Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23 Round Robin Blog

Life keeps intruding into my writing  and blogging time, but here I am back with another Round Robin Blog!

This month's question:  Why do you write or feel compelled to write even through the difficult parts?

I have no problem starting a story, usually by the end, there are parts where I stumble and even avoid until I have the time and the energy to tackle them. I feel compelled to write through the difficult parts in order to grow both as a person and as a writer. The difficult parts of my stories are usually things that are hard on an emotional or personal level. Or complicated. Once I’ve written them, I feel much lighter.
Much of my journey as a writer seems to involve parts of my own life. Sometimes I will write pieces as therapy, but not all of these bits make it into a book. If they do, they’re lighter and funnier, or resolved differently.
I’m proud to announce the re-release of my Gilda Wright Mysteries. My former publisher released me from my contract and my wonderful Canadian publisher Books We Love, Ltd. Has offered to republish them with cleaner edits and fresh new covers.
Introducing the release of:

Dead Without Honor (formerly Can’t Keep a Brunette Down)
The other two books - Dead Without Glory and Dead With Pride out will be released later this year along with a fourth book in my Wild Blue Mystery Series.

 I hope you'll visit the other participants in this month's blog fest!

Monday, February 5, 2018

An Interesting Week

I was waiting until contracts were signed and everything was official, but here goes:

My publisher, Gemma Halliday Publishing, has given me back the rights to my Gilda Wright mystery series. Those books will no longer be available for sale - aside from the few I have left on my shelves.
The good news is they will be republished by another publisher! More details to follow!

But that's not where my news ends.
Currently, I have one new novel being considered for publication which I've just completed rewrites on tonight (nope, not naming names yet!) and one more proposal I'm awaiting news on from yet another publisher. If you're counting, that's two books in two separate, brand new series!

AND I will have Book #4 in the Wild Blue Mystery series--The Painted Lady--coming out late this year!

Lots to look forward to on the writing front for sure.

Stay tuned for details and - hopefully - even more great news!!  How bloomin' good is that?

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 20 Round Robin Blog

Welcome back!
Okay, I know I said I'd be better about posting on my blog, but life has this funny way of saying "No you won't."  Between a nasty cold and work, it's taken me a bit to get back on here.
In the meantime, I'm working on some revisions with two novels in the wings and eager to dive back into making my books reality!

In the meantime....

Here I am with another Round Robin Blog post. Our topic today:

Considering viewpoints in writing (omniscient, ie. author's viewpoint, or first person, second person, or third person in character's viewpoint), what is your preferred way of exposing your characters, their thoughts and emotions? How do you switch between characters?

For anyone who has read my novels, I normally write in third person (he said/she said). All of my books are written this way except the one I'm currently working on, which is in first person (I said). Why the switch? Partly it was a requirement of the publisher I was originally writing it for, but I kind of like it for a this particular series. No other characters deep, dark thoughts to be concerned about, just what my main character Laken sees, knows and hears.

Because I use mostly third person, I generally have two main characters I write between. For me, I don't like "head hopping" or jumping from one character to the other so quickly the reader becomes disoriented. I've read novels where the writer has taken that approach and find it difficult to follow the plot and keep the characters straight. I prefer taking my time in a chapter and switching to another character in the next chapter.

Short and sweet today. My question to you, dear reader, is which viewpoint do you prefer to read?

I hope you leave me an answer then hop around to visit some of our other amazing authors!
Connie Vines Helena Fairfax McGier Copek Baun de Gruchy Maguire Taylor Stenhouse Beverley Bateman L Courtright

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy 2018!

January 4 2018

I've been really bad at keeping up this blog. Life has taken so many twists and turns over the past couple of years. I am happy to report things are calm and life is good :)

After a fun Christmas and New Years with friends, I've been able to spend some time working on a couple of projects.

One is a new series idea that came from a chat with a friend. Before the book is even written, my agent and I have pitched it to a publisher. I have my fingers, toes, legs, everything crossed!

The second is me.

Okay, I'm an ongoing project. But my goal this year is to get back to walking like I did over the past year and - thanks to a little encouragement from an outside source - run a 5km this fall.

I've done a lot of sitting over the past two months between work and the holidays and I'm feeling the pain once more. Time to get back on track. At least I've lost a couple pounds over the holidays (how did that one work?) and not gained over Christmas which helps motivate me even more!

One more goal I have for the year is to post on my blog once a week. I'm thinking Mondays.
What the heck, everyone needs something to put them to sleep at night, right? LOL!!

May 2018 fill your hearts with love, fill your souls with adventure, and may you all take a little time each day just for you.



