Thinking out loud….

I love to read. Always have. When I was growing up, my father was addicted to pocket book westerns. I can remember seeing him sit in his rocker and read one a day. Sometimes, I would sit in his lap and he would read to me and I was enthralled by what Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour had to say. That is when I fell in love with the written word. By the time I entered high school I knew that one day, I would be a writer.

I read a book a long time ago that really  made an impression on me. It was written by Louis L’Amour and called Last of the Breed. There are basically only two characters in the book, a Native American Air Force major named Joe Mack and his nemesis a Siberian tracker. Joe crashes in Russia and he gets captured. He escapes prison only to realize he has to get across Siberia to the Bering Strait and has to rely on his wits and ancestral skills to survive. The story is so well written you don’t realize there is almost no dialogue.  I loved it. Still do. A prime example of what a really gifted writer can do. In my humble opinion anyway.

While romance novels of all sub genre are my favorites, I will read anything that catches my eye. As long as the author can hold my interest, I will read about super heroes and super spy’s, dragons and vampires, dukes and earls or cowboys and Indians. If the story is tight, the action fast and the plot intriguing, I’ll keep reading.

What keeps you reading? What will make you put a book down and not finish it?

 

 

Cover Reveal!

Just got the cover for Secrets of the Heart! Just Write Creations did a wonderful job with it! Be  watching for a contest to receive a free ecopy when it is released. No specific date yet but will be May, 2016!  I am so excited!

Promo 1

This entry was posted on March 22, 2016. 4 Comments

Stop and smell the roses….

We have all heard that line at some point in our lives but have you ever really stopped to consider what says? I know in my own life which, even though I am retired and supposedly have all the time in the world, a day ends and I have to really think about what happened in the course of that day.  There are so very many things in life that bring me joy – when I take the time to smell the roses.

I love spending time with my children and grandchildren who I have found to be a great source of joy. Had lunch with one daughter a week or so ago and the other one today and I realized how much I missed that one-on-one time with them.  My son drops by from time to time checking on us but we don’t get to visit like we used to. Everyone is so busy with life that, well time just rushes by and we don’t even see the roses much less stop to enjoy them.

And we need to stop and enjoy them. Those little stops rejuvenate us, give us new purpose, shore up weak spots in our psyche and help us tackle the thorns that litter the path as well.

When was the last time you had an actual family dinner hour where everyone sat down – minus cell phones, iPads, etc – and had a meal together and shared your days events?  When was the last time you took a walk in the rain, went wading in a creek, caught a firefly in a jar or made a dandelion wish? To quote a line from a poem I wrote many years ago….”Those are the things of my youth, you say; I’m too old to go wadin’ and I’m too old to play.”

But are you? Really? The things that brought you peace and joy as a child can still bring that same peace today because of the memories associated with them. So, take the time to smell the roses of life and your life will be the richer for it.

 

 

Who is your hero?

This question came up last night at our writers meeting – who is your hero? I didn’t have to think long to answer. I have two…my mother and my husband. My husband because he supports me in anything I do, encourages me when I doubt myself, is the most generous and compassionate person I know. He even helps me make decorations when I need them (can you say space ships) and never complains – much.

But I have to say my biggest hero was my mother. A stronger woman you will never meet – all five foot nothing of her. Life handed her some hard cards to play but she kept smiling and played them. Her faith was unshakable, even when diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. You never saw her without a smile and I have so many fond memories of her and that laugh. Oh my goodness, you just don’t know!

I learned so much from how she lived her life. I learned to be thankful for what you have and giving back whenever you can; that even the bad times can have some good; never take your friends and family for granted, never miss a chance to say I love you or I’m sorry and if you always keep God first, everything else will fall into place.

But I guess the thing I remember most was her sense of humor. She had some of the best one liners I have ever heard. Like the time someone asked why she was so short; “I’m like a watermelon vine, I didn’t get very high, I just spread out on the ground.” The nickname ‘Little Watermelon’ was born and followed her for over fifty years. Or the time a grouchy patron at the restaurant she worked in asked about items on the seafood menu; “Do you have frog legs?” Without missing a beat she replied, “No, arthritis. That’s why I walk like this.”

