Write What You Know by @Author_Carmen DeSousa

A professor once told me that all first-time authors write their autobiography, even if tagged fiction. While I don’t believe that’s completely true, after all, some first-time authors write about vampires and shape shifters, I do think there’s a modicum of truth to that statement. In other words, even if an author writes a work of fiction, there are usually many elements of the story that are factual, and I’d venture to guess that, at minimum, authors probably pattern characters after people whom they know. When my college professor suggested to, “Write what you know,” a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, but some say it is much older I wasn’t certain if I really wanted to do that. After all, who would believe me?

A few subjects I know about:

Child abuse
Sexual abuse
Drug abuse
Alcohol abuse
Abandonment
Rape
Suicide
Depression
Belief in God
The power to overcome adversity…
Love at first sight
Stalkers
Crime
Tragedies
Police
A new family
Happily ever after

Hey, I moved out on my own at the age of seventeen, and I’m married to a retired police detective, so I’ve seen a lot. The problem is … will anyone believe or want to read about “what you know?” Well, I guess that depends. If you put it into a story, add a little, as Hollywood refers to it: Based on a true story, but dramatic elements have been added for the sake of artistic expression, then, yeah, some people will believe and/or want to read because more than likely they can identify with a character and/or a situation. And while they can enjoy an escape into a fictional story, they may take something from it.

The funny thing is most of the stories throughout history are based on a couple of those “unbelievable” elements I listed above. Although they may not all be in the same story, “love at first sight,” “family tragedy,” and/or “an unbelievable or vicious crime” are often the basis of a work of literary fiction. Fairy tales did it. Suspense-thrillers do it. It’s a great start!

So if you don’t believe one or more of the elements of a story, does that make it “unbelievable” or a “bad” story? One of the most popular themes is “love at first sight,” which often gets a bad rap by reviewers. You may not believe in “love at first sight,” but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and many readers love it. In fact, even movies that aren’t tagged as “love at first site,” usually have a hero and heroine thrust into an incredibly unbelievable situation, and are all of a sudden willing to die for each other. Of course, there are many classics like that, too: Romeo and Juliet, all the fairy tales, even The Godfather … ooh, I bet you forgot about that one. Remember when Michael Corleone is walking through the picturesque countryside in Sicily and he spots the beautiful Apollonia… See, even graphic thrillers do it!

Well, as I mentioned in the above list, these are all the things I write about. Why? Because it’s what I know. So, let me share a tidbit of information with the unbelievers of the world who don’t think “love at first sight” exists…

I’ve experienced a lot of tragedy in my life, but I got lucky in love! After my first date with my husband, I called my grandmother and told her I’d just met the man I was going to marry. Thirteen days later, he asked me to marry him. Thirty days later, we got married, and we’ve been married for thirty-one years.

Yes, I believe in “love at first sight,” yes, I write tales filled with tragedy, mystery, suspense, hope and, above all, romance, because I’m living one. I’ll leave the rest of “what I know” situations that I write about in my books up to your imagination, and let you try to figure out what’s real or made up. 🙂

Until next time, happy reading and imagining!

Carmen

If you would like to read a little more about what I write, follow the links below to download one of my FREE bestsellers. I also have two $0.99 deals this week only! My stories are available in print, eBook, and audio formats at your favorite retailer.

Moving along, very slowly

So 2020 is over, but the new year didn’t start on the right foot and the level of stress hasn’t decreased at all. Talking about stress, how do you cope and survive? How do you deal with that unbearable itching that seems to eat at your heart?

Last year I locked myself at home, avoiding public places since March 2020: no supermakets, no restaurants, no hairdresser, no dentists, no ophthalmologist, no mall, no retail stores,…

The doctors’ appointments were all postponed until further notice. My hairdresser went out of business. Our ophthalmologist died and our dentist moved to another state.

My husband handles the grocery shopping and I haven’t seen my friends in ages. After avoiding the grandchildren for a couple of months, now we meet them on the beach–one of the benefits of living on the ocean.

I learned to overcome my fear of height and walk for hours on the terrace of our high-rise where no one ever comes. My biggest problem is nibbling non-stop, mostly on dry fruits and frozen fruits, since I don’t like chocolate–dried plums with breakfast, dried figs and dates for snack, dried mango with a 5:00 o’clock tea at 4 pm, dried apricot for dessert with frozen mixed berries. The only dried fruits I threw away were the gingers. After I opened my mouth to scream at the bitterness, I couldn’t even close it. But the ginger chews are delicious and excellent for the stomach.

Writing helped me keep my sanity. Between September and December 2020, I published the following books: Sunshine Over Snow; His Son, Her Daughter; Half a Dozen with Love; Love in the ER; Love on the Slopes.

Secret Kisses is released today, and Between Babies and Girlfriends will be my Valentine book.

In addition to the above, there are five books that were part on ABB boxes and will be published later in 2021: Dalia’s Christmas Wish, Baby Plans, Rescue Plans, Sailing Away Plans, Flirting Plans.

SECRET KISSES: Love You Doc Series, book 4

Katy Mahoney, Hoda Seif, and Sarah Kohn. Three girls from different backgrounds and religions pledged to maintain their friendship forever.

Worried that their daughter Hoda might adopt the behavior and habits of the Western world, her parents choose an Egyptian fiancé, eager to immigrate to the United States. Too young to know any better, Hoda agrees, until she meets Katy’s cousin, the handsome medical resident, Liam Olson, and receives her first kiss. With Katy’s help, Hoda stays in touch with the man of her dreams.

