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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Plotter or Pantster? by Suzanne Rossi

Hello everybody.

Welcome back to my monthly contribution to Smart Girls Read Romance. I hope you all enjoy reading my entries as much as I love writing them.

When I first began writing I needed the structure of a plotted work. I'd start on the premise that I'd write a novel in twenty chapters. First on my agenda was a full outline of chapters one through three, then I'd mark my turning points. For those of you who don't know, turning points are when something dramatic happens to keep the reader turning those pages. It could be anything--a first kiss, a murder, finding a body, or a full-blown love scene. I tried to arrange them in the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth chapters. I'd then throw in the black moment--when all is lost and the relationship is doomed--somewhere around chapter seventeen. As soon as all these areas were marked, I'd begin writing, filling in the remaining chapters as I went along. 

Sounds reasonable, right?

Well, it was until I signed my first couple of contracts. Then things got complicated. Suddenly, I had obligations to my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Time I usually spent writing was cut by the necessity of editing. I actually like the editing process. It allows me to make the book better. But in 2010, I had four books released. By the time New Year's came around, I was exhausted and my creativity plummeted. I began to fudge on that plotting thing.

I started writing the first three chapters cold, no plot, just characters and occurrences. Then I'd stop and make a list of what had to happen along the way. Later I'd assign chapter numbers to that list of events.

That worked well--for a while.

My creativity returned and I found myself embroiled in writing two books at once, The Reunion and Deadly Inheritance. The latter was my first experience at being a pantster--a writer who does little or no plotting, but allows the story to just go where it wants. In other words, writing by the seat of your pants. It was an eye-opening experience. My finished product was a one hundred-ten thousand word monster. It took me four months to edit the silly thing. I had repetitions galore and more useless narrative than you can imagine. I finally got it pared down to a reasonable length. The time spent on plotting was now used on self-editing. It was a push.

I discovered two things with that book. I wasn't a pantster. Nor did I have the luxury of time to plot like before. By necessity, I became a hybrid. Now, I let the characters and plot flow in the first couple of chapters, then stop to make a list of what has to happen in the story. Sometimes, the list has over a hundred items. Some I use. Others, which sounded like good ideas at the time, never see the light of day. I'm sure I'm not alone in this arena.

If you are contemplating becoming a writer, I would suggest trying all three methods. Eventually, you'll find one that works for you.

So far, 2015, has been almost as chaotic as that first year of 2010. My fourth book this year, The Good Twin, was released last Friday by The Wild Rose Press. Here's a little bit about the story and the cover.

A tormented young woman, Amy Wallace, responsible for her twin's death years before, now suspects her supposedly dead sister, Abby, is alive. A neighbor, attorney Jenny Devlin is enlisted by Amy's uncle to investigate if his niece is hallucinating. Jenny, along with another neighbor, author Brad Forrester, soon realize Abby may be very much alive and out for revenge. The more they uncover, the more they put themselves in the sights of a killer. Is Abby alive and seeking to claim her rights to a sizable trust? Can Jenny and Brad's relationship blossom into something permanent? And will Jenny and Brad be able to solve the puzzle before it's too late for them all to survive?

Have a great day and I'll see you all next month.

Suzanne

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Inspiration of Autumn

Fall is my favorite season. I'm deliriously exuberant in the spring, and as busy as a mad hen with all my many gardening endeavors, but fall is a wonderful wind down time. Sure, there's tidying up to do in the garden and flower beds,  bulbs to plant, some acorn squash and pumpkins to get in...but the weeds don't drive me as insane as they did earlier in the year. Like the season, I'm more mellow now. I can breathe, and gaze about my lovely farm and valley, admire the spectacular color in the hazy ridges. We live in one of the most heavenly places on earth. I call our valley 'the Shire.' Fall is a sumptuous feast for the senses.

With few exceptions, I've set my stories in autumn.  My new YA fantasy romance series, Secret Warrior, takes place in the fall in our misty mountains. Traitor's Curse, my upcoming ghostly Gothic historical romance release, is set in late autumn. Unless the time period for a story needs to be spring or summer, or winter for a Christmas theme, I always choose fall. There's coziness in front of a crackling hearth, while outdoors, foggy tendrils entwine the scarlet leaves and obscure the darkening path through the woods. Fall is an intriguing combination of coziness and mystery.

Recently, I showed my six-year-old grandson, and eight year-old granddaughter some of my book covers. Little Owen misunderstood and thought we were looking at viewing options. He pointed to the cover of The Hunter's Moon (Book One in my YA series) and said, "I want to watch THAT movie!" His sister also liked it, and thought the cover of Traitor's Curse looked like an interesting story. So, I have two potential fans.

