In one of my bios I refer to myself as a contemporary culture junkie, a fancy way of explaining the inordinate amount of time I spend watching television. The habit goes back to my childhood and our first TV set, a black and white that couldn’t have been bigger than 13 inches. I grew up watching first-run episodes of “I Love Lucy.” I remember first-run watching her stomp the grapes in Italy and causing havoc in a chocolate factory. In our home we had “rabbit ears” and the tri-colored acrylic sheet to be attached to the screen to give the impression of “color television,” which didn’t fool anyone.
Since I brought home good grades throughout my school years, my parents allowed me to watch the boob tube when I was studying. The habit, for better or worse, held throughout college and grad school, and it continues to this day. I have my set on as background sound as I write. I only turn it off when I read copy out loud.
Because this is a large part of who I now am. I have a friend who refers to me as the “go-to” person whenever the subject of TV or entertainment comes up in trivia games we play. The first time I heard this I wondered if I should take it as a compliment or a putdown. When it came time to develop my first self-published books this past summer, I decided to use this knowledge to my benefit and frame the series around television production.
I readily admit my “expertise” comes as a viewer. I’ve never studied the technical part of the medium nor worked in the industry. In UnderWright Productions I focus on the developmental and conceptual elements of the TV shows which are the subjects of each book. In fact, each book’s title is the same as the title of the featured TV show.
I also set this up so that UnderWright Productions is just getting started and operating on a shoestring budget. That’s why the first few books feature different versions of reality shows, because production costs with those can be significantly lower than scripted shows. Thus far, these shows include an elimination game show (Don’t Toy with Me), an interior decoration show (Change Up) and now, with Love in the Third Act, senior dating.
on this subject is Mediabistro.com Presents Small Screen, Big Picture: A Writer’s Guide to the TV Business by Chad Gervich, 2008. He explains the basic steps of TV production, but he also points out that the industry is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Evolving technology has begun to make production less expensive and therefore more accessible to those with the creativity but fewer financial resources. (I wish he’d update his first edition, because I suspect the rate of change he described has been even more pronounced in recent years.) With this premise in mind, I felt I could create my own world for the UnderWright Production company and still be plausible.
I can’t be the only TV addict out there or the business would have tanked years ago. The cultural anthropologist in me (yes, that was my first major as an undergraduate) finds the evolution of the industry fascinating. If you into TV as well, or just like a good love story, I invite you to check out this recent release.
Wedding planner Hadley Mayhew makes the mistake of sharing with a new client her mother’s bizarre request to help her find a man, never contemplating the woman will think the idea of a mature child helping their parent reenter the dating game might be great fodder for a reality TV show. Even more surprising, her client wants Hadley and her mother to be her first subjects.
Kevin Barkley had every reason to believe he’d be a huge success as a filmmaker when he won his film school’s most prestigious award. But for reasons he doesn’t understand, fate, or what seems to be fate, keeps working against him. Several producing jobs have eluded him, notably a recent offer that was withdrawn at the last minute. To make matters worse, the showrunner has been spreading rumors that Kevin is difficult.
Temporarily unemployed, Kevin is unable to refuse his aunt’s offer to executive produce and direct her latest project, a reality show about senior dating, especially since the money involved is obscene. There’s just one catch: He must agree to hire Hadley Mayhew, his former best friend in college, as his writer and assistant producer. If they are to work together, can his forgive her for revealing his fiancée was cheating on him?
Bethany rose and shook hands with Hadley. “This has been a great first meeting. I’ll review this contract with my fiancé and get back to you with any questions or comments before our next meeting.” She glanced at her watch. “I’d better get going. I have a fitting to supervise.”
She was out the door before Hadley could reply. Kevin remained behind to pack his equipment, even though the way he was slamming things together, it was obvious he was anxious to leave as soon as possible.
“Is she always like that? All business one minute and gone the next?” She didn’t care about the response as much as she wanted him to speak directly to her. If he opted out of his videographer duties, this might be the only chance she’d ever have to talk to him again. Awkward as things still appeared between them, for some reason, it was important they clear the air.
