This week we have been asked to answer this question: Tell us what other author writes books most similar to yours and why? If I want to compare myself to well-known authors, I would say that my books are similar to those written by Robyn Carr and Roxanne St. Claire. Robyn’s Virgin River Series, in particular, centers around the residents of the small town of Virgin River. All of my series are based in small towns with citizens who feel like family. Roxanne’s Dogfather and Dogmother series all have dogs who play a major role in her stories. Many of my books also feature dogs or cats that help to bring the hero and heroine together. Also both of these authors write similar heat levels to mine. Now hop on over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog and see who she writes like at https://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com
I hope everyone had a wonderful, long holiday weekend. My was nice, with a couple of barbeques fit it and a little time at our swimming pool when it opened. However, in writer world, we really never get holidays, so much of my weekend was spent working on my next book.
This week we have been asked to write about this topic: The secondary characters (friends, family, colleagues, etc) in a romance novel can greatly influence the story. Describe a secondary character you’ve written that you can’t forget. So, as an author most of my secondary characters are thought out before I begin to write a story. They are strategically placed in a story to either introduce characters who will star in an upcoming book (since I write series) or characters who will either help or hinder the romance such as a character’s child, best friend, former lover, etc. Then there are incidental characters, think a waitress or a store clerk, who a character interacts with. They are not planned and usually play a bit part in one scene. That’s how my favorite secondary character, Marissa came to be. In my novel, Colorado Cabin in the Pines, the third book in my Peakview Series, my heroine needed a reason to stay in the small mountain town of Peakview other than falling in love with the hero. She was a school teacher on summer break, so I created a mountain adventure camp for disadvantaged youth were she could work. Her first day on the job, she was supposed to help get the new campers up on their horses. To put some life into the scene, I had her reassure a small girl sitting off by herself who was afraid of the horses. During the conversation, she asked her name, and she said Marissa. She was only intended to be in that one scene. But I instantly fell in love with her, and she ended up taking on a larger role and even helping to get the hero and heroine together. At the end of the summer when my characters fell in love and started their happily ever after, Marissa, like the other campers, went back home to her not-so-great foster home. Boy, did I get unhappy emails from readers, although my main characters fell in love at the end, as always, everyone wanted to know what happened to Marissa. So, in my next book, Colorado Wrangler, my heroine becomes her foster mom and the hero and heroine end up adopting her after they get married. She developed such a great personality that she appears somewhere in all remaining 7 books in the series 🙂 She’s my favorite because she was so unexpected, even to me, the author. You never know where characters will take you.
Now hop on over to Jenna Da Sie’s blog and learn about one of her secondary characters at https://jennadasie.com
This week we have been asked the following question-If you could time travel, what period of time would you choose and why? I had to think about this one. I’m not a huge fan of the whole time travel genre. At first I thought about the old west, which has been romanticized in movies and on TV, but in actually, it was a very hard life without any modern conveniences, so I decided, no. So, my answer, if I were to go somewhere for a few days or weeks, would be the 1950’s when I was a child. My favorite thing about the 1950’s? No air-conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, my home is air-conditioned and I enjoy a nice, cool office to write in and a cool bedroom on hot summer nights, but here’s what I liked. Growing up in a mid-west city we also didn’t have microwaves or take out food. Women cooked dinner in the oven every night, further heating the already hot homes. So when dinner was done, everyone, I mean everyone from age one to one hundred headed outside. It was just too hot to stay inside until the sun went down. Kids played and rode bikes, parents gardened and mowed their lawns, old people sat on their porches and sipped iced tea, while groups of neighbors congregated and shared their lives. No one had tiny screens to look at instead of carrying on conversations. We all knew each other-everyone on our city block. Even as pre-schoolers, our parents didn’t worry about us riding our bikes around the block alone. No one bothered us, instead everyone said hello. And when we were lucky, older neighbors would invite us up onto their porches for warm, fresh out of the oven baked cookies or to share the stash of popsicles they kept just for the neighborhood kids. I knew everyone. It’s been 56 years since I lived in that home, and I can still picture who lived in every house and tell you all their names. The sense of community was awesome. Recently, as I walked my dog around the block on a nice, summer evening, I didn’t encounter one other soul. Instead of the sounds of laughter and conversation, the only sound was that of the air-conditioning units clicking on and off beside closed up houses. I miss those times of socializing. I won’t be turning off my air-conditioning this summer or giving up my cell phone, but sometimes I long for those simpler times.
