Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Day in the Life by Suzanne Rossi

Hi everyone!

I often get readers asking me about my writing routine--how often do you write, do you have a word count quota, do you plot or fly by the seat of your pants, morning or evening?

The answer is I need routine. I try to write a little every day. A wise person once said, "If you can't write a chapter, write a scene. If you can't write a scene, write a paragraph. If you can't write a paragraph, write a sentence. If you can't write a sentence, write a word. If you can't write a word, go shopping."

When I first began writing, I could knock out a chapter a day--4,000 to 5,000 words at a time. Of course, it wasn't until years later that I realized I wasn't very good at it. The more I learned about the craft, the more my writing improved. Whole chapters a day became a thing of the past. Now I'm happy with a scene. Word count is no longer relevant. My daily goal is to write something good and cohesive.

I used to plot my novels out in 3-5 chapter increments. Then along came a book that demanded I keep writing--that happens. I discovered I could be what we call a pantster--just writing and worry about what you're writing later. Plotting takes time, but generally requires less self-editing. Plowing ahead with words will get me done with the book faster, but the editing process may take as long as 3-4 months. It's a push. Now, I use a combination of the two.

I'm a morning person. Before my husband retired I was up at 5:30 AM and after my second cup of coffee (a must have--can't function without it) I could get down to work. Now that he's at home all day (which took a lot of adjustment on my part), my day begins around 7:30 or 8:00. My writing day generally starts about an hour later. I also need to be isolated while I work. An office area with no window views and no distractions like TV is good. If the words are flowing, I ignore lunch. If not, I eat and go back to my work later.

That's it--a day in my life. Kinda boring to some, but once a character or plot get a hold of me, I don't find it dull at all.

Before I let you go, I'll take a moment for some blatant self-promotion. I learned earlier this week my next book, RENDEZVOUS WITH DEATH, will be released in all formats on August 29, 2015.

When reporter Shelley Jackson discovers the body of her friend and informant in an alley, she teams up with the dead man's brother, architect Jason Mallory, to solve the crime. But two more murders, a couple of arsons, and whispers of unsafe building practices tell them the deaths are connected to the city corruption being investigated by Shelley's newspaper.

Their relationship heats up with nights of hot sex while their search for the truth has buildings crumbling around them. But the killer is watching from the shadows of respectability and planning for the couple's demise. Can they reveal the killer before they become tomorrow's headline?



Thanks for reading today. Hope to see you again next month.

Oh, and by the way, if I find I can't write a word, I do go shopping.

Suzanne

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame. ~Henry David Thoreau




It seems to me that we could all benefit from a post on love. As romance authors, love is essential to our stories. Not only that, but with all the division in the country and the world these days, a little more love would go a long way toward healing. I've been thinking about some of my favorite quotes, and decided to pair them with lovely pics of our garden taken by my daughter, Elise. Of course, while looking for familiar quotes, I came across new ones. This quote from dear Mister Rogers says a lot:


“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” 
― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember 




A baby is born with a need to be loved — and never outgrows it. ~Frank A. Clark


The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. You and you alone make me feel that I am alive. Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough. ~George Moore


Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~Robert Heinlein


 Who, being loved, is poor? ~Oscar Wilde


We loved with a love that was more than love. ~Edgar Allan Poe


A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
'Til you give it away.
~Oscar Hammerstein, Sound of Music



Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. ~Henry Van Dyke


Love is no respecter of age or practicality
Neither morality: unabashed
She enters where she will
Unheeding that her immortal fires
Burn up human hearts...
~Phillip Pulfrey, from Beyond Me, www.originals.net


It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves. ~John Bulwer


You know you have found love when you can't find your way back. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


While duty measures the regard it owes
With scrupulous precision and nice justice,
Love never reasons, but profusely gives,
Gives, like a thoughtless prodigal, its all,
And trembles then, lest it has done too little.
~Hannah More


Take away love and our earth is a tomb. ~Robert Browning




Love.... Its eternal goal is life.... No one who has ever brought up a child can doubt for a moment that love is literally the life-giving fluid of human existence. ~Smiley Blanton, quoted in Woman's Home Companion, 1956

I don't think you can keep someone you truly love at arm's length on purpose, they'll always end up in your arms. ~Holly Nichole Miller


Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. ~William Shakespeare, "Sonnet CXVI"


***We have children, kitties, and geese in among our many growing things. We try to keep the geese out of the garden, though. My grandbaby Owen is in our sunflower forest above and this is Owl Cat below. My DH snapped this shot of her. Elise took the rest.






