Conflict and more conflict!

Share this:

Hi everyone!  I thought today I’d talk about conflict. None of us want it in our real lives but when it comes to a book or a movie, we sure do!  I’m a peacemaker at heart, and creating two lovely people at odds with each other can be challenging for me.  I’m working on my third book in my Heaven Christmas series, and it should be easy, right?

But some books are more stubborn than others! The second book in the series practically wrote itself, and I know the beautiful town of Heaven, PA, and all the lovely people that live there, so what’s my problem? CONFLICT!! Everything is so nice and the people are great, but where’s the tension, the holding my breath, wondering what will happen next?

It’s not there, I tell you!! So I plod along, knowing that without conflict there is no story. I wait for inspiration to hit. It always does. Sometimes I go for a walk and figure things out, sometimes it takes a while and is stubbornly hiding from me, but I always find the resolution to my problem.

Today I googled conflict and came up with a short list that we as writers already know — but a refresher might be good for you, as well as for me!

  1. First -no one wants to read about people living happily ever after–not even in a fairy tale. Bring on the angst!
  2. And yet a good novel isn’t just one big conflict. In romance, it’s not about car scenes or catching the bad guy–heck, we want to stay away from them unless we can somehow make the sexy bad-ass guy into a reformed hero. But good conflict is not so much about action, but comes from within. A classic formula of action, reaction, and complication.
  3. A scene can move the plot forward by unfolding action or revealing information. But it must also have a specific goal the main character wants to achieve–develop conflict that blocks the character from getting what she wants, and add complications to the plot as the character fails to reach her goal.
  4. things writers should think about :–who’s POV matter’s most?—-what are the external goals?—-what are the internal goals?–how will the internal and external goals oppose each other?–how do these goals fit into the overall plot?

AND THAT’ S JUST FOR STARTERS

So writers — what do you do to get your story fired up??

Tune in later this month for another saga about a writer’s woes, and the subject that makes every book come alive, and live on in your memory — CONFLICT.

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

The world is ours!

Share this:
Mrs. Rabbit goes shopping - from The Project Gutenberg ebook of Peter Rabbit by Beatrox Potter.jpg

From The Project Gutenberg ebook of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

“There is something quite delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” ~ Beatrix Potter

I’ve always loved that quote . . . as a writer and as a reader. It is, after all, the most wonderful thing about books: how they transport us to countless other places and times. Through the experiences of fictional people that we come to know as well as (or sometimes better than!) our nearest and dearest, we joke and laugh, grieve and heal, say good-bye and fall in love—and have a million other adventures. Doing all this within stories we read helps us to be able to do it in our real lives too. It’s also just pure fun! 🙂

And speaking of fun, while you’re reading this note, I’m traveling by car and plane, visiting family scattered across the huge province of British Columbia. I’m also exploring the world vicariously via a good book every chance I get.

I hope you’re doing the same, and if you’re craving a romantic getaway adventure, give my cozy River’s Sigh B & B series a try.

 

 

 

 

 

Until I write again . . . happy travels, inside the pages of a book and out!

Betty Smith quotation.

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

An Editor is your Manuscript’s Bodyguard @AliciaStreet1 #mgtab

Share this:

Novel writing is a lonely art. To complete a book, we have to sit alone writing word after word, page after page, gradually building a world only we can see, until we finally get it down on the page in a way that is clear and compelling enough to lure the reader into its grasp and keep her engaged throughout.

How do we know if we’re on target? A good beta reader can help diminish the loneliness and give an author a helping hand, but there comes a time when every manuscript needs the eye of an experienced editor to support the transition from finished manuscript to polished book.

Being an editor as well as an author, I’ve felt the relief and excitement from both sides of the fence when story craft issues are identified and revised in a content edit. And once the copy edit smooths out writing mechanics, honing a novel into a truly great ride for the reader, it’s like icing on the cake.

