica stifled her disappointment. “It’s okay. Maybe we can do this again sometime.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes erotic romance. Her novel, Knotted Legacy, made The Lesbian Review’s 2018 Top 100 Vacation Reads list. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here. Twitter here  Sign Up for her email list for sneak peeks and more at   www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet June 29-30

A steamy Saturday here, and I spent the morning making dolmas from the grape leaves pruned from my backyard vines. A dear friend came over and shared his mother’s recipe and they were delicious. It made me think of all the wonderful food I wrote about in Both Ends of the Whip, my novel inspired by a trip to a vineyard in Northern Italy and so this week’s snip is a throwback from that novel.

Both End of the Whip is the second book in the Rowan House Series and was my first experiment in writing a poly romance. I hope you enjoy this snip.

From Both Ends of the Whip:

Vivian lifted her chin, her gaze steady. “I have the contracts here. They’re for six months. That should be enough time for all of us to decide if the arrangement is acceptable.” She lifted an elegant black fountain pen from the desk and uncapped it. With a flowing hand she signed her name to each document. She held the pen out, and Octavia walked to the desk. Her fingers brushed against Vivian’s as she took the pen, and a tingle of desire worked its way to her core. Octavia signed her name on the contract. Damn. Get it together. This is trouble. So much trouble. When she was finished, she laid the pen on the desk and glanced up into Vivian’s eyes. The tingle turned into a strong wave of heat. Looking away from Vivian, she stepped back.
Vivian picked up the pen and held it out for Bridget. With slow steps Bridget walked to the desk, her focus fixed on Vivian’s face. Octavia noted the small tremor that shook her hand as she took the pen from Vivian and the way Bridget lowered her gaze when Vivian looked at her. After signing her name, Bridget held the pen out with both hands, palms up, an offering. Vivian’s lips curved into a smile as she took the pen from Bridget’s uplifted hands.
She didn’t smile at me. What the hell is wrong with me? So what? Get it together. She’s our employer. Nothing more. Damn, she gets to me. And to Bridget.

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes erotic romance. Her novel, Knotted Legacy, made the 2018 The Lesbian Review’s Top 100 Vacation Reads list. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

Rainbow Snippets June 1-2


Hello
Snippeteers,

 This week’s snip is from a project I started years ago and recently dusted off. When I started it I had no idea how to structure a novel and get to the end. Six years and seven novels later I feel like I have a handle on that part. I’ve written contemporary romance for the last six years but this spring I wrote a paranormal novella. It was fresh and fun and I and decided I needed to revisit this story.  On Friday, I scored a fantastic premade cover from the fabulous May Dawney. Check out her designs here. And now I can’t wait to work on this story again. 

A rough draft snip from Helen and Lucinda (working title)

Helen rested her hands on the rough stones of the parapet. Beads of sweat dotted her forehead and soaked the band of her eye patch.  Moonlight made dense black shadows on the worn grey blocks of the tower floor and the soft rustling sound of wings cut through the humid night air. Helen’s breath hitched, and she shivered in spite of the heat.

Moonlight made dense black shadows on the worn grey stones. The soft rustling sound of wings cut through the humid night air. Helen’s breath hitched, and she shivered in spite of the heat. Her thin nightdress accented her curves and she plucked at the fabric that clung to her heavy breasts and half-hard nipples.

Lucinda’s winged form blotted out the full moon as she glided to a stop in front of Helen.

“Miss me?”  Lucinda’s eyes glittered, bright against her pale green skin.

Unable to look away from Lucinda’s obsidian eyes, Helen swallowed on a dry throat before she whispered her answer.  “Yes.”

“Sorry I kept you waiting.”

“You’re here now.” Helen took a step forward, lifted her chin and fixed her gaze on Lucinda’s lush mouth.

“So I am.”  Lucinda twined her long arms about Helen, and her wings curtained around them as she pulled her into a tight embrace.

Helen sighed against Lucinda’s mouth as she tipped her head back and relaxed into her touch and the urgency of her kiss.

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes erotic romance. Her novel, Knotted Legacy, made The Lesbian Review’s Top 100 Vacation Reads list for 2018. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

Hitting the Reset Button

 

If you follow my blog, you know that this spring was a difficult one. We lost my brother-in-law to depression in March. To say we’ve been on a spinning wheel of emotions is not an exaggeration. We are in the process of organizing a celebration of his life, and dealing with all of the feelings that accompany that: sadness, grief, anger, overwhelm, frustration, and disbelief to name the most often occurring ones.

In spite of everything I managed to finish and submit a novella I had been working on, and now have no deadlines to meet which feels odd at the moment. I’ve worked steadily since last September and was able to write and submit two novels, and a novella.  I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break. That it’s enough for now. The photo at the top of this blog post also reminds me that writing is not a race and that maintaining a constant state of production is not healthy for anyone. It’s okay to sit and think for a while, to take time to plan and daydream and watch a storm from your porch. Slow progress is still making progress toward your goals.