On high school graduation day, things get complicated when Hoda’s fiancé shows up to claim his reluctant bride. and doesn’t hide his concern about her negative attitude, especially once he notices her lovely friend, the bubbly Sarah, and falls in love with her.

Meanwhile Katy meets Hoda’s oldest brother Tarek, a dark and handsome medical graduate who can’t take his eyes off her. The graduation weekend ends with Hoda and Omar breaking off their engagement, Omar renting a room in Sarah’s house, and Tarek and Katy going on their first date. Three best friends, three secret and forbidden romances. For five years, the three friends meet and exchange confidences and advice.

Will the three friends manage to convince their families to let them marry for love or will tradition tear the lovers apart?

SEXY and SEDUCTIVE HEROES!!
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MWK9PCT/

Will it be a… Merry Christmas?

It’s hard not to question whether we should be focusing on this holiday when we see such doom and gloom on TV. Or hear it on the radio. Even from friends who know people… or are people who’ve been sick themselves, or who’ve lost loved ones.

But… we must remember why the day itself is special. For instance, it’s a precious day in the church, the day that Jesus was born. Do you remember singing carols like Away in the Manger as a child and experiencing the glory of the birth of Christ? I do.

Of course, as a child, the most important symbol for Christmas was Santa Claus. I knew there was a bearded spirit who loved every child enough to bring them a gift. Today, I know that he’s just the symbol for us adults who do his deeds. Thank goodness we keep his existence alive for our children to experience the joy of the day that meant so much to us… engraving a memory in their hearts so they can look back as adults.

It’s the joy we need to remember and try to rekindle. Even if we spend the 25th quietly, we must remember to celebrate the day itself. Lord, I can’t bear to think of those who will be isolated… so if every one of us takes a few moments out of the day to send blessings from our hearts to someone we love, pick up the phone and make a call to that person you know will be alone, maybe by thinking of others who have an empty home, we’ll feel better about where we are ourselves.

From my home to yours,

I wish you all a Merry Christmas & a New Year that gets better every day.

Hugs,

Christmas photos that make me smile!!

Mimi

The Art of Tenacity by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Sign saying Thoughts of Inspiration, Optimism, Faith, Hope.I grew up during a time when we had to read stories of bravery and courage in school and when old movies on television were about people struggling against great odds to achieve a worth goal. Much of my character was formed by those stories in print and on TV. One story I read that has stuck with me through the years was Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard, a little essay published in 1899.

Message to Garcia is a testament to tenacity, defined as “the quality or fact of being very determined.” The story takes place during the Spanish American War. Here’s a brief summary of the story.

It was of the utmost importance that the President get in touch with the leader of the Cuban Insurgents, a man named Garcia who was somewhere in the mountains where no telegraph could reach him. The President needed his cooperation, and he needed it immediately. A letter, sealed in an oil-skin pouch, was given to a man named Rowan.

This messenger—this Rowan—strapped the package over his heart, and in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba. He disappeared into the jungle. Three weeks later, he came out on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile country on foot. Rowan delivered that letter.

Just think…a night landing in the ocean…swimming to the shore…going into the jungle…hiking all over the island and into the mountains…living off the land..three solid weeks of this…twenty-one days—then he comes out on the other side. Mission accomplished.

Could you have done something that required such physical courage and strength as well as the sheer will to get it done…the will to prevail? When Life is tough, I think about that little essay. Rowan had tenacity…the will to prevail. Accomplishing something important comes down to the will to prevail. Tenacity. You either have it, or you don’t. It’s not a skill or talent you’re born with. It’s one you cultivate by living.

Hubbard’s essay was once the 5th most widely distributed book in history. In the last few years, it’s fallen out of favor because critics focus on the fact that the messenger accepted his orders without challenge. Well, that was a more than a hundred years ago. A different time and culture. I think the focus should still be on the importance of human initiative and determinaton. That’s what inspired me the very first time I read the essay, and it inspired me when I recently read it again.

Book: Vacation Between Two Coverssun Hat, Ebook of Cinderella Blue, Beach

When Life is tough, reach for a book. May I suggest something funny like Cinderella Blue?

Detective Andrea Luft—Andie to her friends—loves to say those three little words. Especially to bad guys who SO deserve it. Andie is undercover to catch the thief stealing designer wedding gowns from San Antonio bridal boutiques. She’s about to make an arrest when Detective Bruce Benton barges onto the scene. The suspect escapes, and, as a reward for this screw-up, Benton and Andie are paired together as partners to close the case.

These two commitment-phobic cops have nothing in common except their tendency to annoy each other—unless you count the desire sizzling between them. But a cop romance just isn’t in the cards for them. At a cop shop, a workplace romance can cause you to make careless mistakes that can be hazardous to your health—and your career!

Too bad because Benton realizes feisty, smart-mouthed Andie is the woman he’s been waiting for. He just doesn’t know how to convince her of that.

“This book was so much fun! I loved the humor and the barbs our couple threw at each other. And then there is the electricity between them….
This was a great beach read.” —NetGalley

Post Script

Maybe we all need some tenacity in our lives to get through COVID-19. Stay healthy. Be happy. Be tenacious. Read a book!

heart shaped ribbons

 

Joan ReevesKeeping Romance Alive…One Sexy Book at a Time—is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. Joan lives happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband. They divide their time between a book-cluttered home in Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch at night, look up at the star-studded sky, and listen to the coyotes howl.

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