Fictional stories based on real people…!

The Undercover FBI Series – At this time there are 7 standalone books to the series, with the 8th in the pipeline.

I started writing these books back in April of 2014, and I came up with the idea when a friend of mine had built his own plane and took me for a ride. All I could think about was how cool it would be to have a character who could fly her own plane.

The FBI connection came soon after when I decided I wanted to write a series about kick-ass characters and not be restrained by their gender. I mean, there are as many strong, cagey, classy women in law enforcement as there are men…. Right?

After I started writing Special Agent Francesca, book #1, I’d found my niche. It was fun… pure unadulterated fun to let my imagination roam while I forced her into conflict after conflict that would test her mettle. Since I love humor, it seeped through. Many of my Amazon and Goodread reviews have mentioned that the book is enjoyable for that reason.

After I wrote the first book, my hubby asked me to write the next one with a male protagonist, and he suggested I call the agent Finnegan. Just the name sparked all kinds of fun situations and it became my Christmas book for that year. This time, I added a secondary character called Joker who was Finnegan’s Irish, New York bar-owner father. (It was the name my husband always used for his own Dad.)

That’s when I realized the beauty of having people I know being slipped into my fictional stories. Turns out, The Joker became a favorite – if most of the reviews are to be believed.

Since then, almost every book in the series has a character from my own life and it’s been a hoot to take the best from those I love and let the world see them as I do. (Special Agent Charli – the character Poppa John is a dead-ringer for my beloved pops. He’s funny, adorable and smart – just like the real Poppa John used to be. So many of his high jinks are factual which made it very enjoyable to write.)

My latest in the series – Special Agent Rylee – is also unique because my favorite niece brainstormed the plot with me. I wanted to set the story on a Caribbean Cruise, and she took it a step further, demanding a stowaway. Ha! I added two, one based on her own kitty. I wonder… did she recognize a few of the heroine’s sweeter peculiarities based on her own behavior?

The book in the pipeline is one I’ve been plotting in my head for some time. I lost my best friend – the only man I’ve ever wanted – last year, and his book will be tender-sweet to write. My guy was a hell of a character in life, so it’s going to be a real challenge to make Special Agent Murphy realistic with the many facets to his personality that the man I lived with for over 50 years was so respected for. But it will be done…

Mimi Barbour, Author

Amazon author page: http://bit.ly/MimiBarbourAmazon 

My website: http://www.mimibarbour.com/

Or follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/MimiBarbour

Or on Facebook:  Mimi Barbour Fan page

or

Write to me anytime. I love to hear from my readers… xo

mailto:mimibarbour66@gmail.com

 

Story Elements: The First Meet by Nancy Radke #mgtab

Elements of a Story

What elements make up a good story, especially a good romance? Consider the First Meet.

To start our story, we usually have a First Meet somewhere in the opening chapter. Here is an example of a unique First Meet, from Tennessee Touch. (This meet actually happened in real life.)
Chapter One
It was the first time Alison had ever talked to anyone on the freeway, at least talked to them in this way. She had to admit, there were some advantages in knowing American Sign Language.
The red Jetta had appeared from nowhere, coming up behind her at a fast clip. Rules of the road demanded that she move out of the far left lane and let it pass.
Knowing she shouldn’t take her bad mood out on other drivers, Alison switched on her turn signal, indicating a lane change. Seattle drivers were usually courteous and a car quickly slowed down, allowing her to move over. She did, and the red Jetta accelerated, moving up beside her.
The young man inside glanced over and thrust his hand through his open sunroof. His fingers flashed, and Alison blinked. What gesture was that? Was he being rude?
No. He was fingerspelling. “Thank you.”
Laughing to herself, Alison responded, lifting her left hand above her half-opened window to sign, “You’re welcome.”
The Jetta swerved, was straightened, then slowed abruptly to hold to her speed. He hadn’t been expecting an answer. She could bet on it.
“Hello. Hello.” He rolled down his passenger-side window, so she could see him better, as his hands formed the words.
Well, hello to you too, Alison thought. This was fun, and she felt her spirits lift. She rolled down her window the rest of the way, so the slightly tinted glass would not interfere with vision.
“Hello,” she signed back to him.
“Nice to meet you.” He flashed a friendly smile, a broad grin that reached from ear to ear.
“Nice to meet you,” she returned.
“Are you from around here?” he signed.
“Yes. You?”
“No. Just visiting.”
Alison glanced back at the road to make sure she wasn’t saying an unwelcome hello to a motorist in another lane, then looked back at the stranger. Intrigued by the conversation, she continued to sign to him.
“I’m A-l-i-s-o-n.” She spelled the letters out.
“-o-g-a-n.” He had started to spell the word before he had his hand high enough for her to see.
“Say again?”
He fingerspelled the letters more carefully this time. “Logan.”
“Got it.” What do you say next, to a person in a car alongside yours? “Are you going far?”
“To the airport. My plane leaves at nine.”
Alison glanced at her car clock. It was only five P.M. “Why so early?”
“Nothing else to do. I don’t know anyone in Seattle…except you.”
“You could go sightseeing.”
“I have. I went to Kirkland and wandered through their art galleries.”
The words actually came out, “Go Kirkland, art house, look look,” but as an interpreter for the deaf, Alison had no trouble with American Sign Language. Using ASL, she had spoken to people across a room, carrying on a conversation uninterrupted by the crowd—but never on the freeway, with their cars traveling side by side down the inner lanes. It was a unique experience.
The freeway. She glanced around, suddenly realizing something was wrong. She had passed her exit.
Also, the cars on her right were zooming by, but the cars behind them were following at the sedate, forty-mile pace they had slowed to. No cars in front of them.
They were holding up two lanes of traffic.

