Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Regency series...

Endless Possibilities series first follows the Thorn siblings...

Unexpected Possibilities ~ October 2013 James Thorn and Lily Milton

One Directive

In 1816 England, James Thorn, by his father's command, must marry a titled lady in exchange for his inheritance. He is granted one Season in London to accomplish the task or lose everything.

Two Stumbling Blocks

James suspects his inheritance is not as lucrative as intimated. The young lady for whom he must sacrifice his soul in order to inherit may not be worth the price.

And an Unexpected Distraction

Lily Milton, housemaid, earns the unenviable role of conspirator in her mistress' plan to hoodwink the young lady's suitor, none other than Lily's own knight in shining armor. Darker schemes lurk, with twisted intentions bent on destruction, but God never abandons His own.



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Final edits are in...

Tarnished Knight and Wings to Fly are in. The first will be released on January 21, 2015. The second will be released on February 21, 2015. The paperbacks will be out a month later.

I'm sad to see the end of The Silver Locket Sisterhood series.

It's time to rethink my Holiday, USA series. I still want to write them, but clearly I need to create a better schedule.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

The gifts of Christmas started with a Child born in a manger, the Son of God, Jesus. This was followed by an offer of calm: Fear not. Then came singing. A star was given, heavenly guidance. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The value of the first is still understood the world over. However, the value of the other two has largely been lost over the years. I use the essential oil frankincense as a healing herb. I use a mix of the essential oils frankincense and myrrh on the tip of my nose to help me sleep at night. The scent is relaxing to me.

I bought Chris several years ago as one of my ways to Celebrate the Season:

All kinds of analogies pop into my head regarding Chris.

“Bloom where you are planted.”


Chris thrived, for a while, several years. This past year, Chris… fell apart. Really. Sections would fall off. I felt so badly for Chris, but didn’t know what to do. I suspect Chris needed to be repotted, but anything bigger won’t fit in my window. I’d toss the bits and hope Chris would recover. He didn’t. Two multisegments broke off. Only two leaves were left on Chris, and they looked dried and withered. I couldn’t bear losing Chris. He’d brought me so much beauty over the years. I decided to stick the segments left in dirt and see what happens.

I like single serving fruit cups. Works in my little food storage supply. I saved a couple plastic cups, filled them with dirt, and stuck the segments into the dirt. A quick watering, set on the windowsill, and wait and hope.

Months later, they were growing. They needed growing room. I transferred them to new pots, last week. Yes, I’m very proud.

You might not be able to change your location, but that doesn’t mean you can’t thrive.

Meet Chris’ offspring:


It's important I bend my will to God's rather than demand He bend His will to me. His plan is always better anyway. Here's to learning to better align my will with God in the coming year.

May your day be blessed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Endless Possibilities is available...

...in paperback at Amazon and eformat wherever books are sold.

Hidden Possibilities ~ March 2013 Matthew Thorn and Caitlin Roper

In England, 1816, Caitlin Roper's history forced her to choose to never marry. Her contented solitary retreat at her uncle's Felliford estate ceased the moment a handsome gentleman tumbled into her life, bringing with him hopeless dreams she thought long buried...

Fynn, a name Caitlin chose for him, survived coming off his horse but without his memory fully intact. How often did God offer a man the opportunity to choose who he wanted to become without the hindrances of previous mistakes?

Torn between the possibilities hidden in the future and the secrets of the past, they both must choose...before time runs out and the past catches up, deciding the future for them.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

DBP release day 21 December...

Tomorrow is the 21st, which means there will be new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A bit of research fun...

I'm currently working on the edits for Tarnished Knight. Most of the book takes place at Castle Sugan, a place in my imagination. However, Jack Roper, Lord Roper, sails into Berwick-upon-Tweed from the Continent.

Every story I write includes research of one sort or another. I confess: I often become lost reading about the places I'm writing about.

I've visited the Berwick website and explored the town, even though only short visits are made to the town in my book. Reading about it, looking at the pictures shared on the site, gives me a sense of being there, combined with my own trip to England and Scotland years ago.

The history caught my attention as I double checked information.

http://www.bridgeviewberwick.com/berwick-history.html

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Have you read the Endless Possibilities series?

The next book in the series will be coming out January 21, 2015.

A Promise of Possibilities ~ August 21, 2012 Jonathan Silverton and Elizabeth (Ellie) Thorn

In England, 1816, spinster Elizabeth Thorn has been more slave than servant as her father’s housekeeper. The courageous war stories shared by author Paul Silver inspire her to correspond with him. But after years of heartfelt letters, he stops replying...

Jonathan Silverton blames himself for the brutal death of his best friend. When he moves to the countryside and unexpectedly meets his correspondent, he chooses not to reveal his secrets. But he cannot deny his desire to marry her, while hoping she’ll never discover the truth. Shattered trust and faith may tear them apart...until they each learn a vital lesson.


Available in eformat wherever ebooks are sold and available in paperback at Amazon.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Link Share...

Hope for the Broken Hearted shared a lovely prayer, including a beautiful picture and one of my favorite songs:
https://hopeforthebrokenhearted.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/prayer-for-december-6th-2/

The Writer's Refuge shared three ways to connect emotionally with readers. I want to do this:
http://thewritersrefuge.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/how-to-feel-the-words-you-write/

I like Patricia Johns' take on this:
http://patriciajohnsromance.com/2014/12/08/being-woman-enough/

Beth Trissel shares a lovely posts on angels:
https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/the-angel-from-on-high/

Writers In The Storm shared a good post on Copyrights, specifically using songs and lyrics, recipes, and photos:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/12/the-copyright-naughty-list/ 

May you be blessed.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DBP release day on 11 December...

It's the 11th, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Looking for a novella to read?

Something short and sweet and sassy?

Explore the Holiday, USA series.

If you subscribe to kindleunlimited, all four stories are available as a free read. If you prefer paperback, all the novellas published this year will be available in paperback, hopefully by the end of the year. It will be my first self-published paperback. I'll keep you posted.