He stared at the door. “Yeah, more or less.” He slung the straps of two cases over his shoulders and made ready to leave.
Desperation forced her to be direct. “Are you really okay with this?”
His back was to her, but he stopped, set down his equipment and pivoted to face her. “Hell, no.”
Website and blog: http://www.barbarabarrettbooks.com
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These days pretty much everything feels like it’s outside my comfort zone. Except napping. I love a good nap. And my cat, Luna, is always trying to sucker me into a nice long nap in the middle of the day.
But, I can’t spend all my time sleeping. (Sorry, Luna!) And when I do step outside that safety zone, I almost always find the excursion was worth any initial discomfort. It’s the first steps that are the hardest.
In writing, authors are often told to “write what you know.” Seems simple, right? Nice and tidy, and no need to step outside of that oh-so-comfortable zone we all love. But it can also be, well, boring.
So what’s an author to do?
Not so quick. Characters, their stories, and imaginative new worlds they live in are only limited by our imagination—eh, that’s not entirely true. Ever have a character do something in a book that you know is wrong? (Like a Regency duke deciding to bypass his wastrel eldest son so the dutiful youngest could inherit the title—couldn’t have happened.
This one will drive some avid Regency readers insane!) Probably pulled you right out of the story. Authors absolutely HATE it when readers get pulled out of the story. Whether due to shoddy research or cute kittens who like to nap, we don’t want you to put that book down until you’re sighing with happiness at the ending.
I live in fear of the questions I never even thought to ask while I research something or other. My most recent story, ON HER OWN (featured in SNOWBOUND IN HAVENPORT) has me biting my nails because the heroine is not of the same race as me.
The story is not about her race, but obviously, her race is part of who she is and I hope I’ve done her justice without falling prey to stereotypes. I’m nervous as hell about it, but felt compelled to step out of my zone and write her story. She started as a secondary character in a previous Havenport story and by the end of that book, I knew she was going to have to get a book of her own. Her hero wouldn’t have it any other way.
And even though I freak out every time I step out of my comfort zone, I know I’m going to do it again.
Finally free of her abusive ex-husband, and the magick that bound her to him, Jennifer Venkat returns to Havenport for a wedding. She never planned on going back to the scene of so much pain, but she couldn’t help but think about the man who’d helped her through it all. Will she rekindle the spark she felt with the groom’s best man, or is she not yet ready to risk her heart?
Braeden Tiede can’t wait to see Jennifer again. Ever since their one weekend together, he hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind. She’s been through a lot, and he’s determined to prove he’s nothing like her ex. But is he man enough to be there for her when she needs him the most?
When Jennifer receives threatening messages, her latent power turns a gentle snowfall into a raging blizzard. Snowed in and terrified, Jennifer can’t control her magick. Can Braeden help Jennifer through her fear, or will she run from her past and destroy any hope for their future?
Ghosts have taken over Havenport! Four restless ghosts…four tales of love.
The Witching Hour by Ruth A. Casie ~ Lost: One locket filled with memories. Will finding it lead to peace and happiness?
The Ghost of You by Emma Kaye ~ A ghost saved his life, then broke his heart. Years later, he may have found a way to bring her back, but will the act of saving her destroy him?
A Spirit’s Bond by Nicole S. Patrick ~ A connection, which knows no boundaries, helps a couple find their way to love.
Kindred Spirits by Lita Harris ~ A young widow must find a way to work through her grief in order to move on and find happiness once again.
It’s November, that magical thankful month when writers decide to push themselves and complete a novel in one month. Many complete the challenge. Others do not. But that’s not what this is about. This about my personal journey last year through NaNoWriteMo and the sixty-thousand-word behemoth currently residing under the working title of “What Hath I Done?”
I shouldn’t have tried last year to participate. I wasn’t in the right head space. I had too much personal drama going on. I had no idea what to write. But, as a good friend who is also a writer told me many times, just put the words down. Then you can edit later.
So as soon as the last little Halloween chocolate mini was given away, I sat down at my computer to start my magnum opus. I chose a set of characters, I devised a general plot, and I developed a bad guy. With a full pitcher of ice tea, and a clean notebook for jotting down notes, I set about writing.
