I’m very excited to have finished the first draft of Heart of Steele, book 2 of the Hot Country Series. Last night, I wrote the closing line of the story, counted how many words I’d written (59,000) and started my computer’s backup.
When I write, I go as fast as I can, getting the story written, dialogue, and some description as I type. This is what I call my rough draft, because it’s not polished and perfect, it’s just the bare bones of the story.
My next task is to leave the manuscript alone for a few days. I use this time to reflect on what I’ve written, let the characters tell me more about themselves, and consider the points I might have missed in the book.
For instance, this morning, I woke and lay in bed letting my subconscious speak to me. It told me I needed to make a few changes. Instead of having Tracy call her friend Reno, I needed to make it a video chat. I also realized when Steele called Chase, he never mentioned either of Chase’s life-changing events, so I wrote those in. And when Steele is talking to his father, I saw that he missed asking a very important question.
I’ll go through this process for a few days, making notes and implementing changes, until I think I’ve got everything in place, then I do a rewrite. I go through the entire book and add details. Some authors call it ‘fleshing out the characters.’ Adding more insight into the characters emotions, adding little details about setting and characteristics, and putting little hints in the story about what will be coming later.
When I have the book the way I want it, I send it to my editor. She’s amazing! She reads it through for content, continuity, flow, characterization, and readability. Then I rewrite it again implementing her suggestions.
Back it goes to my editor for a final readthrough for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Then it’s my turn again. Next it’s my beta reader who is wonderful at catching little things that my editor and I missed. Then my final proofreader, my husband, Kick.
I know that’s cruel and unusual punishment, but he makes suggestions from the male point of view that really polish the book to a high-gloss.
It’s done! All that’s left is to format it and publish it.
Then the promotional fun begins, but that’s a whole separate blog!
Here’s a little snippet of an unedited Heart of Steele.
Tracy shivered as she stood in the warm water up to her knees. Anticipation puckered her nipples and clenched her core.
In seconds, Steele had taken off his shirt and pants, and had his thumbs hooked in the waistband of his black underwear. His bulge pushed the fabric tight, far, far out front of his hips. He was a big one. “You sure?” His eyes narrowed as his body tensed.
“I’m sure.” She tried to smile, but waves of lust radiated from her core and made conscious movement impossible.
He stripped off his underwear and strode toward her. Hard, long, and thick, his cock bobbed with each step. The mushroom-shaped head begging for her to suck it. “You look at me that way, I’m not gonna have much restraint, sugar.”
“Good. I want you that way.” She reached for him as he stepped in, and she slid her wet body along his dry, hard one. Against her belly, his shaft pressed hot and demanding.
His hands caressed her shoulders, down her arms, as his breathing became faster. “Damn, you’re beautiful.”
Tracy slicked her dripping palms over his big shoulders, down his arms, loving the corded muscles as they flexed with his movements.
He touched her hips where they barely flared, then cupped her ass cheeks. She wasn’t lush and curvy like Reno, but he seemed to like her the way she was.
“You’re perfect.” He kissed her, his tongue gliding along hers, twisting with it. Pressing a kiss to the corner of her mouth, he threaded his fingers into her hair, nearly pulling it lose from the clip holding it up. “I’ve wanted you, Tracy. For a while, now.”
His words sent fresh shivers along her flesh.
He kissed her jaw, her neck, then lower until he took the peak of her breast into his mouth.
Tracy grabbed his hair, holding on as he suckled her and nipped at her. Tingles of desire raced to her belly and lower, heating her and swelling the tender flesh between her legs.
His hand slid down her back to caress her bottom, his fingers moving lower, exploring deeper. Arching her back, she opened herself to his probing touch.
Releasing her nipple, he kissed a trail to her other breast and licked it, circling kisses until he took her peak between his teeth and flicked it with his tongue.
Her hips jerked and she cried out, the sound echoing on the tiles.
Using his fingertips, he explored her anal opening, rubbing softly. He stroked lower, along her bare pussy lips.
Her legs quivered, the need to wrap them around him nearly making her stumble.
Steele nibbled his way down her belly, knelt, and nuzzled the tender spot just above her mound. He lifted her leg and eased it onto his shoulder. “Hang on to me, sugar.”
Sliding one hand from his hair to his shoulder, she propped herself up. Under her palm, his muscles bunched and his skin felt so hot, she was surprised the water on her hand didn’t sizzle.
Leaning back, he looked at her.
Watch for Heart of Steele later in February.
Have a great day,
“Rode Hard and Put Up Satisfied”
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