Book 1:

Welcome to Holiday, USA, small town America, where nothing happens, except holidays... and maybe a little romance, if the hero and heroine trust God.

Officer Tim Black moved to Holiday for a change of scene. He never anticipated wanting to change his single status at the same time, but the lady refuses to even date him.

Sandy Foster moved to Holiday to escape her dysfunctional family, changing everything about her life. Finding someone who wanted to share her life holds a never-ending spot on her uninspiring list of New Year's resolutions.

The tiniest misunderstanding and the willingness to set pride aside might make the difference between spending the New Year alone and a Happily Ever After...


http://www.amazon.com/Happy-New-Year-Holiday-Book-ebook/dp/B00HCQKGF4/ref=asap_B00J625XDM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417904247&sr=1-1

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sharing Links...

Little Birdie Blessings shared the Celebration of Advent:
http://littlebirdieblessings.blogspot.com/2014/11/celebration-of-advent.html

Dyan Diamond is an inspirationalist, author, and Life Coach. I follow her blog for encouragement and perspective. Here's a link to one of her posts:
http://dyandiamond.net/2014/12/04/no-silver-lining/

 Handmade. Homegrown. Beautiful Life is another lovely blog that brightens my day:
http://handmadehomegrownbeautifullife.com/2014/11/28/pie-for-breakfast-christmas-cactus/

May you be blessed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sharing favorite quotes and...

...lines from some of my favorite Christmas stories, every day on my Facebook author page.

https://www.facebook.com/LaurelHawkes

Christ is the reason for the season.

...mas... Without Christ, there is no Christmas.

"Marley was dead: to begin with."

I'm looking for more ways to help me embrace the season. It can be tough for survivors.

I listen to Christmas music. I'm re-reading my favorite Christmas romance stories. I watch Christmas programs I enjoy. I'm adding a Christmas decoration every day. I'm working on Christmas gifts every day. I'm endeavoring to fill my mind and heart with the reason for the season.

May you be blessed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DBP new releases on 1 December...

It's the 1st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holidays...

Joy or stress?

Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Sometimes it's anticipated and sometimes it's dreaded, depending on your experience. For those looking forward to it, I hope it's all you envision. For those dreading it, plan something special for you, including an exit strategy if necessary. 

Remember you are of worth and God loves you. He never promised to spare you difficulties in life, but He has promised to never abandon you. Granted, there are times when it's difficult to recognize He's near.

May you be blessed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

DBP release day on 21 November...

It was the 21st, yesterday, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

7/7/7 Game on FB...

Gail R. Delaney started the game, and I decided to join in.

I'm playing the 7/7/7 game. Anyone who wants to play, can. I'm not tagging anyone.
Go to the 7th page of your current WIP, 7th line, and copy/paste 7 sentences...

From Faith's Labor, Holiday USA series, rough draft:
 
She nodded again. "They blame me. They're right. There's no one to blame but me. My choices, not theirs."

He leaned back and crossed his arms, glanced down, and uncrossed his arms. The self-conscious action tickled a place near her heart.

"I--" He opened his mouth again, but nothing came out.

She smiled, a mix of amusement and sorrow struggling for supremacy. "How much do you know?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What I write...

I'm endeavoring to open up about who I am and what I write. It isn't easy. I've spent my life protecting myself. Letting down my guard does not come naturally. I want to be a better person. I need to change. This is one step.

I watched bits and pieces of a few movies this past weekend. They weren't worth watching. I caught the segments I did because I was channel surfing. Both movies, filmed decades apart, portrayed the men as jerks and after only one thing. The women were stupid and after only one thing. One was after the physical relationship and didn't care who gave it to them, and the other was after the emotional relationship and didn't care who gave it to them.

Neither portrayal is true. More importantly, neither portrayal is healthy.

Are there men and women like that? Of course. The reason stereotyping works is because it fits on the surface. Dip below the surface, and everything changes.

I don't write the typical romance novel. I don't enjoy reading the novels that portray men or women as stupid or jerks. For the record, it does provide conflict, but it isn't one I enjoy reading. There have been authors I loved in the beginning of their career and stopped reading as their work evolved. It's all right to not like books that others love.

For me, a huge factor is how emotionally/mentally healthy are the characters. As an abuse survivor, I do not want or need more examples of unhealthy relationships. I have those down pat, already. It's no fun to read a book where I keep thinking, "These characters need counseling, now."

I endeavor to write characters who are flawed but are also learning to be healthier.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Coming sales...

As you plan for your shopping in the coming weeks consider adding a conference to your wish list.

http://arizonadreaminevent.com/

In case you don't want to click on the link:

May 29-31, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in Paradise Valley/Scottsdale

(The link has a link to the hotel.)

There will be 27 authors of various genres of romance for you to speed-meet. You'll be given the opportunity to choose 8 author book clubs, with 9 other readers, for 30-minute sessions. You'll be able to have lunch with individual authors. On Saturday evening, you'll choose one author with whom to share dinner at the "Dress Like Your Favorite Character" costume.

Hmmm... I need to decide on my costume. Decisions. Decisions.

On Friday night, there's the Dreamin' Dollars auction and Live entertainment. Lots of laughs.

A bookstore is provided, offering the work of the authors participating.

The "Man of Our Dreams" cover model competition is fun.

Raffle baskets, with 100% of the proceeds going to charity.

Free Goody Bags and Arizona Dreamin' t-shirts for everyone. I'll be picking up my third.

If you've any questions, please feel free to email me (address in the left hand column) or contact me on FB.

You can buy the ticket and attend the conference without staying at the hotel, or stay at the hotel and participate as much or as little as you like. It's a lovely location.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DBP releases on 11 November...

On the 11th, there were new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Remembrance Day for the neighbors to the north and across the pond, as well as down under.

Thank you to all who serve. Because you served, I'm allowed the freedoms promised in the symbol of our country. Thank you to the families who support and love them. God bless.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sharing Links...

