CREATING ROMANTIC CONFLICT @PRosemoor #mgtab

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CONFLICT IN EVERY SCENE/TENSION ON EVERY PAGE

Writing a romance? This goes to the heart of the story, the thing that keeps the reader reading…

•    Conflict/tension between the hero & heroine drives plot and keeps the reader turning pages

•    Romantic or emotional conflict is something inside the heroine and/or hero that creates a problem  exacerbated by their situation

•    Emotional conflict grows from feelings, doesn’t need to be logical, can’t be reasoned away. It comes from experience, how the character sees him or herself

•    What prevents your characters from making that leap into love is more than just external forces. Love is a matter of the heart, and not about the events, no matter how dramatic

•    The conflict must be both believable and substantial enough to carry the book

•    Emotional conflict should always be in the characters’ and the readers’ minds.

•    External conflict prevents your characters from accomplishing their goals

•    Internal conflict which comes from the characters themselves (Theme) should go along with the external conflict of the story that comes from the circumstances, or is created by other characters. (Plot)

•    Don’t substitute external conflicts for internal ones; enhance emotional conflicts by using externals to provide a context

•    The best romances are built around a complex emotional conflict played out against  an equally interesting story (external conflict) that forces the characters to deal with each other and their issues.

•    Whatever is happening externally in the plot should somehow reinforce what’s going on internally in your characters’ hearts and minds. Think of the plot as a journey where your characters face obstacles that help them confront their inner demons and conflicts.

•    So make sure the final resolution of the romantic conflict comes from inside your characters and not from the events.

Next time, I’ll cite some examples of how to make conflict work for you.

 

 

 

 

My current release, In Dreams, has a ton of conflict, both internal and external. Um, the heroine is running for her life…

 

 

 

 

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Chicken soup for the sick

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I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I ‘thought’ I was in good health for a woman of age, a spritely silver-haired vixen, but I was as sick as the old gray mare, ready for the glue factory.
Then again, three bouts of pneumonia in four months would probably sap even an Olympic athlete. It was time to supplement all those different antibiotics with old time medicine.
Some of the odd things I found in my online research were red onions, vinegar, and honey. Chicken soup is supposed to be great for a cold; it would probably help with the crud, too.
Not in my research, but known to me was an apple a day. It was too late to keep the doctor away, but was worthy as a component in the super soup I was concocting.

Short version: it works. I’ve polished off the pot of Super Soup, I’m breathing easier, and it’s great to have something hearty to eat at the zap of the microwave.

Components:

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or whatever oil you have)
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 red onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp chicken ‘Better Than Bouillon’ or equivalent in bouillon or chicken stock
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 chopped up cooked chicken breast (or whatever leftover chicken you have)

Saute the solid stuff in the oil until limp. Add the vinegar, chicken ‘flavoring,’ and chicken. If you used chicken stock, you should be good to go. If not, add about 2 cups of water.

Super-meal this!
Add a package of pre-cooked rice or quinoa mix (I like the Seeds of Change brand) or leftover rice. If you don’t have those, add one more cup of water and one cup or Minute Rice. Hearty and satisfying.

You’ll note that I didn’t add any salt. The bouillon has enough salt for the mix. The apple and vinegar gives it a bit of sweet and sour taste—not overwhelming, but fun as a change from ‘all soups taste the same’ stuff I’m used to. Oh, and I never used the honey. Go ahead and eat a big spoonful for dessert.

Enjoy! And if you can, get a pneumonia vaccine. I have to wait 3 months now. I never realized that there were over 36 strains of that strength-sapping, lung-filling crud out there!

NOTE: In 2008, I started writing my first book. In it, the main character (a sweet little old lady from Alaska) had a drug-resistant form of pneumonia. I didn’t know I was writing about myself! If you want to know more about her, and how an overdose of Fountain of Youth water and a drop through a time portal turned her into a young fox in 1780, read Naked in the Winter Wind on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Amazon UK.

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Royalty Wedding

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How many of you watched Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding a few years ago? I bet you were all sitting in front of your TV screen, studying every detail of her wedding gown, the groom’s rigid but nervous stance, Prince Harry’s good-humor jokes at the expense of his brother, and let’s not forget the lovely bridesmaid Pippa whose dress and back garnered so many admiring posts in the gossip columns!

Will my Prince Paul and the woman he loves, Dr. Amy Tyrone ever reach their happy-ever-after in A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL? Eventually they will, but after going through difficult conflicts and seemingly insurmountable complications, but count on Prince Paul to try to impose his view and Dr. Amy to ends up doing it her way.

My contemporary romance novel, A Bride For Prince Paul, has been approved for Kindle Scout. May I ask you for your nomination. Here is the URL:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7
No purchase necessary, and, if selected, you’ll receive the ebook FREE!