Hi Everyone. I have been absent from writing for a few weeks. First due to the holidays, and then I’ve been busy packing and getting ready to move in two more weeks! But, I’m back. This week on our blog hop, we have been asked-What is your favorite kind of weather? and Does it inspire your work? The first part is easy for me. I am way more a summer person than a winter person. I’d rather be hot any day than cold. That being said, my favorite season is autumn. I love the warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights. I live in Colorado because the sun shines here almost every day. There’s nothing like a cloudy day to bring my mood down. The question, does it inspire your work made me laugh! NOPE. Beautiful weather inspires me to be outside-walking my dog, riding horses in the mountains, hiking, gardening, or just sitting on my porch in the sunshine. The last thing I want to do is sit inside and write. We are supposed to get up to ten inches of snow this week. Now, that will inspire me to sit at my desk and write with a cup of warm tea. Who knows, a snowstorm may even appear in my WIP 🙂 Want to get away from winter? Check out my latest release, Montana Pines Summer Love. It’s available on Amazon in all formats. Next hop on over to PG Forte’s blog and find out what weather she likes at https://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com/2023/01/romance-writers-weekly-lets-talk-about.html
This week we have been asked what is the one dish or treat we can’t do without over the holidays and if we make it, share the recipe. Mine would have to be homemade caramels. The recipe I use was passed down from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother, and then to me. Although they would be delicious any time of year, we only ever make them at Christmas. They melt in your mouth and are always a favorite of friends and family members alike. It wouldn’t seem like Christmas for my children and grandchildren without them. As I savor them each year, I often think I should make some at other times of the years–maybe a nice, summer batch, but I never have. There’s just something about a once a year treat that makes it extra special. I’m going to make a batch tonight 🙂 If you’d like to try them for yourself, here’s the family recipe:
1/2 lb. melted butter, 2 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 cup Karo corn syrup, I can Eagle Brand Milk, I tsp. vanilla, mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and boil slowly to 238 degrees. Pour mixture into a 9×11 glass dish and cool in the refrigerator. Cut into squares and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Enjoy 🙂
This week we have been asked to answer these questions-what’s special about your books? What makes you stand out? and share a snippet or two from one of your books. When I thought about these questions, the obvious answer is I write about characters who are older in age than mainstream romances have historically been. I’ve written characters in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even one couple in their 90’s. You are never too old to fall in love is a constant theme in my writing. Besides that, all my stories, event the ones with younger characters have the themes of hope and second chances. We all need that in our lives. I can’t tell you how many readers have written to tell me that my fictional characters have enabled them to not give up on love and have hope in their lives. If I can do that for even one person, then this writing career of mine is all worth it. I think I stand out for those reasons, too. Readers are not disappointed in the endings of my books. Here’s a snippet from Remember Christmas-“Grace wrapped her arms around her new husband’s neck. Her memory failed her sometimes these days, but this was going to be a Christmas she’d remember for the rest of her life and beyond.” And one from my new Christmas Stocking of Love-“When Charlotte had wished for a cowboy for Christmas, who knew her wish would come true like this? It truly was a Christmas miracle of the very best kind.”
Be sure to check out my newly-released Christmas in Aspen Ridge Box Set where you can get all three Aspen Ridge Christmas romances at 50% off the price of buying them separately https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BLHJZLBW
This week for our Romance Writer’s Weekly blog hop we have been asked to share the best advice we’ve ever received and who gave us that advice. I’ve probably received a lot of great advice over the years, but the one I want to write about today was from my friend, Pamela. She was an author, and we had lunch one day. My law practice at the time had been slow, and I moaned about not having enough work to fill my days. She said, “you should write a novel.” My reply, “Are you kidding me? I have no idea how to write a novel and don’t think I could do it.” To which she replied, “You’ll never know unless you try.” I went back to my office and sat down and wrote “chapter one” I had no clue as to what I was doing or how to write fiction, but I had a story, and I wrote it. Four months later, I had a first draft of a book. Of course, it was awful, but two years later after taking classes, joining author groups, reading writing books, and attending a writing conference, I published my first romance 🙂 That was ten years and 27 books ago. I never looked back and now I write full time. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Without that one piece of advice, my life wouldn’t be the same today. Thank God for my friend who advised me to do something I never would have thought of on my own.