Diane Gaston has been sharing a bit of her adventure to England this fall...
http://www.riskyregencies.com/2014/10/27/horse-guards/

Writers In The Storm shared a post on Point of View, otherwise known as POV. My first manuscript required a major overhaul when a couple of judges in a contest pointed out my difficulty. I hadn't been able to see it myself. I still stumble a bit, but I'm improving.
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/10/diving-deep-into-deep-point-of-view/

WITS also shared some good ideas for decluttering your cyber life:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/11/nesting-for-writers/

May you be blessed.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Distraction from editing...

Wings to Fly is on the table for editing, so here's Saturday morning's sunrise:



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Last Saturday...

Over at the Historical Romance Network, they asked we share pictures of ourselves reading a favorite romance novel...

I attempted to choose one, but of course, one thing led to another. Elizabeth Mansfield introduced me to Historical Romance, more particularly to Regency. Then a friend gave me Diane Gaston's "The Mysterious Miss M." I bought all her books, and Amazon suggested Ann Gracie's Perfect series and Elizabeth Rolls... And one thing led to another. #FallBackinTime Me in front of my favorite eatery. My writer's block always disappears at Pcroissant.


A better picture of the books, with my aromatherapy dog. :-)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

DBP new releases on 1 November...

It's the 1st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's fall...

The weather is blessedly cooling. The leaves won't change colors around here for a while yet. I do enjoy the pictures others share. I like the quote "Autumn is my favorite color." Yes, that. This is actually a bit funny, considering the fact orange and brown aren't among my favorite colors.

Looking about me, I have every little in brown or orange. A stuffed Jack-O-Lantern, wood frames... I like how God uses those colors. The beauty of red maples with black trunks leaves me breathless. The array of hues and tints as the leaves change on the East Coast feeds my soul, a feast for the eyes.

The air smells different in the fall, crisp, earthy, the last of summer fading away.

Around here, the winter grass appears, fine blades of bright green, soft, not like the scratchy summer Bermuda or sharp St. Augustine. I want to walk in it, but know it isn't strong enough to withstand such abuse. It's still lovely.

The sky is blue, like an Arizona desert sky, but not scorching like our summer skies. Blessedly, we don't practice Daylight Savings, so there's no worrying about which way the clock moves this Sunday.

I saw this posted on Cute Puppy Pictures widget:


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Editing...

The most recent round of editing for "Tarnished Knight" is done. I read it aloud for the first time. Yes, it's advised a manuscript be read aloud, but I'm not comfortable. I stumble over the simple words. Having said that, I've participated in Tolkien Reading Day on a number of occasions. I read two passages from "Lord of the Rings." Namely, Frodo crossing the ford and the destruction of the Ring. I don't know why I never thought to read my own work in the same style. It was enlightening. I also trashed my voice. It's days later, and I have to remind myself my sore throat is not because I'm sick. Taking a quiet day or two or three...

I'm also working on personal edits for "Wings to Fly." The manuscript is turned in and awaiting the publisher's editor. Since I'm always finding typos, I go ahead and go through it on my own. My sister sent me her catches. She'll see stuff I don't.

Faith's Labor is on the desktop and increasing in word count. I'm thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I'll do it on my own. Less stress.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday... no links...

Sorry, but the week was filled with editing. I read a few blogs, but I can't tell you much about them.

This is a hibiscus from the front yard, last spring...


This is the more common variety...




Thursday, October 23, 2014

Editing for Tarnished Knight...

A few more pictures from the Chihuly glass show:



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DBP new releases on 21 October...

It's the 21st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sharing links on Saturday...

This is from (in)courage, a site connected with DaySpring cards:
http://www.incourage.me/2014/10/when-fear-chases-me.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=DaySpring%20Devotions&utm_campaign=20141012%20Don%27t%20Live%20Afraid&ref=EMAIL20140817DEVO

Writers In The Storm shared advice for NaNoWriMo preparation:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/10/nanowrimo-prep-get-the-set-pieces-down/
I think I'll use it for the next novel.

Genesis 5020 shared an interview with Liz Tolsma. Her books sounds fascinating:
http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/write-to-the-point-with-liz-tolsma/

Holley Gerth shares a good reminder:
http://holleygerth.com/thing-making-difference/

Writers In The Storm offers advice for writers on hiring a personal assistant:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/10/authors-assistant-do-you-need-one/

May you be blessed.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bursts of Color...

God provides a feast for the eyes, the scent of heaven, and the brush of an angel's wing:






Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The problem with memes...

The other day was Mental Health Awareness Day, I want to share something I believe is important.

I love quotes, little sayings that cheer me, lift me, inspire me. I've seen some wonderful memes. I've also seen some I believe to be disturbing. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" is an early meme, and not what we used to call those short, in-a-nutshell sayings.

I've never forgotten a quote I saw in the newspaper, decades ago: "A philosophy that fits in a nutshell should probably stay there."

By the way, the "Cleanliness" meme is quoted like it's from the Bible. It isn't. Bible study isn't simply about learning what's there. It's also about learning what isn't there.

I've seen a new meme going around on FB and Pinterest lately. It makes me cringe.

"Happy girls are pretty girls."

First glance, my reaction was 'great!' Close on the heels of that reaction was recognizing all the damage done by saying something so insensitive.

I've worked with three different counselors, over the years. None of them wanted to diagnose me with anything. They didn't want me to be labeled and limited. However, reading through a list of someone with C-PTSD, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I fit every item on the list. I believe the powers that be in the world of psychiatry are changing the name. No matter. I state this not to brag or to say I'm an expert in anything but dealing with my own upside down world.

On the heels of 'great' came the thought "Unhappy girls are ugly girls."

Followed by: JRR Tolkien wrote, in Return of the King, "Not all tears are an evil."