Sincere thanks in advance.

How often did we think our problem was too difficult to solve? How often did we end up finding a simple solution, when the various parties agree to bend a bit and compromise?!

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Spring is for flowers

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Don’t overdo it in the garden this weekend. Or next weekend, the traditional start of summer.
Those words or warning come from every garden blog I’ve ever read. That and make sure you stretch first.

Okay, so stretch, figure out what needs done, then ask friends and neighbors if they know of any kids who want to make a few extra bucks. Churches usually have youth eager to raise funds for a summer camp or special project. Contribute to the community, the next generation’s emotional/work ethic growth, and save yourself at least a bottle of pain relievers and maybe even a trip or four to the chiropractor. Delegate.

If you don’t have a garden or a yard, or even a window box, enjoy these flowers. I’ve always been passionate about them. I spent many of my early years in apartments without a patch of dirt to plant in. I’m very much enjoying my big yard, raised beds, hanging baskets, and yes, calling on church groups and teenagers to keep them maintained.
When the day is done, kick back with your Kindle and read a great romance novel or five. Here’s my suggestion: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Historical romance tales about those rascals, the ‘wrong’ kind of man a woman have been finding irresistible for centuries. Scots, cowboys, musketeers, and an Indian brave or two. They’re all so hot!

(Only #99cents for five or #free to read on Kindle Unlimited)

Whether you actually get in the garden this weekend or not, enjoy your time. No one can please you without your permission. Give it to yourself.

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The Birth of A #Hero #mgtab #Inspiration @jacqbiggar

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Readers often ask where do writers come up with ideas for their characters? In my case, the birth of a hero comes from a variety of sources. News reports, television programs, books I’ve read; all are great resources.

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But my favorite characters grow organically from stories I’ve already written. For my new release, Missing: The Lady Said No, the idea for my hero, Augustus Grant, came to me from a previous book where the main character was a mystery writer suffering from writer’s block.

Gus is the character my hero, Joel Carpenter, (in the holiday romance novel Silver Bells) was writing about. I fell in love with the bumbling detective and decided then and there he needed his own story!

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Gus is smart, irreverent, a little bit clumsy (okay, a LOT clumsy!) and still in love with the girl he let get away.

Rebecca Hayes.

Here’s a short excerpt. Gus is investigating a murder at a horse ranch and runs into the one person he never thought he’d see again.

Becky stood at the top of the grand staircase and felt the world give way.

Augustus.

It had been too long.

And not long enough.

She couldn’t believe he was here. Or maybe she could. It had always been his dream to become a detective. After all, that was the reason they had split up, wasn’t it? He’d craved the excitement, and she’d needed stability. Safety.

Well, it was too late now, on many levels. The best thing she could do would be to put on a brave face and escape with her pride.

“Hello, Augustus,” she called. Careful not to let him see her trembling, she gripped the banister and reluctantly went to join the man who had stolen her heart. He was every bit as tall as she remembered. Still just as handsome, too. A few more lines around the eyes and mouth maybe. She shied away from his lips, focusing instead on the crooked tie and wrinkled shirt. A wry smile touched her mouth.

“I see you still haven’t figured out the right side of an iron,” she murmured.

He glanced down and ran a strong, tanned hand down his chest. Something fluttered to life in hers.

He met her gaze with a grin that slowly faded away. “I looked for you,” he said.

Oh, God.

This wasn’t what she expected. After leaving Bourbonville and moving here, to Balmoral, she’d second-guessed her decision often, but never realized maybe he did too, just a little.

“You’re the cop. You could have found me if you tried.”

As you can see, there are a lot of unresolved feelings between these two. The question is, can Gus make it right? You’ll have to read on to find out. 🙂

missing-the-lady-said-no-ebook

Get Your Copy Here

Add To Your TBR List

This is part of a branded series set around the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. I hope you’ll enjoy my story and give the other books in the Chandler County series a try!

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Catting around?!

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Yardley on her Cat D3 8/18/2013

Here, Kitty, kitty… Feral cats have always been in my life. From the kitties we ‘rescued’ from the hay barns as kids, to the cats my mother ‘stole’ from the park during her lunch breaks at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (to have them fixed), to the abandoned cats my husband started feeding during the minus zero weather in Alaska. (Yardley, left, is now a wonderful indoor/outdoor cat).