I’ve been a pantser since elementary school and book report deadlines that always seemed to leap up and surprise me. So it wasn’t long, November 6th of last year to be precise, when I realized that my topic had veered wildly off course.
My heroine was having lustful thoughts about the bad guy, the hero was just not into saving anyone, and the most interesting character was a golden retriever who barked at empty corners. Since I was more than three chapters into this mess I was attempting to craft into a book, I decided to keep going and see just how weird this thing could get.
I set a forest on fire to cover up a break-in. I exploded a landmine under an SUV on a narrow mountain road only to flip up against a tree, thereby saving everyone from falling a thousand feet into a gorge filled with poison ivy. I built mining tunnels throughout the mountains, filled with secret rooms used for hiding moonshine and holding mystic ritual ceremonies.
that could have inspire a gymnastic routine. Car chases around town in rush hour traffic, where the entire chase moved no faster than fifteen miles per hour and the trick was to keep moving from lane to lane without crossing in front of the bad guys. Oh, the penultimate moment when the hero and his lady had to raft down a slow-moving river while hiding from a gunship drone looking for them.
By Thanksgiving I had reached my word count goal, and stuck my tongue at all those who said I couldn’t make it. After hitting save for the final time, I closed the document and haven’t looked at it since.
I’ve concluded that while I always feel the stories weaving themselves inside my head, not every thread is a gem. I’ve also discovered that I cannot push my muse. She’s a capricious wench, and to deny her the time to build her stories her way, is to court literary goulash of a horrific manner.
read through the gumbo of a story I threw together in honor of the great November writing exercise. There might actually be a real book in there, once I get past all the gadgets and gimmicks and lame interactions that I threw into the mix to make daily word counts. But never again will I push myself to commit to something I don’t feel inside. Without that commitment from my inner guide, nothing happens.
I applaud all those who are participating and wish them great success. They possess an ability I find lacking in myself.
But if you know anyone interested in a story with international terrorists running a gold mining operation in the wilds of Northern Georgia, discovered by a team doing a modeling shoot at a secluded mountain chalet, have I got a book for them!
So, I plod forward a few paragraphs at a time. It’s progress, and I am definitely not complaining. I will take them as they come and work them into sentences. Slowly but surely the pages of the stories in my life will creep forward. That is the direction I choose, and I thank all that is holy for the ability to do so.
In the end, that is all I need.
Nancy Reece won her first writing contest in seventh grade, and a life long passion was awakened. Born in Pennsylvania, but raised in the South, Nancy studied Psychology at Wesleyan College in Macon Georgia and Computer Information Systems at Southern Polytechnical College. She is married, and lives in the Atlanta area along with two children, two dogs, and a cat. In her spare time she is very active in animal rescue, especially horses, and is on the Board of Directors for Blue Skies Riding Academy, a 501c3 equine rescue dedicated to rehabilitating and retraining horses which have been redeemed from slaughter pens and other abusive situations.
Raised in a dysfunctional family, Cassandra Devlyn Ferguson has tried to leave the past behind and carve out a new life with her husband, former Black Ops specialist, Sean Ferguson. Her family’s shady business dealings never involved her, and she intends to keep it that way.
Sean wants nothing more than to be a devoted, loving husband. But his new job sends him to the front lines at some of the world’s most dangerous spots. For years, he’s blamed his Irish wanderlust for the risks, but the truth is ‘ he enjoys the rush of adrenaline danger brings. When the Devlyn family’s mistakes come looking for Cassie, it’s up to Sean to bring her home safely.
The one positive? Cassie knows all about her family’s true nature and is willing to walk away from everything to stay with him. The negative? Someone wants them dead and will stop at nothing to keep all the skeletons in the closet.
Among many things I’m thankful for as Thanksgiving rolls around is the ability of being able to see.
Humans have a multitude of senses, and these senses are our contact to the environment. Traditionally, sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation) are the five recognized senses.
But by far, the most important organs of sense are our eyes since we perceive up to 80% of all impressions by means of our sight. And if other senses such as taste or smell stop working, it’s the eyes that best protect us from danger.