Dealing with depression isn't about choosing happy or unhappy. Dealing with depression is about choosing depression over anger, rage at the helplessness of being abused and having no power to protect myself and no one to protect me. Depression isn't a healthy choice, but it is a healthier choice than uncontrolled fury. Depression is about suppression of emotions. It can be a healthy choice on a short-term basis. It allows for processing time. It is not a healthy choice for the long-term, but it is healthier than allowing emotions to run rampant. The difference between turning inward and turning outward. There's time to work on helping yourself. Once you've lashed out at someone else, you have no control over how they respond.

The danger lies in assigning labels of good, bad, positive, or negative to any emotion. Emotions are neither good nor bad, positive or negative. Emotions simply are. They happen, to everyone, unless a person disassociates, which is not healthy.

The epitome of beauty is Jesus Christ. Jesus wept. He was also angry. He was passionate about His mission on earth. He felt deeply. He mourned, and He rejoiced.

It isn't the emotion that determines whether it is good or bad, it is what you do with the emotion.

One of the ugliest things I've ever seen is a person who is happy when someone else fails. I want to clarify that I'm not talking about competition where you cheer for your team and wish the other team to lose. I'm also not talking about being happy when evil fails, which is healthy. I'm talking about the Roman citizens cheering the Christians being fed to the lions. Laughing when someone stumbles in their life. Cheering someone's downfall, not because they are evil but because they're too happy, too wealthy, too successful.

One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen is a dying patient's last video, recorded for the purpose of comforting those left behind when they depart this mortal sphere.

Ugly: People happily making fun of someone who's fat or slow or somehow less than the world's definition of acceptable.

Beautiful: A firefighter attempting to save a dog rescued from a fire, even if it's hopeless.

I've seen numerous examples of both posted all over the internet.

There is skin-deep beauty and soul-deep beauty.

There is nothing wrong with skin-deep beauty. The trick is remembering that skin-deep is not an indicator of soul-deep. I don't appreciate roses any less because they have thorns. I accept that they have thorns and protect myself accordingly.

Soul-deep beauty comes from a light within. Babies are born with it. Somewhere along the journey of life, many bury it or allow it to wither away. It requires work and effort to maintain it. However, if it's lost, for whatever reason, it is possible to reclaim. Being able to see and appreciate it sometimes is easy, but most of the time it also requires work and effort.

Some people possess both. This isn't a point of envy.

Know this: What you see and how you respond says absolutely nothing about the other person and everything about you.

Seeing the word envy reminds me that some emotions are more desirable than others. However, rejecting an emotions is rejecting a part of yourself. An emotion like jealousy is an opportunity to look into your heart and explore why you feel "less than." It certainly isn't about what the other person has and you don't. Every single person in the world has something you don't.

Emotions are all about you. How you perceive yourself and your world.

I keep stumbling over the need to be happy. Happy is not a constant state. Emotions come and go and come again.

I want to be beautiful, which is why those "pretty" memes grab me. I want to be pretty. Skin-deep is not a possibility, but I can be beautiful soul-deep. It isn't something someone can define for me because beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. How do I see myself? How do I want to see myself?

I've been working on trusting God. This is not easy, especially for an abuse survivor. Trust is shattered in every possible way and used as a weapon.

Honor and trust are intertwined.

God's greatest power is His honor. He is unchanging, immovable, everlasting. He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.

Maybe it will fit and maybe it won't, but I want to try this definition of beautiful:

Beautiful is trusting God enough to know no matter what happens He is in control and aware of me.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

DBP new releases on 11 October...

It's the 11th, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Editing "Tarnished Knight"

Round one of edits has commenced. I shared this yesterday, on FB, from DaySpring, a Christian card company. I signed up for their Devotionals, and this showed up this week. I need the encouragement.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's October!

One way I celebrate is using my pumpkin dishes and fall leaves goblet.



I collect place settings. It's another way to celebrate the blessing of food.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sharing links on Saturday...

The Writer's Refuge advises writing about what matters to you:
http://thewritersrefuge.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/write-about-what-matters-most-to-you/

Patricia Johns shares Christmas shopping in September:
http://patriciajohnsromance.com/2014/09/30/christmas-shopping-in-september/

Patricia also had a great one titled 20 seconds for a touch of romance:
http://patriciajohnsromance.com/2014/10/03/20-seconds/

Genesis 5020 was the reminder I needed, and I love listening to K-Love radio:
http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/how-can-it-be/

May you be blessed.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wings to Fly...

...is in, by the grace of God. I pray it pleases Him.

A friend posted this on FB, and it definitely applies.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DBP new releases on 1 October...

It's the 1st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fanciful...

Sometimes life offers us unexpected fanciful moments.

This toadstool popped up in the backyard.



This is my size 10 shoe and my size 10 foot in said shoe, to give you an idea of the size.




I don't know why, but toadstools have always conjured up fanciful images in my head. Maybe it's the result of Mr. Jeremy Fisher all slippy sloppy in the larder. Thank you, Beatrix Potter.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sharing links on Saturday...

When I'm in deadline mode I tend to only glance over other blogs. My mind is too preoccupied to enjoy them properly. I almost skipped sharing links, this week. However, Genesis 5020 shared Part 6 and the last part of her Mackinac Island series. I needed to read it and share it.

http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/how-mackinac-island-is-like-our-spiritual-lives-part-6/

Hope for the Broken Hearted also had several lovely prayers, with beautiful accompanying pictures, this week. They calmed my soul. This is the most recent:

http://hopeforthebrokenhearted.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/prayer-for-september-26th-2/

May you be blessed.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deadline frustrations...

Wings to Fly is due on 1 October. I think it's the most challenging of any of the books I've written. It was mostly written when I was offered the contract. As I completed the other four books in the series, I made significant discoveries in my life. I hope my writing reflects what I've learned.

When it came time to finally prepare Wings to Fly for publishing it no longer fit. I was stuck in some circular thinking I'd outgrown. I scrapped most of the book and started over. I a week to finish recreating the story that will finish The Silver Locket Sisterhood series.

I've made so many amazing discoveries about Samantha and Jordan. Their battles are more subtle than those of the heroes and heroines of the other books. They tackle the more painful walk of the follower of Christ, the everyday difficulties that trip up a Believer.

