Showing posts from 2021

I Did A Thing! But I'm still writing books too...

 So...I am learning coding languages. Ruby and JavaScript in particular. I posted my story HERE on Romancing the Code . And HERE  on Medium .  BTW, I have a new book releasing early January! SO happy and excited! That is all. :-) Happy almost Christmas! Did you put up your tree yet? A marriage of convenience is the only way to save her family… Widow Sophia Seymour never planned to marry again—let alone become a duchess. But with her father missing and her family impoverished, an old betrothal contract promising her hand to a notorious duke is her only hope. And Edmund DeVane intends to honor the agreement—in name only. After all, Edmund needs a wife with an impeccable reputation to protect his debuting niece. But as their arrangement starts to feel much more real, can their budding love survive Edmund’s deepest secret?

The So-What? Factor (Reposted)

I ran across a great article the other day HERE . And almost ten years later (hello 2021), that post is still up! It mentions a bunch of cool things but a particular idea caught my attention. It's the SO WHAT factor. From the post: " It's easy to confuse concept with plot, and that's not it. Because that leaves out something that Lisa Cron's recent book WIRED FOR STORY calls the "'so what?' factor." She goes on to explain that the "so what?" factor is what clues a reader in on the point of the story, the relevance of everything that happens in it, what the story is about ." Basically, why should we care? Empathy is SO important in books. I think empathy and curiosity are the two biggest things that will keep a reader turning pages.  What do you think? If you've got a WIP, check out your first page and ask yourself if it piques curiosity or empathy. Think of a book you couldn't put down. What kept you reading? How

Fictional Heroes who made me say, "Mmmmmm!" And still do! (Repost)

Good old Uncle Jesse...this is the first fictional character who I remember making my elementary heart pitter patter. Full House was my favorite show, and now you know why. Who could resist a guy like Uncle Jesse? He loved his nieces, played a guitar, rode a motorcycle, had a great sense of humor and of course, there was the leather coat. :-) The character of Rick O'Connell captured my imagination as a teen and made me want to be a librarian, just so I could daydream about some daring, funny adventurer falling in love with me. Damon is one of those characters in need of redemption, but the first thing I loved about him was his loyalty to the woman he loved. It was unshakable. That warms this woman's heart!  I'm 38 now, and Damon still makes me *swoon* Which heroes (in tv or in books) grabbed your attention? What was it about them that made you never forget them?

You Are A Story (Repost)

How do you view people? I didn't have much interest in people as a kid. Once I discovered books (kindergarten, guys), the life within them seemed more real than the bustle around me. I cared for and liked people but I didn't really see them as interesting. Until I landed a job at my local newspaper. As a freelancer, my editor expected a story on a person every two weeks to grace our Neighbors section, and it needed to be interesting. The story was supposed to focus on a local resident's unique skill or talent.  I was blind, not understanding, wondering how I could find these "special" people. My editor forever changed my perspective. He told me every person has something unique, something special about themselves, even if they don't know it. It was my job to find that slant and spotlight it.  Now everyone I meet I'm full of curiosity about. Who are they? What's their story? Where have they been and where are they going? If you were a story, what g

The Query That Worked (UPDATE and Repost)

This was originally posted in 2014!! Now Dylan has a new book coming out with #Hatchette books! ( How Sweet It Is ) Super exciting, and not a paranormal, which proves that when it comes to writing #queries, she still rocks. Look at this gorgeous cover! Back to the past...Thank you to #author Dylan Newton who shared the #query that landed me my first contract for Love On The Range on her blog today! Dylan is a great person who writes wonderful paranormal romances! In fact, I'm looking forward to reading her next book when it releases! If you want to check out my interview and query, here is the link: You can check out Dylan's books on Amazon or at her website . Have you written a #query yet? How did it fare in the terrifying world of #publishing??

How To Write A Synopsis (Repost)

While it is true that I have sold five books to Love Inspired Historical , I cannot claim any kind of authority on synopsis writing. So it stands that three e-books later and five print books later, I am once again reading articles on how to write a selling synopsis. So the link I used to have on this post changed, so I did a bit of googling (or duck duck going *grin*) and found this gem . I love examples because it's one thing to say how to do it, quite another thing to show how to do it. ( Novel Synopsis Examples: How to Write a Synopsis ( Examples are a great way to compare your synopsis to how others read. See if you can note plot points, transitions, character arcs. And then check your own synopsis for the same things.  Have you written a synopsis yet? Do you like it? How did you learn?

