Monday, April 8, 2019

TOMORROW BECOMES TODAY...

Geez..

You'd think I fell off the face of the earth! Honestly, I can tell you what happened.

I'd love to say I was buried in the book, but I wasn't. I fell down a completely different rabbit hole but one I think I really needed right now.

When I'm not writing, I am a paper artists. I love playing with paper. Whether I'm scrapbooking, making cards or in my most recent adventure... junk journals. I am in love with the creative process. I am also a Stampin' UP! demonstrator trying to at least make enough from my business to support my habit. ;-)

I took an Art Journal Plotting workshop through the FF&P RWA chapter. Wow! Was that ever fun... and opened up the floodgates to the story I want to tell. I've been piecing the story together through art journaling! Who knew plotting could be so creative?

Apparently, author Shea MacLeod does and she happily shared her process through the workshop. I'll be having Shea as a guest very soon. We're just needing to set a date.

In the mean time, I have the art journal open. I've been adding street maps and pictures of Eureka Springs, a town I know so very well (I've even written an award-winning travel article), yet when I start writing the story some of the important details get lost.

I'm taking part in Camp Nano. I'm a few days behind.. what's new? LOL But ast least I feel as if I can move forward.

I have some other guests in the planning stages and I want to start a new series.. The Writers Nook. Through this series we'll get to see where writers create and what inspires them to put butt in chair/ hands on keyboard (BIC HOK) to get their stories told.

Off to get stuff off the table and start writing!

Monday, February 25, 2019

CURRENT PROJECT - Decision

I hate decisions. Who doesn't. Going through the process of making them can have serious repercussions. Then there's the whole final decision that can still leave you with questions.

As you know, I've been fighting with trying to get to know my characters. I can SEE them in my mind, but they just were not telling me anything about themselves... until about a week ago. Since then, I've been piecing their history together and I'll be sharing their backgrounds in future posts.

For instance, did you know that Italians are typically blonde and blue-eyed. NOT the dark hair'd folks portrayed in television?  The coloring comes from immigration of Central European descent. Why is that important?

I KNEW my heroine, Katie, had blonde hair and blue eyes. That she always wears her hair in a high pony tail (think Sandy from Grease). From that, I had to look at the immigration of ethnicity into the NW Arkansas area in the late 1800's- early 1900's. Mostly Central European.

See, even when writing contemporary fiction, we have to know WHERE our characters came from. Even if we don't tell the reader everything, knowing their background is important in knowing their strengths, weaknesses, basic characteristics as well as things from their heritage that might influence their inner conflicts.

Through research and a long chat with my friend (author) Tara Manderino, I got a handle on Katie. I found out why she has this sense of people walking out on her. I'll explain more of that to you tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a clip from Dharma and Greg. Dharma's dad is a good portrayal physically of Katie's dad.


Monday, February 18, 2019

CURRENT PROJECT - Update

As readers we think (or at least I've heard) that writing a book is easy. For those authors who are pumping out 4-6 books a year I just can't imagine. Do they not do anything but write? No other interests?

I have to be honest with you, dear readers. I am really struggling with Book 2. I have always had some experience, feeling, something to draw from and to add a dimension to my stories. With Book 2, I am starting with a clean slate. The closest I have to experience with this book is 1) my passion for all things Eureka Springs and 2) my desire to in some way, pay my respects to Corporal Donald Matney, the Korean War Veteran who inspired the secondary story line.

For those of you who are authors, you'll understand what I'm about to say next. The Hero, Marc, informed me last night that his last name can NOT be the same as the Veteran, because his mother (the daughter of the late Cpl. Sterling) married. Marc's name would be that of his parents... not his mother's maiden name.

So here I sit... twenty-two days from my self-imposed deadline to have the rough draft finished and I'm needing to fix this. I'm just glad Marc caught it and not one of you after the fact.

My strongest desires for Book 2 are to do justice to Cpl, Matney and his family and to put out the very best book I can.

I'm looking ahead now at two potential new release dates. Either around Memorial Day (buying me 2 extra weeks) or around the time that Cpl. Matney would have shipped out,being mid-June

To add to the timeline, we will have our granddaughters the last full week of March while they're on spring break then again from the end of May to mid-August for the summer. Their mom works from home and is pretty sure she won't be able to work with them home, so grandma gets to multi-task. Granted, my job does not have the stress level or the importance of hers. Besides, after missing out so much of their growing up in the past five years, I wouldn't miss this time with them for anything.

Summer will be a bit easier as Bob will be home for part of their visit, giving me a break to hide in the evenings and write. However, the way his schedule is in motion right now, he's probably going to be going back out about the time I drive down to pick them up

In the mean time, I'm still trying to line up guests. There doesn't seem to be a lot of releasing but tons of writing.

So tell me, are you are writer? a reader? both?



Monday, February 4, 2019

FINDING A GROOVE

I have to tell you, after so much time off finding that groove hasn't been easy. But as I sit at the table this morning with the laptop and cup of coffee, various planners surrounding the perimeter, I feel as if I might accomplish something.

Korean War Monument

I dug into the research on a now titled Book 2 last week as I'd planned. One night I hit a speed bump so sent a text to my sister. She's a good writer and amazing when it comes to research. No matter how hard I tried (okay with the exception of the one avenue she used) I could not find out any information about the high school situation in Eureka Springs in the 1940s-50s. I needed to know if Daniel had gone to high school in Eureka Springs? Were they going all the way to Berryville?

