Writing Hours in February 2015

flowers-of-apple-tree-1445312-mMarch has begun and with it, spring. Maybe not all over the world, but we had gorgeous sunshine here in southwestern Germany today.

February seemed to be over in the blink of an eye. I had two new books out within one week–the paranormal romance novel Good Enough to Eat, which I co-wrote with fellow Ylva author Alison Grey, and Auf schmalem Grat, the German version of my romantic suspense novel Conflict of Interest.

I was also busy working on my work-in-progress, Damage Control. I’m excited to say that I’m very close to finishing the novel–just two more chapters to go. I really love these characters, and I already decided that one of the minor characters, Jill, deserves her own novel. That will be one of my projects for 2016.

Let’s take a look at the numbers for February:

Fiction Writing
Nonfiction Writing
Marketing & Administration
2015 - TOTAL330 hours141 hours4 hours14 hours65 hours554 hours
January175 hours88 hours---5 hours29 hours297 hours
February155 hours53 hours4 hours9 hours36 hours257 hours

Please check back on March 19 for a giveaway!


Writing hours in January 2015

February is halfway over, and I just realize that I haven’t posted the numbers for January yet. Well, better late than never, right?

January was incredibly busy, as anyone I still owe an e-mail can attest to. I got started on writing my new romance novel, Damage Control, on January 1. Now I’m almost 97,000 words into the story…and the two main characters haven’t even kissed yet! I think it’s safe to say that this is going to be one of my longer books.

I also wrote a new short story in January. “The Snow Liger” is part of my shape-shifter series and will be published in the anthology Love Spanks tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day.

Let’s take a look at the numbers for January:

Fiction Writing
Nonfiction Writing
Marketing & Administration
2015 - TOTAL175 hours88 hours0 hours5 hours29 hours297 hours
January175 hours88 hours---5 hours29 hours297 hours

Have a nice weekend, everyone!


Love Spanks 2015: Free short stories


Love Spanks 2015 is over!

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. The winners will be announced on Valentine’s Day, so please check back.

The short stories are no longer available online, but you can find them in the anthology Love Spanks 2015: A Collection of Lesbian Romance Stories. You can pre-order the anthology, which will be available on February 14. 

If you want to read more about the shape-shifting characters from “The Snow Liger,” take a look at my novels Second Nature and True Nature


Second Nature

Second Nature

Novelist Jorie Price doesn’t believe in the existence of shape-shifting creatures or true love. She leads a solitary life, and the paranormal romances she writes are pure fiction for her.

Griffin Westmore knows better—at least about one of these two things. She doesn’t believe in love either, but she’s one of the not-so-fictional shape-shifters. She’s also a Saru, an elite soldier with the mission to protect the shape-shifters’ secret existence at any cost.

When Jorie gets too close to the truth in her latest shape-shifter romance, Griffin is sent to investigate—and if necessary to destroy the manuscript before it’s published and to kill the writer.

About Jae

Jae grew up amidst the vineyards of southern Germany. She spent her childhood with her nose buried in a book, earning her the nickname “professor.” The writing bug bit her at the age of eleven. For the last eight years, she has been writing mostly in English.

She used to work as a psychologist but gave up her day job in December 2013 to become a full-time writer and a part-time editor. As far as she’s concerned, it’s the best job in the world. When she’s not writing, she likes to spend her time reading, indulging her ice cream and office supply addictions, and watching way too many crime shows.

Jae’s Amazon Page

Jae on Facebook

Find a link to all of the other participating authors here! 

My new paranormal romance Good Enough to Eat is available!

Good Enough to Eat1You know the old adage advising people to “never say never”?

I should really take it to heart. When my historical romance Backwards to Oregon was first published and readers kept asking me for a sequel, I always insisted that I’d never write one. Now there’s not only a novel-length sequel, but also several short stories that continue to give us glimpes into the Hamiltons’ lives.

I also always said that I’d never write a book with another writer. I admired writers who could co-author a book, but I never thought it was for me.

Well, you can probably guess what happened… I co-authored a book with another writer. So I hereby proudly present my very first co-written novel, Good Enough to Eat, which has just become available as an e-book.