Friday, June 26, 2015

I Like Romance in a Community by Vonnie Davis

There seems to be two types of romance. The singular type that features mainly the heroine and hero and a friend or three, perhaps a parent. Then there are communities to which the couple belong--small towns, bike clubs, a large group of friends, workplace environment or a church. I tend to enjoy these types more.

I think families, folks we hang out with or groups to which we belong tell stories about us and also our characters. We include people who are wise, concerned about their place in society and warm-hearted souls. Kinda like...well...unlike the group shown here.



I enjoy hearing a little of everyone's story. Maybe because I spend so much time alone writing or maybe because I love watching people...and reading about them too (that's polite speak for nosy). Debbie Macomber writes some great community-type romances. So does Robyn Carr. You don't mind when they take you away from the romantic couple because you get an insight into others' lives and what they add to the dynamics of the story or series.

Take my Effie in my Highlander's Beloved Series, for instance. She's an over-protective grandma, a survivor of Woodstock, a flirt. a lover of pink and a real pip.


She plays a major role in all three of the books. Here's the beginning of chapter one of book one, A Highlander's Obsession:

Paisley Munro tried to not gawk at the two broad-shouldered men in kilts as she hefted her suitcase off the luggage carousel in the Inverness Airport, located northeast of the city referred to as the capitol of the Scottish Highlands. Her grandmother, on the other hand, was all eyes.

“Before we leave this country, I’m finding out what they wear under those kilts, even if I have to hike one up and take a gander myself.” Her grandmother patted her curls. She’d dyed her hair dark red for the trip. Unfortunately, the inability of her white hair to absorb the dye’s full effect resulted in a halo of pink curls. The combination of her tresses and her pink pantsuit made her look like the Pink Panther with wrinkles, just as skinny and wiry but without the tail.

“Behave yourself, Gram.” Paisley tugged her grandmother’s luggage off the slowly moving belt that squeaked with every couple inches gained. No use telling the free spirit to act her age. At seventy-four, why should she start now? “Our ride ought to be here somewhere.”

Paisley glanced around for Fiona Matheson, who should be holding a sign for Matheson Lodge. Fiona had promised in her reservation confirmation e-mail she’d meet them.  

Gram elbowed her. “Good grief, they’re coming toward us. Look at those broad shoulders and hairy legs. I’m not drooling, am I?” She pulled her shoulders back and thrust out her chest. She lowered her chin to talk to her breasts. “Look perky, girls. Sexy hunks at two o’clock.”

A Highlander's Obsession: A Highlander's Beloved Novel
by Vonnie Davis
Link: http://amzn.com/B00ILX9WC0

A Highlander's Passion: A Highlander's Beloved Novel
by Vonnie Davis
Link: http://amzn.com/B00N6PD78S

Bearing It All: A Highlander's Beloved Novel (releasing October 27th)
by Vonnie Davis
Link: http://amzn.com/B00TCI2A5E

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ADVENTURES IN SCOTLAND

First, a quick thank you to Geri Foster for stepping in for me while I was on vacation. I love her new series and highly recommend them.

Travel has always been my second love. Reading and writing are my first. This year, I had saved enough money to take a trip to Scotland. Now, Scotland in May is cold, wet and windy.Actually, it's like that in August, too from what I was told.  It is also beautiful.

Why Scotland? Bobbie Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, J. K. Rowling and  Outlander  just to name a few reasons. I'd been to Gt. Britain before, but not Scotland.

