On Writing ‘Short’…Yeah, Right.

Hello! I hope you’re having a great week!

 

Those of you reading this blog generally know the Authors of Main Street write a Christmas boxed set, right?

Well, I was honoured to have been asked to join AoMS this year…between boxed sets, so this upcoming Christmas edition will be my first with this group of lovely ladies!

Here’s a little giggle for you…

When I told my man I was going to write a short story for the Christmas Box, he laughed…again…

like the last time.

 

Picture this…

I’d just uploaded my first novel, A Long Trail Rolling,

and jumped into NaNoWriMo for the first time with the second novel in my series, A Sea of Green Unfolding…

Well, yeah… it’s now the third, for those of you  familiar with The Long Trails series.

 

 

Well, about that…

As I wrote a few months ago on this blog, my Matt, and independently, one of my other beta readers, decided there was another story between Book One, A Long Trail Rolling, and its Epilogue.”

“Oh no, there isn’t…” I argued. I tried that a few times, but noooooooooo…

SO, I tried to ignore it, which was getting a little difficult, because by now Matt and I had become an item…

So, we were at a local RWNZ branch meeting at the home of a teacher-writer member, who also did a lot of art. She’d made some LOVELY storyboards for her stories…and she is an artist. Being a primary teacher, she also had BOXES of ’stuff’ for us to play with and create our storyboards.

 

Matt looked at me. “What storyboard are you going to do?” He lifted a brow at me pointedly.

“Sea of Green,” I challenged.

He raises both brows.

I occasionally know when I’m beat. This was one of those times.

A big sigh. “Okay,” I finally murmured.

I sat down to create the storyline for what was to become the new Book Two.

 

as I worked, I became more and more excited. Soon the story was just falling out on the canvas before me, made easier, of course, by the fact that I knew the areas through which my hero and heroine were travelling like the back of my hand.

SO, thanks to Matt and my wonderful writing group, I did it. Now I was keen.

This was going to be a quickie novella, mostly to get Matt and Kate off my back and get back to A Sea of Green Unfolding.

 

Well.

Hmmm…

The Hills of Gold Unchanging didn’t turn out much like a novella…more like 510 pages, by the time I’d finished it. Nearly 170K words.

Today I finished the final edit for A Sea of Green Unfolding. It’s finished up around 122K words. Hmmm…not short either…

I redid the cover before its official release. 🙂  Here it is… complete with photos of our farm, my youngest son, and my big bay carriage horse.

 

I told Matt I was going to write Book 4, Tatiana, ‘short’.

As I expected, he laughed.

 

At a writing workshop in Auckland a few months ago, even Joanna Penn told me I needed to write ‘short’.

 

SO, when I told Matt I was going to write something that was twenty to forty thousand words for Authors of Main Street, guess what?

You guessed it, he laughed.

Then grinned. “I know you can do it,” he said. “I can’t wait to watch.”

 

I’m still shaking my head.

 

Three weeks ago, I started thinking of the story I’m going to write for our boxed set on one of my dog and author walks around our farm here by the river. (this pic is on the island in the middle of our river)

 

I desperately needed to finish A Sea of Green Unfolding, but I snuck into a new workbook and started scribbling down the new story… and couldn’t stop.

Fifteen half-sized pages. Not bad for a few stolen moments while my dinner cooked.

Now to plan out the rest and get it done.

 

Oh, what’s it to be about?

 

It’s a story about this horse-crazy chick in vet school and what she gets up to. It’s to be the first in a series Matt’s been encouraging me to do for ages. For years, I kept telling him I didn’t have any vet stories…and every time I told him another vet story from my life that eyebrow would shoot up again.

“There’s another story,” he’d say. Well, yes, I guess so. Now I can’t wait to get on with it.

 

It’s going to be a lot of fun…but I’m NOT going to tell which things really happened and which I made up. That would take all the fun out of it…

 

…and the names were changed to protect the innocent…and the not-so-innocent.

 

Have a wonderful week, all!

 

Take good care, and big hugs from New Zealand!

 

xx

 

Lizzi Tremayne

The Road Less Travelled, or is it?

Hi All!

