I’m Still Writing… and Rambling…

I haven’t quit the book world or anything… or the blog world. Well, I’ve taken a huge step back from the blog world, and I apologize. There are just too many social “touch points” these days, and I feel I’m spread too thin. Lately – and I mean in the past three months “lately” – I’ve decided to put my novel writing above everything else. I did participate in NaNoWriMo in 2018, and I did win with over 83,000 words for the month of November. It didn’t really make up for the rest of the year, when I wrote about 16,000 words I threw out, but I have to move forward and not look back.

I’m spending time with Max Scott right now. Most of you don’t know him well – Love Like We Do wasn’t a popular series of mine, but he’s the one talking to me, so he’s the one who gets my time and attention. It’s the life of a (this) writer, what can I say? Love Like We Do was a passion project of mine. All the books since have been, in fact, and all of them have been well received by my very-very-inner-circle, and that’s about it.

The fact that very few people read Love Will and In the Wake of Wanting put me into a tailspin at the end of 2016, if I’m honest. That, with everything else going on in the world at the time, I found myself in a bad place creative and emotionally. The book I’m working on now, Make Waves, was conceived in that time, but it was completely different. I started and stopped this story about four times, and I am so happy I never continued with earlier drafts. It is so much better now. There’s humor and love, and that wouldn’t have been present before.

I did write nearly 100k words in 2017, too, in another book. It’s a keeper… it’s about Livvy and Jon, mainly. 🙂 Once it’s finished, it will come out after my current one. That’s where it goes chronologically…

And then there’s one more planned in the Hollandtown universe. I suspect it will be the last one in the timeline.

That’s not to say I won’t go back and work on Steven’s series. I still love his stories, but I literally started them nearly 10 years ago… style-wise, I’ve changed. It’s intimidating to have to rewrite from scratch.

So… what I’m saying is that beyond the three books I have planned, my publishing future is up in the air. I know I’ll continue writing because it’s a part of my soul and it’s what brings me joy, but I don’t know if publishing is the right path. I don’t like the marketing. Signings are incredibly difficult for me. And keeping everyone constantly engaged with social media posts and emails and blogs and books and books and books… well, it’s never been sustainable with my job-job. It was my dream to make fiction writing my job-job, but I make more in two hours at my job-job than I do in a month with books nowadays. And believe me, I’m not boasting about my awesome job-job salary here. My book sales are that bad. (For all you new writers, this is what happens when you slack off in all the ways I mentioned above – there were a few months I tripled my monthly salary selling books, so… it’s a fickle business.)

Anyway. Progress is being made. There WILL be a new book this year. Possibly two. If you’re fans of the Emi and Choisie series, you will NOT want to miss the one after Make Waves. It has feels like you won’t believe.

You’ve all been warned, and hopefully your patience will be rewarded.

Now, let’s see what happens when I try to post this thing without a picture, because this is where my efforts run out today.

Four Free Ebooks! November 3-7


From November 3-7, I’m GIVING AWAY the first books in four of my series! Click on any of the links to learn more about each book. And for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, all of my books are in the program, so you can read for free anytime! DON’T MISS OUT!

-`ღ´-   LOST AND FOUND | Emi Lost & Found – Book 1   -`ღ´-

-`ღ´-   CONTESSA | Choisie – Book 1   -`ღ´- 

-`ღ´-   CROSSROADS | Love Will – Prequel Novella   -`ღ´-

-`ღ´-   LOVE LIKE WE DO (SIDE A) | Love Like We Do – Book 1   -`ღ´- 


My NaNoWriMo 2017 (Winning) Schedule

So, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It happens every November, and the challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Well, we all know my novels don’t fit in 50,000 words, so I just aim to write part of a novel in 30 days.

Mathematically, that breaks down to 1,667 words-per-day. I normally try to stay on pace with this, at least, but being the overachiever that I am, I like to stay ahead of that.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may have noticed that I took some time off from writing. Now, I’ve been writing bits and pieces of things behind the scenes, but I haven’t been consistently working on anything specific, and I certainly haven’t been talking about anything publicly. (This blog is living proof–well, except for the novella that was released. And yes, I *will* get around to making a paperback for that someday.) The point is, I had gotten out of the habit of writing, and I was fearful committing myself to NaNoWriMo this year.

