Smart Girls Read Romance

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Best Laid Plans by Paty Jager

In December, I had planned to work only on my mystery books this year- flash forward 6 months. After writing four mystery books back to back and finding myself mixing up the names of the characters in the different series, I decided to "clean my palate" or in this case, brain, by writing a contemporary western romance novella in between the mystery books.

I have ideas and plans for many more mystery books, but I think my brain needs a chance to switch from mystery to something else for a bit before I dive into another mystery book.

But that also means, I had to reread the novellas in the romance series to reacquaint myself with the family members this series is set around and the fictional area. I already had the next three books in the series planned out, so it was a matter of sitting down with the first stories, figure out where the MC of this new story is at at the start, and fill out a GMC chart- that's Goals, Motivation, and Conflict.

GMC for the hero and heroine of the story are something I always start with. It helps me to
1. see them more clearly in terms of where they are coming from and where they want to go.
2. how to put them together
3. what is the conflict that keeps them apart
4. how to bring them together for the HEA- Happily Ever After

This story is titled Collateral Love- It's about Lee MacIntyre who has purchased half of his family's ranch with every penny he had and he wants to get a loan to purchase rough stock livestock- this is bulls or bucking horses to rent to rodeos for the bucking events. Only the local banker he goes to, doesn't think he can make it starting off as a person who has never done this before. BUT his daughter happens to already have a slowly-growing clientele for her rough stock operation. However, she's about to lose her land because of her deceased husband's bad money handling. The banker suggests the two go in as partners.

That's as far as I am in the story so far. The conflict...The two went to school together. Josie, the heroine, bested Lee at everything! She won the FFA tractor driving contest, the speaking contest, and beat him out for salutatorian behind his best friend. He's not sure he wants a woman who is always trying to best him sharing his ranch. And she, isn't sure she wants this man she always beat to see  how far she has fallen. After all, she couldn't keep her husband from wasting their money or getting himself killed.

So look for that in a couple of months. The next Shandra Higheagle Mystery is coming out the end of July. Capricious Demise has a new life chapter starting for Shandra and Ryan, if you are following their HEA in the mystery series.

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 45 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. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
This is what Romance Junkies has to say about the Tumbling Creek Ranch series: “There are twists and turns to the story with a nice flow and a depth to the characters. The vivid scenic descriptions made me feel like I was there… I hope to return to Tumbling Creek Ranch over and over again.”

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  1. Seeing how other authors plot is always interesting to me. I'm fortunate enough to have heard Deb Dixon speak on GMC and have her book. I refer back to it from time to time as I often forget to start there.

    1. Caroline, I haven't had the pleasure of hearing Deb speak but her book was recommended at a conference I went to and it resonated with me. I have to know my characters before I an write their story, so I use GMC to start getting into their heads.

  2. "Collateral Love" sounds intriguing. I like the premise. I, too, have Debra Dixon's GMC book. Sometimes I forget to refer back to it. Best of luck with your writing and endeavors.

    1. Thanks Judy Ann, I'm visiting with a rough stock company owned by twin sisters to learn all the ins and outs of being an owner. This will be a fun change from writing about murder. LOL


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