Epic Endings by @JoanReeves #mgtab

One of the things an author always strives to do is to create an Epic Ending to a book. If the author can succeed in doing that, the reader will remember that ending, and, hopefully, that book.

I think the best epic endings are full of emotional truth. I remember watching the old romantic movie, An Affair To Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. One morning it was on TV so my daughter and I took a few minutes out of a busy day to watch THE one scene at the very end that is always gripping.

Actually, the ending is the only scene I ever really want to watch.

The scene is where Cary Grant is at the door. He’s basically reciprocated the brush-off that Kerr gave him. He stops and looks at her and talks about how he painted her wearing the lace mantilla, or shawl. He couldn’t take money for the painting so he told the gallery owner to give it to this young woman who fancied it because she liked it and because she was…

He pauses. His face reflects his thoughts as he begins putting two and two together. When he reaches four–even though that couldn’t possibly be correct, he’s thunderstruck. You can see the incredulity. Your heart literally clutches as he thinks, “No, it couldn’t be.”

He closes the door and comes back to the couch, placing his coat and hat on it. He goes to the other closed door in the room and opens it despite her protests. He sees the painting he’d been describing on the wall. More than that, he sees the shadow of a wheelchair.

That’s when he creates a memorable cinematic moment–a moment full of emotional truth. His face reflects how crushed he is, how his heart is in a vise as he realizes the woman he loves is indeed the woman in the wheelchair who visited the gallery and fancied the painting. He’s staggered by the knowledge. You see all this. You feel all this.

It’s a powerful scene full of heartbreak and love and grief at what has happened to her. From the ashes of that comes his joy at realizing she didn’t kick him to the curb because she didn’t love him because she loved him so much she wanted him to have a life with a wife who was “whole.” (You must remember this is an old movie from the 1950s when being in a wheelchair was even more devastating than it is today.)

Of course, my daughter and I were in tears when he goes to her and vows his love. Together they can be happy, but apart they’ll never be whole.

It’s the greatest of acting because of the actors’ ability to show that emotional truth. Cary Grant is so good in the scene that I forget he’s suave, debonair Cary Grant. He is Nicky, the devastated lover.

That’s an epic ending. I always try to create that kind of ending in my books. My latest is Second Chance Bride. You can judge for yourself whether I succeeded in my quest to make an ending that’s memorable.

Do you have a favorite ending in a book or movie that touches your emotions that way?

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. All of her books have the same underlying theme: It’s never too late to live happily ever after. She lives her HEA with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan online at her Blog and Website. Follow her at: Facebook * Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page. Sign up for Joan’s mailing list and be the first to know about new books and giveaways.

Joan Reeves

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves makes her home in the Lone Star State with her hero, her husband.

They have 4 children who think they are adults and a ghost dog, all the ingredients for a life full of love and warmed by laughter.

Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of her romance novels: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”

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Favorite Authors for Summer Romance Suspense #mgtab

Unlike a lot of readers, I don’t really have an all time favorite novel. Usually when I read, it’s because I enjoy the writing of a certain author as opposed to the specific content of a story.

Also, sometimes I have to be in a certain frame of mind to read, even a  book written by a favorite author. My life is very complicated as the mom and caregiver of a severely autistic son, and I find as the years go by that, more and more, I look for books with only a happily ever after ending.

Which is all I seem to be able to write as well. Isn’t that silly? I hate cliffhangers, and I don’t enjoy leaving too much of a mystery for the reader to puzzle about when I finish a story.

Unless it involves a complicated plot involving a topic like human trafficking and capturing members of the ring, which of course is a struggle if the net is widespread.

I guess what I’ll do is share some of my favorite authors and tell you why I enjoy what they write. So many stories I read these days offer me no surprises and I can usually easily guess the plot.

  

Linda Howard is one of my all-time favorites because of the way she manages to inject humor in her romance suspense series. My favorite book from her has got to be OPEN SEASON. I’ve never laughed so hard and it’s a story about a serial killer! 

https://www.lindahowardbooks.com/

  

Nora Roberts. What can I say? Nora is Nora. I’m not so much into her older stories as I am in her standalones, but she has a few fantasy series which I loved (under her own name), and it’s hard for me to recall the names of the ones I liked best, but at least half of what she’s written was worth reading and sometimes even reading again.

 

Tami Hoag I don’t read as much as Tami Hoag as I used to, because her stories tend to have conclusions that are a little up in the air. But if you want unique stories and lots of surprises, she’s a fantastic author.

I used to enjoy Nicholas Sparks too. As a matter of fact, I’ve had some reviewers compare what I write to his novels. But I have to agree with reviewers of his books; his writing is a little off track these days -apparently because he was recently divorced.

Romance suspense isn’t the only genre I love. I still enjoy reading regency romance. Mary Balogh and Grace Burrowes are two of my favorite authors, and occasionally I read books by Stephanie Laurens as well.

I have hundreds of books on shelves at home. Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham, David Baldacci among others I read occasionally.

But my tastes have changed through the years. I used to enjoy most romance, but even with new authors, so many plots and storylines have become repetitive – they’re just told in a slightly different way.

I wish I had more time to read. I used to read about 15 novels per week (yes really!!) But since I’ve become an author, something strange has been happening–success. So not only writing, but promoting, seems to have taken over my life.

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LOVE UNDER FIRE (Featuring Two Hearts Under Fire)

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Tamara Ferguson

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 series and the Daydreams and Dragonflies sweet romance series.

