I’m honored to be a guest today at SMART GIRLS READ ROMANCE. Thank you.
One of the greatest pleasures in life is living the best bits over and over and over again in our mind. The most treasured experiences are replayed in 3-D, engaging all of our senses. The scent of Coppertone may bring to mind the permeating warmth of exotic island sunrays.
Aroma triggers memories.
Sipping tart lemonade may instantly transport us to a lush garden, surrounded by 50 shades of birdsong, two chattering squirrels in a nearby tree, and the gleeful squeal of a toddler running through a cooling sprinkler…even though the mountain’s bitter December winds whistle outside our hearth.
One sip can change a season.
Universal emotions know no bounds. Do we ever forget a stranger’s look that pierces our soul? Or the electricity generated from a lover’s touch? No. We relive every crystal-clear detail, as though it happened moments ago.
We filter information and interpret meaning through the lens of our personality traits, beliefs, behaviors and dreams.
The unwavering faith and tenacity of my mother, who lived four years when she was given a cancer-related expiration date of two weeks, carries me through troubled times. The adventuresome spirit of my dad gives me the fearless confidence to traverse uncharted territory with the verve of Sally Ride.
When we read a great book, we are transported to a setting, a time period, a lifestyle. We become intertwined with the townsfolk, invested in the heroine’s plight, and lay claim on the hero as our own.
We don’t read stories…
…we LIVE them.
Romance authors fascinate me. The ability to paint with all the colors of the human heart intrigues me. Creating stories—that are so authentic we hope, laugh and cry as though the fictional character’s heartache was our personal burden to bear—calls to me.
Every romance author yields to their siren song differently. Yet, the appeal of writing happily ever afters is not without struggle or sorrow.
For many years, I was an International Speaker, specializing in personal and professional development—averaging 250 days per year on the road in a different city every day in six countries. During that time, my last living parent passed following unexpected and extremely difficult circumstances. As is the case with many, we ignore our grief and work harder and faster to numb the pain and outrun demons.
Two years after Dad’s passing, I enforced a self-imposed hiatus. There’s no longevity in physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological exhaustion. It didn’t take long for grief—and what-if’s from decisions I had made regarding life support options—to fill the battered cracks of my soul. Nine months passed and I had not regained my footing. To promote the healing process, I signed up for two writing courses; one non-fiction, the other fiction. Hoping creativity would release my grief.
When I arrived at the fiction writing class, the over-exuberant registrar insisted the “genre” blank be filled. Her frustration ratcheted several notches when I confessed I didn’t know yet.
She harrumphed and proclaimed, “You write romance!” The tone of her voice mimicked talons clawing a blackboard.
That night, when the demons stoked their evil flames, extinguishing all hope of peaceful slumber, I dragged my battered soul to my bright little orange office. Cracking the spine of a leather-bound journal, I wrote the words:
Shep sat on a cracked, vinyl bar stool sipping coffee from a faded mug.
I relied upon the precious roots of my blink-and-miss-it Montana hometown for inspiration. Molly Kirkland, the heroine of REEL ME IN (Book One in a series of small town contemporary romances) has been pulled from the depths of that same battered soul. Her pain seeped out of the cracks in my heart. I wrote with the passion of innocence. My demons became Molly’s burden to bear.
I tapped my wit. My heart. My will.
Writing REEL ME IN not only broke the chains of pain that bound me, the experience freed my spirit and brought the balm of healing.
We don’t write stories…
…with every cursive curl or keystroke, we pour forth our heart and soul, our deepest sorrow and an unwavering hope that every story ends with a happily ever after. Even our own.
Several Editors and Agents are currently reviewing REEL ME IN for publication. In the meantime, I’m tapping another scarred nook in my soul to create a happily ever after for Book Two in the series. Excavating bruised emotions to honor our beloved military warriors—and calling forth the power of every heart that heals them when they return home.
Please visit me at www.JudeBown.com for updates and further information. Also, subscribe to my twice-monthly blog at www.JudeBown.com/blog/ to receive posts at your cyber doorstep regarding your best self, quick and easy recipes and other time-saving tips.
REEL ME IN
Welcome to Hays River, Montana, home to rampant gossip, vicious busybodies and a cocky rooster with a red mohawk and a vendetta. 562 residents, each quirkier then the next. Is it any wonder Molly Kirkland flung her mortarboard in the air a dozen years ago and created a new life in Chicago?
Molly knows things have hit rock bottom if Hays River is looking like home again.
On the verge of losing a promotion, Molly returns to her hometown to secure the area’s natural resources for her professional projects. While there, she finds her aunt’s B&B nearly bankrupt. Desperate, she recruits Mac McKay, a B&B tenant with expertise restructuring organizations.
Mac McKay has finally found a place to belong in Hays River. While building his house on the river, he discovers valuable resources are being wasted and plans to open a reclamation warehouse, creating jobs and generating money back into the community he now calls home.
Wood chips fly when their trust and growing love is tested as they race to find solutions for Aunt Veeda’s bankruptcy, Molly’s promotion, and Mac’s reclamation warehouse. Or will the choice be taken out of their hands when the past Mac turned his back on casts a shadow on the B&B doorstep.
Thank you for sharing your time—and comments—with me today. Please leave a comment below (along with your name and email address) to be entered for a chance to win a $10 Target gift card.
To celebrate their Grand Opening, throughout the month of June, the chance to win prices is offered every other day to those who leave comments. MARK YOUR CALENDERS. On June 30, a Grand Prize winner will be selected from the comments to win a KINDLE FIRE HD 7” with Dolby Audio, Dual Band Wi-Fi, and 16GB.
Help me thank our gracious hosts by subscribing to http://smartgirlsreadromance.blogspot.com/...a blog for romance readers written by romance authors. Visit often and please spread the good news!