Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Beautifully Flawed...

The heat “burnt” the large rose a bit about the edges. I don’t know why, but I like it all the more for the imperfection of it. It’s still beautiful.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sharing Links Saturday...

The Writer's Refuge shared an insightful post on "Writing with the Right Words":

Armand Rosamilia http://armandrosamilia.com/ shares his own posts and links to other posts he thinks will be helpful to writers. Here's the link to Chris McMullen's post on Amazon ranking:
Armand also runs "Authors Supporting Our Troops." I'm so honored I'm able to participate this year.

Ryan Lanz, over at "A Writer's Path," shared his top 10 posts of spring, for writers:

Jennifer Eaton shared some great points on eliminating unnecessary words, for those who wonder why a writer chooses a specific word or word order:

God bless.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sneak Peek into Reluctant Knight...

Over on FB, my author page received another Like. Thank you! As a reward, I shared a sneak peek of what I worked on most recently in Reluctant Knight.

"I wonder where we passed them." Richard didn't bother to correct the reference to Miss Treyman being his young lady. The argument began in London and had changed little over the long months of travel.

"Probably for the best." A wry expression etched the weathered face. "Knowing you, you'd've attempted to find her, delaying us further. As it was, the captain shortened the stops in every port and did all within his power to hasten the journey. It paid off."

"I'm grateful." Richard surveyed the workers preparing for the ships docking, like ants scuttling about. The prickly sensation under his skin intensified.

Paul's gaze sharpened, focusing over Richard's shoulder. "Beware the approaching storm," the sailor grumbled.

"Mr. Carrington!" The honeyed feminine voice reached him before the cloying scent the woman always wore.

"Lady Friedman." Richard turned to face the woman who'd made her interest in him unmistakable, despite her married status.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sharing Links Saturday...

Ryan Lanz, over at A Writer's Path, offers marketing advice:
And how to write with the five senses:

Writers In The Storm is sharing articles on writing spies:

Mary Blayney, over at The Risky Regencies, shared "I love deadlines..." Or not:

Lit World Interviews is a blog I've added to my list recently. Ronovan shared a helpful article on "Amazon Book Reviewing."

God bless.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A new Like on my FB author page...

...merits a sneak peek, unedited, at the current WIP Reluctant Knight:
A ridiculous hope had grabbed hold of his heart. Miss Treyman no longer sneered at him, perhaps she was softening. The Treyman finances were floundering. He schemed and planned to swoop in at the eleventh hour and save the day.
Rumors flew. Miss Treyman inherited a tidy sum, and all his strategizing burned to ashes.
He packed fantasies of winning Miss Treyman into a box in the back of his brain, but she refused to stay there. He'd see her, and the all-too-appealing images of marriage to the lady popped into his mind.
The slightest encouragement recalled his heart to her like a faithful dog.
There'd been a time, not so long ago, she'd avoided his company with adroit expertise. No doubt learned from her mother. The harpy ensured he knew his lack of suitability for her little darling. Perhaps he ought not criticize. The woman was protecting her daughter. He'd expect no less. He simply resented being the one from whom she was being protected.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Do I Write?

Perhaps this is long overdue. I've spent a great deal of time endeavoring to find an "elevator pitch." The idea is to create something you could say to an agent or editor that would interest them in your book if you managed to hop on an elevator at the same time, such as at a convention.

I read my first romance novel when I was 19 years old. I read avidly for years, but I missed the faith aspect. Christian romances were difficult to find, at the time. To be honest, I wasn't impressed with them when I could find them.

I found a few authors I loved, Janette Oke and Elizabeth Mansfield. Mansfield didn't write Christian, but she did write clean Regency romances. As much as I enjoyed them, I had trouble identifying with the characters.

Christian romances were so...clean. I'm an abuse survivor. My life's messy.

I quit reading romances for a number of years. Picking up a romance novel after so many years was like finding an old friend. As I read, I wished there were a little more faith in God.

As I struggled to decide where I wanted to take my own stories, I drifted closer and closer to Christian romances. I knew it would be an uncomfortable fit, but less uncomfortable than attempting to cut my faith from the stories in my heart.

I checked the parameters of writing Christian romance and ran into trouble right off. Heroes and heroines are required to be honest. It's all right if they tell lies before they fully embrace Christianity and even to tell the occasional white lie if there's a good enough reason.

Among other things, abuse survivors lie. Lying is a necessary survival tool.

I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at an early age, long before the abuse ended.

I was in my 40s before I realized how much I lied.

There were the every day lies that most people tell: How are you? "Fine." Not fine at all, but I wasn't willing to explain.

Then there were the lies I didn't even know I was telling: Everything from, "If I were more patient, more understanding, less judgmental, everything would be good," to "I'm stupid," "I'm useless," "I'm not lovable." Delving into those lies unearths an endless supply.