I’ve recently discovered Jude Knight. What genre does she write, you say?  Well, she doesn’t write straightline genre. I was glad to find someone else, besides me and Diana Gabaldon, who does the same. She’s recently released A Raging Madness, a historical romantic suspense, but…I won’t try to box her writing into a category. You decide!

Over to Jude! Here she is!

I write the type of novel that I like to read, with strong determined heroines, heroes that almost deserve them, and villains who are more than paper cut-outs. I like complex plots with real issues at stake, and I enjoy a sense of the rich tapestry of life, with characters galore. I’m a history addict, so most of stories are set in the past, and historical details colour the background, characters, and conversation.

And, though my novels and novellas are stand-alone, I have created a fictional worlds that I revisit time and again, where we meet characters we’ve known before from other books, even those not in a series.

The complaints began before I finished my first novel, Farewell to Kindness. I had a few critiques from book industry people that suggested I was skirting too near to the edges of the historical romance genre. I should remove the villains’ POV chapters. I should simplify the plot. I should soften the heroine, who starts the book by threatening to shoot someone. I should remove some of the action and add in more about the romance. I should move the meeting of the hero and heroine closer to the front of the book. I should remove the two secondary romances, the heroine’s older sister, and a number of other characters. And I certainly shouldn’t kill one of my sympathetic characters.

These critiques were kindly meant. My advisers wanted me to write a book that would sell. Writers need readers. The story isn’t just the one I tell; it’s the one you hear, and until you hear it, it doesn’t live.

I didn’t ignore them. I tightened my writing a lot. I did remove some characters and ‘unnamed’ others to make them less distracting. But I didn’t completely rewrite my book, either. The book these advisers wanted me to tell could have been written by any competent writer. It wasn’t one I could throw a year of my life at.

Since I launched Farewell to Kindness two years ago, I’ve sold just under 2,000 copies, which is not terrible for a first book. I’ve found readers who’ve gone on to read my other books. I love that they’ve enjoyed the book, and cried in the right places, and argued over whether the hero’s cousin is an arrogant so-and-so, and written me some wonderful reviews. I have a four star plus average rating on Goodreads, and higher on Amazon and I get comments like:

Could barely wait for it—and it didn’t disappoint.

I’m not sure where Jude Knight keeps coming up with the ideas for her books, but I am so glad that she does. Each one is unique and different.

I’ve been in a rut of romance novels always having the same story line-ish plot… This one is a little different which is good.

Maybe my audience is relatively small, and a different book may have reached more readers. But this is my book, and I love it. I’ve gone on to write three more novels, as well as a number of novellas and short stories. The novellas fit more tidily inside genre expectations than the novels, but I experiment even with them.

I keep seeing advice on how tailor books for the market. Which is fine if that’s what you want to do. But I’m no longer a young woman. I don’t have time to write books that don’t absorb me. If I let others shape my writing I might be mildly successful but dissatisfied.

The thing is, ‘the industry’ inevitably plays it safe by doing what has worked, and therefore is doomed to playing catch up when readers follow something new and different. Maybe, they’ll follow me, and maybe they won’t. But if I write what I want to write, I will be satisfied, and if people like it they’ll need to come to me to get it

 

 

A Raging Madness

 ~Their marriage is a fiction. Their enemies are all too real.~ 

Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return.

Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him.

In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.

Giveaway

Jude is giving away a free ecopy of each of the other Redepenning stories to a random commenter: Candle’s Christmas Chair and Gingerbread Bride (novellas) and Farewell to Kindness, so leave your thoughts below! She’s ken to answer!

Author Bio

Jude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.

She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Website and blog: http://judeknightauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudeKnightAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudeKnightBooks

Pinterest: https://nz.pinterest.com/jknight1033/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudeKnight

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8603586.Jude_Knight

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jude-Knight/e/B00RG3SG7I

 

Email: jude@judeknightauthor.com

A Raging Madness, encompassing  regency romance, historical romance, historical suspense, regency noir and gothic, was released 9 May and is rated PG-13, 382 pages on Kindle.

 

I admit it. I’m going to need therapy.

MainStreet1.jpg

I’ve prepared for this moment for eighteen years now. But in these last few hours as a mom with a senior in high school, come Saturday, I know I’m going to completely fall apart.

Sure, after twenty-four weeks of puking my guts out and an emergency C-section, I cut the cord to my only son. Really. I did.

