Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2018


By Bea Tifton

But Where Do You Get Your Ideas?  Confessions of a Writer with an Overactive Imagination.

One of the most common questions writers get is, “Where do you get your ideas?” 

Recently, I was having coffee with a friend, people watching and chatting, and we wandered into discussing the progress I’m making with the book I’m writing.

“Do you ever put people you know in your books? You know, take part of their quirky little personalities or something odd you see?” she asked with a puckish grin.

“Of course not.” I replied. Then in my best legalese voice, I added, “This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to people living or dead is strictly coincidental.” 

And, we laughed and laughed. I conceded that perhaps sometimes, maybe, in a parallel universe, I just might work in some of the weirder slices of life I’ve observed, usually odd things I’ve done. 

I am an avid people watcher and a shameless eavesdropper in public places. When I was a little girl, my mother taught me to look at people we’d see when we were running errands or waiting in the car and make up little stories about them. Nothing malicious, just who they were and what they were doing. It stuck, and now I put those stories on paper.

I was thinking about my conversation with my friend as I was driving home from the grocery store.  I passed a rolled up Persian carpet and thought, Huh. Someone rolled a body up in that carpet and just left it in the rain on 8th Avenue. I immediately laughed at myself. It wasn’t really a body burrito, was it? 

A body burrito or just a rolled carpet?

I realized I might, just maybe, be too consumed with reading mysteries and actually trying to write one. But I confess that I’ve kept my eyes on it for the past couple of weeks as it has started to break apart in the prolific rains we’ve had. The inner contents revealed themselves and it’s just a bundle of old clothes. But whose clothes? And why are they rolled up in a carpet right there on 8th Avenue. Hmmm.

I used to live in a quirky neighborhood. I miss that. I just never knew what I would see. Two days ago I was cutting through that part of town and I saw a guy walking down the street carrying a steel ladder. Just walking down the street. Was he stealing it? Was he going to break into someone’s house? To propose to his lady love so she could sneak out of her second story bedroom to elope? And why wasn’t anyone else even giving him a second glance? Hmmm.

Am I going to open myself to litigation by including libelous characterizations of people? Oh, no. But, that said, be nice to me. Or you might just end up in my book. J

Public Domain Photo credits:
Latte by Lesly Juarez
Two Brown Wooden Ladders by Biao Xie
Girl Covering Her Mouth by Andre Guerra

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thankful I can Help by Paty Jager

In November everyone starts thinking about all the things they are thankful for. I have a whole list, but one of the things I am thankful for is the ability to help others through my writing.

November 11th, Patti Fiala and Stacey Joy Netzel took 20+ bags of books, socks, toiletries, everyday essentials to the Fisher House For veterans families. It's a place where families stay while their military family member is being cared for. We do this twice a year. Around Memorial Day and at Veteran's Day.  We send Patti and Stacey toiletries, books, coloring books, socks, scarfs, mittens, fun things. This time I sent coloring books and crayons, adult coloring books and coloring pencils, cozy socks, and chapstick. All of this I watch for all year and buy items I see on sale or clearance. Because I think ahead, I'm able to supply more items. These two generous authors put the bags together and take them to Fisher House. Here is my bag they put together to go to some one on Veterans Day.

They also hold back a book or swag from each author that goes into three bags we raffle off after the bags have been delivered. The people who enter the raffle sign up for one of our social media sites. It's a win-win all the way around. If you'd like to learn more here is the link:

The other event that I'm thankful I was able to participate in is the Wild Deadwood Reads Anthology. This book has 17 short stories by 17 best selling and award winning authors. All the stories are set in Deadwood. Some historical, some contemporary, there are a few ghosts and one time travel. They are all great stories and all the proceeds go to the Western Sports Foundation. This is an organization that helps Rodeo athletes when they are injured or experience a set back that keeps them from being able to make a living at what they do for a living. If they are injured to where they can no longer rodeo, it helps them transition into another way to make a living, through schooling or training. It is more than handing them money, it is helping them make life changes.

The bad news about the Anthology is it will no longer be available after December. but the good news or you, is the ebook version is on sale for $0.99 until November 15th. If you haven't purchased your copy, now is a good time to do it.  It is also available in print.