But I knew I had to. For the sake of the stories, the characters, and my own sanity, I knew I had to.

So, I devised my own schedule. November (on the calendar) worked out perfectly this year, considering weekends and my company’s (and many others) corporate holidays.

If I wrote 1,000 words every word day, and 3,000 words every day I didn’t have to work, I would end up writing 50,000 words. That would mean that it would look like I was behind the standard schedule for most of the time, and that would be something my overachiever brain would just have to accept… because I’d catch up on weekends, and maybe even get ahead.

Well, it worked! I did get ahead a few times, took one day off during the month, and finished on the 28th!

For those of us who work and can’t take time off, I think this is a very workable schedule to go with. Or, if you’re struggling getting back into writing, the 1,000 word-a-day schedule is quite realistic. Then you just have to push yourself on the weekends. Sometimes, I’d break up my Saturday and Sunday sessions by cooking or taking a nap. It really made a difference for me.

I think I like the pace, and now that I’m well into the story, I think I’m going to keep it up… maybe go for a 50,000-word December.

Happy writing!

(It Happened) One Friday is here!

I tried to be proactive. I wanted the book to publish on Friday, and Amazon says it can take 72 hours to publish… so I was giving it plenty of time.

And then it took one whole hour. It took less time for Trey and Zaina to… well, you know. Or wait! You don’t! You haven’t read it yet! Why are you still here!!? Go read it! http://amzn.to/2vYEiRs


(IT HAPPENED) ONE FRIDAY  | $0.99 ebook

He did it. After everything they’d been through, Callen McNare crossed the line into a territory from which there was no coming back. Max Scott was always patient and loyal, but he’s not quick to forgive or forget.

And for Zaina Mishra, she finally got her wish. Trey Holland did it. They did it–after two and a half years of waiting. It was all that she wanted, but maybe not all she’d really hoped for in the end.

They were four friends from high school on a trip to paradise after graduation. They were two couples in love.

There was always a possibility that everything would change some day.

It happened one Friday.


Cover Reveal: (It Happened) One Friday

Daniela at DCP Designs is amazing. What can I say? I told her I wanted a text-y cover because I had looked for the perfect image for over a year, and what did she go and do? She found the perfect image AND produced the perfect text to go with it–and only by knowing the bare minimum about the book. Needless to say, I feel blessed to know this incredibly talented woman. So I won’t make y’all wait any longer… here is the cover for (It Happened) One Friday. Below it, you’ll find the description, too!


He did it. After everything they’d been through, Callen McNare crossed the line into a territory from which there was no coming back. Max Scott was always patient and loyal, but he’s not quick to forgive or forget.

And for Zaina Mishra, she finally got her wish. Trey Holland did it. They did it–after two and a half years of waiting. It was all that she wanted, but maybe not all she’d really hoped for in the end.

They were four friends from high school on a trip to paradise after graduation. They were two couples in love.

There was always a possibility that everything would change some day.

It happened one Friday.


Add it to your TBR shelf on Goodreads today!


  • Is it a standalone? No.
  • Where does it fall in the lineup of your books? Ideally, between Love Will and In the Wake of Wanting.
  • When’s it coming out? Soon. I’m editing it now.
  • Is it up for preorder? No. Will it be? I don’t think so, but if I change my mind, I’ll post about it here!
  • How much will it cost? 99¢.
  • Where can I buy it when it’s out? It will be Kindle-exclusive for at least the first 90 days.
  • How long is it? About 25,000 words.
  • Will there be ARCs? I don’t think so. Why not? Because it’s been so long since I’ve released anything and I’m just excited to get something out there.

Reflections on Naming Characters

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time now–years, actually. I do something rather self-indulgent when I write. I know many people (friends, acquaintances, readers) think I do it for them, but I get something out of it, too, that’s pretty special.

I name characters after people I know. When I first started writing, the first character I named after a friend was Teresa, who was Emi’s best friend. Well, Teresa was my best friend at the time, too, and I wanted to honor her with a permanent place in my books. Over the next few years of writing Emi Lost & Found, I named quite a few characters after people I knew. Melisa, Chris, Andrew, Brandon… those are just a handful of characters from that series that were named after either friends, peers or former coworkers.