  • Who sent their five-year-old to Wisconsin for camp? I did.
  • Who sent their eight-year-old 700 miles away to summer camp where he’s going to learn to identify bear scat and sleep in the woods? I did.
  • Who handed over the key fob on that very first day the driver’s permit was issued and taught him how to drive all over Chicagoland? I did.
  • Who dropped their sixteen-year-old off at O’Hare Airport so he can board a flight to Boston and experience a three-week engineering adventure? I did.
  • Who got exceptionally nervous when she received a picture text from her I’m-way-too-busy-to-keep-in-touch son who captioned said photo: Literally lost at MIT? I did.

 

IMG_6679.JPG

Who taught him how to make pancakes? Admittedly, I did NOT do this; apparently, he can read the box and follow directions. YES!! But wait! I taught him how to read. Therefore, I must have also taught him how to make pancakes. Booyeah!

IMG_6680.JPG

So why am I going to fall apart this Saturday at the graduation ceremony and do it again when I drop him off this August so he can begin the next adventure of his life? Because…

  • Who’s going to point out what’s wrong with commercials X, Y & Z?
  • Who’s going to have a conversation with me about the plot of the latest show we’re addicted to, and how he’s über confident the plot is following Vivaldi’s Four Seasons because, to him, “It’s soo obvi.”
  • Who’s going to destroy the upstairs bathroom and have no clue it’s disgusting?
  • Who’s going to insist the 80’s music I grew up listening to isn’t in any way too loud and should, therefore, be cranked up even more?
  • Who’s going to beat me in Family Game Night?
  • Who’s going to tell me he loves me each morning before heading out the door?

The list could go on. After all, a lot has gone on during the short eighteen years from the moment he took his first breath to now. And it has been short, seemingly flying by like a next-generation fighter jet that is obliterating supersonic speeds well above Mach 6.72, which is 6.72 times the speed of sound, or 4520 miles per hour. Fast. No wonder everyone keeps saying, “Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.”

Yes, there is so much to look forward to in life. And ultimately this is exactly what hubby and I have prepared our son for. But, among many things, I sure am going to miss our evening mealtime, which turns into thirty minutes of Wheel-watching and a focused attempt at being the first to blurt out the answer to the puzzle.

MainStreet2.jpg

Thankfully, I’ve got hubby at my side to help me solve the puzzles I can’t, friends who insist on four-hour lunches at Portillos, and my Main Street sisters to keep me busy. Now, where did I put that number so I can make an appointment for my first therapy session? Might it be 1-800-Disney?

-Stuff- Where does it all come from?

Better yet…where does it go? Where do you put those memories when you simply can’t bring yourself to let go?

Really? You don’t save special gifts from friends or loved ones? Since they cared enough to share something they took the time to purchase, or make, it makes sense to hang onto those items. Right?

Come on. Fess up. You do don’t you?

Well…let me tell you, I do.

Hello. My name is Carol…and I’m a hoarder! Lol

One of our members is moving out of state. I’m happy for her and the new adventure that’s sure to follow. I can only imagine the trips back to their old hometown they’ll make to visit family and friends. Because family and friends matter. Yes they do.

I wondered how much ‘stuff” she’d get rid of before the move.

Then I looked around my house at ‘memories’ placed here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t saved each and every item I’ve ever received, I wouldn’t be able to walk through the house. Lol. But many, many are still with me, because I can’t seem to let go of them.

When my son was around five, he bounced into the house one day, with  a bunch of ‘weeds’ crunched in those tiny hands. With a shy gaze and a sweet smile, he said, “Mommy, I brought you some roses.” Let me tell you, my heart nearly burst with pride and joy. My son was, and still is, the most thoughtful and loving person. I still have those ‘weeds pressed within pages of my bible. Yes, I do.

I could go on and on, but I’m in the process of allocating at least two fifteen minute blocks of time to organize ‘My Stuff.’

Keep. Give away. Throw away. What to do? You may need a friend or family member around to make sure you don’t remove items from the give-away or throw-away basket and then add to the keep basket. Ha!

What’s an item, or items, you’d never rid your house of at any time?

Happy Memorial Day. Be safe.