The adventure began landing at London Heathrow International. Never, ever make a connecting flight from this nightmare of an airport. I trudged miles of hallways, then had to catch a bus to another terminal and trudge down another set of hallways, then go through very tough security barely making my flight to Glasgow.

I finally found my tour group. They were all waiting for me. Great way to start, but fortunately, they were a nice bunch  of Aussies, Canadians and Americans. Our guide, John, said he was grateful there were no New Zealanders because they were notorious for wandering off and doing their own thing.

This trip was a bit odd. We had schedule changes and substitutes, but everything worked out. I climbed winding stair cases in castles. Sat on the banks of Loch Lomand.
Walked over ancient cobble stones. Heck, I even tried haggis. I'm pretty sure the haggis served now is nothing like the original. It wasn't half bad. Kind of like peppery stuffing made with oats.

My tour is well known for nice accommodations. Poor John, he warned us before we got to the Isle of Skye that we were in for a shock. It seems there are only two large hotels on the island and only one that takes large tours. He apologized ahead of time, so we all knew this might be a challenge. This place turned out to be something out of a t.v. comedy. But real. Horribly real.

I was handed a huge,old fashioned key and pointed to a corner stair case. Once again, I found myself walking down narrow hallways, up and down stairs and  trying to figure out the numbering system on the doors. Imagine my shock at the tiniest room I've ever seen. A narrow twin bed and tiny bathroom. Although it was dark, it was clean.  Then, the fun began. They have a very, very sensitive fire alarm. Steam from your shower will set it off. Each room has a giant red alarm that shrieks until a grouchy desk manager steps onto the offender's bed and shuts it off. That didn't happen to me, but three other guests shared their horror stories at breakfast. This went on all night, so no one got much sleep.

My bathroom came with an ancient blow dryer. A huge monstrosity from the 1980's. As I used it, an awful smell filled the room, then it started belching out smoke. The fire alarm didn't go off. Not sure if that is a good thing or not.

Luckily, the food was good and the bar was open.

Did I mention the staff was all Bulgarian? No matter what you asked them, you got a smile and a nod.  Thank goodness, the next night was in a Hilton Resort.

In spite of exhaustion, sore feet and dirty laundry, I already plan to go to London as soon as I can save up enough money. I'm a sucker for torture and men in kilts.




Monday, June 22, 2015

Where Dreams Go


Where Dreams Go, Oregon Historicals Book 2, picks up the Stevens family, from Round the Bend, at a critical time. It is 1855; and the family has experienced a major loss, but also a joy, as they await the arrival of a baby. A new, very unexpected romance is brewing as the story takes the reader through more of Oregon's history. Change is ahead, and it's not easy for all to accept its coming.

Blurb:
He had long loved her, a secret impossible love. At lonely campfires across the west, where death waited in the shadows, he had dreamed of her. Then word arrived that what had been impossible was no longer. When he came to convince her to be his own, she put up barriers. He could overcome those. Could he overcome the greatest of all—who he was?

Oregon Territory held many dangers; but the one that killed Martha Stevens’ beloved husband struck without warning on the most mundane of days. She has been forced to live alone, to make a life on her homestead, one that is purposeful, oriented to her family. Her expectations do not include a man coming into that life, who like a tornado upturns her expectations and all she has known. What this wild man wants is impossible. Or is it?

Where Dreams Go is set in 1855's Oregon Territory where these new pioneers must learn skills needed to build a state. Building a new world isn’t for the weak. Dangers are always there for those who dare to walk the high places.

Can we live our dreams—or is the cost too high?