One of the most important aspects of editing is the ability to zero in on what works best for a particular novel’s world and for the author’s narrative voice. One size does not fit all.

The necessary elements for a successful romance novel differ greatly from those of epic fantasy or dystopian fiction. Even within crime fiction, the demands are not the same. The breakneck pacing of a political thriller does not suit a warm and fuzzy cozy mystery. And neither of those genres calls for the heroine getting her man at the end—a must in romantic suspense. A new adult heroine isn’t going to use the same kind of language or phrasing as an older widow in women’s fiction. And words that sound pompous or archaic in the mouth of a Navy SEAL hero might be just fine for a character in a historical romance.

I love being an editor who can help a fellow author turn a manuscript into the book of her dreams. If you have an editing question or would like to work with me, contact me at my proofreading and editing website—and be sure to check out my testimonial page. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

When a story becomes so much more

Share this:

Let’s create a scenario typical for an author. Or maybe not so typical…

You have this story in your head. There are too many books to write first, so it stews and bubbles and works its way into the back of your mind.

Then the time finally comes! Yay! The story gets to be written.

So, the words flow. The characters develop.

And then that fickle write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants muse says. “HEY! I’ve got a GREAT element to add to this book!’

Oh boy…

I’ll be honest. Pretty much all of my books have been written like this. I’ve learned to let the characters lead me, and so far, it’s worked out in my favor.

Queen Of My Heart is my contribution to the Unforgettable Heroes, Unforgettable Passion boxed set released two days ago!

And this story… Oh man, where do I begin with it?

I call this the book that broke me. The reaction to the story to this day is mind blowing. Sometimes, I go back to pull an excerpt or something and I catch myself reading more thinking… “Did I REALLY write this?”

It’s a story that touches on several deep, sensitive topics. There were scenes I had to walk away from while writing because they were intense.

I often take real life topics and work them into a story. I’ve touched on many things before- PTSD, traumatic brain injury, struggles of single mothers- this is just to start.

In Queen Of My Heart, I’ve given country star Tucker McGinnis a past. And while difficult, I love that he has worked hard to begin overcoming it. But said past still haunts him to this day.

It’s exciting to get this book into many readers hands, and I do hope you’ll check out this collection! It’s great to be in the company of some amazing authors!

https://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Heroes-Passion-Unforgettables-Book-ebook/dp/B073RR3PW8

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

Finally, a Book Where I Can Use My Experience

Share this:

No, it’s not the murder I got away with.  (Just kidding.) It’s the sexual advice column I ghosted for three years. (Not kidding.)

I have a five-alarm romance, Bedroom Therapy, in the Love on Fire collection on preorder now.  ( http://a.co/7uFNSgi ) It’s about a psychologist, Amanda O’Neal, who is tapped to write a sexual advice column under the pseudonym of the previous author—after the woman is murdered. A detective, Zack, is investigating the murder, and since this is a steamy romance, he and Amanda are wildly attracted to each other and get into some very heated and, um, kinky scenarios together.

The book starts with a letter from a reader —

Dear Esther,

I have a problem, and there’s no one I can talk to about it. My husband is in the Navy, and he’s on a three-month cruise. Sometimes I get so lonely that I don’t know what to do. And sometimes I get so hot for him that it pushes me over the edge. I mean, I have to make myself come. It feels good when I do it, and I always pretend he’s making love to me. But afterwards I feel guilty. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Lonely and Hot in Norfolk

I made that letter up, but long ago, when I wrote mostly nonfiction, I got the job of ghosting a sexual advice column in a national women’s magazine. Since it wasn’t under my name, I can’t tell you which magazine. But every month the author and I would get together to read letters asking for advice. She’d sketch in answers, and I’d write them up. After I’d finished, I’d give them back to her so she could make any corrections.