Finding Your Voice @amwriting #mgtab

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When I first began my writing career I took a LOT of online classes on craft, editing, revision, grammar, technique, and the one thing that kept coming up was the need to discover your voice. The unique something that distinguishes your work and keeps your readers coming back for more.

But how?

What do the experts mean by voice anyway?

Do you have a favorite author? One whose pages you could read without seeing the cover and you’d STILL be able to say without a doubt, yes, that is definitely their book?

I thought so 🙂

That’s voice!

It’s a distinctive style that sets the writer’s work apart from anyone else. Some use setting, such as bestselling and award-winning author Louise Penny. Her books are set in and around the scenic mountain town of Three Pines, Quebec. If a fan were to read a brief passage from any of her books they would know who wrote the novel.

Other writers have a certain way with characterization that’s a dead giveaway, such as Jill Shalvis. Her writing style is part sass, part angst, and a whole lot of heat!

One of the best styles of voice comes with deep POV (point of view).

Military romantic suspense author Suzanne Brockmann does this better than most. Deep point of view is when the character acts, thinks, or talks and there is no need to add a name tag because we know this character. He/she is as real as if we were watching them on our favorite television series. Suzanne does this by creating distinct mannerisms that we immediately associate with that person. She does this so well, she can write entire passages without a name/ and frequently does, and yet it’s easy to know who is talking at any given moment.

Voice is something a writer gains with time. It can’t be forced, but for readers it’s that magic thing that will make them your fans. If you have a backlist take another look, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I’m currently working on a summer romance set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A theme that runs through my stories is the value of family, and this one is no different.

Here’s the blurb for Sweetheart Cove:

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

SClargeFront

Exclusive excerpt

Josie wasn’t sure how she got through the next few days. She must have acted reasonably normal because no one questioned her absentmindedness, even when she set the puppy’s food in the refrigerator instead of the pantry where it belonged. Jacob’s kiss lived front and center in her thoughts, and his hard, masculine body encompassed her dreams. A moody, short-tempered grump who made her pulse skyrocket.

How could she feel this way about him when she’d been hours from marrying another man a month ago? She added fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the picnic basket she’d prepared and glanced down at the pup sitting quietly at her feet. “If you’re looking for handouts, you’ll just have to wait. No offence, but I don’t trust your stomach in the car.”

“Is it time yet?” Jane wheeled into the kitchen, her face expectant. The dog, thinking it was playtime, crouched, nose on his front paws, butt in the air and tail wagging a mile a minute. He let out a couple of excited yips, then raced around the room and jumped against Jane’s short-clad legs. “Ow, Mischief, that hurts,” she cried, then stopped in shock and stared at the red marks already fading from her skin. “It hurt,” she whispered.

Josie pushed the dog out of the way and crouched at the little girl’s side. “Honey, this is great. I’m so happy for you. We better tell your father, so he can get you into the specialist for a checkup.”

Jane shook her head and gripped Josie’s wrist. “No. Can we keep it a secret? Please, Josie? Just for a while. I want to get better and surprise Daddy by walking. Please?”

Her pleading eyes undid Josie. How was she supposed to say no to that? She nodded. “Okay, but if you have any pains at all, you tell me, understand?” She patted Mischief’s silky head. “Guess your dad knew what he was doing, getting you a dog. Maybe we should name him Miracle instead of Mischief.”

Jane giggled. “It’s not Mischief, Josie. It’s you. You’re the miracle.”

I’d like to think I’m gaining a voice, but you the reader are the only ones who can tell me whether I’m right. What do you think? 🙂

Jacquie Biggar

Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
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Recovering from Surgery

Last month I talked about how there was never enough time – (You can read the post here) – and I mentioned that I was going to be taking a few days off to recover from a surgery.  Well, I had initially anticipated that I would take three days off – hahahah – It ended up being much longer than that!

Whew! Carpal Tunnel Surgery is relatively easy (painful – but easy) – and it was very necessary from all my years of driving (my patrol vehicle), Shooting (which takes a lot of hand strength), everyday wear and tear, and writing. Lots and lots of writing. On days when I am seriously in the zone, I’m writing 8,000-12,000 words in a day. So that takes a toll on the hands, and the surgery was very necessary!

On the 20th – and I finally got my stitches out. I was so excited – I could finally type more easily as long as I don’t overdo it and as long as I used my good keyboard. My fingers were working great and I was anxious to get back to work, BUT… I have to constantly remind myself not to overdo it. I’m still recovering!

I can finally unscrew the cap from the toothbrush, and open the door to my office, as long as I do it slowly. It’s been almost three weeks since my surgery, and I’m over the worst of it, I think. Now it’s making sure that I use it, but not over use it.

So here is my game plan for the next three weeks: Work a couple of hours a day on the computer, and spend some time in my studio going through all my old jewlery making goodies. In 15 days, I head off for a week with my three best friends in Cape Code and when I get back, I should be about ready to sit down and really start to write again. In the meantime, I’m plotting and planning and making cute graphics for books I’ve already released. Like this one – for Roses & Champagne Kisses, Book 2 of the Heart of the Family Series that us also part of the Sweet & Sassy Brides Box set!

Does seeing a bride in shiny satin and lace bring tears to your eyes? Whether it’s a first marriage, an affair of the heart, or a second chance to get it right, our scintillating collection featuring NINE uplifting love stories is the perfect place to find that heart-warming wedding magic. Enjoy hours of Happy Ever After tales brought to you by NY Times and USA Today bestselling Magic Makers.

Sweet & Sassy Brides

Stay Safe, Stay Happy and keep falling in Love!

Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Best Selling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016, with her last three years in investigations and crime scene investigation to write full time.

Stacy is very involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years.