I received two new lenses for my eyes in October and, though it wasn’t a difficult procedure, it was something that made me stop and reanalyze how much I take my sight for granted.
Daily, we use our eyes from the moment we awake each morning to when we retire for the night. We use them to eat, play, and work. As writers, we use our sight continually when reading, writing, using the computer, doing research, or when taking a break to grab a snack or to watch television or even dial the phone.
Our eyes are also a recorder of all events that take place in our lives. If it’s said, our eyes are windows to our souls, isn’t our sight actually a window to our entire world around us?
This Thanksgiving, when we glance around our table at our cherished folk who are celebrating with us, let’s give thanks for our eyesight which allows us to enjoy the celebration—along with all the other gifts and blessings The Almighty has bestowed upon us. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I am showcasing my newest release this year, called “Four White Roses.” I am happy to announce that it was a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards. The Book Excellence Awards were founded by Literary Excellence Incorporated. Books that have received a Book Excellence Award have been recognized for their high quality design, writing and overall market appeal. It is a cross genre novel that includes mystery, romance, and a paranormal element.
When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.
Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.
Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?
Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, PA. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education throughout her career.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines and anthologies, and have received numerous award. Nineteen of them have been collected in “Up on the Roof and Other Stories.”
When Judy Ann is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few.
She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Her blog: www.judyanndavis.blogspot.com
The web: http://www.judyanndavis.com/
Facebook: Judy Ann Davis Author
RED FOX WOMAN
UNDER STARRY SKIES
KEY TO LOVE
UP ON THE ROOF AND OTHER STORIES
Ever feel like life wants you to entertain it? Or that the Universe has a fetish for creating obstacles on the simplest path? Well, join the club. I’ll impart to you the wisdom gained in all my years of living: life changes. That’s it’s MO, it’s deep secret. As soon as you think you’ve got it, it moves. It’s like those stores that you frequent where you think you know all the aisles and what’s on them. Then you enter one day, and some demented designer has “remodeled” the entire place. You’re left standing in the center, wanting to scream because you can’t find the socks you’re looking for.
Sometimes I swear the publishing business is nothing but shifting sand. What they want, what they feel readers want, it’s all a guessing game. It also depends on exactly that: what they want. What appeals to a particular editor, or what the publishing house wants to focus on. It’s the same in other professions. I worked as a pre-school teacher for several years, and what’s considered best practices too often depends on how much money the state has to spend and what the latest fad is.
…trying to figure this out, both in life and in your work. There is another gem of wisdom, however, that I’ve found mitigates some of the craziness: enjoy the moment. If you’re writing a story that captivates you, or makes you laugh, write on. Enjoy the process. If you’re teaching little children and they cart you off schedule into the wonderland in their heads (they are worse than the Pied Piper at this), then enjoy the trip. At its best, life is a collection of those moments. They change, with some repeating themselves years later and some never coming again. It’s the journey that counts, so sit back and enjoy the crazy trip.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Being a writer is more than something I do. It is the way I see the world, the way I process it. I believe in the power of stories. They make us smile, make us think, and give us untold moments of enjoyment. My stories come from the landscape around me and the worlds I build in my head. I am proud to be a storyteller, and I hope my work leaves you both satisfied and entertained.
…for me. Summer’s hot and humid temperatures are a fading memory. In my neck of the woods, Northern Wisconsin, the leaves are changing, giving us a last hurrah before winter sets in.
Cooler temperatures also mean the loss of something I absolutely love to do – be outdoors. I love to camp, hike, bike, and most of all write outdoors. I either sit on our back deck or go to a park. Every fall I spend a week camping by myself where I can sit beneath the camper’s awning and type away while listening to the birds and the leaves fall.
…I have to ween myself from writing outside and back in the house. It’s difficult. The past few weeks, we’ve had above seasonal temps, but not warm enough to sit on the deck. So, I’ve been driving to a park and writing in my van. I park near a pond or lake, crack the windows to hear nature’s sounds, and work away, taking a few breaks to walk around. It’s amazing how many words I can get written in a few hours.
and change quickly. I hate writing at my desk, so I’m easing myself to writing on the couch in the living room or basement. I had my husband bring up one of my favorite comfy recliners from the basement, giving me another option for where to write.