I did the same with the Choisie series and carried it throughout Love Like We Do, Love Will and In the Wake of Wanting. In fact, the women in the Brothers Night scene in Love Like We Do (side a) were all my beta readers of that series – Daniella (Daniela Conde), Angila (Angela Meyer), Nicky (Nikki Haw), and Kristi (Christi Curtis). Do I model these characters after the people? No. That’s not what’s important. Just having their names jump off the page at me is what I love to see. After all, I’m writing fiction. 🙂

As I re-read my books–and if any of you know me, you know I do it often–it’s sort of like a time capsule for me. I get to see who was important in my life as I was writing each of these books. In 10 or 20 years when I read these again, I’m going to remember each of these people with such fondness, even if I’ve lost touch with them – and sadly, I have lost touch with many of them already.

I accept that people come into our lives for different reasons and that not everyone is here to stay forever… but having a little part of these important people in my books will keep the memories of them with me for as long as I can read.

Side note to Katie and Clarinda, my two besties… Katie, I named a character after you before I met you… Kaydra… and she was so much like you in spirit (and her nickname is Katie) that I couldn’t name another after you. Although I haven’t finished her book, she’s still a part of my universe. Clarinda, I just haven’t found the right character for you. You’re not a side character. You’re too special for that, but I think you knew that already.

All of my books are now exclusively on Kindle!

This means that if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read them ALL for free!

The Emi Lost & Found series? Free to read in KU, or buy the whole series for under $12.


The Choisie series? Free to read in KU, or buy the whole series for under $16.


All of the brothers’ books? Free to read in KU, or buy all five for under $17.


And don’t forget about Number Seven and Hollandtown Extras! They’re in the program, too!

Find them all on Amazon!

A look back at young Will


I’ve had a little trouble writing recently. I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anyone. So I decided to write something that was a little self-indulgent. Something that would make me feel good. I was happiest when I was writing Will, so I returned to him.

This is just a little short story in what may become a compilation. I have this title… Belong: Love Letters to the Hollands. The concept is that different characters would write about the moment that they were accepted into the Holland family. Since so many of my recent stories are about characters outside the family, yet so close to them, I thought it would be interesting to think of those solitary moments. Those days or nights that changed their lives.

I’m impulsively posting this tonight, and it’s not edited. I just wanted to share a little love with all of you. So here is Will’s love letter. 🙂 Enjoy.

[Spoilers ahead!]
Continue reading “A look back at young Will”

Sale on all single-title novels through Saturday!

I rarely have sales, but I’m so happy to have all of my books back on Nook and iBooks (as well as Kindle) and I’m super excited about this weekend’s Holidays with the Belles signing that I just had to celebrate with some low prices. All of my single-title novels have been marked down to $1.99… they’ll be going back up to $3.99 on Sunday, so make sure you take advantage of this sale now!

You can find my books here:
Amazon: bit.ly/LoriOnAmazon
Nook: bit.ly/LoriOnNook
iBooks: bit.ly/LoriOniBooks

And don’t just hoard them! READ them!! Thanks!


I’m still here…

But I don’t feel like me. I can’t believe it’s been over two and a half months since my last post. I had to clear off cobwebs from the site and everything, but it was nice to see that everything was where I left it.

I have so many things to say, but I feel stifled and silenced. I’ve left politics off my blog, but they exist in every other facet of my life. I feel I can be my most authentic self on Twitter, but I am not the person I want to be on Facebook anymore. I am a shell of myself, and it has put me into this depressed state that I can’t seem to escape from. I share stories that reflect my opinions but rarely do I actually share my opinions in my own words. I don’t feel like I can anymore.  People already dislike me for my beliefs.

These are people I didn’t know six years ago when I was just Lori Otto, a girl who was editing stories that her friends were excited to read. All I did was publish some books and then write some more. Somehow, strangers became interested in my personal life, and against forces of nature, my introverted self let them in.

I was different back then. I’ll be the first to admit it. But writing books allows me to self-reflect. Writing teaches me more about myself and gives me a stronger sense of who I am. If you’re a writer, you probably understand this. My beliefs are interwoven in every damn book I’ve written. It was subtle in the beginning, but in 2015, they became blatant and in-your-face. I knew I’d lose some readers, but I felt authentic, and I was okay with that. I was content with my decision.

I didn’t know I’d lose friends. But I have. And for the past 9 months, I’ve been struggling with this concept of friendship and what it really is, anyway.

I have so many things to say, but I feel stifled and silenced.