Saturday Promotion

It’s Saturday morning, so I’m sitting here sipping coffee and writing. One of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is to work on my current WIP and maybe dabble with something new in the works. But this morning I want to talk about my In Harm’s Way Series. Three in the series have been released, but there are two more to come.

This Christian Suspense Romance series has surprised me. When I stepped out of my usual sweet romance style writing into something a little more edgy, I was scared. But the response from my fans has been wonderful. I even get emails asking when the next one will be released. And I have to admit that writing suspense and mystery is fun. There’s so many twists and turns.

So here’s a look at the three that are out:

Hadley never thought she’d be living out one of the stories she wrote. Not until one trip to the park changed her whole life. She finds herself in the middle of a horror story. One that will change the way she looks at everything and everyone around her. If she lived through this, it would be a miracle. She had one chance at safety, but he was making her break out of her comfort zone.
Drew left everything to find solace on his Wyoming ranch. His world had been filled with espionage, murder, and keeping the country safe as a member of an elite Navy Seal team. But now, all he wanted was peace. That would change in an instant with one meeting with Hadley. Drew couldn’t go back to that life, but now he has no choice if he was to keep her safe.
They are thrown together to solve a mystery, one that could change her own past. Both have their own inner demons to get past. Can her faith help her, and can she teach Drew to have faith? As they get closer, both realize that there is more than just investigating happening between them. But Drew knows that it’s something he can’t explore, and Hadley doesn’t understand when he pushes her away.
This novel is a faith-based suspense romance. If you’re looking for a clean, faith-oriented thriller novel, then look no further than one of the In Harm’s Way novels.

Abusive husband… Old love… Tested Faith…
Harper…
Harper was trapped in a nightmare. Every morning she woke expecting it to be her last. How could she have married a monster? The only light in her dark world is the faith that she holds close to her heart.
Reid…
Reid has struggled for years to forget the one woman that was everything to him. While doing rounds at the hospital, he comes face to face with her. He sees the truth to her injuries, but she quickly denies them, leaving the hospital before he can convince her to get help. Now he can’t get her out of his head. She’s in trouble and he needs to help her.
To his surprise, she shows up at his front door needing his help. She risks everything to get help. When she learns more of her husband’s secrets, she knows she must leave Reid forever to keep him safe.
Reid is frantic to find her before her abusive husband does. Will he be too late to save her? With not much to go on, the police extend the search, but they may not get there in time. Reid fears he’ll never see her again.
This is a story of abuse, suspense, faith, and lost love…

Ginger just wanted to get to the photoshoot safely. She leans on her faith and takes a chance driving into a blizzard. But when she becomes snowbound, her only place to take refuge is an old cabin she saw before she ended up in a snowbank.
Dakota can’t believe who’s at the door during the worst snowstorm in years. The woman that had haunted his dreams since that fateful trip to Paris. Now he was on the run from the law, but he couldn’t just close the door in her face.
While they are stranded, they begin to grow closer. A call informs Dakota that the men after him are headed in his direction. Dakota must keep Ginger safe, but how? They are forced to take a chance and brave the frigid cold to get to safety. When tragedy strikes, Dakota must step out of hiding to get her help. That one move ends with Dakota behind bars for murder.
There is more to what’s happening than anyone would believe. And Ginger must prove it, or Dakota will never be free again. She’s forced to step out of her comfort zone to help this man. She leans on her faith and begins to piece things together. But nobody expected what would happen next. Not to mention what is revealed about Dakota’s identity.
It all comes down to the place it all began for Dakota and Ginger. Will their faith help them find each other again or will they lose everything?
A Christian Suspense Romance that will keep you guessing up until the end…

So, if you’re in the mood for some suspenseful reading this weekend, then grab one or all three.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…

Inspiration looms everywhere!

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Have you ever thought about where your inspiration to write comes from? I think a writers brain is in constant motion. We see everything and process it as though it was a story. So many people ask me where all of the story ideas come from that I write about. I tell them it all comes from my overactive writers brain.

Do you ever go to the park and sit on a bench to just people watch? It’s fascinating, really. There are so many different people in different situations that pass by. You may see something that inspires your next novel. Maybe a couple walks by holding hands, whispering and smiling. It inspires a romantic tale. Or a man walks by with a trench coat on and a scary look on his face. You’re inspired to write a mystery.

