I finished proofing the galleys of Once Upon Stilettos last night, and I still like this book. I can't wait for everyone to get a chance to read it. I really do think it's better than Enchanted, Inc., which was one of my goals in writing it. If I'm going to do a series, I don't want it to be one that just coasts on the previous books. I want each book to be better than the one that came before it. I think I only changed a couple of things that were my own word choices, so I believe my own writing is cleaner this time around. Otherwise, all my changes had to do with continuing to clean up the wacky copy edit so that everything would be consistent. I did the last half of the book just about straight through last night because I couldn't put it down, so that's a fair warning on this book when it comes out -- if it's getting late, stop before the halfway point or you may end up staying up all night.
Of course, this puts the pressure on for the next book. I have to make it even better.
It appears that the Dutch version of Enchanted, Inc. is now in bookstores because I've received my first e-mail from a Dutch reader. It was in English, fortunately, because Dutch isn't one of my languages. I don't know a word of it. It's supposedly similar to German, but I can't read the signs in the Netherlands, which makes it a disconcerting place for me to travel. I get around well in Germany (I don't speak the language, but I can get by in reading it). I can even cope with basic signage in French and Italian because it's similar enough to Spanish in a lot of cases, plus all that liturgical Latin I've picked up from singing in church choirs. I'm not used to being in places where I can't read the signs, so my last visit to the Netherlands was a little unnerving, considering I was navigating. Fortunately, I remembered a lot from a childhood visit and was able to get around Amsterdam reasonably well, and everyone there speaks pretty good English if you get lost and need help. I suppose I'll have to respond in English, and keep it simple. I've learned from my discussions with the Chinese translator just how much idiom (mostly Southernisms and Texanisms) seeps into my language without me even realizing it.
I'm still trying to put together a "soundtrack" for book three, and it's something of a challenge. I keep finding perfect songs for early in book four, but book three is harder to get a grasp on. That's got me a little worried. I'm sure it will come together as I work on it. I had absolutely zero soundtrack for Enchanted, Inc.. Some of this soundtrack thing is purely a procrastination exercise. I do have music picked out for some of the key scenes.
But first, I have some revisions to do on my Desperate Housewives essay, and I need to go back over my book three proposal. There might be some household repairs to do this weekend (and would you believe, with all the wrenches I have, I don't seem to have an adjustable crescent wrench?). And then I plunge into the book on Monday. I'm scared and excited.
Meanwhile, if you're trying to hang onto the Halloween spirit, this week's Out of the Blogosphere book is for you. The book is His Dark Desires by Jennifer St. Giles.
"You are in danger. Trust no one." The terrifying words from a mysterious letter echo in Juliet Bucheron's mind. Destitute ever since her husband disappeared in the Civil War, Juliet has turned her New Orleans ancestral home into a boarding house -- despite the rumors of ghosts, the whispers of scandal, and the stain of murder. But even more unsettling is Juliet's new tenant, a handsome stranger named Stephen Trevelyan. Wealthy, educated, and seductively compelling, Stephen fills Juliet's heart with uncontrollable longing -- and her head with suspicion. Something, she senses, is lurking beneath the surface. And someone is stalking the hallways after midnight. As the danger draws nearer, Juliet wonders if she can really trust Stephen. But as he pulls her closer, she knows she cannot resist him...no matter what the price.
Spooky! For more info, visit Jennifer's web site here.