Zoe Blake
She was his...and it was past time he staked his claim.
Jessamine Cooper was determined to stay independent and run her late uncle's ranch on her own. When she shows up in Deadwood with an ill-advised plan to win the money she needs playing poker, Cash decides it is past time for him to stake his claim.
E.E. Burke
A friendship that never died.
Calamity Jane is drawn back to Deadwood by a force more powerful than death, and becomes an unexpected savior in the midst of an epidemic.
Paty Jager 
Everyone deserves a chance.
When a miner tosses his daughter into the pot at a poker game and the winner is a brothel owner, Beau Gentry is determined to keep the young woman out of the man’s hands.
Teresa Keefer
Can a preacher's daughter play poker with a gambler and win?
Leticia Chasteen was always getting dragged into situations she didn't want to be in. Rusty McGraw the gambler was always coming to her rescue. Who will end up with the winning hand?
Megan Kelly
He loves her. She loves him. A proposal should be good news, right?
Callie Jones never wanted to date a bull rider. Now she’s fallen in love with Rome Anderson, who’s intent on winning the PBR Championship buckle. When he asks her to marry him, she has to decide: Does she break his heart with a no or doom her future with a yes?
Sylvia McDaniel
Is it possible to love someone in another time? Are dreams real?
Sadie Mae Miller is hanging up her barrel racing crown and beginning a new life. But when her grandmother asks her to sleep under a new wedding ring quilt with promises of visions of the love of her life, she doesn’t quite believe her. Until she falls asleep. Only problem is, he lived in 1880. Does time separate the lovers?
Amanda McIntyre
Sometimes to find your future you must face the past.
Past and present meld together in Deadwood when a woman who discovers true love must fight to escape a deadly twist of fate.
Peggy McKenzie
Sometimes, love is hiding in the most peculiar places.
Major Lucas Hamilton, widower and father of four boys, insists on the disciplined order of a regimented household. But when a bumbling young woman falls at his feet, will he take a chance on her or send her packing before she burns his house down to the ground.
Angi Morgan
Teenage crush or true love. You decide.
Sean Maverick is on a charity auction block until a beautiful woman from his past buys him for the night. Em Stone believed in love at first sight even if she had to lasso and knock Sean off his feet.
Nancy Naigle
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride? Never say never.
Kendra is fine with being a bridesmaid. She hung up her wedding hopes and dreams eight years ago when her cowboy chose the rodeo over her, but when these two cross paths in Deadwood it looks like the timing just might be right for a reconciliation.
Jacqui Nelson
In a gold rush storm, can an unlikely pair rescue each other?
Raven wants to save one person. Charlie wants to save the world. Their warring nations thrust them together but duty pulled them apart—until their paths crossed again in Deadwood for a fight for love.
Terri Osburn
When it comes to love, sometimes falling is the easy part.
Aspyn Fielding blames Tucker Stargill for not talking her brother, Colt, out of riding bulls. When Colt is gravely injured during a ride, Aspyn is hopeful Tucker will finally see things her way, but Aspyn is the one who has a change of heart.
Ginger Ring
Finding the perfect results from one simple test.
Orphaned at a young age, both Adam and River yearn to find a living relative from either of their families. After finally deciding to put down roots in Deadwood, a simple DNA test brings a result that is more than they ever expected.
Maggie Ryan
There may be gold in the Black Hills, but Bennett had his eyes on a far more valuable prize.
Not one to be deterred by the dictates of society, Lorelai Samuels had a dream to open a restaurant in the bustling new town of Deadwood and no one was going to stand in her way, especially not the infuriatingly handsome and stubborn Bennett Redding.
Lizbeth Selvig
Win or lose, she’s about to take on the big boys.
Faith “Rabbit” Redmond forms an extreme plan at the Deadwood rodeo to convince a champion bull rider that women can excel at the dangerous sport. If she wins his respect, she might also win his love. .
Tina Susedik
Can a schoolmarm with dreams of a better life, fall for a disreputable man?
Suzanna Lindstrom travels as a schoolmarm in fledgling Deadwood. Having left her parents’ struggling farm, she dreams of a better life in Deadwood with a man who’s struck it rich in the gold fields. Fresh off the stagecoach, she meets Kingston Winson, whom she disregards as disreputable. Is he who she thinks he is? What lesson will she learn?
A.C. Wilson
Tricks inspire courage and new love while daring others to dream.
Pushed to choose a direction for her life, Tandi discovers that some crossroads are necessary. Surprisingly, each marker leads her to an arena of spectators with her talented horse and a handsome guy who gives her hope to do the impossible.