If you don't live where fall is glorious, and can't tap into the inspiration all around you, then share in mine.~

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."
~Stanley Horowitz
 
"Autumn’s the mellow time."
~William Allingham


(Images by my mom, Pat Churchman)

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." ~George Eliot

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower."~Albert Camus
 
"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
 


"Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees."
~Faith Baldwin

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree."
~Emily Bronte



(Our farm. Image by daughter Elise. She's pictured above as a child with her little friend hiding by a tree in the woods behind our farm.)

For more on me visit my blog: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Editor Accuses Me of Writing Slapstick Comedy by Vonnie Davis

I wish I could write love stories like Nicholas Sparks. Or political intrigue. But I write romance, often heavy with humor, and my editor keeps trying to pull me back. She says I write slapstick. Me! Well, I'm 67 and grew up in the era of slapstick or visual comedy. We didn't need canned laughter to tell us what was funny.

Now one would think, knowing my editor's preferences, I'd behave. And I try. I really do, but my mind runs amuck as I'm writing and things start to steamroll. I wrote a scene this week that my editor might make me remove when I turn in the manuscript in November. Someone has to read it. And guess who I'm forcing to do the deed? Goodness, I love a captive audience, especially when they're as lovely as you all.

Tuesday morning, Kelcee stood in front of her closet. A couple butterflies had somehow infiltrated her stomach while she blew her hair dry. The heat of her curling iron hadn’t chased them off, at all. In fact, the one with the shifty eyes had opened the door and whistled for the rest of their buddies to join them.

Darn if the annoying colorful creatures didn’t work their wings in unison, as if they were fluttering “Dus-tin…Dus…tin.” She’d dreamed about the ex-SEAL last night. He’d walked out of a swirling fog, holding a bouquet of flowers. A harp, saxophone, and cello had played, and she and Dustin had danced, with the mist swirling around their feet.

Her sheets were a tangled mess when she woke up—annoyed with the sexy dream’s effect on her body. One glance at her clock indicated she’d hit the snooze button two too many times. If she didn’t get her butt in gear, she’d be late opening the store.

She was not going to any special efforts on her appearance today just because Dustin was taking her to dinner after she closed the bookstore. After all, it was only business. Her fingers reached for a pair of jeans and, instead, pulled out a dress she’d bought at a yard sale months ago. She refused to question how that happened. Maybe it was the pink, turquoise, and golden butterflies woven into the black material of the bodice; they matched the ones pirouetting across the stage of her insides. The black skirt barely skimmed her full hips as she slipped it on. She should have rubbed a bar of soap over the zipper, for it worked as if it were rusted or something.

The dress would require dressier shoes. She grumbled under her breath. The man was causing her more trouble than he was worth. She eased on a pair of thigh-highs before stepping into black wedge open-toed shoes and reaching for a pink stretch belt.

Her cell chirped and she noted the caller before she answered. “Good morning, Jewel. How’s my favorite customer?” Jewel was one of those effervescent personalities Kelcee couldn’t help but adore. She was nearing seventy and just as spry as someone twenty years younger—and twice as ornery.

“Hi, doll. Are you expecting a shipment today? If so, what time? I’ll come in and help you unbox and shelve the books.”

Jewel was no more interested in helping her than she was in digging ditches. Kelcee knew how the avid reader thought, and a heat wave was headed their way. No doubt Jewel wanted to stay in the cool and read. “Yes. The UPS truck usually hits here about ten or ten-thirty.”

“Do you think my Joan Johnston and Tracy Wolf books will be in the order?” She lowered her voice. “What about that BDSM series by that author Billie Jean recommended?”

Kelcee inspected her appearance in the full-length mirror, slipped out of one of her black shoes, and slipped on a strappy pink heel. “I expect them to be in the order, too. I haven’t received any delay notices from the publishers.”

“Super. See you later, doll.” Jewel hung up.

Kelcee replaced the other black wedge with the second pink shoe and swiveled to get the full effect. They did match the wide belt. She could add pink earrings. First, though, she’d need a garter belt if she was going to work all day in higher heels. Her thigh highs would keep creeping down her legs. Pulling a drawer open, she removed a piece of black lace lingerie.