I dread the quickly approaching day when I have to say goodbye to my favorite place to write, and as winter starts and wears on, I’ll be dreaming of spring and I can take my laptop back onto the deck and work away.
Can hidden love notes and money bring two people together or tear them apart.
After the death of the grandmother Ellie Farrell had lived with since she was sixteen, she is tasked with the job of cleaning out the over-packed house. When Ellie begins to find love notes and money from a Burt to Randi spanning over four decades, she sets out to find out who these people are and what they have to do with her. An unexpected check for $100,000 dollars delivered to her house, ramps up the mystery – especially when death threats begin to arrive.
Patton Trullinger, an investigative reporter, comes to Chandler County to research bootleggers for a book he’s contracted for. As a Vietnam veteran, he’s dealing with PTSD. When he meets Ellie, he finds her mystery too good to pass up.
Who are Burt and Randi? Who is sending death threats? Will Ellie and Patton’s love bloom as the mystery deepens?
As a child, Tina Susedik always had stories floating around in her head, but had no idea those stories could be put down in book form as writing stories wasn’t taught in her classes. One day her brother (yes, her brother) introduced her to Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. Tina was hooked and a love of reading, and eventually writing romance, began. Besides her romances, she is also a non-fiction writer with seven history books in print. She also has written and published two children’s books. She also writes under her pen name, Anita Kidesu. This winter she will begin hosting a radio talk show, “Your Book Garden” on Authors on the Air Radio Network.
Tina has been married for forty-four years and lives in Northwestern Wisconsin. She has two children and five grandchildren. After careers in accounting and teaching (not necessarily at the same time), she found her career in writing is what fulfills her the most. When not writing, she loves camping, hiking, photography, reading, and playing with her five grandchildren.
Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author
One of my favorite quotes, from my all-time favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, is when secondary character Jordan says, “Life starts all over when it gets crisp in the fall.” It always gives me a chill of exitement. Maybe it’s all those years of being a student and the sense of expectation, that this school year would be the one when everything was different and my life changed and got exciting. (My father always called the school years, “the best years of your life”. But they certainly weren’t for me.)
the wheel of the seasons began on November first, and they celebrated the end of the old year on October 31. This celebration was called Samhain, which became our Halloween. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was very thin and the spirits of your ancestors might visit you. They had feasts so that there would be food to feed their spirit guests, and it’s likely some of the rituals we associate with Halloween—dressing in costume and carving faces on turnips and other vegetables (they didn’t have pumpkins in Europe), were ways to scare off the spirits, in case they were vengeful or malevolent.
being a time of new beginnings, especially in terms of writing. My garden is dying, which means I can invest more of creative and physical energy into writing. Instead of nurturing plants, I will nurture my book, and watch my characters come to life and grow and show me the way in the story. Fall brings the death of many plants, but they leave behind seeds and roots, the promise of new life in the future. Fall connects our past, scary or wonderful as it is, with a new beginning and a new opportunity.
Learn the words you overuse and make a list for when you edit your book. Add to the list when you find new words you overuse. Then you can do a search for the offending words and eliminate most of them before you start the rest of the editing process.
The most successful writers develop a brand and stick to it. Even if you write in different genres, you need to create a sense of what links your books, and promote that. My brand is intense, passionate stories that connect to the past. Even when I write lighter, more humorous stories, or create modern characters, there is a thread of seriousness beneath the humor and some connection to another historical time period.
came to me over 20 years ago, and I even wrote a completely different version back then. But I think I had to get grow older (and hopefully wiser) to really understand the crux of the story. Women in medieval times had very little power. I wanted to show how a medieval woman, without stepping outside of traditional female roles, could take charge of her life. And of course, she needed a hero who would appreciate her for who she was, and admire her strength and resolve. Lady of Steel is the first book in my Medieval Ladies series. I hope readers enjoy Nicola’s and Fawkes’s story.