Obviously this was quite an education for me. And I still do remember some of the letters all these years later. Actually, I paraphrased one of them in Bedroom Therapy.  You may think this monthly assignment was a fun job, but nothing stays fun when you have to do it on a regular basis. For one thing, a lot of readers had similar questions. How many times can you say that it’s okay to have an orgasm with your partner by manual stimulation or that a big penis doesn’t make a guy a good lover? At first, we worked around this problem by answering some letters from guys. But the magazine editor decided that since this was a women’s magazine, we could only take questions from females.

And then there was the month when the columnist had a dispute with the editor and refused to answer any letters.  I jumped in to write an essay on contraceptive methods—which my boss was willing to read and approve.

One thing we learned quickly was that readers were asking questions about one-night stands and brief affairs. My boss tried to teach them that sex should be in the context of a relationship. They absorbed the message, and we’d get letters that started off, “I had a relationship with a guy last night. . .”

Back then, I never thought my advice-columnist experience would be the basis for a novel. But when I was looking for a Love on Fire topic, I decided it was a natural.

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

Scorching Summer Sale!

Share this:

It’s August and the Scorching Summer Saletemperatures are hot as fire. To celebrate, I’m offering a scorching summer sale! You can get the first three books of The Ocean City Boardwalk Series in this box set for just 99¢. That’s a $7.00 saving off the regular cover price. So… what are you waiting for? Take advantage of this scorching summer sale now! This price is good through August 5th.

About the series: Sara, Heather, and Cathy are best friends. Through the years they’ve cheered each other on, celebrating each victory, and they’ve been supportive through every crisis. Join them as they face love and loss… and learn to hold tight to the idea that friends are your chosen family.

The Ocean City Boardwalk series, where life isn’t just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

Don’t miss this scorching summer sale! Find the bundle:

US Kindle        UK Kindle

iBooks Store

Nook Book

Kobo

Google

I’d also like to offer you a recipe for a frozen summer dessert that’s sure to cool you down.

Summer Coconut Peach Dessert

Ingredients:

3 cups raw cashews

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 fresh peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

Preparation:

  1. Prepare cashews: Place nuts in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for several hours to soften, drain. Discard water.
  2. Combine the cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, and agave in a food processor and process until smooth. This may take a few minutes so be patient.
  3. Line a greased sheet pan with wax paper. Allow paper to hang over the edges of the pan to make removing easy. Pour cashew mixture into pan, spreading evenly.
  4. Place the pan in the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from freezer and layer peach slices on top. While I know you’d like to eat this right away, you really need to freeze for at least 2 additional hours.
  6. To serve, remove from freezer and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into squares. Place any leftover squares in a covered container or zip-top bag and store in the freezer. Keeps for about a week.

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

Finding My Happily-Ever-After #mgtab

Share this:

Hi Everyone!

I’m Tamara Ferguson, and I’m new to the Authors’ Billboard this year.

Well, first things first–I hate writing about myself.

But after admitting that, I have to laugh because I probably have close to fifty published interviews online, mostly because I have a problem with saying no.

So, what I am I willing to reveal about myself?

I’ve led a way too colorful life, with a lot of ups and downs. From the time I was a kid, I’ve had a bunch of different hobbies and worked several kinds of jobs–lifeguard, swimming teacher, secretary, solar energy researcher and teaching assistant, waitress, sales rep, floral designer and a wholesale florist and horticulturist to name a few. And I almost taught college level horticulture—it broke my heart to have to say no because I was pregnant and unable to relocate to Chicago with my husband at the time. Teaching was what I always wanted to do.

So how does my experience aid my writing?

It makes it easy to expand on secondary themes and characters when there’s a little of me in each of them. Plus, I’m a firm believer in happily-ever-after endings. I take a lot of the negative twists and turns that’ve occurred in my own life and spin them around to create a more positive outcome. For me, my writing is all about hope.

What’s an example of that?

I’m the mom and full-time caregiver of a severely autistic son with diabetes. I use my experience and circumstances to develop my character Beth In Two Hearts Unspoken. Like me, Beth is struggling with the quality of care and monetary cutbacks in the state of Illinois while trying to raise her severely autistic son Kyle.