Good Enough to Eat is a paranormal romance about Robin, a vampirelike creature, who sets a New Year’s resolution not to drink blood fresh from its human source anymore. Others of her kind think she’s crazy, so she’s looking for support in a human AA meeting, where she meets Alana–who turns out to be the ultimate temptation. Alana is also keeping her own secrets… which I don’t want to give away here. You’ll have to read the novel to find out :-)

Here’s how the co-authoring worked in this book: My co-author, Alison Grey, who also publishes with Ylva, and I sat down together and decided on some parameters, e.g., what kind of traits we wanted our vampires to have, as well as the major turning points of the plot. Then I wrote the scenes from Robin’s point of view, while Alison handled the scenes that were written in Alana’s POV.

In the beginning, I admit that I was a bit skeptical that co-authoring a book would work for me. I’m a tiny bit territorial about my writing and my characters, so I wasn’t too sure about letting another writer play in my fictional sandbox. But, as it turned out, I needn’t have worried. No blood was shed in the making of this novel. Well, there is some bloodshed *in* the novel, but that’s different.

It was fun getting a new scene that Alison had just written. I was often amazed at an unexpected twist she’d given the scene, which then sparked interesting ideas for my own scenes. I think it turned out a different, more interesting book than if I’d written it by myself. So once Alison and I find some time in between our own projects, we’ll definitely write a sequel.

See? I learned to never say never!

For now, Good Enough to Eat is available as a DRM-free e-book via Amazon, but it’ll soon also be available at many other online bookstores in different formats and also as a paperback.

Happy reading!


Writing Hours in December 2014

Composite image of 2014 and 2015The new year is a few days old already, and I just realized that I haven’t posted the numbers for December yet.

At the end of the month, it’s been one year since I became a full-time writer–and what an incredible year!

I spend the last month of 2014 mostly working to finish my nonfiction book, Goal Setting for Writers. I got some great feedback from my beta readers, and the manuscript is now with the editor.

I also did a lot of research for my newest romance novel, Damage Control, which I started on January 1. I’m already 8,000 words into the story, so I’d say doing the research beforehand paid off.

Let’s take a look at the numbers for December and the entire year 2014:

Fiction Writing
Nonfiction Writing
Marketing & Administration
2014 - TOTAL973 hours540 hours279 hours371 hours388 hours2,551 hours
January75 hours60 hours1 hour--30 hours171 hours
February48 hours70 hours35 hours--17 hours170 hours
March50 hours41 hours47 hours--12 hours150 hours
April109 hours31 hours48 hours--40 hours228 hours
May102 hours48 hours28 hours37 hours39 hours254 hours
June75 hours7 hours--8 hours15 hours105 hours
July61 hours15 hours4 hours7 hours15 hours102 hours
August121 hours54 hours15 hours40 hours62 hours292 hours
September88 hours40 hours17 hours111 hours28 hours274 hours
October100 hours65 hours23 hours55 hours35 hours278 hours
November99 hours64 hours25 hours25 hours45 hours258 hours
December45 hours45 hours36 hours88 hours50 hours264 hours

That’s more than double the 1,108 hours of writing and editing I did in 2013, so I’m happy to see that I didn’t slack off during my first year as a full-time writer.

Check back at the beginning of February for the January numbers and also for a free short story that I’m writing for an exciting Valentine’s Day event, Love Spanks, which is put together by the amazing Anastasia Vitsky. There’ll be great prizes, so you might want to participate.

Have a nice Sunday, everyone!


My one-year anniversary as a full-time writer

Today, it’s my one-year anniversary of going full time as a writer! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. It’s been an amazing year, and I’m glad to say that I never regretted my decision even for a second.

So, after 365 days of being a bona fide full-time writer, I think I’m qualified to answer the questions that I asked other full-time writers on my blog last year.

How long have you been writing full-time?

One year exactly! December 21, 2013, was my last day of working as a psychologist, and I started writing full time the day after.

What was the process of moving into full-time writing for you?

I published my first book, Backwards to Oregon, with L-Book at the end of 2007. I published a total of five books with L-Book, but then started over and republished second editions of my “old” books when I switched publishers and joined Ylva Publishing in 2012. At that time, I never thought for a minute that I’d ever be able to write full time. It’s been a lifelong dream, but one I never thought would come true. But then my sales started to take off, so I handed in my letter of resignation in May 2013 and started counting the days…

tripDo you write every day? Do you give yourself weekends or days off or vacation time away from writing?

I work on my stories every day. Sometimes, that means writing; other days, it means researching, plotting, or revising my manuscripts. I rarely take weekends off. I know I should, but I haven’t gotten around to it. That’s one of the disadvantages of being a full-time writer—your place of work is your home, so it becomes harder to separate work from free time. But my job is the best in the world, so I’m not complaining.