LADY OF STEEL, The first book in the Medieval Ladies Series, Coming in early 2018
One rapturous hour together sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. But when Fawkes returns from the horrors of the Crusades, he discovers Nicola is surrounded by a web of treachery. The battle-hardened knight and secret, wary woman must learn to trust each other. For only if they dare to allow the soul-stirring magic their bodies share grow into love can they escape the ruinous plot that threatens to destroy all their dreams.
Mary Gillgannon is the author of sixteen novels, mostly romances set in the dark age, medieval and Regency time periods. She’s married and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on four very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not writing or working—she’s been employed at the local public library for twenty-seven years—she enjoys gardening, reading and travel..
My current WIP is driving me over the edge. I’m on page 151. I was on page 151 yesterday, last week, and six months ago. My fear is I’ll be on page 151 a month from now. The story started off with a bang, and I flew through the first chapters as one idea after another popped into my head. My fingers couldn’t type fast enough.
And then…nothing. I hit a wall.
I’ve tried all the tricks…long walks, copious cups of coffee and wine, rehashing the plot, and free typing in the hopes a new idea will pop onto the page. I even changed my writing location and listened to inspiring music. Nothing. Zip. Not one fresh idea.
I discussed my writer’s block with another author who’s published a long list of best sellers. She thinks I’m stumped because I’m not listening to my characters. I’m forcing them to act in ways against their natures. An author has to know her characters inside and out.
I respect this author, so I’m doing as she suggests. I’m re-examining my hero and heroine’s goals and motivations, figuring out what they desire above all else, and what they fear. Hopefully, this strategy works and I’ll conquer the dreaded page 151 and move on to page 152, 153, and onward until I type those two wonderful words…The End.
Read. Read books in all genres, both fiction and non fiction. Study how other authors craft sentences and paragraphs, develop plot and conflict. But mainly read for the pure pleasure of the written word.
Add a personalized author signature to the end of every email you send. This way someone can easily find out more about you or your books.
Sharla-Jean Bromley returns to her hometown after a seventeen-year absence with vengeance in her heart. From the very beginning, her plans go awry when she meets devastatingly handsome Josh Morgan, the man to whom her father left half of his multi-million dollar lumber mill.
Josh, suspicious of Sharla-Jean’s reasons for returning to town after such a long absence, vows to keep control of the company he feels is rightfully his. She is equally determined to prove she can run her father’s mill, even though it means working side-by-side with Josh, a man whose very presence evokes an attraction that is increasingly difficult for her to ignore. In the process, they must overcome a villain who’s determined to destroy both the lumber mill and their lives.
Will Sharla-Jean succeed and heal the anguish that has long filled her soul? Wills he and Josh find the passion of a lifetime?
Bitter Legacy is C.B. Clark’s third romantic suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press. My Brother’s Sins and Cherished Secrets were released in 2016. C.B. has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-B.-Clark/e/B01BK61TQG/
The Wild Rose Press http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5061-bitter-legacy.html
I’ve traveled a lot. My mom, an artist and part time teacher, dreamed of going to France but my dad wouldn’t leave the country. She made contacts with people over there and one day, she went without him.
On her first trip, she was cat-sitting for a friend at her apartment in Paris. She had a blast. Another year, she met someone through a friend and landed an opportunity to stay in the south of France, in the charming Provence region. She did a lot of sketches which she used throughout the rest of her career as a print-maker.
I have some of her Provence scenes, she loved the stone buildings, steps, windows, churches, and the gardens around them. They are beautiful etchings I treasure, and she sold a lot of them too. With printmaking, you can make multiple originals, which she loved, as she dreaded selling a one-of-a-kind painting.
she met a cousin of her host. He had a family with children around my age, and his wife and my mom discussed an exchange. So, when I was in my early 20s, my mom sent me to the south of France to stay with this family. The town where I stayed, and the old farmhouse, are in my next book, STOLEN. My French mom took me to Monaco once, during the day. The glamorous city made a huge impression on me.