Details are important in ANY writing. Even if you do not use everything from your research in the story (and you never do), you just know something is going to come up in conversation between a couple of your characters and you'll need that gem to bring realism to the scene.

This story is as much about Cpl. Daniel L. Sterling as it is about Katie and Marc. Things they learn about the past will help them repair and rebuild the love they once knew.

I'm still contacting authors about spotlights. Hope to have those rolling by the first Tuesday in March.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Hot Target Cowboy



HOT TARGET COWBOY is Book 2 in the Dark Horse Cowboys series by June Faver.  If there is one thing June knows, it's cowboys. She is from Texas, after all.

BLURB:
His loyalty is to his family.
But his heart belongs to her.
Eldest son Colt Garrett is the biggest, strongest and steadiest of the Garrett brothers. Colt accepts his responsibilities, knowing his future is tied to the land. Colt has stayed centered-but when he falls in love, he falls hard. He is mesmerized by Misty Dalton, the younger sister of one of his brother's friends.
Misty Dalton has held together a family plagued with problems since her mother passed away. But when the threats to her family turn deadly, Misty turns to Colt. If anybody wants to hurt Misty, they're going to have to go through the toughest of the Garrett boys first.

June Faver is one of my 'favorite' authors. Not only has she been a good friend and mentor for over thirteen years, but the woman can write! Proven through her multi-book contract with Sourcebooks in the Casablanca line as well as through the many workshops she has held at SavvyAuthors.  She is always up on trends in the industry and shares her finds with others so we are right up there with her.

But you're here about the book, HOT TARGET COWBOY.

I have to be honest, when she first told me the title, I was skeptical. I'm still not sure the title fits but once you get beyond that and into the story, you are once again carried away to Texas and the Garret compound. A ranch grown from grief and from love, forming a tight bond between the brothers as well as Big Jim, the father they love and respect. The Garrets are all about family... their own and others who might need a little help.

With that in mind, I was not surprised to see Colt, the oldest of the three Garrets, jump in to rescue Misty Dalton. He began by connecting with her younger brother, Mark. As soon as he made friends with the boy, I knew here was a hero I would want in my corner. He knew from the get-go Misty and Mark were part of a package... one he wanted to cherish. 

Through the twists and turns of the usual murders and suspense found in June's books, I found myself in love with Colt, just like I fell for Tyler in book one. 

Returning characters from Book 1 (Do Or Die Cowboy) include Leah. Leah married Tyler in Book 1 and is still showing her spitfire gumption when she stands up for Misty against Big Jim. You'll find not many stand up to that man without a bit of backfire. 

While you don't have to read the books in order, I recommend picking them both up. While you're at it, follow June Faver on the social media sights listed below so you will know when Book 3 - Full Throttle Cowboy - releases. 

I'm giving this book 5 quills not because June is a dear friend but because I LOVED the book... and I think you will too. 




Please visit/ follow June Faver on the links below

WEBSITE         FB          TWITTER          PINTEREST          GOODREADS          AMAZON

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS COMING SOON!


I will be bringing the author spotlight back, probably in a couple of weeks. The return will be based on when I can get Q & A back from authors. I didn't want to interrupt anyone's holiday season with office stuff. I'm contacting a couple of people today and will get the ball rolling.

In the mean time, I hope you'll come back tomorrow to check out my review of HOT TARGET COWBOY by June Faver. This is the second in her Garret family series.


Monday, January 28, 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I love the holidays. I really need that time to just chill. Let my brain filter through the clutter and be prepared to start a new year fresh.

I've been working in the background on several things. Sadly, very little on Book 2 of the Planned to Perfection series. While I know I have a self-imposed deadline for writing/ edits/ betas/ polish/ publishing I just can't seem to drag myself to the computer when Bob is home. He is my real life HERO and he ALWAYS comes first in my life. Not by his choice, but by mine.

Beginning today, I'm pulling out the yet untitled Book 2, set a new word count plan into action and get back to the book. I still need to research meetings with a couple of people.

I don't think I've told any of you yet, but Book 2 is centered around a young couple brought back together (there's that 2nd chance thing) through the events surrounding bringing home the remains of a Korean War Vet. I got the idea two years ago as I stood by the side of the road in solemn respect of a procession carrying Crpl. Donald Matney home to Seymour MO. Something about this young man spoke to me. While I've never believed in visiting someone at a cemetery, I find myself stopping by his resting place almost every time I travel through on my way to Springfield.


They say 'write what you know'. Many of my stories are influenced by my own personal experiences. I'm struggling with Book 2 because I really don't have anything to pull from. The other challenge I have is making sure I get all of the military information correct. I do not want to dishonor our service men and women by misrepresenting something. 

Now that Bob is back on the boat, I can dig deep into the research without being pulled away to fix dinner or go somewhere. Bob is planning to stay on the boat as long as they will let him so I know I have at least three solid weeks (okay probably only two since he will have been gone a week tomorrow). As much as I love having him home, I'm hoping he'll be gone 4-5 weeks this time out. I'll get caught up, maybe even a little ahead of the game and on a schedule again so I can be productive in short bursts when he is home.

 I'm off to research. 
Creative Blessings!