It isn't the huge things that crush but the myriad little things building up over time.

This story starts in 1987 and ends in 2001 or 2002. Yes, I'm not sure yet. I'm in rewrites and things tend to change a lot during the process as I learn more and more about the characters and their stories.

Adding to all of it, my allergies have kicked in as the weather cools. My allergy medicine makes me a bit fuzzy in my thinking. Not helpful.

I've reached the point where all I can do is turn it all over to God and pray He sees me through. I fear disappointing Him and not fulfilling my part adequately.

May your day be blessed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The dog in most of my books...

...is based on my own dog. She passed away several years ago, but she left an everlasting influence.


Miss B was one of many nicknames. She was a rescue mutt. A local pet store made a deal with the vet across the street. Whenever the vet ended up with unwanted puppies, the pet store would sell the pups for a minimal fee that included a first vet visit.

After the passing of my brother's dog, an animal I'd helped care for, I decided I needed a dog of my own. I planned to search the pound and shelters. I would make sure I explored all the possibilities before making a decision. The excursion was planned for a Saturday. On Thursday, I stopped in at the pet shop on my way to grocery shop. It couldn't hurt.

They had a raised enclosure with a bunch of puppies, balls of fur in gold and black. The gold critters were purebreds and appropriately priced. The black fur balls were cheap. I was only looking. What could it hurt?

That night, I dreamed about one of the black balls of fur and even named her. In the dream, I saw her from puppy to close to the end of her life. I denied the meaning of the dream. I was determined to carry out my plan to explore every possibility.

Best laid plans of mice and men... God's ways are not man's ways.

I returned Saturday morning, with the plan to start the day making sure she was still there. She was on the list. We'd see where she was by the end of my excursions.

You guessed it. I never it made it out of the pet shop. I've never been sorry.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

DBP new releases on 21 September...

It's the 21th, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Arizona Dreamin' Event...

One of the features is a Speed-Meet. Attendees enjoy the opportunity to socialize with each other and meet the authors. Tables are set up, and all 27 authors spend 5 minutes at each table giving their pitch. The attendees don't change tables, the authors do.

If you don't know which Book Clubs you want to attend, this is a great opportunity to learn more about each author. I'm a plan ahead sort of person. I look over the list of authors and choose whose Book Club I want to attend before the conference. The Speed-Meet is still a lot of fun.

Once every author has visited every table, you have the opportunity to sign up for 8 book clubs. Some clubs fill up faster than others. Juggling can be a bit of trick, but everyone is helpful. I have enjoyed every club I've attended.

Tickets are still available for the "Early Bird" price of $89. Please add my name in the comments section, so they know I sent you. :-)

 http://arizonadreaminevent.com/

May you be blessed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comfort...

I recently bought a new blanket for my bed. It isn't fancy or expensive. It is warm and soft. I love soft. My sensitive skin loves soft.

On the other end of the spectrum, I love crunchy foods like crusty bread, toast, potato crisps, popcorn.

Chocolate was made for comfort. It even includes a natural ingredient that induces a sense of well being. My favorite books create the same feeling.

Milk, tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, hot chocolate, warm chocolate chip cookies, cake in milk, petting a dog, watching a horse graze, my favorite Christian music artists, certain scents...

God created a world of things to provide comfort.

The paradox: God doesn't want us to be comfortable.

If God wanted us to be comfortable all the time, He would deliver us from evil before it tainted our lives. If He delivered us before we sinned, we wouldn't need a Savior.

Jesus Christ is the Savior, and His sacrifice saves me, providing the grace I need.

God wants us to become our best selves, by our own choice. Not because we are forced to do so, but because we choose to do so. By becoming our best selves, we bring added glory to Him. We can't diminish His glory, but we can add to it, as a child adds to a parent's joy. This whole life process isn't about Him. It's about us.

It's the Abraham and Isaac principle. Isaac was in his 30s when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar. Isaac could have overpowered Abraham to save himself. Both men agreed to follow God's command. Was it possible God didn't know what would happen? The all-knowing Heavenly Father?

Abraham sacrificing Isaac wasn't about Abraham and Isaac proving to God they would obey. Abraham agreeing to sacrifice Isaac and Isaac agreeing to being sacrificed was about Abraham and Isaac proving to themselves they would obey God no matter how difficult the task placed before them.

When I am in uncomfortable and difficult situations what is the lesson I'm being taught?

Did I stumble and fall and need my Savior's saving grace? Or is God giving me the opportunity to prove to myself I will do what He asks of me? I pray I choose God's side.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

DBP new releases September 11...

Yesterday was the 11th, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Never Forget...



The world changed 13 years ago. I chose to change with it. I became more aware of the world around me. I endeavored to be more engaged with those around me. I tend to change slowly, a bit at a time, but I promised myself I'd never go back to being the detached person I'd been for so long.

I also promised myself I'd never forget that day. I'd never forget what happened, moment to moment. I'd never forget how I felt. I'd never forget those who were lost or their families, even though I didn't know them. I'd never forget those who fought and died in the battle against terrorists, evil men who choose to murder innocent men, women, and children.

I renewed my relationship with God. I needed to know God was in control. I needed to remember He could and would work evil for good. He doesn't change evil into good; He takes whatever evil dishes out and uses it to His own end. Evil loses in the long run, and God wins.

There is much over which I have no control.

I choose whether or not I become a better person.

I choose to be a better person.

I trust Jesus.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Look! Look what's available in paperback...

Yes, all my Desert Breeze Publishing books are now available at Amazon in paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/Laurel-Hawkes/e/B00J625XDM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Endless Possibilities and The Silver Locket Sisterhood are available in paperback.

May your day be blessed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hunted on FB on 8 Sept...