Beth is a single mom, which I once was. But unlike me, Beth decides to follow her dream and ends up in a town she vacationed in as a kid, since a new vocational facility for the mentally and physically disabled has recently been built, and Kyle has been accepted into their program.

Expanding on that–

I mix elements of romance, suspense and humor into my stories in an effort to make my characters more relatable and realistic. Sometimes the reader doesn’t catch the serious undertones that I weave into each story because I write simplistically with humor. I try to view problems through the perspective of the characters I create.

Humor is what gets me through my own life. No matter how overwhelming my problems are, I always try to find a bright side to everything. But wow sometimes this can be really difficult! After something totally devastating occurs, life goes on.

And sometimes you have to decide whether you want life to go on with or without you.

Tamara Ferguson’s contemporary military romance novella, Two Hearts Unspoken, is a moving and beautifully written story about a romance between a wounded veteran and the mother of an autistic son, who have both moved to Crystal Rock for healing and a fresh start. I enjoyed seeing how the two of them felt that instant attraction despite the misgivings and insecurities each of them had, and loved seeing how their relationship grew. While this story is categorized as a romance, it deals with two important and serious issues, namely the rehabilitation of veterans who bear both physical and mental scars from their tours of duty, and the lack of sufficient vocational opportunities for young people with autism, who all too often are shunted away into institutions instead of being surrounded by family—5Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Two Hearts Unspoken is on sale for 99c for a limited time.

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of The Tales of the Dragonfly romance suspense series, The Kissed By Fate new adult romance series, The Two Hearts Wounded Warrior romance book series and The Daydreams & Dragonflies sweet romance series.

During the last 2 years she’s become a 4X Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner for short story fiction, romance suspense, earning the silver medal for military fiction, a 2X winner for the Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award for new adult and anthology romance, a 3X finalist for the IAN Book of the Year, and a New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in publishing.

Since she’s the full-time caregiver of a severely autistic son, you can usually find Tammy working at home where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects because she’s writing or helping other authors promote their books on twitter.

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this:

Instant Pot Madness and Unforgettable Heroes 2!

Share this:

Hi from Leanne Banks,

I’m wishing you a fabulous end of summer with a great recipe and even greater news that Unforgettable Heroes 2 will be available on August 3!  Eight books in one fabulous bundle!

But food first! 🙂 Do you have an Instant Pot?  I’ve gone a bit crazy over my new kitchen appliance, the Instant Pot.  It’s a plug-in, programmable electric pressure cooker that can sauté, steam and do all kinds of things.  We’ve had a terribly hot July, so this little gem has been a life-saver in this heat.  No need to heat up the kitchen!  I know many of us are busy and could use an easy, tasty main dish recipe, so I’m sharing one with you!

So far, our favorite recipe is Honey Bourbon Chicken.  This version contains no bourbon, but other versions do.  This recipe is based on “Bourbon Street Chicken” in New Orleans.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/8 tsp Salt

1/8 tsp Pepper

½ cup diced onion

½ cup soy sauce (we use reduced sodium)

¼ cup ketchup

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tsp. minced garlic cloves

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1/3 cup honey

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in Instant Pot.  Lock cover into place and seal steam nozzle.  Set on Poultry or Manual setting for 15 minutes.  Natural release for 5 minutes then quick release.  Pull chicken apart in pot and allow to cook for 2 more minutes.  Serve and enjoy! 😉

 

 

And now our fabulous book news!  Unforgettable Heroes: Unforgettable Passion, (The Unforgettables Book 2) a fabulous book bundle by eight best-selling authors will be available in just a couple of days. Strong and protective heroes, yet loving and tender men that every woman yearns to meet. You can pre-order the collection now!   Happy Eating and Reading! 🙂

Available on Amazon

 

Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

Share this: