The Trouble with Wishes

Don’t we all hold dreams and wishes in our hearts? Some we share, others we hold deep inside.

Ellie Newsome has both.

One wish though, she hides well. The wish is hers. Hers alone.

Was it fear or timing that leads her to a secret wish?

The Trouble with Wishes is included in Authors of Main Street’s Christmas Wishes, due for release November, 2018.

THe Trouble with Wishes Final (small) (2)

 

Partial Chapter 10 – Excerpt 

The Trouble with Wishes

The night’s sleep hadn’t done much to alleviate suspicions and the way Ellie felt regarding Luke’s proposition. She wouldn’t rest until she laid out the issue between them. There was too much at stake. Before second thoughts took over, she called Luke to meet with her at the Corner Café on the square for lunch.

“I offered you the position because I have faith in you. First and foremost because I trust you. Also you’re a hard worker and project the confidence the job requires to take on such extreme obligations. Please. You must never doubt my reason.”

“You talk a good talk, Luke. Did you offer the position to use me?” she whispered.

Luke strained to contain his resentment, but bristled, his face went red, and he clammed up.

When she was in this frame of mind, she couldn’t let well enough alone. She did, after all, set up this meeting to straighten out the issue between them.

“Well, did you? Was that your intention? If so, the decision blew up in your face.”

Luke shoved back his tea glass, nearly spilling its contents over the table. “No. No, Ellie, I certainly did not,” he snapped. “Why on earth would I use you?”

“Then, I apologize for the remark, Luke.” she murmured. “I suppose the job offer came at the wrong time. I believed you’d plied me with dinner, the visit to the falls and opening your heart to make me feel sorry for you. Then, I’d accept your offer to help you out.”

The sorrow written over his face said it all. She wished he’d never invited her to dinner, or they’d gone to the falls…most of all she’d like to wipe away their conversation of the job offer.

But she couldn’t.

“How did we ever get to the place that you’d mistrust me so much, Ellie? I thought we were friends. Friends that respected each other.” Luke stood motionless beside her at the table, and drew in a deep breath. “By the way, you know how I feel about anyone feeling sorry for me. I don’t like it. At all.”

Ellie wrapped her arms around her waist and would’ve wondered the same about why the mistrust, except the memory of the look he’d given her over his coffee cup last night, was the moment when she’d realized he had been searching for an employee.

And I was it. His choice.

Luke snapped up the bill and flipped a tip on the table. “Thanks for the discussion, though we still have this terrible wedge between us. Since you still have doubts relating to my truthfulness, perhaps we should both give ourselves time to digest the matter. If we don’t have trust, then there isn’t much left between us.”

“I think you’re right. We need more time,” Ellie said, though her heart was breaking.
Luke nodded, turned, and without so much as a glance back, strode to the cash register.

Ellie swallowed back a lump in her throat as fat as a baseball. She missed the old Luke. The one who’d shared his children with her. The one who’d helped make her feel alive again after Ryan. The one she vowed to wait for, no matter how long it took. Now, the way things were coming together, her wish may never be realized.

That was the trouble with wishes. Wishes aren’t always fulfilled.

I wish you music, butterflies and most of all, love.

The Dog Days of Summer

The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.  

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

It’s summer. And it’s hot. And I can’t seem to find my writing groove. Where did the term dog days of summer come from? I poked around the internet and found this:

Many people believe the phrase “dog days of summer” stems from the fact that dogs tend to be a bit on the lazy side during the hottest days of summer. Of course, who can blame them? With that much fur, dogs that exercise during the hot days of summer can overheat easily. 

However, the phrase doesn’t stem from lazy dogs lying around on hot and humid days. Instead, to find the answer, we only need to look to the summer sky. 

The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “diēs caniculārēs” or “dog days.” The name came about because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius. Sirius was known as the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. 

Sirius is so bright that the ancient Romans thought it radiated extra heat toward Earth. During the summer, when Sirius rises and sets with the Sun, they thought Sirius added heat to the Sun’s heat to cause hotter summer temperatures.

But here on Main Street, we like to write about a different sort of heat–the warmth of a kiss, the flush of falling in love. But we also like dogs, and many of our books include our furry friends.

If you’re a writer and you have a book with a furry friend (it doesn’t have to be a dog) leave us a buy-link in the comments. If you want to include a 300 word or less excerpt where your furry friend plays a staring role, that would be great, too.

Here’s an excerpt from my yet-to-be-published, The Billionaire’s Beagle.

thumbnail_The billionare

“What do you know about beagles?” Grandfather steepled his fingers and gazed at Wes.

Wes’s thoughts scrambled. “They sniff out drugs at airports?”

“Yes. They have a powerful sense of smell.”

If that were true, Wes wondered how Betty, a fart factory, could stand being around herself.

“But there is so much more to them. Did you know beagles can be traced back to Ancient Greece? And it’s thought that in the 11th century, William the Conqueror brought the Talbot hound to Britain. The Talbot is the ancestor of the modern-day beagle which can run prey to ground. They’re hunting dogs, meant to roam free and wild.” Grandfather cocked his head. “Men are not meant to run free and wild. The animal-man is an enemy to God.”

What did that even mean? Was he referring to the work of Zoologist Desmond Morris who argued man was not a fallen angel, but a risen ape?

Grandfather must have read his mind because he answered the unspoken question. “My greatest wish is to see you settle down and shoulder responsibility. Get a wife! Father children! Teach them to love and serve God.”

Huh. Wes guessed that his grandfather hadn’t read Morris’s The Naked Ape. Which was disappointing since he would have liked to talk about it with him.

“But since I can’t force you to marry,” Grandfather continued, “I’m giving you my dog.” He wagged his finger in front of Wes’s face. “You two need each other.”

“I’m sure Betty would disagree.”

“She doesn’t have a choice!” Grandfather barked. “And neither do you! I’m going to Hacienda Hot Springs. It’s a healing and recovery center. My doctors think it best. Betty can’t come. They don’t allow pets.” His tone of voice told Wes that his grandfather had tried to persuade the hospital otherwise. “This, of course, is a short-term arrangement.”

“I hope so,” Wes breathed out. “For Betty’s sake,” he tacked on. “I’m sure she’ll miss you.”

“I don’t need to tell you that if anything should happen to Betty while she’s in your care, you will be immediately disinherited.”

If you’d like to be an early for The Billionaire’s Beagle, email me at kristyswords@yahoo.com and put beta-reader in the subject line.

 

It isn’t easy being a writer

I know Hollywood has made being a writer look so easy and so glamorous. In my head, I see that vision of Meryl Streep in She-Devil. Doing her writing and then doing the pool boy. LOL All while dressed exquisitely and not a hair out-of-place.

Reality-time. Most days, being a writer is like that Facebook video of the cat slamming the keyboard with its paws going 90 miles an hour. hahahahaha THEN, looking at what you wrote and going, “What did I say there?!!! All while you sit there in your pajamas and stress that you’ll have to get dressed to go out because there is no food in the house.

So, you sit there with Imposter Syndrome going on, wonder why you ever wanted to be a writer, until The Moment hits. The one where you read your own writing about the girl finally making her way back to the boy and they hug and they kiss and you cry. All the stress. All the headaches are nothing when The Moment hits. Writers live and die for those moments.

It’s all done. The End is typed. The cover is just right. It is edited and polished and sent out into the world and you wait for the reviews. Or lack thereof. The doubts start piling up. Maybe I should have done one more round of edits. Maybe the Beta readers were just being nice. Maybe it is all crap and I can’t write worth a hill of beans.

Then…that review comes in. The one where the reader couldn’t put the book down. She loved the hero. He was to-die-for. She says the book helped her get over her heartache. You and your book were there for her when she needed it the most.

You gather your notes. Your favorite pens. Your plotting board. You write for the hundredth time…

Chapter One


Jill James, romance writer

http://www.jilljameswrites.com

 

To my writer and reader friends, with love

The person in the foreground in the red dress is me, learning Regency dance at the 2016 RWNZ conference

Writing can be a solitary pursuit. My invisible friends keep me company, of course. All the time. Thronging inside my head, pushing and shoving to be the one who next gets a moment on the page. Sometimes, they wake me up at night, and all I can do is rise and start writing — and don’t let my grumbles fool you. I love it.