Fitzgerald: Have you heard the rumor?
Jack: No good comes from listening to rumors.
Fitzgerald: I have it on good authority.
Richard: For pity's sake, permit him to empty the bag.
Fitzgerald: Our Lady's books are available in paperback.
Leo: They weren't before?
Richard: How else were they read if they weren't on paper?
Jack: eformat.
Richard: What language is this eformat?
Rusty: Electronic.
Fitzgerald: Elect… come again?
Jack: A device run by electricity.
Richard: Benjamin Franklin's experiments were successful?
Ian: You have no idea.
Mark: Beyond your wildest imagination.
Eric: Pictures transmitted across the globe in seconds.
Luck: Traveling from London to New York in hours.
Richard: Who are these men? Contemporaries by their dress.
Fitzgerald: New heroes?
Jack: Old heroes, for the most part. To what do we owe the honor of your visit, gentlemen?
Jordan: My fault.
Leo: What did you do?
Jordan: Last book in the series. Everyone makes an appearance.
Fitzgerald: Our lady has a series that ends?
Richard: Difficult to believe.
Leo: She's full of surprises.
Richard: Including leather-bound books.
Jack: Ah… no. Paperback.
Ian: The cover art is brilliant.
Eric: Carol Fiorillo's work is excellent.
Fitzgerald: A celebration is in order.
Jordan: Croissants from P.Croissant and hot chocolate for everyone.
Jack: Our lady's favorite way to celebrate.
Fitzgerald: Cheers!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sharing Links on Saturday...

The Writer's Refuge shared a post on What Hinders Your Dream:
http://thewritersrefuge.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/what-hinders-your-dream-to-write/

Sometimes, it's important to focus on a little. I had a Sunday School teacher who advised reading the same verse every day for a month, to ponder it, and make it a part of your life.

A few of my favorites are:

Be still and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46-10

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:32

Jesus wept. ~ John 11:35

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. ~ Matthew 22:37

May you be blessed.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tickets to Arizona Dreamin' are available...

The total cost for the event itself is $89. This doesn't include the hotel, should you decide to stay there, though the hotel does offer a discount. Yes, you may attend the event without staying at the hotel. I like to stay at the hotel so I'm not driving back and forth. I also use the conference as a mini type of stay-cation. I always come away feeling refreshed and energized.

http://arizonadreaminevent.com/

This will be my first time as a presenting author. The previous conferences, I've attended as a reader. It's also one of the smaller conferences, something my introvert self likes. Stepping up as an author is no small feat. I'm planning my book clubs and table. I want the event to be fun for readers like the wonderful authors I attended in order to meet made it fun for me.

Suggestions are welcome. :-)

May you be blessed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Tarnished Knight" is in...

...and will be available in January 2015.

I didn't care for the rough draft. I finished the rewrite, pleasant surprised, over and over. Jack and Abigail sprang a number of surprises.

Other surprises included discovering errors, after I sent the manuscript in. Nothing major, so far. I'm using the handy-dandy Track Changes to make corrections. My editor may catch them, but in case it slips through...

I don't really know if anyone is interested in my process. Sharing it here is helpful for me. There's something about writing it out that helps clarify what helps and what doesn't.

Then again, my brain is currently in more of a fried state than a functioning state. A little time and patience, and I'll be back in the next story, specifically, the last book in The Silver Locket Sisterhood series.

If you're interested in seeing a bit of my inspiration, this is my Pinterest board for Tarnished Knight, here's the link:
http://www.pinterest.com/lhawkes/tarnished-knight/

May you be blessed.

Monday, September 1, 2014

DBP new releases on 1 September...

It's the 1st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Sharing links...

Kathryn Craft shares a powerful post over at Writers In The Storm:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/08/writing-agreement-4-always-do-your-best/

An inspirational post by Jennifer Slattery:
http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/2014/08/22/in-over-your-head/

Thomas Brett's blog is focused on music. I was fascinated by his recent post relating music and nature, especially as I've been endeavoring to find music that nurtures my creative side:
http://brettworks.com/2014/08/22/on-soft-fascination-and-music/

Hope for the Broken Hearted shares a lovely prayer almost every day, along with a beautiful picture. In this particular post, she also included one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups in a version I've never seen before.
http://hopeforthebrokenhearted.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/prayer-for-august-27th/

May you be blessed.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remembering Arizona Dreamin' 2014...

http://arizonadreaminevent.com/

This year, the location changed. The new venue is also very nice.

I presented a workshop at the Buildin' the Dream portion of the event. What an amazing experience.

A little bit about the Man of Our Dreams contest. The guys volunteer to participate. They spend the conference flirting with everyone. It's all in good fun. James, the blond standing behind me, won last year and is now in charge of the event. He's a cover model and guides the men in their pursuit of the title, including things like being respectful of boundaries. Yes, this is important to me, which is why I'm sharing it here.

And here is the Man of Our Dreams picture, from this past year:

I'm always one of the first people to have a picture taken. "Get it over with." Yes, this is me stepping way outside of my comfort zone, but I refuse to miss out on the fun. So, I have my picture taken, and then stand back and watch everyone else. This is where you see that the men are new to this, too. As the pictures progress, the men relax and have more fun with the woman.

Good fun.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pre-Sale Tickets to Arizona Dreamin'...

Have you heard of Arizona Dreamin'? It's the most unique reader event around, and I am thrilled to be a Featured Author for 2015! The best part is, I have a pair of tickets for you - my fans and friends - for only $89 each! Leave a comment if you want them, first come first served. All the info about the event can be found at http://arizonadreaminevent.com/ Tickets will go on general sale on September 1st, so let me know ASAP!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sharing links...

This is one of the most fun posts I've ever read on the basics of creating a story, exploring the possible angles from innocent to not. I wondered who the clever author was and wasn't surprised to learn it was one of my favorite workshop teacher, Laurie Schnebly Campbell, over at Writers In The Storm:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/08/braiding-your-books-three-parts/

Melissa Finnegan shares part 3 of her series on Mackinac Island, over at Genesis 5020. She posts this every Friday, and I'm enjoying the adventure she's sharing:
http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/how-mackinac-island-is-like-our-spiritual-lives-part-3/

May your day be blessed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

DBP new releases on August 21st...