It was as if she’d gotten dressed backwards. She was in a condition comparable to putting on a bra under a turtleneck she already wore. Exasperated, she slipped off the strappy heels and unzipped the dress to remove it. Her long curly hair got caught in the slow-working zipper. The more she tugged, the more her tresses tangled. She jerked one arm free, hoping she could yank the infernal garment over her head. Then her other arm. A bead of sweat trickled between her boobs, followed by another. “Twenty-six years old and I’m about to be bested by this second-hand garb. Dammit.” What a mess! She might have to cut a wad of her hair to get the thing off.

The phone chirped again.  Jewel, for God’s sake. Not now! I’m about to hang myself in this freakin’ dress.

Her black garter belt still in one hand, Kelcee felt across the bed until her fingers closed around the cell. “I can’t talk now. My hair’s caught in my dress zipper. Don’t you worry, I’ll have plenty of BDSM books for you to read during the upcoming heat wave. I’ll have your motor running in high gear. And if you call me again about floggers and handcuffs, I’ll tell the good people at church how their organist likes to make erotic music on a more fleshy type of organ.”

There was a pause and then male laughter.

She pinched her eyes shut. Oh, crap. Who did I just blow off my big mouth to?

A sinfully deep voice filtered across the airspace. The one that raised the hair on her arms and made her clench her thighs. “Well, now, with an answer like that, you’ve already got my motor running in high gear. I never took you for a flogger and handcuff kind of woman but, hey, if that’s what you want, I’ll give it a try.”

Smartass.

“I…I…ah…thought you were one of my regular customers.”

The line went deathly quiet for a few beats. “What kind of customers are we talking about here, Kelcee?”

Her backbone jerked straight and some of the material sifted downward, making breathing easier. Did he just imply he thought she was a hooker? Her temper jumped several degrees into the “oh, hell no” category. “If you must know, some of my lady customers like to read a spicier form of romance. One just called a few minutes ago to see if her shipment would be in today. I thought it was her calling me back.” You jackass!

“I see. Maybe we should think about changing the name of your shop to Bookstore for the Fallen. Besides, don’t you have caller ID?”

“Yes, I’ve got it!” She waved her lacy lingerie as she all but shrieked into the phone. God, this man could make her fifty shades of crazy in thirty seconds. “Look, if I hadn’t been busy reaching for my garter belt with my zipper yanking my hair out by the roots…” She slapped the black lace against her lips. Oh, holy hell and jelly beans. Me and my big mouth.

“Don’t! Don’t say another word, except for yes or no. God woman, you can stir me up quicker than anyone I’ve ever met. All I called for was to make sure our having dinner tonight was still okay with you. I have a couple plans drawn up for you to look at before we go eat.”

“Yes,” she whispered, her face still burning with embarrassment.

“Good.” He paused again. “Are you blushing?”

“Hell, yes I’m blushing! I don’t like making a fool of myself. Or being made fun of.” She’d taken enough teasing in her teen years about being chubby. Although she’d lost some weight, the curves remained; and she’d come to accept them.

“Then we won’t mention it again.” The tone of his voice had gentled to an intimate purr and her nipples peaked. “See you later, Kelcee.” He ended the call.

She flopped across the bed. Men! They were all dangerous—just in different ways. Her phone dinged with an incoming text.

Put me out of my misery. What color is it?” The sneak had the nerve to add a smiley face.

U said we wouldn’t mention it again.” She shoved her phone under one of her pillow shams and worked the zipper back and forth, pulling out strands of hair until she’d gotten it all freed. The cushion did little to muffle the ding. Oh crap, this man would drive her batshit crazy. The war must have scrambled his common sense. What an awful thing for me to think. That’s a terrible reaction toward a hero. She dove for the phone.

A text is not a mention.” He’d had the nerve to add puckered lips.

She shook her cell as if it were a rag doll. Can’t he see I’ve got my garter belt around my ankles? He’s like a mosquito buzzing around my head. Good Lord, I’d like to spray his tight ass with Raid.



This scene may or may not be in book one of my Eagle Ridge Ranch series about wounded ex-SEALs. My editor's expecting deep, soul wrenching, tissue grabbing stories. She'll get some of that, too, if I can just keep myself in check. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

To read more about Vonnie Davis, go to www.VonnieDavis.com.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

THE DREADED LOVE SCENE

Well, it's finally happened. I've come to that dreaded point in my book we all fear. THE LOVE SCENE.

I've danced around it for months, Yes, I'm from the sixties generation of free love and tossing my parents' moral teachings out the window along with my bra. Except, I was a nerd. Not a hippy. The most daring thing I did was buy bell bottom jeans. (They didn't make them in a short length then, so by the time I hemmed them, they were flares.)