Friday, November 17, 2017

Round Robin Blog Fest November 18, 2017

It's been a very busy Fall for me so I apologize for not keeping up with the blog! Between work and finishing my latest novel, there hasn't been much time for sanity, but I'm back for another Round Robin Blog Fest.
         This month's topic is:
What stories have your written or read where a holiday takes place. To what purpose was the inclusion of the holiday? How do you celebrate holidays or events? Does this ever make it into one of your stories?

Definitely! Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and my novel The Bakery Lady takes place during the Christmas season. I included the holiday for a few reason:

  • to use a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas where someone showers my leading lady Christina Davidson with gifts
  • to magnify the family issues Christina faces
  • to include her frustration with building a gingerbread house
  • to show a small town type of Christmas that I've come to love including a gigantic Christmas tree at town hall, hot chocolate from local vendors, and wandering the streets to gaze at the lights.
In our home, one of the things I used to do with my own kids is create homemade gingerbread houses. Eventually, we pared them down to gingerbread cookies which friends and family look forward to every year along with sugar cookies, my infamous pink peppermint cookies and some very addictive caramel popcorn.

This year, I need to modify things. My kids are mostly grown and won't be home for Christmas this year. For the first time in over twenty years, I'll be on my own for Christmas. Time for some new traditions! I'll still do some baking, but will have to ship it out to them all. I'm looking forward to the light display in a local park, as well as along our main street which never fails to make me smile.

I do hope you'll check out my novel. Simply click on the link to purchase!

An Excerpt from The Bakery Lady:

 The backdoor flew open. Clancy stomped the snow off his shoes then looked up. “Oh, you have a visitor, I see.”
Christina rolled her eyes. “Actually, I kidnapped her so I wouldn’t be lonely until you showed up.”
Lucy’s face reddened. “It’s okay, I was just leaving.”
“No, you’re not. I haven’t finished icing your cake yet.” She set aside the carrot cake and grabbed two of the chocolate layers. “The kids like chocolate with caramel and custard, right?”
“You’re getting a cake? What’s the occasion?” Clancy peered over Christina’s shoulder.
Lucy’s eyes widened. “Um, I...”
“It’ll be about ten minutes. Clancy, why don’t you take Lucy up to Java Jo’s and grab me a cup of tea.” She all but pushed them out the front door.
“Um, okay.” Clancy glanced from Christina to Lucy. “Is everything okay?”
“Yup.” Christina nudged him with her elbow since her hands were full of buttercream. “Take Lucy with you. She wanted to grab a cup of coffee while she waited anyway.”
“Yeah, I did.” Lucy narrowed her eyes, then whispered, “You’re sneaky.”
“Getting rid of both of us? How convenient.” Clancy scowled. “Where are my calzones?”
Christina smiled. “You bring me tea, then I’ll feed you.”
“Shall we?” Her brother stood in front of Lucy and held out his arm. “You didn’t really order a cake, did you? My sister’s up to something, isn’t she? Is Leo hiding back here somewhere?”
“You are so dense some days.” Lucy shook her head. When he opened the front door, she left the bakery ahead of him.
Warmth spread through Christina’s stomach. She liked Lucy Stephen already.
By the time Leo returned in the early afternoon, she had three walls of the gingerbread house erected with a bowl in the center to hold them up. He smiled his approval then sat on the stool to watch. She ignored him and attached the fourth wall. After she put on the roof pieces, she stepped back to admire her handiwork.
“Bravo.” He applauded. “You’ve successfully incarcerated a defenseless bowl.”
“What are you talking about?” Her eyes widened.
He grinned. “You left your bowl inside.”
“I did?” Christina’s shoulders sagged as one side of the roof slid off and revealed the yellow bowl inside. The other side of the roof slid and dragged off a wall. Her eyes widened as the remaining three walls toppled. When she swore, Leo covered his mouth and convulsed with laughter.
Christina couldn’t stop the tears, nor did she bother, she was too frustrated. “I can’t do this. I’ll just go buy a stupid gingerbread house. There’s no way I can make one by tomorrow.”
Leo grasped her arms and pulled her close, pressing her against his chest.
She poured out every ounce of frustration in her tears then looked at the ruins. “Why can’t I do this? It’s not that difficult, is it?”
His arms remained firm around her. “What would your mom tell you?”
She laid her head on his chest, the thumps of his heart calming her as she gazed as the mess of icing and cookie. “She’d say I was too impatient and need to let the walls set before I put on the roof. That and the icing’s too thin.”
“Problem solved.” Leo nodded. “Oh, and you should stop giving away your bowls.”
“How else am I supposed to get three walls to stay up while I put on the fourth?”
He gazed into her eyes. “Ask a friend for help.”
Christina looked up. She’d never thought of that. “I don’t have any friends. Well, except Clancy, but he doesn’t count.”
“I could be your friend.” Leo touched her chin.
She hesitated and licked her lips. “Can you hold up the walls of a gingerbread house?”
“I can manage that.” He closed the gap between them. “Can we call a truce?”
“For now.” Her heart hammered against his leather jacket. The heat that emanated off his body made her want to kiss him. To rip his coat off and...
Not one of her better ideas. Instead, she pulled away from him and scrubbed her hands at the sink. She thickened the icing while Leo scraped icing off the pieces of the house. Together, they stood the walls to make a solid base for the roof.
When his hands brushed hers, her knees nearly buckled. “Why are you helping me?”
“Because you asked.” Leo shrugged. “Clancy’s worried about you and, between you and me, I think you’re kind of interesting.”
Her face warmed. “Gee, thanks.”
With help, the gingerbread house took no time at all to finish. This time when Christina stood back to admire her work, the roof and walls stayed in place.