Please check out these links to my books, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and Apple. http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books.html

I wish you Butterflies, Music and Love

 

A Fun New Series ~ Raine English

Grab your beach hat and a towel and prepare for a brand new series brought to you by twelve New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors…

Twelve heartwarming, sweet novellas linked by a unifying theme.

Beach Brides! Fun in the summer sun!

BeachBridesAmyFinalLarge 

BEACH BRIDES SERIES (Amy)

Twelve friends from the online group Romantic Hearts Book Club decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are diehard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!

It’s been three years and Amy Sheridan has yet to hear that her bottle’s been found, reaffirming her belief that love isn’t in her cards. So when the book club decides to return to the island for a reunion, she’s reluctant to go, until a psychic informs her that she’ll meet a handsome stranger there. Will romance be in her future after all?

Dawson Yates has it all…except a wife. Being a wealthy bachelor hasn’t been a problem until a talk show host questions his single status as CEO of a popular matchmaking service. After that, board members pressure him to give up his playboy lifestyle or step down from his position. Setting up a phony engagement at Enchanted Island seems like the perfect solution, until he learns that his chosen “bride” is already married. While pondering what to do next, he discovers a message in a bottle, wedged between some rocks. Could the author of the note be the answer he’s looking for, or will she steal his heart and break it in two?

Amy (Beach Brides Series) is available for pre-order!

** $2.99 on Kindle, FREE in Kindle Unlimited **

https://www.amazon.com/Amy-Beach-Brides-Book-12-ebook/dp/B071HW1BJR

Find all of the Beach Brides at Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/Beach-Brides/e/B071HW8F9H

MEG (Julie Jarnagin)

TARA (Ginny Baird)

NINA (Stacey Joy Netzel)

CLAIR (Grace Greene)

JENNY (Melissa McClone)

LISA (Denise Devine)

HOPE (Aileen Fish)

KIM (Magdalena Scott)

ROSE (Shanna Hatfield)

LILY (Ciara Knight)

FAITH (Helen Scott Taylor)

AMY (Raine English)

RaineEnglishPhoto2

USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist. To receive information on all her new releases, you can sign up for her newsletter, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

 

What would you do???

2017-05-17 06.28.19.jpg

Have you ever been so frustrated with those you love that you hand wrote and then texted to them a photo image of a “non-love letter”? I have. And it’s still taped to the microwave. I can’t say that this exercise stopped the activity it was written to end. I can say my husband couldn’t get a certain song out of his head for days. Punishment enough??? Yep…Grin.

 

4/25/2017 – STATEMENT OF INTENT

Gentlemen,

This is not a love letter.

When you leave the house with every downstairs light on full without putting the dogs out with working collars on – that is UNGENTLEMANLY behavior.

Since this has been discussed repeatedly – I will assume that absent an alien invasion or the zombie apocalypse if this happens again it is intentional.

In that event the following random intentional acts may come your way. This list is illustrative not exhaustive:

  • Playing Darth Vader theme music repeatedly so you vcan’t get away.
  • The constant airing of BBC shows.
  • Liberal use of ice water – the shower is not a safe space any more.

One angry when dogs go wild before 6:30 AM romance writer

p.s. This is May’s blog – Congratulations!

A Bride for Prince Paul on #KindleScout

Guest Post from Mona Risk

A Bride for Prince Paul on Kindle Scout

My Kindle Scout campaign for A Bride for Prince Paul has launched.

Here is the URL: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7

May I count on your nomination? If I get selected you will receive a free copy of this delightful book set in Paris and Rensy Island in the Channels.

After you enter your nomination and rating, please leave your name in the comments or email me at mona@monarisk.com

 

Prince Paul 2

 

To Nominate me, click HERE

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1) by MONA RISK

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!

To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

I wrote this story while cruising the British Isles. The setting of the book was inspired by the quaint Guernsey island, an island in the Channels. The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors above seventy. The island has alternatively belonged to England and France, and is now part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

I loved the setting. My muse immediately replace the governor with a prince, just like Monaco or Luxemburg , both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married. The ruling prince is old and dying, and his grandson is a businessman and playboy who enjoys his freedom and his work. But grandpa worries about the future of his country and summons his grandson!

All of this played in my head while in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide, in Paris, to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…

 

Guernsey Island