This is the start of their romance, as they take the next exit and get to know each other.
See Tennessee Touch on Amazon. Click here.

Another First Meet was in my book, Spirit of a Champion. Here the hero gets on the airplane headed to Las Vegas, spots the heroine and swaps tickets with the passenger ready to sit down beside her. A 50 dollar bill makes the other passenger more than willing, and my hero gets a chance to talk to the heroine. He angles for a date, but strikes out when she won’t give him much information. Our hero is not one to give up easily, and he does better the next time they meet.

Click here for Spirit of a Champion on Amazon.

Both these books are on the August monthly billboard at https://authorsbillboard.com/ While there, enter our great contest we always run.

About Life, Reading and Yummy Food

Good morning, my lovelies – I’ve recently had a life changing event and, although my inner essence is more flubbed up than usual, this past summer’s adjustments have given me pause, knowing that I’m not alone.

You’re not either, because you have sisterhood.

Anyway, I had the good luck to spend a great day at the beach last week with my cousins from Detroit, which really made me feel happy, because they’re as nutty as me, and a cool comfort!

So, as we approach the Labor Day weekend, many of you may be thinking how fast the summer sped by, and what we may have to look forward to before the season is over.

Here’s some great news: If you’re fortunate enough to live near an ocean, like I do, September is a lovely month to visit the beach – the weather is still warm enough to bask in the sun, with sunscreen protection, of course, and to enjoy a more peaceful interlude with the sea minus the tourists who’ve now returned home.

If you’re like me, I enjoy the serenity of an ocean backdrop with a good story in hand. Luckily, I’ve plenty of suggestions for those of you who thrive on great storytelling – new releases and multi-authored collections, enough to appeal to every reader’s taste and desire.

Here’s some of my favorites – and so appropriate for beach lovers:

Jo Harrison is a lucky lady. Not only has the incredibly, handsome Peter Mattson saved her from nearly drowning, Jo’s Uber driver Tony is always around for her emotional rescue.
Here’s the glitch: Jo and Peter believe they’re inches away from falling in love, but are Jo’s emotions based on hero worship because Peter saved her life? Is Peter’s attraction to Jo only physical after watching her shower in a wet T-shirt?
Or, does fate have an agenda more everlasting in mind?
Come join these would-be lovers as they discover what made Asbury Park famous, and enjoy a fun ride in Tony’s Uber – You won’t want to miss this one! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FMWWK7M

My new release DEDICATED SERVICE just went live the 27th and I’m so pleased with this hunky cover – he’s so hot, right?

After someone dear to Michael Burke is killed in Vietnam, how far is he willing to go to avenge the tragedy, and still preserve the relationship with the love of his life?
As a high school senior, Michael’s two passions are marrying his sweetheart Ellie and playing major league baseball after college.
Now the shock of his loss causes a hasty turnabout. Will Michael’s determination to avenge his heartbreak isolate him from Ellie, or deepen their love?
Cheer for these bold, young lovers as they face reality’s roadblocks together, and fight for their future dreams. https://www.amazon.com/Dedicated-Service-Susan-Jean-Ricci-ebook/dp/B07WHBLPVC

Interested in a feisty RomCom? Maybe this is your next Kindle addition.

She shuns the law – He’s sworn to uphold it – A romantic comedy

Being sentenced to community service isn’t how Eva Polstick planned her Miami get away. 
After she and her Mustang zoom past his radar, Trooper Sebastian Sherman ignores Eva’s feigned innocence of the traffic violation. Deep down he’s tempted by her allure, but adheres to duty, and places her under arrest.
With no money to cover her fines and a bench warrant out for priors to boot, Eva’s confined to house arrest to carry out her punishment in the same community where Sebastian lives.
As a tentative friendship develops, Sebastian harbors secrets sure to end their fragile connection, but will he do his civic duty and share nothing but the truth?
Please join this unlikely couple as they cruise forward into a most arresting relationship – the jury’s out on this one.https://www.amazon.com/Speeding-Into-Love-Triplets-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B07VM5P278

Here’s one of my favorite multi-authored collections: SWEET AND SASSY AT THE BEACH – GET SWEPT AWAY – FREE on Kindle unlimited or Just 99 cents~

From the Arctic coast to tropical beaches, Greek islands to the Jersey shore, love and romance swell with the tides. Find your perfect pair with Sweet and Sassy at the Beach, twelve titillating tales of love at first sight, second chance romance, Alaska villagers to a beachcomber billionaire, a rodeo clown to a Greek tycoon. Sweet and sassy tales that will keep you grasping your Kindle ’til the battery runs out. Keep your charger handy! You won’t want to miss any of these stories by award-winning, bestselling authors!https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FDQ42QX

How about our most recent edition to our Unforgettable series? UNFORGETTABLE CHARMERS – UNFORGETTABLE HUNKS  (The Unforgettables Book 12), also FREE on Kindle Unlimited or 99 cents:

Why Not Take a Chance on This Collection?