Here are the links to the book:

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 35 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her Shandra Higheagle mystery series has been a runner-up in the RONE Award Mystery category, and a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest   / Bookbub

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sacred Heart Medical Soup #Authors #Readers #Bloggers #health

This is a lengthy post but worth every word if you live half your life in the publishing world.

Feeling stressed, bloated, have a lack of energy? What busy woman today doesn't? (works for men too). Readers, bloggers and writers spend endless hours sitting, lying down or immobile. We all know how important exercise is, but if you're like me, I don't exercise daily or as often as I should. I've made and eaten the Sacred Heart Medical Soup on several occasions and personally LUV the taste. When I'm particularly stressed, it helps my body fight off colds, flus and other nasty germs that intrude on my system.

With winter coming in many regions, I highly recommend trying the Sacred Heart Health Diet. *Recommended by many physicians, including the Mayo Clinic, for patients preparing for a major surgery.*
Please check back and leave your thoughts if you tried the soup. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. ~Keta~

Sacred Heart Medical Diet
This 7-day eating plan can be used as often as you like. If correctly followed, it will clean out your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well-being. After only 7 days of this process, you will begin to feel lighter by at least 10 pounds and possibly 17 pounds, and experience an abundance of energy.
1 or 2 cans of stewed tomatoes
3 plus large green onions
1 large can of beef broth (no fat)
1 pkg. Lipton Soup mix
1 bunch of celery (use the entire bunch_
2 cans green beans
2 lbs. Carrots
2 Green Peppers

Season with salt, pepper curry, parsley, if desired, or bouillon, hot or Worcestershire sauce. Cut veggies in small to medium pieces. Cover with water. Boil fast for 10 minutes. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook until veggies are tender.

This soup can be eaten anytime you are hungry during the week. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want. This soup will not add calories. The more you eat, the more you will lose. You may want to fill a thermos in the morning if you will be away during the day.

Unsweetened juices
Tea (also herbal)
Cranberry juice
Skim milk
Water, water, water
Any fruit (except bananas). Cantaloupes and watermelon are lower in calories than most other fruits. Eat only soup and fruit today.
All vegetables. Eat until you are stuffed with fresh raw, cooked or canned veggies. Try to eat green leafy veggies and stay away from dry beans, peas or corn. Eat veggies along with the soup. At dinnertime tonight reward yourself with a big baked potato and butter. Don't eat any fruits through today.
Eat all the soup, fruit and veggies you want. Do not have a baked potato. If you have eaten as above for three days and not cheated, you should find that you have lost 5-7 pounds.
Bananas and skim milk: Eat at least 3 bananas and drink as much milk as you can today, along with the soup. Bananas are high in calories and carbohydrates, as is the milk but on this particular day, your body will need the potassium and carbs. Proteins and calcium to lessen the cravings for sweets.
Beef and tomatoes: you may have 10 to 20 ounces of beef and a can of tomatoes, or as many as 6 tomatoes on this day. Eat the soup at least once today.
Beef and veggies, eat to your heart's content of the beef and veggies today. You can even have 2-3 steaks if you like with green leafy veggies but no baked potato. Be sure to eat the soup at least once today.
Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and veggies, again, be sure to stuff yourself and eat the soup. You can add cooked veggies to your rice if you wish.

By the end of the 7th day, if you have not cheated on this diet, you should have lost 10 to 17 pounds. If you have lost more than 17 pounds, stay off the diet for two days before resuming the diet again.
This diet is fast. The secret lies within the principle that you will burn more calories than you take in. It will flush your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well-being. This diet does not lend itself to drinking any alcoholic beverages at any time. Because of the fat build-up in your system. Go off the diet at least 14 hours before any intake of alcohol.