But today’s post isn’t about that. Today’s post is about community. I’m off to the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference on Thursday New Zealand time, leaving my place just a few hours after this blog is posted. Lizzi and I are presenting a workshop called Better Together, where we’ll be talking about our tribes, including the wonderful Authors of Main Street, so I’ve been thinking a lot about collaboration and support.

Have I been privileged in those I’ve met, or are romance writers and readers just a wonderful bunch? From the first day I joined RWNZ and RWA, I’ve been blown away by the generosity of those I’ve met in person and on line. They share their time, their advice, their sympathy for bad reviews or other disappointments, and so much more. Have a question or a problem? Someone out there knows the answer and is willing to help.

And it’s not just the formal organisations. On FaceBook and through other online communities, I’ve made connections that have translated into personal meetings and treasured friendships.

I love writing. I’ve no problem with going into my writing cave and speaking to no one non-fictional for hours (and days would be fine, too, but the real people keep finding me). But I also love and treasure the times I spend with readers and writers, whether we’re focused on a joint piece of work or just chatting about craft, characters, our lives, or world affairs.

The writing life encompasses both, and I’m glad of it.

Organization needed!


 

Hi all, hope you’ve been well and safe.

I’m good, but have been a bit overwhelmed this month, having set myself some fairly challenging goals. Complete one novella, beta read a few more, start a totally new website, and hold a Facebook Event… with 8/11 of the participants party newbies.

Somewhere Called Home

I’ve just finished a novella for another boxed set in the Bluestocking Belles group. It’s an historical fiction novella, which I’ll be turning into a novel soon! If you’ve read The Long Trails series, it’s Scotty’s story! It’s Scotty’s story. If you’ll remember, Scotty is the trading post proprietor in A Long Trail Rolling. It features the Scottish Highland Clearances, Waterloo, and everything in between, so it was hard to write as short as required for this set.

It will first be published as a SHORT (for me) novella as part of the Bluestocking Belles’ Christmas Boxed Set later this year, called Somewhere Like Home, and few months later, I’ll release a more developed novel: Somewhere Called Home. Can’t wait to put out the full novel!

Here’s the cover background image I took up in the Highlands.

In the far background is an old neolithic hill fort. The tumbled stones in the foreground are the remains of several shielings, where the herdsmen lived in the summertimes. Nothing left but drystone walls of their homes… they left rather… abruptly. Read them and see what happened!

I’ll let you know when it’s out!

organization

 

The new website’s called HorseAndVetBooks.com

And it’s about, get this… horsey and vet-related fiction and nonfiction!

For years, I’d sought a website dedicated to horse and vet related books… and I didn’t find it. So, I’ve created one. (Yes, by myself) I assembled a stellar cast of authors from who write everything from children’s stories, through YA, NA, and adult, horsey historical fiction, as well as educational materials  to take part in a virtual horse and animal lovers extravaganza to launch this new website.

https://horseandvetbooks.com

It was a celebration of our kind of stories and books! Our readers were able to chat with authors and hear about their stories! There were prizes to be won and fun to be had! And even better, it was timed to work for readers of all ages, from all over the world! It’s rated G, so your young horse and vet-mad children can participate in the party!

Launch of OAVS #6

Of course, I had to launch the individual release of Once Upon a Vet School #6: Fifty Miles at a Breath, on the same weekend as the famed Tevis Cup Western States 100, running for a hundred miles over the breathtaking and treacherous trail from Squaw Valley to Auburn, California… in the heat. The story is centered around endurance racing, so it was appropriately timed!

And here it is!

organizationOnce Upon a Vet School #6: Fifty Miles at a Breath

will be #FreeForKindleUnlimited or 2.99 USD for the rest of the month!

Can’t get a much better deal than that!

Find it here

50 MILES AT A BREATH 

Horses bring them together and their future looks rosy—it’s the present they can’t handle.

When equine veterinary student Lena and veteran pilot Blake fall in love, vet school and his past experiences intrude. Add in a long-distance relationship, and things get just plain hard.

A grueling endurance race forces them to draw on their strengths and face their fears—together.

 

Here’s the cover! It features my grandmother riding up Cougar Rock in the Tevis Cup Western States 100 miler race:

100 miles in a day. (my stepdad RAN the thing).

Enjoy! Buy it here!

And guess what happened just after the release party?

organization

How exciting!

Take care, all!

Until next time,

Lizzi Tremayne