My way of hitting the reset button and filling my creative well is home repairs and improvement projects. I have two rooms to strip wallpaper from, patch and repair and then paint.   It may seem odd that home improvement projects are one of my favorite forms of self-care, but it is very relaxing for me to spend hours solely focusing on avoiding brush strokes and roller marks. I also keep a notebook nearby because more than once I have had to stop painting and write down story ideas that pop up while my focus is elsewhere. Never be afraid to hit the reset button and give yourself the time you need to fill your creative well. For you writers and creatives out there how do you hit the reset button? 

 

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for sneak peeks, information on new releases, appearances, and occasional recipes here   www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet May 25-26

 

Hello Snippeteers,

I’m celebrating this week because I submitted my erotic paranormal romance duology with Megan Hart to my editor at NineStar press. Today’s Rainbow Snippet is from my story in the duology, Shifting Flames.

Eve and Celeste have been two of my favorite characters to write and I expect that I will write more paranormal romances after dipping my fingers into the genre, so to speak.   I’m taking some time off this summer to noodle my next series and spend some time with my family but I will keep up with snips. Be sure to check out the other fabulous snips from other others at #rainbowsnippets

From Shifting Flames:

After lunch Eve returned to the study. Celeste was standing at the window her hand against the pane of glass, staring out at the valley.

“Are you okay?” Eve placed the cup of coffee she had brought with her on the desk.

Celeste turned from the window and shrugged her shoulders. “I’m sorry for before. I’m ready to work now.”

Eve sat and opened her laptop. “Why don’t we set some guidelines, map out what is most important to you as a storyteller, then we’ll work through the scenes and dialogue to make that happen.”

“Are you a magician? You think we can really tell the story in one-hundred ten scenes? I must have been mad to agree to this.” Celeste turned back to the window, her hands clenched into fists.

“Look at me.”

Celeste turned back to Eve.

“We can do this. It may not be exactly what you want but if you’re serious we can make this happen. Trust me. Please.” Eve held Celeste’s gaze. “Don’t give up on this.”

Celeste rested her hands on her hips and inclined her head toward the window and the snowstorm outside. “It’s not like I could send you away.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexy times, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local library and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  For news about upcoming releases, appearances, sneak peeks and giveaways sign Up for her email list at  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet May 18-19

Hello Snippteers,

I just sent off my second round of edits for the Complex Dimensions, book four in the Rowan House series and thought this snip was perfect for this week. My kids only have seven days left of school and I’m trying to cram in as much work as I can before summer break. I hope you enjoy this week’s snip.

From Complex Dimensions:

Millie crossed the room and clasped the woman’s hand in both of hers. “Signora Rossi, so good to see you again.”
“And you as well.” The woman leaned in and kissed Millie on both cheeks. Her voice was warm honey laced with a hint of seduction. “And didn’t we decide you would call me Aurora?”
Veronica squelched the flare of jealousy that ignitied in her chest at the way they greeted each other.
Aurora turned and raked her gaze over Veronica. “Who have you brought me?”
Millie grinned and held out her hand palm up. “Veronica Fletcher meet Signora Aurora Rossi.”
Veronica held out her hand. “Pleased to meet you, Signora Rossi.”
Aurora took Veronica’s offered hand and held it tightly as her gaze traveled over Veronica’s body. “My pleasure. Call me, Aurora.” She dropped Veronica’s hand. “Turn for me, please.”
“Um, what?” Veronica gripped the seams of her jeans. Under Aurora’s gaze, Veronica had the sensation of being naked.
“Arms relaxed at your side, turn in a slow circle. I want to see your shape.” She murmured to herself in Italian as Veronica turned as she had directed.

“Millie, get the notebook out of my bag. Be my scribe.” Millie grinned and walked over to a burgundy leather case leaning against one of the chairs. Aurora fixed her gaze on Veronica’s face. “Now strip. I need to measure you.”

The brisk businesslike tone of her voice had Veronica tugging at the hem of her shirt to comply. “Everything?”

Aurora tilted her head at Veronica, a sly smile on her face. “As much as I would enjoy you completely naked, that is not what we are here for today. Leave on your underthings.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).
In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexy times, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local library and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  For news about her upcoming releases, appearances, sneak peeks and giveaways sign up for her email list at  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet May 11- 12

Hello Snippeteers,

I’ve been hard at work on my paranormal romance and this week I have a snip for you. This a first draft so somethings may change.  I hope you enjoy Eve and Celeste as much as well I’ve enjoyed writing them.

From Shifting Flames:

The ride in back to her house did nothing to cool the desire that had stirred in Celeste after her initial meeting with Eve. Her foiled hunt had left her beast restless and hungry. Not hungry. Famished. Starving. The press of Eve’s body against her fanned the embers of a long banked fire. So long. Ten years. So long since she had even entertained the idea of indulging her needs. A wet ache settled between her legs.  Eve’s surprising push-back was refreshing after the succession of spineless screenwriters sent to work with her, each one convinced that working with Celeste to bring her perennial  best selling novel to the big screen would make their careers. Not this one. She knows her worth. Owns her power.   