Snippet:
     "It's a woman," Pollard confided.
     "Don’t say," St. Louis said with interest.
     "Exactly."
     "John, shut up," Adam growled.
     Pollard laughed. “But, of course, my friend.”
     "Some friend," Adam groaned, giving Joe a little kick nudging him into a gallop. "See you two at the cabin," he yelled over his shoulder as he gave Joe his head.
     As Adam felt the power of his horse under his thighs, he felt the first stirrings of freedom and release in years. He'd forgotten what it felt like to have the wind with him, to be sailing through time. Life was suddenly sweet. Maybe there’d be a tomorrow after all.
     Bending low over Joe's neck, he urged the horse on. Joe was as caught up in the joy of movement, the rapid pace they were cutting across the land, as Adam. There was no need to urge him to greater efforts. They hit the creek crossing and didn’t slow, sending water high in the air.
As though the fight and now this wild ride had burned the alcohol, the death, anger, and frustration from his system, Adam could think clearly for the first time in months. Finally, he slowed his horse. Stopping to look at the country through which he’d been riding, he absently stroked Joe’s neck as he looked into the distance. Far below he could see the silver ribbon of the river; above loomed the mass of the mountain.
     This last week, he'd decided he should leave, head north, but something had stopped him and now he knew what. He'd come here for her; then had acted like the child she thought he was. Rushing her and then not giving her time to think about something that had to be all new to her. He had wanted her for too long. He was too close.
     She had said she wouldn’t marry him, but she had also said she loved him. He wouldn’t give this dream up without a fight. If he lost, it wouldn’t be because he’d run with his tail between his legs. For once in his life, he was in reach of what he’d thought would never be his. Only a fool would run off before he knew for sure there was no hope.
 
Where Dreams Go eBook will be $2.99 until August 1, 2015 -- http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YM71S44

Links to paperback and other buy sites: Romances with an Edge

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcsjTYBt4F8

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign by Sandra Nachlinger

I have an unusual hobby. I collect signs! No, I don’t steal stop signs at intersections. Nor do I pilfer them from stores, but I do collect their messages (and sometimes take photos). One of my favorites says:

EATS
WORMS

Not a very appetizing advertisement, is it? (Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera with me that day!)

Recently while shopping I came across one that the Grammar Police will surely appreciate.  If you’re a charter member of that force (I am!) then you’ve probably been tempted to edit the errors you’ve seen. Come on. Admit it. Unfortunately, the roving editor who corrected these transposed letters didn’t catch the extra E in “sateeen.”



And a while back I laughed when I snapped this photo in a grocery store:


Only one aisle with nutritional food? Makes you wonder what the other shelves contain, doesn’t it?

But while errors like the ones I’ve shown can be amusing, they’re not so funny when they appear in books. When an author writes “reign” (what kings and queens do) instead of “rein” (leather straps attached to a horse’s bridle), I’m jarred out of the story and have completely left the world that the author worked so hard to create. That also goes for peddle (sell) and pedal (what you do on a bicycle), and a host of other common goofs. We all make mistakes, of course, and homonyms are especially hard to catch, but …

Is it just me? Do grammatical and spelling errors bother you? Or do you notice them at all?

Are these errors a sign that we have become too reliant on grammar check and spell check?

Sandra Nachlinger is the author of Bluebonnets for Elly (a sweet romance) and 
co-author with Sandra Allen of I.O.U. Sex (a spicy Baby Boomer romance).

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Carra's Collections and Passions



A few of my Hummel figurines.


I collect things. Dust, dirt, Hummel figurines, shampoos, flip flops, and recipes. I also collect hugs and kisses from my grandchildren, but, as much fun as that is, that’s not the topic today. (Grin) I forgot to mention I also collect piles. Piles of papers, magazines, and bills. When it comes time to clean, I stash those piles into Walmart bags or file cabinets to get them out of sight.











File cabinet with a pile on top.

There’s a three drawer file cabinet in my office that has become the catch-all for a lot of these piles. Well, this week it reached its limit. Refused to accept even a sheet of onion skin stationary. When I tried to open the top drawer, it only allowed a space large enough for my hand to squeeze through. I had to extract one or two files at a time until I was able to jerk it open. Needless to say what came out had to go back in. Two full trash cans later, the drawer was organized and I had found a folder of recipes that had been missing for a long time.









Many I’d gotten through the work years from co-workers and patients, others were from family dinners during various holidays. Now, I’m not much of a cook, but I love recipes and cookbooks. I have a Weight Watcher’s and other healthy cookbooks, but my favorites are the ones that come from small country churches. A lot of the recipes are several generations old and wonderful.




