The inspiration is endless if you think about it. Music you hear… Movies you watch… Stories you hear… And Life. Maybe something happens in your own life that inspires a story. I can look at a picture and it will inspire a story. Take for instance a beautiful picture of a foreign land. You may be inspired to write a international crime thriller.

So, where does your inspiration come from? One of my bestselling series, the Five Oaks Ranch Series came to me as we drove home from a beach vacation. I’d been playing with the idea of writing a ranch series about a family, but most of the elements just weren’t there. Then I began to see street signs as we drove down the interstate. The names of streets and towns began to fill my head. Soon I was searching for a notebook and pen in my writing bag that goes everywhere with me. From something as simple as street signs hanging from overpasses inspired a series. And with that inspiration, a series was born.

Always have pen and a notebook ready for that moment when inspiration strikes. It can happen anywhere, at any time.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

What’s up with Safe…

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Good Friday morning! I’m getting so excited about my current work in progress, Safe. It’s taking me on a journey that I never thought I’d take in my writing. This book is a new adventure and I’m ready for it.

So, you may be wondering what’s up, well… I’m learning how much adrenaline comes in when you’re writing suspenseful mystery. One scene had me so tensed up that every sound in the house made me jump. It’s amazing. I’m so pumped up when I finish writing scenes that I have a hard time stopping to go to work.

I can’t wait to get finished with it so that I can get it out to all of you. The two main characters are such polar opposites, but yet they seem to be drawn to one another. The fun part is, they don’t even realize it. Drew is such a protective soul and Hadley is an introvert with a dislike for the outside world. Together they are explosive. The dark place that both of them are in comes from two very different sources, but together they seem to get darker. They have to fight to keep the darkness from over shadowing the light at the end of the tunnel. And the mystery that surrounds them in this spine tingling romance will have you guessing until the end.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Sunday Inspirational Talk

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Good Sunday Morning! It’s a chilly morning in Georgia. I’ve had two nights of not getting enough sleep. I think my sleeper is broke, but at least it’s Sunday. After I get home from Church I plan to take a nice nap. For now, I’ll be getting an extra couple of cups of coffee before I head out the door.

Now, on to inspiration. I’m elbow deep into Safe, my newest WIP. It’s been quite an eye opener. I never realized how much fun it would be to expand my genre. I call it a genre makeover! And writing suspense in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep makes you a little jumpy. I was writing an intense scene at two thirty this morning when I caught myself glancing up every few minutes. You know you’re into your work real deep when you have to remind yourself it’s just a book.

So, here’s my little tidbit of inspiration for early Sunday morning. If you plan to change your genre in any way, then make sure that you read some books in that genre. Not to mention, watch movies and shows that follow the same genre.

My editor returned the first little bit of editing for this book and she’s excited for where this book is going. This made me happy. Not to mention that I’m loving this book so far. The chemistry between the two main characters is beginning to get edgy and the mystery is deepening.

So, give yourself a genre makeover. It inspires.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Monday Mystery Writing…

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Can you believe it’s already February? And here in Georgia it’s cold and blustery! January seemed to fly by. Now you see it, now you don’t. It’s kind of like writing mystery romance. You may see it, but it may not be what it seems.

Since I’m writing a new series and it’s a suspenseful mystery, I thought I’d do a post on mystery writing. I was a little apprehensive of changing my genre slightly, but when your muse is headed down that road, you follow. And I’m delighted with this new road. It’s been so fun getting elbow deep in the mystery of this story line.

Now, writing mystery is a nail biter. You’ve got to keep up with all of the new leads, new evidence, and new elements of mystery that come into the story. It’s not unlike romance where you keep up with new happenings. But then again, it’s so different.

I wrote my first spine tingling scene and was so pumped when I finished that I went back and read it multiple times. There was a chill that went down my spine which had me smiling broadly. I think I may have found my new genre.

So, I hope you guys have an amazing Monday!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Why authors are important…

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Good Saturday morning! I want to share a little something with all of you. Not long ago I had a fan message me. She went on to tell me that my book had made her day. It helped her through a bad day, making things seem not as bad as it seemed.