#Freebook! And a contest (BookSweeps)

 Happy Saturday!  Just throwing out a blog post about #freebies so that my GoodReads and Amazon readers will have the info.  I've got a book free on Amazon right now until March 02, 2021. Forever Love is the third book in the Women of Manatee Bay series. :-) The cover and blurb are below and you can buy it HERE . I'm also participating in a BookSweeps #giveaway. Contest details can be found HERE and the graphic below showcases the participants (and there are some well known, awesome authors participating!). Sky-diving instructor Maggie McCormick has a reputation in her small town for living on the wild side. What people don't know is how her painful choices have whittled away at her soul. Determined to be done with romantic relationships, she's ready to focus on a deeper relationship with God. She wants to prove she's different and dreams of opening a home for young mothers. When she stumbles across the perfect property, things seem to be going well until she disc

Rooting for the Bad Guy (Repost)

Wow! This was so long ago that I don't even remember watching this movie with the kiddos. I love rereading this, not just for the characterization perspective, but for the memories. *happy smile* In 2011, I watched Tangled with my kids. As the movie started, my six year old son couldn't help but give me a running dialogue about everything (he's seen it before). The movie introduced the hero, who happened to be stealing.  I asked my son, is the thief the guy Rapunzel falls in love with?  He turned to me, eyes round. "He's not a thief, mom."  "But he's stealing," I pointed out.  "No, no, no, he's not stealing. There are bad guys with him, but he's not stealing at all." My son shook his head and absolutely refused to believe that the good guy was doing a bad thing. I smiled and dropped the subject.  Let him root for the bad guy. I knew that by the end of the story, the thief would be the prince.  Have you ever rooted for someone

Why I Think Napoleon Dynamite Rocks (Repost)

There are a lot of reasons why I love the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Yes, still, even as a forty year old woman.  Those who hate the movie might find this hard to believe, but Napoleon Dynamite is, at heart, about the deep value of relationships and how they  change us. The movie uses Understatement in a major way, which I think makes it slow-paced and boring at the beginning. If you don't finish the movie, it will be hard to like it, imo. At the beginning of the movie, it's as though the major characters are muffled. Their emotions, their expressions, even the tones of their voices contain little emotion. This is where Irony comes into play. Secondary characters at first appear more alive than main ones. But as the story unfolds, as conflicts are introduced and relationships forged, the primary characters become the ones I root for. And by the end of the movie, a very interesting thing happens. The discovered relationship and connection between the main characters has

Conscious and Subconscious Action (Repost)

This is a repost that really makes me want to watch this movie again! :-) A long time ago, I watched The Book of Eli , a futuristic/post-apocalyptic type movie that really fascinated me. I highly recommend it! The main character, Eli, in particular was intriguing. As I watched, I realized how deeply his characterization was based in subconscious and conscious action. The actor (I think it was Denzel Washington?) pulled off the characterization and hooked the viewer by using the smallest details to portray emotion. The writers or producer or maybe it was the actor himself used subconscious and conscious action to make the character come alive. For example, in the movie Eli is traveling when he hears screams. He hides behind something and mutters to himself over and over, "There's nothing I can do." This is a conscious action not to help. He is choosing to remove himself from the situation. His repetition is subconscious though. He's trying to convince himself

Consistent Characterization (Repost)

Good morning, Cyberworld! I'll be reposting some of my old material. Here you go. Updated repost #1. For the month of February, but starting in January (muahahaha), I'll be reposting my thoughts on characterization. Sometimes when I read a series of books where they are all tied into the same family or place, I notice that a main character from a previous book doesn't seem as real when put in a secondary role. It's always disappointing to me that someone I loved becomes such a shadow, as though a secondary character can't be as strong as the current main character. It's not consistent. I read Julie Lessman's A Passion Denied . This is the third book in her Daughters of Boston series and the heroine is the third sister in the family. There's a scene where all three sisters from the book are together in the kitchen and it made me laugh several times. Lessman did something I don't usually see. She managed to keep each character strong an