DOES FRIDAY THE 13th SCARE YOU?

Are you superstitious? Do you believe unusual ‘things’ will happen to you on Friday the 13th? Personally, I do. Only I don’t think bad things will happen. Nope, for me it’s just the opposite.

You see, I’ve chosen the 13th to announce that I’ve signed another contract with The Wild Rose Press. Woot! If anything will bring me luck and fantastic book sales, this will. Although, just for good measure, perhaps I should also go drive by a cemetery and see if a black cat will come out of it and run across my path. That has happened to me and I had very good luck afterwards. (Y’all did know that I’m kinda ‘weird,’ didn’t you? 🙂 )

The name of the story is LAST HOPE ALASKA and is set in Juneau. I absolutely love Alaska and I love this story! I hope I’ve done justice to the Juneau area and have depicted the region accurately. If not, I’m sure everyone that lives there will let me know. 😉

Emily Redfern is a cute but quiet librarian from Tulsa who opened her heart to the wrong man. Now she’s on the run and has to dig deep to find survival skills she hadn’t known she possessed. Broke and exhausted, she lands in Juneau – her last hope for a refuge.

When Sam Tarkington was wrongfully imprisoned, it cost him everything to prove his innocence and be exonerated. All he wants is to regain his reputation, his business, and basically his life as he’d once known it. But when he befriends a woman with a southern accent, all of his intentions get sidetracked in a major way.

Danger lurks in the wilderness. Will the challenges facing them bring them closer? Or prove to be their final demise?

Stay tuned for more details and I’ll provide them as they come available.

(Now I’m going to go dance in the street and celebrate. BIG TIME!)

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Tell Me Why . . .

My science fiction shelf

Terminally Curious here after a long hiatus. 😛 Here’s what I’m wondering–

W-H-Y????

Three little letters but a great big word–a constant in a writer’s life. Plotting. Scene and sequence. Make up stories.

  • WHY does your character do what s/he does?
  • WHY does this or that happen just when it should/shouldn’t?
  • WHY does this turning point take place as/when it does?
  • WHY are you writing this particular story?

There are lots of rules. Your story can’t sound contrived or make no sense. And there’s no such thing as a coincidence. Everything must connect to everything else, kind of like the way a chain works. Everything interlocking, but changing, building, without giant leaps in logic. (Yep, I’m writing about my writing here.)

But the most import thing, the WHY I’ve heard since the very first conference I attended . . .

  • WHY do you write?

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a ploy to whittle down my competition. I’m convinced that if I write a book that’s good enough, a publisher will make a place for it.

I just think it’s a wise woman who knows what she does and WHY she does it. And a wiser woman who knows when it’s time to stop doing what she doesn’t enjoy or finds something she likes more.

So . . .  WHY do you write?

Here are a few of the answers I’ve heard.

  • For the big bucks. (Not many people can say that, but some can.)
  • To turn the world into the place you want it to be.
  • Because you can’t not write. (I’m not sure what that means. Hope someone can explain it.)

So how about it? Writers . . . ?

WHY DO YOU WRITE? 

 

 

Romancing the Spice

Terminally Curious here.

Did you read Lynn’s post yesterday? She used her blog day to let us know that their new book IS AVAILABLE! (Woohoo!)

I thought her commercial was great!

With everything happening in the publishing business these days, there’s little to no promotion from the publisher for new(ish) authors. If the authors don’t tell us about their great new books, how will we learn about them?

Romance The Spice of Life is series of novellas, written by a group of fantastic writers.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about it–

 A collection unlike any other, readers will enjoy this compilation of six
diverse novellas; set in varying eras and situations, yet all have one thing in common: Romance.

Each author offers her own slant on affairs of the heart, with a twist. Romance readers should find something to satisfy any
appetite-suspense, historical, inspirational, paranormal, nostalgia or
contemporary, all delivered with a character-inspired recipe at the end.

Of course, I have a pile of questions I want to ask. How did they choose the authors? How long did it take to write it? Did one of them serve as editor? Are they going to have signings all together? How will they split the $$ at group signings?

Was there a boss author? A contract? Deadlines?

My questions go on and on, and since I don’t have answers, I won’t bore you with more of them. Maybe I can talk one or two or three of these writers into being interviewed so we’ll know all the answers.

How about it, ladies? Anybody want to spill the beans? (clears throat) fill us in?

SOLD!!!!!!

Ever been to a potluck? Then you know it’s a fun opportunity to sample each lady’s best dish and trade recipes. Well that’s the idea behind Romance-the Spice of Life-An anthology of love in all its delicious manifestations. This book, written by six different authors, gives fans of Romance the chance to sample a variety of Romance genres: Suspense, Nostalgic, Inspirational, Paranormal, Historical, and Contemporary.