I did take some time off to go on a 5-week trip, visiting L.A., Cambria, San Francisco, and Portland in July, and I only got a little writing in every now and then.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I’m usually at the computer by eight and start working on my stories right away. That’s one thing that I learned early on this year—if I start by checking e-mails, I’ll be sucked into the big trap that’s called the Internet. I write or rewrite in the mornings and leave the marketing, social media, and e-mails for the afternoons.

I also work as an editor for Ylva Publishing, so I reserve a couple of hours in the afternoons and early evenings for editing manuscripts, supervising other editors, and communicating with our authors.

I usually try to wrap up work around eight—TRY being the operative word. If there’s any proofreading to do on one of my manuscripts, I mostly do that in the evening.

Do you have a daily word-count goal or a set number of hours you spend writing?

I do have a word-count goal when I’m working on a first draft. I’m aiming for 2,000 words a day or at least 12,000 words a week. Since I’m a slow writer, I don’t always make it, but writing is a marathon, not a sprint, so in the end, persistence wins.

If I’m not working on first drafts, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. are my office hours.

officeWhere do you write?

Most of the time, I write in my office. I moved to a new apartment in March and for the first time in my life have a separate office with enough space for a nice, big desk and bookcases.

How did family and friends react to you giving up your day job to become a full-time writer?

You’d think they would discourage me from giving up my job to become a starving artist, but my friends and my sister were incredibly encouraging and supportive. I doubt I would have taken that big, scary step when I did if not for their encouragement.

How much time do you spend promoting your books, including blogging, social media, etc.?

Since I keep track of my working hours, I can tell you that I spent 338 hours in the first eleven months of 2014 on marketing—so about one hour a day. Usually, most of that is spent answering reader e-mails, blogging, or posting on Facebook. I enjoy all of that, actually. To me, it’s more keeping in touch with my readers than doing promotion.

What’s the best thing about being a full-time writer?

Getting up every morning and knowing that I will be able to spend the day doing what I’m meant to be doing.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a full-time writer?

At times, I have so many different projects going that it’s hard to juggle all the deadlines as well as my responsibilities as an editor. Right now, for example, one of my novels is in the production stage, two novels, one nonfiction book, and one short story are being edited; I’m plotting my next novel and doing research for another one.

It might sound funny, but despite being a full-time writer, I still don’t have enough time to write all the stories I want to write. But that’s a good thing, since it means I won’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

Is there anything you wish you would have known before becoming a full-time writer?

If I could travel through time and tell my past self two things, it would be:

1. Do your writing first thing in the morning (I used to think I’m a night-owl writer, but found out that it was just out of necessity).

2. Don’t be scared to take that leap—actually, take it sooner!

What advice would you give a fellow author who wants to write full time?

Build a quality backlist first—no one I know can live off just one book. Take the time to learn everything you can about the writing craft and the writing business. Build a writing habit that will make sure that you can publish new works regularly. Maybe do a trial run to see if writing full time is really what you want to do with your life. Since writing is a solitary job, make sure to build a network of friends and fellow writers that will support you with advice and encouragement.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest novel?

Under a Falling Star is a story that starts shortly before Christmas, when Austen—who has just started a new job as a secretary—takes over decorating the company Christmas tree. Dee, the company’s COO and a bit of a control freak, doesn’t like the way the lights are positioned, so she tries to rearrange them, and the star-shaped tree topper comes crashing down on her. Not knowing who Dee is, Austen takes her to the ER and promptly falls in love with her. A relationship between them is pretty much impossible, especially since Austen is not amused when she finds out that Dee is practically her boss…

What books can we look forward to from you in the future?

Good Enough to Eat, the vampire romance I co-wrote with Alison Grey, will be out at the beginning of February. I will also publish a nonfiction book—Goal Setting for Writers—under my real name in March, and a new contemporary romance set in Hollywood—Damage Control—will come out next summer.

Happy holidays to everyone and thanks for accompanying me through my first year as a full-time writer!


Giveaway of lesbian fiction series!

It’s not Christmas yet, but Ylva Publishing keeps handing out great gifts. Today, they’re giving away entire lesbian fiction series as e-book bundles.