Meet the reckless and fierce, yet determined and persistent charmers that women can’t resist, especially when they shed their aloof façades to reveal their tender and passionate true natures. They are the Unforgettable Charmers who will captivate your hearts.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors have composed beautiful love stories that range from sweet to spicy, with romance and suspense, to keep you entertained by their charming heroes and the heroines who fall under their spells. You will, too, while reading Unforgettable Charmers. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VCQZ9X6

If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to share one of my favorite easy recipes, perfect for a quick dinner after a peaceful day at the beach:

Ingredients:

1 Package of frozen cheese mini-ravioli
1 Shallot
½ carton grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup white wine (or more) to taste
1Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Leaves of Fresh basil
Salt and pepper if desired.

Lightly simmer the shallots and the grape tomatoes in the olive oil for 5 minutes until translucent. Meanwhile, cook the ravioli according to the instructions. Add the butter and wine to the shallots and tomatoes, whisking gently for another 5 minutes, and add the basil. By this time, the ravioli should be done and drained. Add it to the skillet mixture, gently toss, and Voila! You have a simple, delicious dish guaranteed to satisfy the most finicky of palates.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, please be sure to enter our monthly giveaway. We’re giving away gift cards, print books, and free eBooks!

Have a safe, and wonderful Holiday weekend, everyone! Hugs!

@mimisgang1 #MGTAB #SummertimeReading #Recipes

Series or Standalones #amwriting #Romance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

Series or Standalones

That was the question posed by a member of The Story Empire earlier this week. You can read his full thoughts here– well worth your time.

I’ve read many great standalone books, (Cinderella anyone?) but have to admit I enjoy stories set in a series much more. There’s a deeper connection to a) the characters, and b) location- though either of those can, and often do, change throughout the course of a series.

From NY Book Editors:

Writing a book series can be incredibly challenging (that’s the bad news), but it’s also one of the best ways to develop a loyal fan base (that’s the good news).

NY Book Editors-2016

The books can follow one or two main characters through a variety of adventures- such as J.D. Robb’s In Death series or the Harry Potter franchise.

They can also be set around a location and the citizens within- Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold series or J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Some follow a progression of events and are best read in order, while others are self-contained stories within the series and can easily be read out of order.

Whichever style you prefer, series seem to be growing in popularity, some are even twenty books long and counting!, and readers can’t get enough.

I’m currently working on the third story in my Gambling Hearts series, My Girl. The series follows the lives, and loves, of three siblings born and raised on a Texas hill country ranch.

This is Aaron’s story:

Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make

Trish Sylvester knows her family and when they accept a week long stay at a rustic dude ranch, she is concerned- especially since it’s at her ex’s home.

Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.

And that isn’t the only surprise.

Excerpt

“I met your fiancé,” he said, his voice ripe with challenge. The outdoors clung to her skin, sun and flowers combining to intoxicate him more than the whiskey.

She lifted her chin, eyes narrowing. “What did you say to him, Aaron? I’d hoped we could all act like adults while we’re here.”

Aaron laughed, his hands doing the job his heart urged him to do, forcing her to come up against his chest with a soft oomph. “Darlin’, I’m definitely a man, make no mistake.” He leaned down and brushed her lips, setting up a warning through his chest. He was playing with fire, and if he wasn’t careful, there was little doubt who was going to get burned. Again.

“Aaron, stop this,” she murmured, though her lips parted on a sigh. “We can’t…”

He lifted his head and stared at her upturned face. “Can’t what, Trish? You invited yourself onto my territory and brought reinforcements. I want to know why.”

She moved out of his arms. He pretended not to feel the loss.

“We needed a break from the city,” she said. “Surely, you can understand that? Your sister sent an email to me highlighting the new business venture—congrats, by the way—and I thought it would be fun to come and check it out. End of story.”

He eyed her nervously tucking her hair behind her ear and knew she was bluffing. The question remained; why?


Box Set News

We have a new box set releasing August 30th!

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KHEMW5

Add to your TBR list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47873355-sweet-and-sassy-baby-love

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/sweet-and-sassy-baby-love-by-suzanne-jenkins-and-jen-talty

Nine NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors offer stories of men and women who go to great lengths for the children they love.

A scent of innocence, that touch of softness, an angelic nap, and deep belly laughs. Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

How do you feel about series or standalone stories? Let’s talk about it.

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