This week for Romance writer’s weekly we have been asked to write a flash fiction autumn scene using the words water, leaf, and coffee 🙂 here’s mine:
Before she even got out of bed, she knew that Autumn was here. She could tell by the cool, crisp breeze that blew in the window of the small cabin she’d rented for the weekend. It smelled like autumn. She didn’t know how to describe the scent, but she knew it when she experienced it.
She yawned and climbed out of the cozy bed, slipping into a soft, oversized sweatshirt and a pair of yoga pants. She made her way down the narrow wooden staircase to the country kitchen and hit the start button on the small coffee pot. Next, she opened cupboard doors until she found a stash of various coffee mugs. One called to her. It was plain white with red, block letters reading “you can do it!” She needed that this morning.
When the machine stopped, she filled her mug with the dark, brown liquid, and breathed in the aroma of coffee beans. She grabbed her latest romance novel, opened the back door, and walked out onto the small, wooden deck. Sitting down on one of the two Adirondack chairs, she gazed out over the lake. The crystal clear water lapped against the sandy beach below.
As she sat, a small, red leaf flitted down from one of the maple trees overhanging the lake and landed in her lap. She picked it up and turned it over in her hand, examining its bright color and small veins. No doubt, a few weeks ago it had been bright green and clinging tightly to a branch above. It was different now. It had changed but not in a bad way.
How much she had in common with this leaf. All long, hot summer she’d tried desperately to hang onto her old life—a life that had run its course. Now, she’d changed, but she realized it wasn’t in a bad way. She was emerging to a new brighter self. Different in appearance from her old self, but still the same person, just a new and improved version.
She sipped her coffee and stuck the leaf between two pages of her book to preserve it—a reminder that we are all meant to change. It was the natural course of life, and she vowed to celebrate every day.
This week on our Romance Writer’s Weekly blog hop we have been tasked with sharing 5 facts from our work in progress or newest release. Since Montana Pines Winter Romance just released last week I will share 5 facts from that book :
Number one: This book is the first book in my new Montana Pines Series. This is my fourth series. The first three all take place in the mountains of Colorado. Although I have now “moved” to a new state, you will find the same type of heroes-cowboys and rugged mountain men with big hearts.
Number two: At least one character from each of my first three series have ties to my new town of Pine Meadows, Montana. I hope readers will enjoy catching up with favorite characters.
Number three: My heroine, Haley, has been let down by everyone she has ever loved. Trust is hard for her.
Number four: My hero is quite the ladies man. It will take a special woman to get him to settle down.
Number five: I love to include kids and animals in my stories. This one includes an adorable four-year-old boy and a cute kitten.
Please hop on over to Andie Fenichels blog at http://asfenichel.com to read her fun facts. Also it it release day for a new box set of historical romances, Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction, of which she is a part. You can purchase it here: https://books2read.com/u/4joPNj
Thus week on our Romance Writers’ Weekly blog hop our topic is: How did you get started in your career, how did you get to where you are today and what’s next for you?
I started writing novels almost by accident. I had been practicing law for many years when I became friends with another author in my office building. She had just started writing her first novel and was so excited. I spent a couple of years following her writing journey and sharing in her joy of writing. One day, when I was especially discouraged with the practice of law, she suggested I try to write a novel. I laughed. I knew nothing about writing fiction! But I sat down a couple of days later and started my very first romance. I loved it. It was so different from the formal legal writing I was used to. I guess you could say I never looked back. I split my time between writing and practicing law for about four years before I took the plunge and transitioned to writing full-time. I’ve never regretted the decision. Today, is the release day for my twenty-sixth novel. Writing romance and happily ever after is something I truly enjoy and hope to be able to continue to do for the rest of my life. I have found my calling 🙂
How did you get started in your career? leave a comment and then head over to Jenna’s blog at https://www.jennadasie.com to see how she got started, too 🙂