Well, that message got me to thinking about the importance of authors in this world we live in. With so much uncertainty and despair, we as authors can spread a little joy. Or at least give someone a way to get lost for a while. As for my way of thinking, I consider authors important to our sanity. We have to continue writing the words that fill the imaginations of people all over the world. It only takes one book to give someone a chance to step out of reality, if only for a moment.

Romance authors have the chance to take someone to another time or place and give them a little romance to warm their heart. We can help someone realize that they are not alone in this world, but that love is all around us.

Mystery authors can add some intrigue to someone’s life. They give them a purpose, such as solving a crime or getting lost in a crime thriller.

Horror writers take us on a roller coaster ride with exhilarating chills. Fear can make the adrenaline flow in a sedentary time.

Self help writers can teach us ways to do things differently. We all need some help from time to time.

Now, there are many other genres to talk about, but for now, this will have to do. I have a deadline and maybe I’ll be able to get lost in a book for a while today.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…

Finding your writing niche…

Good Tuesday morning! Hope all is well in your corner of the big world. Have you ever thought about changing up your writing style or even the genre you write in? Many authors do this with a lot of success, some not so much. Let’s talk about the in’s and out’s of changing things up.

To get things started let’s say you’re a romance writer. Well, the romance genre is a widespread market going from the sweet innocent romance to the hardcore erotic style. Some writers just have the knack to write certain types of romance and when they try to go up the pole or even down they don’t seem to excel. But maybe you’re not doing well in the category you write in, what next? Try something new? Maybe…

I’ve talked to several authors that have tried many writing niches. Many authors go from romance to mystery without missing a beat, but others struggle with the change. One author changed her romance writing niche. She normally writes paranormal romance which is racy and at times dark, but then she tried a romantic comedy. It was a hit. But of course she’s known for her paranormal romances, what does she do? Well, she dabbles with both now. I’ve read both by her and have to say they’re great. It was a great transition.

Another author friend tried to step out of writing mysteries to try writing romance. Let’s just say she struggled. She told me that writing mysteries just coming easily, but trying to write a romance novel gave her a headache. I suggested just writing a mystery which is what she does best and sprinkle in some romance. Well, she’s doing that and it seems to work.

As for me, I’ve been writing romance for a long time. I’ve tried Christian Romance, Time Travel Romance, Cowboy Romance, and several others, but they’re all in the romance genre. But, I just published my first children’s Christmas book and I have to say it was fun. Now I’m working on a children’s series and it’s challenging. By no means am I leaving romance writing, I’m just venturing out a little.

So, what’s your writing niche and could you change if you tried?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Strange Things That Writers Do…

Ok, admit it, writers are a different breed. We think different from other people. Our thought processes are strung out amongst several things and stories. It’s amazing how many things a writer has going on in their head. We’re constantly thinking of the story in the works or the story not yet written.

Here are some of the strange things writers do:

1: Sleep with a pad and pencil beside the bed. You wake in the middle of the night with a story or character idea and you just have to get it on paper.

2: Google strange topics. When you’re writing there’s always that one topic that you’re not that familiar with and you have to google it. Let’s just say some of the things you google could get you watched by the powers that be. Think about some of the things you’ve googled lately. Yeah, those are the one’s. 

3: Someone tells you something that happened to them and you suddenly start taking notes. 

4: You’re watching the evening news and get a sudden urge to start a new story. Yep the top story just inspired you to write.

5: You have notes written on anything that you can find. I’ve used napkins, envelopes, corners of newspapers, whatever is available.

6: Stare off into space. Yep, the story is taking over your brain and you get lost in the thought.

7: A story unfolds in your brain as you sleep, you wake up and struggle to go back to sleep to see how the story ends.

8: You talk about your characters as if they’re real people. To a writer they are real.

That’s only eight, send me more. The list could go on forever. Writers are different and we’re alright with this.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

What makes a good romance for you?

Romance novels come in many genres. It’s amazing how they’ve changed since I first picked up my first romance. I remember the intense feelings that the book brought out. It was based in Europe in the World War 2 era. I remember crying, laughing and being inspired to find my Prince Charming. I also remember finding out through reading that my Prince Charming would not always be perfect as the fairy tale goes.

For me a good romance needs to take you to another place. I want to be taken away from my normal world and transported into a exotic place, mystical place or just another time. I want the book to carry me away with emotions. The writer needs to make me think I’m there with the character, feeling the emotions, the anger, the sadness, the love, and especially the romance. I want to be able to still feel it even after I put the book down.