It's been two years since the release of my first book A Promise of Possibilities.

It's the 21st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A bit about essential oils...

As I look for healthy routines to help me focus in my writing, I'm exploring all the senses.

I'm experimenting with essential oils and carrier oils. My skin is sensitive, to put it mildly. I can't even use some of the so-called hypo-allergenic products. Scents often elicit strong reactions, not only physical but also emotional.

I've always loved roses, but the oil doesn't elicit the same reaction as the actual flowers, so I'm guessing it's a combination of scent and visual. Roses also have varying levels of scent, depending on their genetics. Lavender has been my go-to oil for years, as well as tea tree oil. A few years ago, I discovered cocoa butter for my skin.

For years, I've dabbled in scents. Candles were an easy, pretty inexpensive way to explore. Over the years, I've looked at essential oils, but they can be expensive. This year, I decided it was worth investing, a little at a time. Expanding my world is long overdue.

My most recent discoveries include jojoba and avocado oil, as carrier oils, and my own spray bottles. Vanilla oil is different from vanilla for cooking. The latter is made with alcohol so dissipates quickly. The former lasts much longer. Jasmine oil gives me a boost of energy simply by breathing it in, along with a smile I can't stop. Frankincense and myrrh help me relax and sleep at night.

There are scents that are considered popular, but they trigger negative responses in me. Some of them, I simply don't like the scent. Others actually trigger annoyance and even anger.

The dollar spices available at the store are great for putting in my garbage cans. My favorites are cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Sharing links...

Writers In The Storm blog shared writing tips from one of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien:
http://writersinthestormblog.com/2014/08/10-bits-of-stellar-writing-advice-from-j-r-r-tolkien/

A problem Christian fiction writers face is that there are those who accuse us of creating lies and wasting our gift. Rebeca Seitz shared an inspiring post on stories:
http://rebecaseitz.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/stories-lies/

Holley Gerth is an inspirational writer. I discovered her through DaySpring, a card company. I also follow her on FB.
http://holleygerth.com/prayer-feel-broken/

Over at The Writer's Refuge, an interesting question is asked:
http://thewritersrefuge.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/talent-or-tenacity-which-is-most-important-for-a-writer/

Second part of Genesis 5020's series:
http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/how-mackinac-island-is-like-our-spiritual-lives-part-2/

God bless.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Remembering Arizona Dreamin' 2013...

http://arizonadreaminevent.com/

The second AZ Dreamin' Conference I attended, I also participated in the Buildin' the Dream Conference as an attendee. Buildin' the Dream is authors helping authors. It was the perfect addition.

I also wisely booked an extra night at the hotel. It gave me an opportunity to unwind, write, and absorb the weekend. It also gave me a chance to see everyone off and help clean up. Working together builds camaraderie. For an introvert, it's a great structured opportunity to interact with people, to feel helpful without feeling compelled to talk. I can listen and contribute to the conversation or listen and work without saying anything. People don't expect you to talk if you're working.

This is the picture with my choice for Man of My Dreams, Lance Ramsey:




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Never forgotten...

Choosing to put down my horse was easier than my dog. When I accept the responsibility of adopting both of them it included the understanding and the promise that there would be no leaving them behind if I moved, no giving them away to someone else when they were inconvenient, no shirking the responsibility of the final decision. I promised I would love and care for them to the last breath.

My horse struggled his whole life with back problems and colic. I owned him for the last five years of his life. He was 23 when I made the decision, 12 years ago. He'd suffered another severe colic in the spring, and the vet told me he only had three viable teeth left. He needed to be put on a soft mash/liquid diet. My child who loved to eat couldn't. I talked to him, asked him if he was ready to go Home, and a resounding 'yes' reverberated in my soul. It was difficult putting him down, but I knew the timing was right. I stood at his head and shared his last breath, felt the sense of freedom and relief and joy in the next moment. Even knowing I'd made the right decision, it was four years later before I was finally fully at peace.

My dog was 17 and her health failing, but I never felt like the time was right. My horse asked to go Home. My dog never did. My sister believes my dog never would. It’s been 8 years. I still miss her. I still cry. I’m not sorry. The lovely part is that my good friends understand and don’t mind at all. There was no way I could ever be prepared for her loss. In some of my prayers, I still ask God to throw a ball for her and tell her how much I love her and miss her. And yes, I’m crying as I write this, but I don’t regret it, not any of it, not the laughter or the tears.


Monday, August 11, 2014

DBP new releases for August 11...

It's the 11th, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Of dragons...

Beth Trissel shared a delightful post full of quotes about dragons:

http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/always-speak-politely-to-an-enraged-dragon-steven-brust/

Sometimes, I'm sorry there will be no dragons in my stories. There's a special place in my heart for the magical scaly fire-breathing creatures.

I grew up with Custard the Dragon, my earliest recollection of a dragon in a delightful book by Ogden Nash.

Puff the Magic Dragon, the song (a poem first), written by Lenny Lipton, was actually based on the above story. Really. The belief it was related to drugs was attached after it was written. In fact, the relationship was implied by a magazine article.

This reminded me of another song with supposed "hidden" meanings. "Horse with No Name" was also supposed to be filled with hidden symbolism. However, when the writer was interviewed (something I watched), he was baffled by the claim. He stated the reason he wrote it the way he did was because "the words went well together." Yep, as simple as that.

I also remember the uproar about the music group AC/DC, another interview I watched. One of the group members admitted he'd seen it on the back of his sister's sewing machine. Yes, the power symbol.

This reminds me how important it is to go to the source as often as possible. Scriptures and prayer are great ways to check in with the Creator.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Preparing for Arizona Dreamin' 2015...