First, my critique partners have repeatedly pointed out my hero and heroine aren't together enough. Probably my little Puritan inner voice shrieking in horror when I attempt to throw them into an intimate situation.

No, I'm not a prude. (Most of the time.) Hard core erotica is not for me. I want a real love scene. A little hot but the kind that touches your heart.

Our Yellow Rose RWA chapter once had a guest speaker who presented a discussion on writing a hot, hot love scene. Part of her reference material was the Kama Sutra and a variety of lists of erotic words.

Uh, no. I'm not sure I could recreate some of those positions, much less write them in a way that wouldn't sound like preparing homemade pretzels. Besides, I'm a firm believer in the difference between sex and love making.

Meanwhile, I open my manuscript and stare at the blank pages. I've heard some authors put in a filler word where a love scene is supposed to go, then go back when they finish to add them. Postponing won't help me. At the end, there will still be my hero and heroine waiting to do the deed.

How have you handled this? I can use all the help I can get.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

the center of the home and many of my books


Recently, I realized many of my books have their important happenings in kitchens. This might be because so many important moments in my own life have been in kitchens. To me, they are the fulcrum of the home providing sustenance on many levels. As a child many large family gatherings were at my grandmother and aunt's big kitchen with wood and electric cook stoves at one end of the room and a very long table to allow twenty or more of us to eat together. I've used the energy of that kitchen in more than one of my books.

A kitchen in an historic novel always requires research for the time period and location as technology changed so fast.  Did it have electricity? Some soon did, but what about an ice box or refrigerator? What meals were most typical in each region? A few of the kitchens in my stories have been outdoors, very practical in the desert Southwest. Sometimes the center of food preparation was a campfire. 

In my newest Oregon Historical, Going Home, there are two kitchens. In Portland, it is state of the art-- well, for 1865. The other is on an Eastern Oregon ranch where innovation was required as any utilities were many miles away. For instance, its kitchen had spigots, not pumps for water due to piping it from a spring above the house. 

I grew up in such a home where the spring was a quarter mile from the house, and water came to us through a pipe. Sometimes the deer, who had access to half the spring, would knock the cover off our half and repairs had to be made. I am guessing we grew up with immunity to giardia by its frequency in our lives.  
 
The kitchens in my stories are generally big rooms with a round or long table for family and friends to gather and argue over plans—sometimes doctor wounds. Some heroines have loved to cook. One pretended she could cook, until it became obvious to the hero she didn’t have a clue.

In Going Home, business woman Raine Stevens has a cook for her meals. It isn't that she doesn't know how. She is, however, busy and feels her days needing to cook are behind her. 

Satisfied to be a spinster, she prefers life without the sacrifices, which she believes love of a man requires. Only one man ever tempted her to believe otherwise, and he went off to fight in the Civil War. When he returns, the fire is still there between them, but he’s too much the laird, as he dominates all around him. She sends him off with no hope for a future together. Except things in her life aren’t all as she had believed, and soon she follows him to the Hardman Ranch. Cooking returns to her life.

Book 3 in the Oregon series takes some of the Stevens family east of the Cascades. With outlaws, gold miners, and Native Americans determined to push the white man from their land, this wilderness requires strong men and women to tame it. Raine isn't sure she can qualify, but she's will find out.

Some strong language, violence, and sexual heat-- intended for mature readers. Available for eBooks at: Amazon and other sites through D2D-- soon to come for paperback.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Research Surprises - Duct Tape, Belly Buttons, and Pruney Fingers

By Sandra Nachlinger


As has been mentioned on this blog before, authors have to do a certain amount of research when writing a book, and the usual source of information these days is the Internet. But the danger (for me at least) is that one website leads to another … and another … and another. Yeah, the World Wide Web contains interesting stuff and some of it is useful, and some of it makes me want to scrub my eyeballs to erase something dreadful I’ve seen! You never know what will pop up.

My most recent foray into online research is for a work-in-progress that’s set in Florida. The heroine is kidnapped, and I figured the bad guys would tie her up and maybe put duct tape over her mouth. But I discovered something surprising in my research online.

Duct Tape

“If You’re Trapped With Duct Tape Over Your Mouth, Here’s How to Get It Off.” As a public service, I’ve embedded a video below. If my heroine had seen this, she’d know how to loosen the tape and yell for help.