I met my husband who also loves to travel. He really needs to travel. On our honeymoon, we went to Europe and we visited my French family. My hubby charmed my French mom with his efforts at French, while I disappointed her with the rustiness of my French, which she had worked so hard to help me develop. I just never had much opportunity to use it, but her teasing was great, and I’m so glad we visited her, because she died young, before I could see her another time. I’m so glad she met my husband and vice versa.
On the last night in France, my husband and I were in Nice, because we planned to fly out of there in the morning. We decided to squeeze in one more country, and drove up to Monaco. It was quite dark when we arrived.
in some ways, more so than daylight. We drove out to the Musee Oceanographic, which is a museum and aquarium for studying and teaching about the oceans of our world. It is built into the side of the cliffs on “the Rock” which is the local name for the old district, officially called Monaco Ville (Monaco City). The museum was closed but we could access the grounds and we ascended to the beautiful old brick streets and then to a lookout with a monument (a cannon with a pile of cannon balls). From there we could see back to the beautiful casino and the lights and landscaping of the Monte Carlo district, on the mountain opposite the harbor.
Port Hercule, with the yachts and the cruise ships glowing, was also stunning. As if that weren’t enough, in the other direction stood the palace, occupied by the king and queen of Monaco. It was white, with beautiful golden light shining all around the building and grounds.
Climbing back down to our car, through deserted terraced gardens, we both thought, this place would be great in a book. I wrote a novella in that setting and now I’m turning that novella into a novel, which I’ve called STOLEN. I hope to have it out this year, but it will probably be early January.
When risk manager Rain Cohen recognizes the diamond her company insures at a client in Monte Carlo as the one belonging to her murdered grandfather, she steals it back, but as she escapes, she’s kidnapped. When the kidnapper risks his life to save her and sets her free, she finds she can’t just forget him and escape with the gem.
Israeli secret agent Zev Ben-David is closing in on the people selling chemical weapons to the highest bidder when a thief steals the jewel at the center of the operation. Zev nabs the thief, who turns out to be the beautiful American woman he’s been watching. Why would an insurance lady steal a diamond from her client? Unless he can get the op back on track, millions of people will die.
With a killer after them and political forces pulling them apart, perhaps the greatest threat to Rain and Zev is the powerful attraction driving their choices.
I hope you will connect with me on social media. I love to stay in touch with my friends while I’m working on books, and if you sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook, you’ll know when the book is released. You can also find my other books, contemporary romances, on my website.
Everywhere you look you’ll find articles about saving time or doing more with less time. I know, because I follow that click-bait like a rat to the cheese. Sometimes I’ll find a few suggestions to incorporate into my day, but unfortunately often it’s more of the same. As a society driven to be “on” 24/7, it’s hard to determine how much is enough.
As a fiction author, freelance writer, wife and mother with a day job, I often feel like some days I’m internally freaking the freak out that I’ll never conquer my to do list or sort through the endless emails filling my inbox.
that helps calm my internal freak-out over my overflowing inbox is to go directly to my SPAM/Clutter/Junk emails. I know. What? Isn’t that the stuff we don’t want? Yes. Exactly.
I open that folder and scan through it quickly; just in case something important was shoved in there and then…I delete it. Eliminating twenty or more emails with one click feels awesome. I trick my mind into thinking I’ve made a ton of progress in a few seconds and now I feel ready to tackle my real emails. Shhh- don’t tell me that it was all junk. See if I wanted this post to be click-bait I could’ve titled about How to Save Time by Emptying your Email Folder with One Click. How much is enough for you?
Write blog posts or complete other promo in batches. It’s more time efficient once you’re in the flow and aren’t stopping and starting. For blog posts, I’ll determine the title for two to three upcoming blogs, put my bio at the end, maybe a few bulletins if I know the direction of the post and then start writing them. For tweets I’ll go to Hootsuite and schedule at least one tweet a day for the upcoming month.
Promotion is a marathon not a sprint. Instead of focusing most of your time during a release or a sale, do at least one thing to promote each day. Whether it’s a tweet, a post on your Facebook or a blog post. Your book may be a year old, but it’s still brand new to someone.
They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.
They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.
Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keep her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu, her teen twins & alpha hubby keep her in line. Find Maureen on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.