I think denial was probably the most common lie I didn't recognize.

My lying did not exclude me from growing in faith, but it was a stumbling block.

I wanted stories that reflected the journey of abuse survivors, the fight for self, the fight for the truth, the fight to be healthy. The ultimate adventure of finding healing for self and finding someone with whom to share the quest for love of self, sweetheart, and God.

I chose to write the Christian romances I wanted to read. Being Christian isn't about a life of sweetness and nice; choosing Jesus promises hope.

The weakest flame is still stronger than the dark.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Links to Share...

Ryan Lanz shared good advice of what not to say to a literary agent over at A Writer's Path:

At the Buildin' the Dream writers' conference, I heard a few people ask about Scrivener. Writers In The Storm lists ten features:

Plucking of My Heartstrings is collecting expired coupons for use overseas by our military. For more information, here's the link to her post:

God bless.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dreamin' Convention 2015

What an amazing weekend! This was my fourth year attending. The previous three years, I attended as a reader. It was relaxed and fun. I met new friends and found new authors I enjoy reading.

This year, I attended, for the first time, as an author. Exciting and scary.

Buildin' the Dream

This portion of the conference is for writers, with a variety of workshops offered. I always wish I could clone myself so I could attend all of them.

I taught a workshop on a writer's environment. I taught a similar workshop, last year, but I've learned a lot since then in my efforts to create a more receptive environment for my own writing. I hope those who attended gleaned something helpful.

Arizona Dreamin'

This is the event for readers. The amazing team that created and runs AD, arranges the schedule, set up, the Man of Our Dream contest, and entertainment. The weekend is jam-packed.

The readers choose 7 book clubs sponsored by featured authors, have lunch with an author, and dinner with an author. Each author prepares their own book clubs.

I had two goals going into this event:

1. Participate as an author. I'm a bit of an introvert...definitely an introvert. This would require I step out from behind my safe wall of reserve. More than once, I wanted to chicken out. I didn't. Success!

2. I wanted to make my portion of the event as much fun as possible for my readers and those willing to give me a chance. I hope they had fun.

I found another author I enjoy, Lynn Peters, and added a couple to my want-to-try list.

The next Convention is in 2017.

This year's Man of Our Dreams contestants:

James, the blond holding me, won the contest two years ago and coaches the guys competing. I feel like I know James, at least a little bit, so felt comfortable letting him hold me. All the guys are charming. They flirted and made themselves available all weekend, from chatting to helping out by fetching and carrying. They're delightful. Thank you, gentleman. It was fun.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Links to share...

Having recently participated in a conference, I'm considering other conventions. Eloise J. Knapp shared some great advice:

A Writer's Path shares the difference between stories and novels. I write stories.

Writers In The Storm shared book cover designing advice:

God bless.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Grumbling heroes... posted on FB 1 June...

Fitzgerald: Our numbers are sparse, this day.
Richard: Indeed.
Leo: Is a search party in order?
Richard: I think not.
Jack: No doubt the other heroes will all return soon enough and probably before our Lady is prepared to entertain them.
Leo: You're certain?
Jack: This isn't the first time our numbers have been few.
Karl: What happened, this time?
Jack: Our Lady's dance card has been a bit crowded of late.
Ken: She went dancing?
Jack: It's a figure of speech. You have such things in your time.
Richard: Jack, you're too vague.
Fitzgerald: He enjoys being cryptic.
Jack: Dancing isn't cryptic.
Leo: Depends on your point of view.
Fitzgerald: It matters not. All that matters is will she return soon?
Daniel: If she leaves us hanging around here, I'm leaving.
Jack: She never abandons her own. She attended the famous Dreamin' Convention.
Richard: I remember. She attended last year.
Jack: She's always attended as a reader. This year, she attended as an author.
Richard: Well done.
Leo: Did she have an enjoyable time? She needed some laughter.
Jack: She missed some old friends who weren't able to attend but also made some new friends, and yes, she laughed.
Richard: Good to hear it.
Jack: Yes, she'll be back to revealing secrets in no time.
Fitzgerald: It's decidedly unsettling to know one's secrets will be unearthed.
Karl: I could have gone my whole life not knowing she's going to do that.
Daniel: Revealing my secrets? I may leave, anyway.
Leo: Too late.
Jack: Not to worry, Daniel. She only writes HEA.
Todd: Happily Ever After, right?
Jack: Precisely.
Richard: I don't know why the rest of you are grumbling. I'm the one who has been delayed.
Jack: She takes no pleasure in falling behind.
Leo: What may we do?
Fitzgerald: Send flowers?
Daniel: Chocolate.
Richard: Cooperate.
Todd: Appreciate her.
Jack: Our thanks, my lady.
Fitzgerald: Now, please do put pen to paper in a more timely fashion.