Pruney Fingers


And here’s another gem, this time from Smithsonian Magazine. If a character has been soaking in a bubble bath or perhaps floundering in a river, you might want to read this article on Smithsonian’s website. It explains “Why Fingers Get Pruney.” [HERE]
Hint: Wet fingers give a better grip.

Belly Button Inhabitants? Ewwww.

And lastly, if your hero has been contemplating his belly button recently (musing on the meaning of life or maybe just trying to decide between a hot fudge sundae and a banana split) another Smithsonian article might be just the thing you need to read. On the other hand, it might gross you out! "What Lives in Your Belly Button" is HERE. What’s with Smithsonian anyhow? Makes you wonder how your museum membership dollars are spent, doesn’t it? But, you never know. Reading this article might inspire a sci-fi thriller. "Attack of the Killer Archaea?"

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief adventure into the amazing world of the Internet, but now I need to get back to my research and find out more about alligators and fires in the Everglades. I wonder what unexpected factoids will emerge in that search!


Friday, September 18, 2015

PROTECT AND SERVE, SOLDIERS, SEALS, AND COPS / by Carra Copelin

Love men and women in uniform?




This anthology includes Never before published novellas from New York Times and USA Today and other best selling authors!

From rookie cops to special ops, this collection celebrates all of those who protect and serve.

J.M. Madden - Her Secret Wish

Sharon Hamilton -  True Navy Blue

Amity Cross - Rebel (A Men of the Underground Novella)

Stacy Green - Shots Fired - A Cage Foster/Delta Detectives Novella

Jamie Lee Scott - Uncertain Blue (An Uncertain Novella)

Allie K. Adams - Brace for Contact

Hildie McQueen - Tea, Theft, and Scones

Cheryl Bradshaw - Dead of Night

Carra copelin - Lilah By Midnight

Jenna Bennett - Overcome

Danielle Stewart - Running From Shadows

Find these on Amazon and Apple iBooks.

 iBooks      Amazon

Here's a peek at LILAH BY MIDNIGHT, which is included in this awesome summer anthology. I released Lilah in 2013 as a New Years short story. I decided to revisit Mistletoe, Texas, Lilah and Jack, his daughter, Cassie, their friends Riley and Tara and increase their story to novella length.


Blurb:

Lilah Canfield has one last chance to save her career as a country music performer with a performance at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth. Bad thing is the worst snow storm in a century has hit the Texas Panhandle making passage on the highways dangerous at best and closed at worst. When her motor coach slides off the road into a snow bank outside her hometown of Mistletoe, Texas, will Lilah make her gig and save her career? Or will she give it all up for a second chance at love?


Two years after the death of his wife, Sheriff’s Deputy Jack McCommas is ready to move forward for himself and his eight year old daughter. When he and a friend stop to help the folks in a stranded motor coach, he can't believe Lilah Canfield's standing in front of him and is literally shocked to realize the old spark is still there when they touch. He uncovers a plot to sideline Lilah’s career and realizes he has a dilemma. If he solves the mystery and she chooses her music, will he be able to let her go a second time? Or will he try to convince her to stay in Mistletoe?

See you next month when Fall will be in full swing. I'm really looking forward to cooler weather.

Hugs,
Carra



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

12 Universal Laws of Life by Joan Reeves

As a purveyor of Romantic Comedy, I'm here to say: I need a good laugh! I've been run ragged the last few weeks.

I'm tired and as cranky as a teething baby. I need to turn my frown upside down as my elders used to say back in the day. (Yes, I really heard adults say this to children.)

I searched through my archive of funny things and found what follows.

I don't know who first uttered these witty words or when. It seems as if they've floated around the Internet for years. Enjoy!

Giveaway

What's your solution when you're cranky? Leave a comment with your email address to be entered in a drawing for a free audiobook of one of my romantic comedies. Entries accepted until Sept. 23. Prize to be awarded Sept. 24. Winner notified by email.

Universal Laws of Life

1. Law of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch. And you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity
Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Variation Law
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

5. Law of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

6. Law of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

7. Law of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

8. Coffee Law
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

9. Law of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

10. Law of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

11. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance
If the clothes fit, they're ugly.

12. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.


For Your Consideration

If you like to laugh, you'll like my romantic comedies. For instance, Cinderella Blue, available at Amazon Kindle and other ebook sellers.

In Cinderella Blue, love means never having to say, "You're under arrest."

Too bad, because Detective Andrea Luft--Andie to her friends--loves those 3 little words--especially when she's saying them to a "bad guy" who SO deserves it. Like the thief stealing designer wedding gowns from San Antonio bridal boutiques.