As she got older, she had several medical issues including failing eyesight and memory issues but never lost that sense of humor. And she was a talker.  A friend was taking her home from a doctors appointment and missed the turn to her house because they were chatting. Mama didn’t think much about it since there was another route to take but when that was missed too, she asked “Where are we going?” The friend, who hadn’t realized she passed the first turn, said “Mickie, don’t you remember?  I’m taking you home.” Mama looked around and started laughing. “Did I move?”

We all need heroes, today more than ever. Obviously, they are a must for a romance writer, but I think we need them in our daily lives as well. Heroes give us hope, strength, inspiration and let’s face, sometimes make our lil ole hearts go pitty-pat and we need that, too.

So, who’s your hero?

 

This entry was posted on March 12, 2016. 2 Comments

Why go to a writing workshop?

A fellow writer and I were chatting yesterday and she brought up an interesting point. With the vast amount of information available on the internet, why do we (writers) need to attend workshops or conferences which can sometimes be expensive and require travel?

I love surfing the net for information but just because it is out there doesn’t necessarily mean it is correct. There is an unlimited supply of people who profess to be an expert on something when really all they have to recommend them is their own opinion. There is no substitute for factual information presented by a credible authority. Yes, as writers we sometimes bend a fact to suit our particular plot but the basics are correct, and that is what is important in any story.

Even though I have been writing for a while, there is still much I can learn about the craft itself and the finer points of making a good story great. And that is what a workshop or conference can do for you; enhance the skills you have and perhaps provide you with a new one or two.

But what I love most about these learning opportunities is meeting other authors whom I have found to be so willing to share their knowledge and expertise, to mentor and encourage.

And some of these events are not only attended by writers, but readers as well, who  love being able to make connections with their favorite authors or find new ones to follow.

Without readers, there would be no need for writers so thank you one and all!

This entry was posted on March 3, 2016. 2 Comments

It’s almost time….

I am so very excited about the prospect of my debut novel being a reality!  Secrets of The Heart will hopefully be available by May 1st, maybe a little sooner. I will post some snippets starting next week. In the meantime, here is a draft of the back cover:

Nurse Tori Morgan believes comforting patients as they transition from this world to the next is her life’s calling. Emotionally scarred by the death of her only love, she now protects her heart as fiercely as she protects those entrusted to her care. She loved once; she could never love again.

Wade McBride’s simple plan to hire a nurse for his mother goes awry and he is forced to fake a relationship with a stranger to fulfill his mother’s wish that he find true love.

Bulldozed into working together, sparks ignite but old wounds and pain run deep. Are they too much to overcome? The line between deception and reality blurs, compelling them to look beyond the pretense and take the biggest risk of all.

Not everyone is happy about the relationship and new secrets emerge, new dangers threaten.

Can a love born of secrets and lies survive the final truth?

Where’s The Romance?

I am a die-hard romantic. I can’t help it.  I am on my third DVD of Pride and Prejudice – the BBC version and I never get tired of that happily-ever-after feeling at the end. I look around at what is going on in the world today and wonder – where has the romance gone?  Where are the knights in shining armour? Where is the chivalry?

I watch television and listen to what the kids are listening to and I understand. There are no role models for romance anymore. Instead of  Cary Grant, Paul Newman or John Wayne, we have Madonna, Beyoncé and the Kardashians. Well, we do have Richard Gere and Mark Harmon among others but for the most part, there are no romantic or heroic role models for us to emulate. And what about the movies? Instead of Gone With the Wind we have Deadpool and Kung Fu Panda 3. Don’t get me wrong, those are probably great movies but they are not romantic. If a young man takes his girlfriend to see Deadpool, how do we think that night will end?

Maybe we need classes on how to be romantic. Set them up at the local junior college or through some adult education group. I know I would sign my husband up in a heartbeat. A kinder more generous soul you will never meet, but, bless his heart, he hasn’t a romantic bone in his body. I can count on one hand the number of times he has sent me flowers in the last 38 years. Not that he doesn’t care, he just doesn’t think that way.  Yes, a class on how to be romantic would be just the ticket.

And let’s add some chivalry and manners to the curriculum.  We were at dinner the other night and I watched people come and go. Not one man held the chair for the woman to sit, cell phones took center stage during the meal, and no one knew you don’t put your elbows on the table and you never talk with food in your mouth. My southern lady mother would have had a fit!

The fact that the romance genre is so popular today is testimony enough that we need more romance in our lives. My to-be-read shelf is further proof. What do you think? Should we set up a class on how to be romantic? Who would you use as your role model?