I’m thrilled to announce AWOC Publishing will release Romance-the Spice of Life in November!

Congratulations to my fellow contributors!

Shattered Promises by Linda Trout (Suspense)

Casanova Comes to Dinner by M. Carolyn Steele (Nostalgic)

Sips and Slices by Kathlyn Smith (Inspirational)

Getting it Right by Lynn Somerville (Paranormal)

Muskadine Love by Nita Beshear (Historical)

Family Feud by Gloria Teague (Contemporary)

And, finally, one more special congratulations to Kathlyn Smith. Sips and Slices is her debut novel. I’m so proud of you Kathlyn!

Plot Thickenings

If someone hadn’t given me a good word of advice a long time ago, I’m fairly sure I’d still be just sitting down to write–no plot, no plan, and in the end, no story.

I’ve learned I must have some sort of roadmap or I’ll end up hyperventilating every time I open my word document because I’m totally lost.

If I plotted as heavily as some wonderfully awesome writers do, I’d be so bored with my story, I’d clean toilets rather than work on it.

So when I write a book, I do a little plotting beforehand, then go for it. (I’m always way too anxious to get to the fun of that first scene.)

For me at this time, plotting means a little Miss Deb (Dixon) for the hero, heroine and the bad guy if there is one–character wants this, because of this, but he can’t have it because of this.

Then turning points–

  1. Inciting incident.
  2. Midbook turning point.
  3. Midbook turning point.
  4. Dark moment.
  5. Resolution.

A little explanation:

  • Inciting incident is the happening that starts things off. In a romance, it’s often the first meeting between the hero and heroine. Other times, it’s something that happens that precipitates the first attraction between the pair.
  • A turning point is something that changes things. It can be something one discovers about the other or something that happens to both of them that changes the direction of their relationship.
  • The dark moment is when something happens that destroys the relationship. Makes it un-fixable.
  • Resolution is when the hero and heroine realize they really do love each other, no matter what. Inspite of whatever the dark moment was.

The best books are written so flawlessly and build on what’s already happened so well that it’s hard to say, There. That’s the dark moment or Turning point! Turning point!

So how can you pick them out in someone else’s books and thereby learn to employ it yourself? The best way I can explain it is when I’m reading along and I do a mentally gasp or sigh, Oh, I do like him or Maybe she’s not really a pain, that could be a turning point.

So I read on, and if things change (in the books I read/write, that’s usually between the h/h) I’ve pinpointed one! 🙂

Now you know how I plot a book. It gives me a roadmap of sorts without the spoilers that would ruin the trip for me.

Of course, I’m always looking for a better way to piece together my mousetrap. How do you build yours?

Pass the Word on Gloria Teague’s New One

They say word of mouth is the best advertising in the world, and I tend to believe it. When someone says, “This restaurant is great,” I’m much more likely to try it than if I see an ad saying the same thing. Ditto for books, music, stores, etc. (Not so much for movies. I’m not a movie-watcher. I’d much rather be reading or writing.)

So, anyhoo, let’s test the word-of-mouth theory. Today I’m going to tell you about Gloria Teague’s newest book,Through the Shadows.I’ve been a fan of Gloria’s since I met her. She’s one of the nicest, friendliest down-home people you’ll ever meet — exactly my kind.

The first book of hers I read was Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge, an all-too-fun collection about her childhood. The last was Safe in the Heart of a Miracle: More True Stories of Medical Miracles — stuff in there to make the hair on your neck stand up.

Her current is a paranormal called Through the Shadows. The heroine is a romance author — ah, I liked her just for that. Trust me, writing romances is not for the faint of heart. There’s also the heroine’s mother (a healthy mother-daughter relationship in a book — yea!!), her agent, her ex-husband and, of course, a to-die-for hero who travels from his own time to hers for their happily-ever-after. I love the idea that we’ll each find our own perfect mate even if we’re born centuries apart. Sigh . . .

So, now the word-of-mouth . . . Go to Amazon and buy this book, then tell all your friends to tell all their friends. Life is too short to miss a lovely story like this.

Happily in the Hereafter

As I replied to Jackie’s comment to last weeks’ Retreat to Creativity, I realized  that had it not been for that retreat, I might not have begun writing the short stories that make up SCARY MONDAYS. The work we did that weekend gave me the confidence to put my work out there for people to read. The following is an excerpt from SCARY MONDAYS, an anthology of flash fiction and poems written by me and my daughter KT, now available at www.amazon.com. With our next retreat nearing, I thought this story would be appropriate.