I can’t even imagine how many romance novels I’ve read in my lifetime. Recently I went through my collection of novels that are stored in my attic. I had to put them in plastic storage boxes as the boxes were falling apart from age and over use. It’s amazing how many times I’ve read some of them over and over. I even pulled some of them out and read them again. There’s nothing like the feel and smell of a aged book. The yellowed pages pull you in and keep you engrossed. 

I had several authors that I bought everytime I saw a new book in their collections. As I reboxed them I separated them by author. The publishers of most of them are still around, such as Harlequin, Avon and many others. I always knew if it had the Harlequin or Avon symbol on the side that it would be great. I remember going to flea markets and browsing hungrily through the many shelves of used books. As a teenager it was like a scavenger hunt for more titles from some of my favorites. 

A couple of my favorite books have been purchased a couple of times. You may be wondering why, well let me explain. I would lend them out and they never got returned. Then I would go on a mad search for them. When I’d find them again, they would stay with me.

So for me a good romance needs to make an impression. I want to think about it again and again even after I’ve read The End. I want to read it over and over and still fall in love. The characters need to pull at my heart strings. I want to be able to see them in my mind’s eye and carry that throughout the book.

Recently I heard from one of my dear fans. She told me that the descriptions of my characters made her see them clearly. She said that she felt like she knew them personally as she read through to the end. I was pleased that I’d accomplished that goal. Sometimes that can be a hard thing for a writer. You have to make sure that your character is well thought out and explained. If they are blonde, make sure they are blonde throughout. I read a book not too long ago and the main character started out as a blonde and the writer somehow I guess forgot and by the end their hair was ebony. And no they didn’t change hair color out of a bottle. It totally blew my mind.

I love to read a romance that makes me cry. It doesn’t have to be from sadness, but it could be just the sweetness of the romance. I have several books that I read over and over that make me cry every time. It’s just such a sweet, tender romance that it draws out the emotional part of me. 

So as you write, think about what draws you in. If you like time travel, then write about time travel. If you like a good, sappy romance, then write that sappy romance. If it’s erotica you love, then write erotica. Everyone has a niche and you have to find that niche. For me it’s the tender, sweet love story that builds throughout the story. I try to throw in a little intrigue and mystery, but in the end it’s the romance that draws you in.

So, as always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If your cover could talk…

As a writer sometimes the cover comes before the writing. Odd, but true. Does your cover truly express the heart of the book inside? Does it totally blow the plot? Does it give away too much?

Have you ever picked up a book and wanted it just for the cover. Guilty as charged. I’ve seen a cover and just fell in love with the concept. It just inspired me to want to hear the story. I did that just recently and here’s what happened.

I was scanning through some of the books on Amazon. I do that from time to time to get ideas on cover design changes, fonts, etc. I come upon this book and the cover totally blew me away. I immediately purchased the book. I couldn’t wait until I had time that night to dig into it.

It was one of those moments when I put the book I’ve been reading aside and pick this one up. Well, I shuffled it around on my Kindle. The cover have a handsome cowboy and his trusty horse, but the background around it was just inspiring. The problem started when I read the first couple of pages. 

It wasn’t that the writing was bad, but it wasn’t following what I thought would be a cowboy romance. No ranch, no horses, no cowboy, nothing about this at all. I thought, well maybe it takes getting into the story to get to that part. Most of the book was about a businessman and woman. It was based in the city and not the country. Ok, well, maybe they are going there soon. Kept reading and nope. Close to the last couple of chapters they visited a ranch and then went back to the city. What??? That was it. 

The point to me telling you this is make sure that your cover tells the story. If it has a cowboy and his horse on it, then that’s what the reader is expecting. You know me, I love a good cowboy romance and I was left unsteady and very confused. I knew then that I’d been duped into this with my eyes. I should have read the blurb on the back. 

Make sure your cover gives a little mystery. If your character is going to go through a love triangle, maybe include all three involved, but don’t give away which the character will pick.  Leave a bone for the reader. Don’t leave a dinosaur though. If it’s such a mystery that you get to the end and say “WHAT?”

So, think about your cover long and hard. Maybe even design two slightly different and put them on your blog. Let your friends and readers vote. That’s always a fun concept.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…