Due to the variety of digestive systems in individuals, this diet will affect everyone differently. After day three, you will have more energy than when you began, if you do not cheat. After being on the diet for several days, you will find that your bowel movements have changed. Eat a cup of bran or fiber. Although you can have black coffee with this diet, you may find that you don't need caffeine after the third day.

The basic fat burning soup can be eaten anytime you feel hungry during the seven days. Eat as much as you wish. Remember the more you eat, the more you will lose. You can eat broiled, boiled or baked chicken instead of the beef. Absolutely no skin on the chicken. If you prefer, you can substitute broiled fish for the beef on only one of the beef days. You need the high protein in the beef for the other days. Continue on the diet as long as you wish and feel the difference both mentally and physically.

No bread, alcohol, carbonated drinks (including diet drinks). Remember, absolutely no fried foods.
DO - DO - DO - DO
Drink plenty - at least 6 to 8 glasses - of water a day, as well as any combination of the following beverages: black coffee, unsweetened fruit drinks, cranberry juice and skim milk.
** This diet comes from the Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital that is used for overweight heart patients in order to lose weight rapidly, usually prior to surgery.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

To Nano or Not to Nano - that's an individual decision

To Nano or NOT to Nano - that's an individual decision

During October, besides the excitement of Halloween, there's always a debate that goes on about NANOWRIMO.

What is it? Good question.

NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth - a free activity for the month of November

The basic idea - Write a Novel in November (50K words)

I'm what's called a Nano Rebel - because I don't start a new project in November, I just keep writing on whatever I'm writing.

Basic 'average' of words per day to get to 50K - 1,667

There are local events to attend, ways for people to volunteer and help, all kinds of great stuff, but there are those that do NOT like the event.
And I see why. There are a lot of Nano-police - people who want to decide if you won fairly. What do you get when you 'win'? A download ready certificate and maybe a couple of discounts on products. You do NOT get a publishing contract or money... but some people want to tell you what to do...

But the point (to me and a number of others) is to WRITE -

to GET THE WORDS DOWN - because, like I remind myself, you can't fix a blank page.

At 'write ins' - events were writers (those solitary creatures) actually go out in the world and meet each other. It's usually at a coffee house (although, those are disappearing) or somewhere there are table and in Hawaii, air conditioning!

And we have 'word wars' - we pick a time and during that time we write as fast as we can. Again, a number of people will decry the idea. "You can't write anything good that fast." and maybe that's right, but I usually use the time to work through issues. If I have a plot hole/problem, I'll write about the problem, just letting my mind and fingers work through it.

Online, I have 'word sprints' with other authors. Again, someone picks a time and we'll just write, write, write for that time. Take a break and then go again. I'll use the 'break' time to think ahead and focus my mind on the next section/chapter of the story.

I've done NANO for about fifteen years and I've seen people come and go. I've seen the groups change in good ways and bad. And I'm firmly in the camp of PRO-NANO, mainly because it can be a positive influence on someone's writing.

I don't listen to the Nano-Police... I just do what I need to do to work toward my goals. I try to encourage others to do what they need to do.

So, tell me... have you done NANO before? Doing it now?
What do you love about it? Do you have things that have bothered you in a past? Currently?
Have a success story? Let's have it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Surviving October by Carolyn Hector

Surviving October 
Carolyn Hector
Happy November! There are 48 days left until Christmas.

October was a crazy month.

First my son hurt his thumb during football practice, played the next game. I went off to my writer’s retreat and when I returned, his finger was black. Turned out he broke thumb. Then we had a hurricane.
We lost power from Wednesday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Everything in the fridge went bad. And the sad thing is… I have accepted I will not survive the Zombie Apocalypse.
During the hurricane we went out to help neighbors…as neighbors do… and two of my nephews decided to charge an old lady $100 for helping. It was an expensive hurricane. Feeding them was ridiculous. I wanted to grill the food from the freezer but without hot water there was no way to wash my hands. So we ate out the whole time. Oy! The no AC just about did me in!
After the hurricane, my son had surgery where the doctor inserted a pin in his thumb. I am a wimpy parent and began tearing up the moment they brought us back into the pre-surgery room. Let’s see, then I had surgery…gallbladder surgery. Do you know how often you use your stomach muscles?
Happy B-lated Halloween. My 15-year-old nephew still went trick-or-treating.... but he can pass for an 11 year-old with his cute adorable lil' face (he won't be pleased to read that.. if he reads this lol)  So I'll let him have that. I did manage to stay upright to make part of the luncheon at my office... I like to call these Monster Legs... or Witches Lets... sorry for the vegans reading.
Sheesh! I’m still off work right now. Then my oldest nephew had all four of his wisdom teeth taken out last week.
This gal is tired! And I still have a November 15th deadline for a proposal and a manuscript. Pray for me!
It is also Christmas movie season Hallmark is FINALLY putting out some diversity. Lifetime is stepping up their game as well. Checkout my list if you like.
Hopefully I’ll have more to share next month. Until then,
Happy Reading & Happy Writing