Cats are survivors. One reason cats survive is because of sheer numbers. A female (queen) can start breeding at five months and have four litters a year.
If she has four kittens each time, that means in ten years, she’s populated the area with nearly 1.4 MILLION cats! (See the t-shirt for the math equation)

I recently helped control the local population explosion of feral cats by transporting a dozen of the offenders to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. These citizens of the Oakdale Cat Colony were examined, wormed if necessary, checked and treated for ear mites, spayed or neutered, then given the ‘right ear snip’ that indicated a sterilized cat. These guys and gals already have jobs waiting for them and will be re-acclimated to their new work stations as barn cats in teams of two or more.

If you’d like to help, but don’t want to adopt a cat (or even transport a dozen or so), give to your local or regional agency or even to FCCO. I know they would appreciate any monetary help. Their suggested donation is $30 per cat. (notice the snipped right ear on the name plate)

So, where did the term ‘catting around’ come from? I don’t know, but if you do, please leave a comment so all of us will know!

Why do women go after these men who seem to be ‘catting around’? REBELS, ROGUES, AND ROMANTICS is a collection of five historical novels written by bestselling and award-winning authors about these types. Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!

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Tourists Prayer (funny)

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Sharing a tourist prayer with those of you who are planing your next vacation:

Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble obedient tourist servants, who are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs and walking around in drip-dry underwear.

Give us this day divine guidance in the selection of our hotels, that we may find our reservations honored, our rooms made, and hot water running in the faucets.

We pray that the phones work and that the receptionists speak our tongue.

Lead us, dear Lord, to good, inexpensive restaurants where the food is superb, the waiters friendly and the wine included in the price.

Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. Forgive us for undertipping out of ignorance or overtipping out of fear. Make the natives love us for what we are and nor what we can contribute to their worldly goods.

Grant us the strength to visit the museums, the cathedrals , the palaces and castles listed as ‘musts’ in the guidebooks.

And if perchance we skip a historic monument to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh is week.

For Husbands Only
Dear God, keep our wives from shopping sprees and protect them from ‘bargains’ they don’t need or can’t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.

For Wives Only
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in cafes and nightclubs. Above all do not forgive them their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.

Available at Amazon

The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk published more than twenty books, some translated in German and French.
She received an Outstanding Achiever Award at Affaire de Coeur Magazine and is a
Best Romance Novel winner at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll;
Two-Time winner of Best Contemporary Romance Novel at Readers Favorite;
EPIC’s Ebook Award Finalist; and Kindle Top 100 Bestselling Author

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Springtime is for roses

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Rainbow Sorbet grown exclusively in water with goldfish

Springtime! Time for fresh roses!
But also for late frosts or snow… What a bummer, having to wait to plant bare root roses because of fickle weather patterns.
But wait! I found a solution!

I plant my bare root roses in water. This may not work in all areas of the world, but it’s a real winner in Alaska where summers (at least around Anchorage) seldom get over 80 degrees. Your best bet for success is using a higher grade rose, at least grade one and a half, so it has a good root system.

There is a problem with ‘planting’ in 5 gallon buckets (or similar sized containers), though. Mosquitoes. Those little bloodsuckers love standing water, the perfect incubating area for their eggs and larvae.
Goldfish to the rescue! You can buy feeder goldfish at pet stores or larger Wal-marts for about ten cents each. I put a couple in each bucket of water and let them eat any mosquito larva that appear.

Queen Elizabeth grandflora rose grown in water with goldfish

There is an added bonus to the goldfish. Not only does their swimming keep the water from becoming stagnant, the by-product of their feasting (fish poop) is an ideal fertilizer. My Queen Elizabeth roses were nearly seven inches across one year!

Also, it’s fairly simple to move the containers inside if the forecast is for freezing temperatures. This works on both ends of the growing season. You can also ‘chase the sun’ if their once sunny spot becomes too shady later in the season. Note: all roses need at least six hours of sunlight.
Be aware, though. This method only works for one season. You are essentially forcing the roses to grow and there isn’t enough nutrition in the water to replenish the plant for a second season. If you’d like, you can plant the roses in the garden anytime, but at least six weeks before the first hard freezes. It takes at least that long for soil-feeding roots to become established. If your winters are mild, you will probably have success. However, if you have six months or more of sub-freezing temperatures, I recommend just tossing the plant in the dumpster. The stems and thorns are too tough to compost.
The blooms you get from growing your own roses may not be as fancy as the ones from the florist, but if you’ve chosen well, they’ll most certainly smell better.
More pictures and detailed ‘planting’ information at www.growalaska.net and www.chilloutroses.com. Note: emails and phone numbers are not correct. These are old sites for reference purposes only. I no longer sell roses, either.

Here’s a pretty bunch of roses for you! Yours for only #99cents!

Kiss Me, Thrill Me: As Only You Can. Seven great stories by USA Today and NY Times best selling authors. Available exclusively on Amazon (and for a limited time).

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