If you’ll indulge me, I’ll share a few of my favorites.

The first one is from a co-worker and bridge partner of thirty years.

Duffey’s Meat Loaf
1 lb hamburger                  1 egg
2 slices bread                     ¼ - ½ tsp sage
½ tsp dry mustard             ½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp onion salt                 ½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp pepper                      salt
¼ - 1/3 cup milk                 1 tbsp Worcestershire
Mix all ingredients together and shape into loaf. Cover with 1 small can tomato sauce and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

A really good snack comes from a former patient.

Carolyn’s Oyster Crackers
1 cup Wesson oil              1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 tbsp dill
Mix well in a large plastic container and then quickly add 1 box Sunshine oyster crackers. (The recipe says no substitute, but this is older and Sunshine may not be available anymore.) Mix (shake) in large container.

One more for something sweet.

Hidden Kisses
1 cup butter                       Confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla                        2 cups all - purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans         1 9 oz pkg Chocolate Kisses
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream softened butter, add ¼ cup Confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and beat together until light and fluffy at medium speed. Beat in flour and nuts at low speed until well mixed. Shape small portions of dough around each chocolate kiss. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove and roll in powdered sugar. Makes 40-45 cookies.

I’ve enjoyed sharing the perils of Pauline – oops – I mean, the tales of Carra. I like visiting with you and hope you leave a comment telling me about your favorite recipes.

Hugs,

Carra



Friday, June 12, 2015

The Bane of my Writing Existence by Paty Jager

I LOVE to write and come up with new characters. I don't mind the editing. I've gotten used to doing full scale revisions. As a self-publishing author, I don't mind the hats I have to wear to publish a book. But I abhor promotion!

Readers, the best thing you can do to help an author whose books you like is to spread the word about the book and the author and to buy their next book. Also putting up reviews at all the places you can: sales venues, Goodreads, Facebook reader groups, other reader groups.  Spreading the word is the best way to reward the writer for the entertainment they've given you.

I try to get on blogs. Tours work the best because your book and name gets in front of potential new readers and not the same people who are reading the blogs your on all the time.  Writing post for a blog tour can be daunting but worth it when you see sales. I gave the book away on the last tour. That person wrote to me to tell me how much they liked it. planned to get the next books in the series and had put up a review. When I wrote back I suggested she sign up for my newsletter. I give all newsletter recipients a three day period when a book first comes out to get it at a reduced price before I up the price. She wrote back and said she signed up. A newsletter has become the best advertising tool for a writer. But you have to get people to sign up for the newsletter. You can sign up for mine at: my blog- Writing into the Sunset, my website, or here- http://eepurl.com/1CFgX

The hardest part for me about promotion is telling people I write and handing them a card or bookmark. My husband gets frustrated with me because I don't tell everyone I meet I write. Not everyone is a reader and not everyone wants someone walking up to them, saying, "Hi, I'm Paty Jager, I'm a writer. Here is a sample of what I write."  I'm not that pushy.  My husband meets new people. "Hi, My wife is a writer, here's her card." He can do that all he wants. I can't. It's not in my DNA to spout what I do and shove a bookmark at them. I'll leave a bookmark on tables in restaurants, coffee shops, doctor offices, and the like but I can't hand one to a person unless they say they are a reader.

The other hard part about promotion is knowing what is working. Every time I get caught up and start doing whatever it is they say is the "Hot" button for promotion it's changed and I have to go back and research again. I've decided what works for one does not work for another and as long as I keep putting my books out in front of as many people on the internet as I can that will be my best promotion.

To that end:  This is what I am promoting right now:
The first ebook of the Halsey Brother Series is now PERMANENTLY FREE! You can download it for free at all the major ebook vendors.   This is my push to help sell the other four books in the Halsey Brothers Series and the three books in the Halsey Homecoming Trilogy.