I hope you'll hop around to visit some of my fellow authors.
Have a wonderful time and I hope to see you next month!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Round Robin Blog Post Sept 23 2017

Hi ho! Welcome back to another Round Robin Blog Fest! This month's topic:

This month's topic: What characters in other author's books have not left your mind? Have written a character who wouldn't leave you? Why do you think this happens?

Earlier this year I was introduced to a novel called "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. A bizarre book that takes a reader on several different story line all in one compact 705 page novel. Of all the characters in that book one has haunted me for months afterward. The character of Johnny Tremaine. While the structure of the book is unconventional, there are varying fonts, page layouts, and images, it is the footnotes of the book that unravel Johnny's story. An apprentice in a tattoo shop, he starts off a relatable, just another kid with problems. He goes from an everyday assuming punk kid who follows a descent to madness.

Of my own characters, Leo Blue is the one who hangs around the most. He started off as a sidekick to Danny Walker in my Wild Blue Mysteries and gradually took over his own role as a leading man in The Bakery Lady and will appear once more in my latest work in progress, The Painted Lady.

Leo emerged from the wild side of me that longed to say what was on my mind no matter the consequences. He is also the kind of person who does as he pleases. No family. No one to worry about but himself. He is free to work as he chooses and run off to other parts of the world when life gets him down. A loner, just like Johnny Tremaine, Leo does his best without giving up anything to anyone.
Until he meets Christina Davidson, that is...

Buy your copy of The Bakery Lady

Anne Stenhouse
Heidi M. Thomas
Victoria Chatham
Diane Bator
A.J. Maguire
Judith Copek
Beverley Bateman
Fiona McGier
Skye Taylor
Rachael Kosinski
Rhobin Courtright

Saturday, August 19, 2017

August Round Robin Blogfest

Today's topic is NOT for the faint of heart! Reader be warned.

When you are stumped on moving a plot line forward, what do you do to reinvigorate your imagination and get your characters moving?

The term Writer's Block gets tossed around a lot. I find that by writing every day and keeping my characters in the back of my mind, my stories and plot usually move along well.


When I'm stumped one of the first things I need to do to get my characters and story moving, is to get myself moving. I take a walk or weed the garden. Clear my head and either mull over the story or just set it aside and watch the birds fly and the grass sway. Seriously. Sometimes procrastination can help. So can a piece of chocolate or a cup of coffee.

Inspiration can strike in the oddest of ways:  meeting someone on the street who says something I can work with or just having a sudden "lightening strike" aha moment. Actually, I had one of those today while surfing the Internet trying to solve a problem in my latest novel "All That Sparkles." Today I saw an image of a necklace on a website and suddenly inspiration struck. I made notes to develop my story with later this week.

I find my writing and stories flow well when I am able to focus on my work and not be completely distracted by everyday life. Sometimes, however, things from my everyday life can seep into my story and take things in a whole new direction. Always for the better and never at anyone's expense.

One of the biggest reasons for Writer's Block is that authors try to write the best stuff they can. Honestly, sometimes in order to get a story moving, you just have to spill a little ink and write the worst crap you could ever write. Somewhere in the editing phase, you find the gemstones you'd like to keep and build on. Getting rid of bad lines is easy. I usually get rid of a lot of extraneous words and phrases to tighten things up for the finished product. The first draft is always full of stuff I threw in just to write.

A great way to get through the hurdle is to write with friends. Joining a writing group and having time set aside just for writing from a prompt is an amazing spark to rekindle your imagination.

In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron suggests we write morning pages. Sit down every morning and blurt out at least 3 pages of everything on your mind into a journal. Be done with the chatter then move on to the good stuff. Your writing. 

Stop by and check out my books on Amazon!

Want to learn how other authors deal with moving plot lines and characters along? Stop by and visit our illustrious list of amazing wordsmiths:

A.J. Maguire
Anne de Gruchy
Skye Taylor
Victoria Chatham
Marie Laval
Judith Copek
Dr. Bob Rich
Helena Fairfax
Fiona McGier
Heather Haven
Beverley Bateman
Rhobin Courtright