I'm one of those who needs to plan ahead, way ahead. Thursdays are for the Dreamin' event. For the next few weeks, I'll share the pictures take of me with a few of the male models. They're fun.

http://arizonadreaminevent.com/

I attended my first Arizona Dreamin' Event in 2012. It wasn't my first conference. I've attended several Lord of the Rings events. I enjoyed every single one. I met wonderful people in person I'd known online, sometimes for years.

In 2012, I met several women I still interact with online and some of them I look forward to seeing every year at the Arizona Dreamin' Event. Simply thinking about them makes me smile. I can't remember ever laughing so much in my life.

*squirrel*

I met Jimmy Thomas, businessman and cover model, for the second time. He hosts a romance novel conference in Las Vegas every summer. Unfortunately, I can't afford both, and I prefer the smaller group at Arizona Dreamin'. Several of my friends attend both.

The official photos:


 My favorite, at the pre-conferance party:
Deena Remiel (author), Shannon, Jimmy, Sonya, April London (author), and me:
RhondaPlumhoff (author), Kristina (Kristina's Books and More book reviewer), Sonya, Jimmy, Shannon, Jamallah Bergman (author), me, and April.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Attempting something different...

I'm not married, have no children, and no pets. I've held to a strict schedule and berated myself when I failed to meet eating, sleeping, exercising, and writing goals.

Over the years, I've learned that a routine is helpful in handling C-PTSD (Complex though the psychological experts are changing it to Developmental PTSD). Changing names doesn't change what I deal with every day.

I decided to try something new. I sleep when I'm tired. Interestingly enough, this keeps me from eating when I'm tired. My schedule isn't what I expected. I sleep for a few hours and then I'm awake for several hours. My favorite writing time is actually in the middle of the night. Now, I don't feel guilty about not sleeping when I "should." I sleep for a couple of hours in the late morning, a time I always had trouble using effectively anyway. Waking up and not being able to go back to sleep is no longer something to be lamented but used to accomplish my goals.

I'm working on two novels and one novella. I've accomplished more in the last week than I have in the last month. This has only been going on for a little over a week. We'll see what happens this month.

Sometimes, a little change is able to make a huge difference, but you have to be willing to make the change.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday sharing links...

Speaking of research, this week, Beth Trissel shares what she does, too:
http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/the-things-i-do-for-research/

I've often wondered about Ruth's romance, as in Ruth and Naomi. Genesis 5020 has a review and giveaway. If you want to enter you only have until the 3rd. Tomorrow.
http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/review-and-giveaway-in-the-field-of-grace-by-tessa-afshar/

Another review of a book that intrigued me and added to my Wish List:
http://5020genesis.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/captured-by-love-by-jody-hedlund/

Over at Forward Walking, Daniel Adam Freeman shared an interesting post on Spring Cleaning, but not your typical Spring Cleaning:
http://forwardwalking.com/2014/07/31/spring-cleaning/

God bless.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New DBP releases on August 1st...

It's the 1st, which means there are new releases out over at Desert Breeze Publishing...

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

And wherever ebooks are sold, though some are slower at posting than others.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A new favorite author...

Not long ago, I posted about discovering Hallee Bridgeman at this year's Arizona Dreamin', a Readers' Event.

I'm a planner in many things, though writing isn't one of them. In writing, I'm a pantster. Sorry, sidetracked. Yes, I'm also easily sidetracked. Where was I?

Conference. I knew I'd have the opportunity to choose to meet several authors, so I looked over the names. Many of the authors I already knew or they wrote romance novels I wasn't particularly interested in reading. I'm not a huge fan of first person, except in the case of an autobiography. I know, not typical, but I've never claimed to be typical.

The authors I didn't know I investigated. I checked their websites and looked up their books on Amazon. If they had a free download of a short story, I accepted the opportunity.

I read Hallee's novella Greater than Rubies, a follow up to her novel Sapphire Ice. I loved it. I wrote about the wonderful experience in a previous post.

http://laurelhawkes.blogspot.com/2014/06/hallee-bridgeman.html

I bought her paperback book The Jewel Anthology in the bookstore provided at the conference. It includes all three of her Jewel novels and the novella. It also includes the study guides and recipes accompanying each book. It made to the top of my To-Be-Read pile this past month. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. It was a delight to have all the stories together. The heroes and heroines are unique and yet share common threads of faith, either well developed faith or stepping onto the path.

They're Christian romances with real characters. People who have made mistakes. Horrible things have happened in their lives. They question their faith and struggle. In each story, I searched my own heart, my own faith, my own journey. I finished feeling uplifted and inspired.

These stories are the kind of romances I like to read. I've added her suspense books to my wish list.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bits and bobs about writing...

I spend a lot of time researching. It doesn't matter which series I'm working on. There's always something I need to know. Here are a few of things I've looked up lately:

Draft breeds. I needed a pair of dray horses. I looked at several and decided on the Clydesdale. They were bred in Scotland, not long before my story takes place.

Moon phases, in 1817. Yes, timeanddate.com provide the date of the new moon, first quarter, full, and third quarter.

Sunrise and sunset times, comparing winter to summer. I've learned about astronomical twilight, nautical twilight, and civil twilight. Also available at the same site, though I figured this year would be close enough.

I search maps for towns for my stories, and then look up the towns.

In the upcoming Tarnished Knight, Jack sails into Berwick-upon-Tweed. It's a walled port town in northern England, almost to the Scottish border. After visiting their webpage, I want to visit.

The problem with research: It's distracting. The next thing I know hours have passed. However, I've a much clearer picture in my head of the places my characters live.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I have an announcement...

I'm going to be 1 of 27 authors featured at Arizona Dreamin', a Romance Readers Event, at the end of May 2015. I'm nervous and excited.

I'll also be attending the Buidlin' the Dream event.

http://thedreamsconvention.com/

I'm going to make Thursdays my information day here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Take a moment to breathe...

It's been a busy last few months, preparing two books for release. Two more or coming, so I actually can't breath yet. However, I am taking a moment to thank the Good Lord for all the many blessings He has granted.

Friends.
Nature.
Warm fuzzies.
 Laughter.
Prayer.