Marshal in Petticoats

After accidentally shooting a bank robber, Darcy Duncan becomes marshal of a town as accident prone as herself.  Darcy’s taken care of her younger brother the last five years, and she’s not about to take orders from a corrupt mayor or a handsome drifter, whose curiosity could end her career as a marshal and take away their security.


Gil Halsey is looking for his boss’s son who is riding with outlaws. Taking the young man back to the ranch will seal the foreman’s job. When he discovers the town’s new marshal is a passionate woman with high regard for family and being framed for a bank heist, he has to has to decide which is the better future—the feisty woman or the ranch.



And I have a short story at Kindle Select. It's $.99 or FREE if you have Prime.
Secrets of a Christmas Box: An Isabella Mumphrey Adventure
This short story has anthropologist Isabella Mumphrey excited about spending her first Christmas with her Venezuelan DEA agent boy friend. The two met in the Guatemala Jungle in Secrets of a Mayan Moon. They found their missions intersecting in Secrets of an Aztec Temple. This Christmas story takes place before Isabella meets with her aunt at the Hopi Reservation and becomes entangled in Hopi myths and human slavery in Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star.

Only Isabella’s plans of a wonderful Christmas are thwarted when her father hands her a World Intelligence Agency mission. He allows Tino to help her with the mission, so they can be together. As the days hasten to Christmas can she decipher the wooden cube she’s been handed or will her first Christmas with Tino be a bust? 


As a reader, what is your favorite promotion by an author? As an author, what do you like to do to promote a book? 


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Best Villians Make Me Cry

Everyone knows the iconic villians, the anti-heroes everyone knows (listed randomly, in no order of preference):

Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Darth Vader, the Wicked Witch of the West, Lord Voldemort, Freddy Kruger, Hannibal Lecter, Jack Torrance from The Shining.

I’ve always been intrigued by the villians that were especially creepy and twisted because of a horrible backstory or other circumstance, where you can understand why they’ve become villians. The kind of characters where you almost root for them to win, or at the very least feel sad when they lose (or die). The ones that stick with you, and you can’t forget them even if you wanted to. That's what I'm truly excited for whenever I pick up a book or sit down to a movie. The right villain.

One of the best examples of this is Loki from Thor/Avengers, played by Tom Hiddleston.
Loki
 The character is extremely complex, conflicted, and above all: twisted. He has such a sad backstory, his mind has been jaded over time and he’s viciously gifted. Each time he has ‘died,’ it literally pulls on my heart to see him perish. I cry every time he suffers.

Another example is Mr. Silva from James Bond Skyfall, played by Javier Bardem.
Mr Silva
The man was so emotionally and physically tortured, I could understand why he’d become so evil. To be honest, I think anyone under his circumstances could have easily turned to ‘the dark side’ like him. He was so creepy, and elegant terrifying until he removed his facial implant. Then there was nothing elegant about him. At the very end, you could see the torture bubble to the surface and play out on his face and in his actions with M (Judy Dench). His performance has stuck with me ever since the first time I saw it.

A final example is King Commodus from Gladiator, played by Joaquin Phoenix.
Commodus
All he wanted was his father’s approval, acceptance, and love. And boy, does he fail on so many levels. That failure morphs into a homicidal jealousy towards Maximus (Russell Crow), patricide, and a sickening attraction to his sister. Not to mention power-hungry, and a thirst for blood. By the end of the story, he’s made it so easy to hate this villain, and so easy for me to watch it over and over again. He’s just that evil.


There are so many other villians that fit this description. That have stayed with me over the years. But I want to hear from you. 

Who are some of your favorite villians, and why?

Monday, June 8, 2015

REVIEW -- MATELYN AND THE TEXAS RANGER

By Mary Adair

Matelyn And The Texas Ranger: A Brides of Texas Code Series, Book 2
by Carra Copelin



I give Matelyn and the Texas Ranger 5 Stars!

This is a story of love and loss and the strength of the human spirit to overcome. I love that this story is grounded in the time of an actual event. In 1875 a Hurricane hit the Texas gulf. This story, though it is a fictional account, casts a realistic light on the devastation of such a tragic event. It also cast a light on the resilience of the human spirit and the kindness of others in a time of need.