The anger and rage that flashed in Eve’s chestnut brown eyes when Celeste challenged her had stirred her blood and desire had flared within her body.  Memories of Eve’s wild mane of dark hair framing her high cheekbones and angular face and the way her full mouth had pulled into a snarl when Celeste had teased her about working naked made saliva pool in Celeste’s mouth as she thought about kissing the impatient expression off her face. She gave over to her fantasy as she navigated the track back to the house.  Celeste mulled Eve’s possible response if she pushed her a harder, would she cave? Become another obsequious disappointment? Or would she rise to the occasion and give Celeste what she had craved since Lorraine’s passing.

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes erotic romance. Her novel, Knotted Legacy, made The Lesbian Review’s Top 100 Vacation Reads list for 2018. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here. For sneak peeks, more a few rants and news about upcoming releases, sign up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

Spring at Last

It has been a while since I’ve shared photos. This past week we were graced with gorgeous weather, and I needed to remind myself of new beginnings and the beauty that exists in this world. I took my camera and visited three different parks and indulged my  love of flowers and flowering trees. I even spotted a tiny warbler singinig his little heart out. I hope you this bit of color brightens your day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When You’ve Lost the Thread

It’s been a while since I’ve written about writing, mostly because I’ve found a system for fast-draft writing that has worked with my ADHD. I used my system for seven novels and I’ve been comfortable with the results. I have never been a detailed outliner. I work from a scene list and character goal-motivation and conflict sheets and let my story evolve organically within that framework. I typically draft a 60-65K novel in four to six weeks and then spend three to four weeks revising and editing my draft before submitting it.
Trusting in my system, I used it with my current project, a novella-length paranormal romance with dual points of view. With this project, because I needed to attend to two character’s points of view, along with paranormal conventions, I’ve been feeling my way along the story, and it was going well, slowly, but well.
And then I needed to take some time after my brother-in-law’s death. I set my story aside for three weeks, and when I started working on my novella again, I was lost. I couldn’t remember what I had written, or where I was going in the story.
Because my way of working falls somewhere between a painter and a plotter I used a technique that is a routine part of my revision process, I printed out what I had written and reverse outlined the story as a way of figuring out what I needed to do to complete my draft.
After reviewing my outline I know I need to write six more scenes to finish my first draft and have about 13K words to complete those scenes and stay within my word count limit.
What is a reverse outline? It involves reading what you’ve written and then creating an outline from that document. It can be detailed or brief as it fits your style. For me, it’s a one-sentence description of what happens in each scene.
I don’t stop to edit my work. I merely outline my story as it stands. After I have completed the outline I read over it to assess if my scenes flow as they should, that my story beats are where they should be, and in this case that I’ve given equal time to each character’s point of view. I use highlighters to tag types of scenes and transitions.
It is the simplest way I’ve found to check structure and beats, and if you have lost your way, it is a road map back to your central story and ensures that critical elements of your novel are not missing. If you struggle with plotting and structure, try adding a reverse outline to your routine revision process.
This time a reverse outline was a way of finding my way back to writing after a family tragedy, and another step toward preventing my grief from keeping my words bottled up.
Will a reverse outline work for everyone? Nope. If you are detailed outliner and are able to stick to your outline religiously, it might be redundant, as a plotser (panter+plotter) it is essential for me. Try it the next time you’re stuck and take advantage of a simple way to assess your story structure.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Off the Rails

Last week my brother in law lost his twenty-five-year struggle with depression. He was an amazing brother-in-law and a wonderful uncle to my kids. He was caring and kind and hella funny. He and I shared a love of film and cinematography, British comedies, and nature. He was brilliant, silly, absolutely fabulous, as queer as I am, and I miss him so damn much.
As a family, we are heartbroken and devastated by his loss. I was close to finishing a manuscript; I had plans to start a new series and write several short stories for anthology calls. Even in my profound grief, all I want to do is curl up with my laptop and write, to immerse myself in my imaginary world where no one dies and pets live forever, my version of self-care. And yet, I’m finding it very hard to concentrate. My focus right now is my wife and kids as we work through this loss as a family.
My wish is that if any of you reading this ever find yourself in that dark place that you hold on and reach out. I know how hard that is, my brother in law was less than fifty feet from us, and it must have seemed like miles to him.

National Crisis Line: 1-800-272-TALK
Local Crisis Line: 330-264-9029
Crisis Text Line: Send a text message to 741-741

Trans Lifeline

https://www.translifeline.org

The Hotline: 877-565-8860

Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. Our vision is to fight the epidemic of trans suicide and improve overall life-outcomes of trans people by facilitating justice-oriented, collective community aid.

The Trevor Project

www.thetrevorproject.org/

Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

On-Line Resources for Mental Health Support & Suicide Prevention