PS.. My book, Her Mistletoe Bachelor comes out this month! Don't forget to pick up your copy on November 21st or preorder your e-book December 1st 

After a public breakup, CFO Donovan Ravens plans to spend the holidays alone in a small-town hotel. But beautiful science teacher British Carres has other ideas for the space that the sexy bachelor booked—a contest starring her students. In British, Donovan sees a future he never expected. As they give in to their chemistry, a threat from the past could keep them from finding true love

He's the CFO for Ravens Cosmetics...and y'all... Beauty sells. 
She's a former beauty queen teaching young girls to be more than a pretty face. 
Pre-order 🎄🎅🏽🤶🏽Her Mistletoe Bachelor

Take one sexy brooding hero not looking for company👨🏽‍💼 , a quirky STEM teacher 👩🏽‍🔬 with a passion for New Edition, add in an overbooked boutique hotel 🏨 ... and BAM! 🔎🔥Instant Chemistry 
A Christmas Concoction hitting your favorite #RomanceTropes
🎄Opposites Attract
🎄Small Town Romance
🎄Forced Proximity 
🎄Tortured Hero

Other Buy Links for Her Mistletoe Bachelor
Google Books

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Get Back to #Writing #HoneyBeaulieu by @JacquieRogers

Back in the Saddle (?)

The last book I wrote is in the anthology Under a Mulberry Moon.  Since then, we've bought a house in Idaho, raced back to Seattle to pack up, moved to Idaho, taken a trip to Oklahoma and Missouri, and upon return have been unpacking over 400 boxes.  I might mention that 200 of those boxes are books and no, we don't have room for them in our smaller house.  Sob.

I've found most of my western reference books,
and even some mythology books, too.
My next project is Honey Beaulieu - Man Hunter #4: Crack Shot in Whiskey Gap.  So far, I haven't written a word, but I have figured out the opening situation, the ultimate destination (Leadville, Colorado), and even found a drawing of Leadville in 1879, which is the same year that the book is set.  

I'm a little worried about the weather because the story takes place in October.  Had snow fallen yet?  More than likely since the average temperature at night is below freezing, and it barely gets to 40 during the day.  I think my characters better bundle up!

There's lots to determine before a book can be written--at least, if you don't want to rewrite the entire thing, which I don't.  One of these is location and all that particular location's peccadilloes, or at least as many as can be found.  

Everything from elevation to wind can affect the story.  If the main character is a flatlander who's visiting Leadville( nearly 11,000 feet), she might get a little winded after a good brisk walk.  So might her animals.  Luckily, Honey Beaulieu, her mule Pickles, and her donkey Sassy are used to high altitude so they shouldn't have much trouble.  Honey's hometown, Fry Pan Gulch, is around 7,000 feet.

Anyway, you can see that a lot plays into creating a novel.  If there are any night scenes, will there be a full moon?  What sort of wild critters can cause the characters trouble?  The more pre-writing work to build a plausible world, the less post-draft rewriting.  And I hate rewriting.  Really hate it.  I much prefer to get it right the first time.

So I better cut this short and get on with it.  I'd really like to get this book out by January.  With all we have to do (no, we're not unpacked yet) that might be pie in the sky, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Oh, one more thing: there's a contest going on today at my readers' group, the Pickle Barrel Bar and Books.  Join and you can participate!

Happy November!  And don't forget--FALL BACK.

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