Andie is an undercover bride about to make an arrest when Detective Bruce Benton barges onto the scene. The suspect escapes, and, as a reward for this screw-up, Benton and Andie are paired together as partners to close the case.

On the surface, this mismatched duo appear to have only one thing in common: their tendency to annoy each other. Underneath though, desire sizzles. Is it just a matter of time before these two commitment-phobic cops yield to the inevitable?


Post Script

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives her “happily ever after” with her husband in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan at her Amazon Author PageSlingWords, her blog; and sign up for Wordplay, her email mailing list.

Monday, September 14, 2015

What's in a Name?

It's fairly common knowledge in the writing world that characterization is the most important part of a story, especially if you write romances where a relationship between the hero and heroine is the plot.

In the stories I write, I mostly fit a story around a character rather than fitting a character into a story.  Sometimes a character of a particular stripe calls for a certain story.(Does this make sense?)

So naming a character or characters is of the utmost importance. Sometimes I start with one name, but by the time I'm a quarter of the way into the story, I've switched to another name. I'm always on the lookout for the name that "fits" my guy or gal.

I take into consideration ancestry, ethnic background if it applies. For sure, that information affects a hero or heroine's last name. I want his or her last name to hint of family's history. In THE LOVE OF A LAWMAN, the heroine's parents were French Canadian, so I used the French spelling of her name, Isabelle. ..... In SWEET RETURN, the hero is part Comanche and distantly related to Quannah Parker, so it seemed fitting to give him the last name of Parker.
In the book I'm writing now, THE HORSEMAN,  I have a particular challenge in that the hero is part Hispanic, but his last name is Rattigan. Confusing. I would change it, but the book is #3 of a trilogy and his name is already well established in the previous 2 books. So I still have to figure out how to deal with that situation.
I've written several chapters and I still haven't settled on the heroine's name, which is distracting and annoying. In one chapter, I'm calling her Chloe. In another, I'm calling her Shiloh and in yet another I'm calling her Skye. 
Here's the cover, by the way. Designed by Kim Killion. What do you think?
 
All of my heroes are tall and handsome and alpha. I've named them all sorts of names, but the ones I like most are names that sound strong, pronounced with a hard C or K or T. For example, Luke, Cable, Tack, Jake, Parker, etc,.....You get the idea.

For heroines, I like feminine-sounding names. My heroines are quietly strong. They are alpha women, but also beautiful and feminine. Think Scarlett O'Hara who was tougher than a boiled owl, but an incredibly feminine woman. For heroines, I like soft-sounding names, i.e., Amanda, Dahlia, Joanna, Isabelle. ..... In the Dixie Cash book I'm working on, I've name the heroine after someone I know. This is the first time I've ever done that.  

To say that I spend a lot of times on naming by story people is an understatement. I'm always open to suggestions.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

So Much Fun Coming My Way! by Paty Jager

I am so excited for the Holidays and 2016!

The holidays will bring two new Christmas Novellas from me. Secrets of a Christmas Box with Isabella Mumphrey my Indiana Jones/ MacGyver female anthropologist who finds adventures.

And A Husband for Christmas, a novella to finish off my Halsey Brother Series. Shayla Miller Halsey returns to Sumpter with a fun-loving Englishman. She discovers she would rather have strong arms and security than pulling pranks.

I'm in an anthology, Silver Belles and Stetsons with a novella I've revised and added new material to. Christmas Redemption was a fun story to write and one that makes me happy every time I finish working on it and reading it.

Tagline:  Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives?


I'm in a box set with nine other talented writers.  It will be titled Courting the West.  My historical romance, Laying Claim set in the Yukon Territory in 1899 will be in the box set.
Tagline:

Jeremy Duncan heads into the Yukon Territory by dog team in the middle of a blizzard to keep one strong-willed, business-minded beauty alive.


And then I'll have my fourth Shandra Higheagle Mystery releasing soon. Murderous Secrets.
Tagline: After visiting her relatives at the reservation and the adamant statement from a friend of her father’s, Shandra discovers things about her father’s death that makes her believe it wasn't an accident.



I have a Holiday Facebook Party Scheduled for November 8th on my Facebook Fan Page. You can sign up to join the party or join my Fan page. There will be author guests, virtual drinks and goodies, and real prizes.


January 2016 will kick off my new historical western romance series, Letters of Fate. I'm excited about this new series. As the series title says, the hero and heroine are brought together through letters. Each letter will be received by the hero and his life will be changed forever.