The backdrop of the Hurricane provides a powerful visual, but it is not the whole story.
 Ian Benning, rancher and Texas Ranger, lost his wife to a tragic accident. He leaves his home and travels to Houston where he takes over a case involving an international embezzler for the local authorities.

Hurricane's destruction 1875

Matelyn O'Donnell is in the employment of Gerard de Marceau as companion to his wife, Veronique de Marceau. Matelyn is fond of the younger Veronique, but looks forward to the end of their journey to Texas. Once they arrive at Houston after traveling by ship from New Orleans she plans to travel on to Dallas where she can start a new life near her cousin Katie McTierman.

We all know what happens to well laid plans. Bound by fate, mystery, deception, and a hurricane, life will play out for the two couples in a way that will keep you intrigued to the end.

I have a new favorite author. This story is well written, plotted to keep you guessing, and filled with the strength of human spirit. If you enjoy a story that is not afraid to address the emotion of tragedy and the ability of the heart to find love after loss, you will be glad you found Matelyn And The Texas Ranger.



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Balancing Act

By Carolyn Hector
 
Happy Saturday... Hopefully as you are reading this, I will be posted at my laptop writing away. 

Has anyone heard that awesome remake of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody?  It’s the Bohemian Momsody.


This woman totally gets me. And this brings me to what's on my mind recently. 
 My Balancing Act!

I recently acquired new duties at work which keep me busy from 8-5… I can’t figure out when to take a break because the minute I leave my desk, there’s something else.


By the time I get home, it’s 5:50 and time to make dinner (I really need to break out my crockpot).

I thought I’d be happy for the summer to arrive as far as my household went. I figured they don’t need as much. My soon-to-be 19 year old can take the 12-year old around town and entertain him. What was I thinking?  I got them a pool pass… to which my daughter would rather go on the weekends when she doesn’t have class.. and oh yeah.. “hey mom, why don’t you come along?”
Do I say no to those sweet faces? Time is precious with the youth.. right?
I figured in the evening I’d get more writing done but now my husband has decided that it’d be a great idea that we start catching up on The Blacklist and Castle… oh and let’s go ahead and watch whatever came on Netflix. 
Do I say no? He's been trying really hard to keep the spark. And when I say my husband spoils me with THE BEST FOOT RUBS EVER.. I mean it! 


I figured I’d get up at 5:00 in the morning and write….  
HEY! That's what REALLY got me into dedicating my time to writing.. Way back when my daughter had to get up at 5 to get ready to catch the bus at 6:20... I couldn't let her be the only one up that early. 

I simply have to get out of this funk. I’ve got to finish “book 3” for a projects. I’m about three chapters away from finishing. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m trying to get this done before the edits on “Book 1”. I fear I’ll lose focus and confidence after seeing my pages bleed with corrections. I’m not crazy am I?

Here's my new weekend balancing act 
5:00-7:00 WRITE
7:00-12:00 chores
12:00-6:00 Family time
6:00-9:00 WRITE
9:00-10:00 Orphan Black
10:00-BEDTIME!!

Weekdays
5:00-7:00 WRITE
8-12:00 work
12:00-1:00 WRITE
1:00 - 5:00 work
6:00 - 8:00 WRITE 
8:00 -10:00 Husband time 

If I write it and post it out there in the universe.. I'll do it. If you see me posting on Facebook passing level 951 on Candy Crush (yes, did I mention my other vice?) ... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carolyn-Hector/395151080662691?ref=aymt_homepage_panel or on Twitter @Carolyn32303

Remind me.. 









But who am I to complain? I did ask for this life .. it’s time to put the big-gurl panties (btw.. granny panties are back in style now)… and get to writing!

So the next time you hear from me, I'll have book 3 done.. and hopefully my edits for my November book. 


BTW.. if you get a chance and you want to spice up your reading list.. June 8th check out the home of my November book. The link may work on the 8th though. 


Take care, happy reading, and successful writing!  
Carolyn