“This is stupid,” Laura complained. “Every year it gives me the same name.  Rafe.”

“Oh, hush.” Susan patted the carpet next to the coffee table.  With affection, she ordered, “Sit your butt down and spin.”

Huffing out an irritated sigh, Laura nudged Kathlyn and Sandy’s rear-ends.  Making space on the floor, she plopped down. Every year their local romance writers group spent a weekend in retreat. Perfecting their craft, they sat through seminars on plotting, characterization, and the business of selling romance. Over the years it’d become a tradition to end the workshop with pizza and wine, gossip, and a goofy game played only by the single members of the chapter called, “Who’s your prince charming?”

“So here’s how it works,” Linda explained to Jennifer, the newest member of the chapter. “We put the Ouija Board on the table.” Linda tapped the board. “But we don’t use a planchette. We use an empty beer bottle.”

“It’s kind of a twisted version of Spin the Bottle,” Meg added. “So you spin the bottle. Each letter the spout lands on spells out the name of the guy you’re going to marry.”

“Who came up with this game?” Jean asked.

“I don’t remember.” Marilyn laughed as she elbowed Jackie, the chapter president. “I just remember being a little tipsy.”

“We’ve been playing this game for thirteen years,” Deanna said. “And for thirteen years, it’s been the same name for Laura.”

“Rafe.” Laura shook her head. “I’m mean seriously! Have you ever met a guy in real life named Rafe?”

“Lots of writers use the name Rafe. It’s sexy,” the other Jackie in the group countered.

“I think it’s Irish.”Ashley grinned and wiggled her eyebrows. “I almost named one of my pirates Rafe.”

“It means Tough Man,” Annie put in.

“Whatever.” Laura rolled her eyes. “Year after year, I get the same name. Why can’t the Ouija Board  give me a common name, like George, or John, or Paul? Someone I might actually meet. But oh, no. I get an exotic name like Rafe.”

Peggy pointed her cane at Laura. “Just spin the bottle, dear.”

With a flick of her wrist, Laura gave the bottle a turn as her fellow writers looked on. Just as it had for thirteen years, the Ouija Board offered up the same name: R. A. F. E. Disgusted, Laura rose, walked over to the kitchen counter. “I need another glass of wine.”

“Cheer up.” Judy patted her shoulder. “This could be you’re lucky year.”

On Sunday morning, they packed their cars, promised to see each other at next month’s meeting, and headed home. On the drive back, Laura’s cell phone began to play her ringtone, Sweet Child of Mine. She reached for the phone sitting on the passenger seat along with her purse. Fumbling the phone, she dropped it on the floorboard. She should’ve safely maneuvered her Jeep to the side of the road. But the phone was just within reach. If she unfastened her seatbelt, she could get it.

Laura surfaced hovering just inches above someone’s nicely manicured front lawn. Confused, she chewed a fingernail. A crowd had gathered. Her Jeep was wrapped around a big, solid oak. Her body had smashed through the windshield. Her head and part of her torso lay on the hood of the car. The rest of her was draped over the steering wheel.  Sirens wailed as paramedics arrived.

“That probably hurt.”

Turning, Laura found herself facing Tall, Dark, and Wow! Just wow!  Mr. Gorgeous grinned apologetically. “I think you’re dead.” He pointed toward the crash. Laura swiveled her head in time to watch the EMTs pull both halves of her body from the wreckage.

Crossing her arms over her chest, Laura narrowed her eyes. “If I’m dead how can you see me? How can you talk to me?”

His smile just got wider and sexier. Laura pointed a once well manicured finger at him. “You’re a ghost.”  She frowned, looked at him, back to the accident scene, then back to him. She tapped her chest where her heart no longer beat. “And I’m a ghost.”

There was no mistaking the attraction in his eyes.  He looked her up and down, eyes traveling with approval over her curves. “Yep.”

She moved toward him, glided, she realized with awe. Hand outstretched she offered, “I’m Laura.”

“Rafe,” he said as he accepted her hand.

She dropped his hand, and started to giggle. Embarrassed, yet amused by Fate’s upturned middle finger, she looked back as the ambulance carrying her body to the morgue drove away. “Of course you are, because this is my lucky day and there are no Rafe’s in real life.” Seeing the puzzled look on his handsome face, she stifled a laugh, waving her hand. “It’s a long story.”

He twined his fingers with hers. “We’ve got time.”

Again, Laura began to snicker. “So tell me, Rafe,” she asked as they began to float away. “How do ghosts have sex?”

That oh so kissable mouth, bowed up. “I don’t know. But we’ve got an eternity to figure it out.”