Among them are:

  • My Oregon Series (Backwards to Oregon, Beyond the Trail, Hidden Truths, Lessons in Love and Life)
  • My Shape-Shifter Series (Second Nature, True Nature, Manhattan Moon, Natural Family Disasters, Nature of the Pack, Pigeon Post)
  • RJ Nolan’s L.A. Metro Series
  • Paulette Callen’s Charity Series
  • Erzabet Bishop’s Sigil Fire Series
  • Lois Cloarec Hart’s Calgary Chronicles


If you want to win one of these e-book bundles, head over to Ylva Publishing’s blog and leave a comment.

Happy holidays to everyone who’s celebrating Christmas!


Win a lesbian fiction novel in Ylva Publishing’s giveaway!

Advent_2Ylva Publishing is having another holiday giveaway, giving away free e-book copies of their lesbian romance novels and anthologies.

Today, they are giving away…

  • Still Life by L.T. Smith
  • The Return by Ana Matics
  • Sigil Fire by Erzabet Bishop
  • Unwrap These Presents, a holiday anthology that includes my short story “Christmas Road Trip”
  • All You Can Eat, a foodie-romance anthology that includes my short story “Whining and Dining”
  • One long-sleeved shirt with the cover of The Return
  • One T-shirt with the cover of Sigil Fire
  • One mug featuring the cover of Unwrap These Presents

To enter the drawing, just head over to the Ylva Publishing blog and leave a comment.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!


Writing hours in November 2014

Winner-2014-Twitter-ProfileHard to believe that it’s already December and Christmas is just three weeks away. Maybe it would help if we had any snow to make it feel more like the holiday season, but so far, not a single snowflake in sight over here, just dreary, damp weather.

Well, it’s good weather for staying in and writing, though.

November has been another productive month. I slayed the word count dragon during NaNoWriMo, finishing the vampire novel Good Enough to Eat that I’m co-authoring with Alison Grey. Yes, you heard that right. Our little novella did indeed turn into a novel of 65,000 words. Not that anyone was really surprised, since I seem to make a habit of turning novellas (or short stories) into novels :-)

We have already started translating it into German. Speaking of German, the German version of Under a Falling Star (titled Vorsicht, Sternschnuppe) has been published in November, and it’s selling really well.

I worked hard on the first book of my writers’ guide series, Goal Setting for Writers, and I’m about to send it to my beta readers. I posted a request for test readers on Facebook, and within a few hours, I had a dozen volunteers. So now I’m looking forward to a lot of feedback, especially since this is the first nonfiction book I’m writing.

On the editing side, I worked on the German translation of RJ Nolan’s L.A. Metro this month and also on Caren Werlinger’s wonderful Turning for Home.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Fiction Writing
Nonfiction Writing
Marketing & Administration
2014 - TOTAL928 hours495 hours243 hours283 hours338 hours2,287 hours
January75 hours60 hours1 hour--30 hours171 hours
February48 hours70 hours35 hours--17 hours170 hours
March50 hours41 hours47 hours--12 hours150 hours
April109 hours31 hours48 hours--40 hours228 hours
May102 hours48 hours28 hours37 hours39 hours 254 hours
June75 hours7 hours--8 hours15 hours105 hours
July61 hours15 hours4 hours7 hours15 hours102 hours
August121 hours54 hours15 hours40 hours62 hours292 hours
September88 hours40 hours17 hours111 hours28 hours274 hours
October100 hours65 hours23 hours55 hours35 hours278 hours
November99 hours64 hours25 hours25 hours45 hours258 hours

Check back on Sunday for the new Ylva giveaway and later this month for the publication of “The Midnight Couch,” my new short story about a radio psychologist.

Have a good rest of the week!


Win a lesbian romance novel in the Ylva Publishing giveaway!

Every Sunday from now until Christmas, Ylva Publishing is giving away free e-books.

Today, you can win a copy of my newest lesbian romance, Under a Falling Star (which is a good fit for the pre-Christmas season!), Heart’s Surrender by Emma Weimann, Bitter Fruit by Lois Cloarec Hart, and Barring Complications by Blythe Rippon.


You can also win a cap with the cover of Ana Matics’s The Return, one cap with the cover of KL Hughes’s Popcorn Love, a T-shirt with the cover of Lois Cloarec Hart’s Bitter Fruit, and one T-shirt with the cover of Popcorn Love.

Participating is really easy. All you have to do is head over to the Ylva blog and leave a comment.

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to subscribe to Ylva Publishing’s blog to make sure you don’t miss any of the upcoming giveaways. They will also be doing a giveaway of signed paperbacks on Christmas, so it’s worth checking back!

Have a great Sunday,


Created by Krystel Contreras & Jorge Courbis