Where do you get your ideas? by USA Today bestselling author Nancy Radke #mgtab

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So it is finally summer and I’m considering ideas for my next series. Readers sometimes wonder where we get our ideas, so this time I’ll write about what inspired one of my books.

The Handsomest Man in the Country (free) came about when I decided to try writing a book similar to those of Louis L’Amour. Starting with the end of the Civil War, I placed my heroine, Mally, in the mountains of Tennessee, and started writing. I had a theme, that of not judging a person by his looks. Also I had my great grandmother’s written account of her and her husband coming west in a wagon train as first-person background information.

All her life, Mally has wanted to marry the handsomest man in the country. She is a very pretty girl and looks forward to her teen years and having the boys come courting. The nearby neighbor woman has sons her age, with the most handsome one being Gage Courtney. Gage lets her ride his horse, and she decides he’s the one for her.

Then the Civil War begins. Her father and the Courtney boys leave to fight. She loses both parents at the end of the war and the Courtney boys are nowhere around. Following her father’s wishes, she sets out for Missouri to find her uncle and his wife. They have also lost their farm and are all ready to start west for Oregon Territory. Mally joins them, but soon a marriage of convenience forces her to marry a man she’s never met, one who makes her mules look good after he shaves off his beard. (That idea came from a TV show I once watched where the man looked quite handsome until he shaved.)

Trey Trahern knows he isn’t a man that girls would ever look at twice and considers himself fortunate to have Mally as a wife. He knows she was forced into this marriage and tells her that he will stay with her, but will release her if she wants out.

Soon after they are wed, the man of her dreams, Gage Courtney, rides up and joins the wagon train. Trey invites him to build next to them. What is Mally to do?

The rest of the Trahern books tell about the Trahern boys and their cousins and sisters. Now 13 books in all, it is a series I almost didn’t write, but which has turned into my best-selling series. You never know where a storyline will lead you.

Next series I’m considering writing is one based upon fairy-tales like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Ugly Duckling. I’ve been watching The Adventures of Merlin on TV and like the magic element, although I don’t know if I will put it in or not. Comment below if you have a story idea you’d like to see developed. My books are always clean and wholesome.

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A Year Later

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine Day.

While we celebrated Valentine Day in our special way with loved ones, family or friends, the teenagers of Parkland held a day of remembrance to pray for their lost friends and promise they will never forget them. My grandchildren live in Parkland and were a mile away in their own school when the shooting took place.

One of the survivors, a lovely young woman only 17 last year, was interviewed in the Parkland Lifestyle magazine and explained how she overcame the trauma and her fears. She needed to show the world that this drama could not be repeated again. I was so impressed by the article I’d like to share some of its thoughts with you.

The day after, this MSD senior talked to her congresswoman and organized a march. “This happened at my high school. I had to do something. I’d wake up at 6 a.m. and slept at 2 a.m. I made so many phone calls. I contacted the bus companies, the parents, chaperones, reached out to the Civic Center in Tallahassee, organized cots from the Red Cross… “

Many more marches followed in the “Road to Change”. Those young people, not even 18 yet, explained they didn’t want to take guns away. They had conversations about extreme risk protection orders or universal background check or disarming domestic abusers. People would say, “Oh I can get behind that.”

People were receptive and the students felt America was behind them to protect the children in school. It’s amazing how fear can create courage.

This is not a political post, but a salute to my grandchildren, their classmates, friends and team members from various sports and activities.

You are still very young but you can make our world a better place.

Here are two new boxes of romance and a free one to enjoy:

UNFORGETTABLE PASSION: Unforgettable Charmers Available at Amazon

 

SWEET AND SASSY IN THE SNOW Available at Amazon

 

 

Unforgettable Valentine

UNFORGETTABLE VALENTINE — FREE this week Available at Amazon

 

 

Balance in Life

My husband often asks me to balance my time. To prove his point he showed me an article about the value of balance. According to that article, most of our troubles are due to imbalances.

We should divide our day in such a way that we can balance work, family time, socializing, exercise, spiritual time, and fun time. If a person works eight hours a day, drives half an hour each way to work, breaks at lunch for an hour, exercises for an hour, and sleeps seven hours, this adds up to a total of eighteen hours. I assume the remaining six hours are used for family time, fun, socializing, and spiritual time.

I am not sure in which category I can fit cooking, dinner and dishwashing time. Reading should go under the hour or two of fun time. And what about writing?

I retired from my day job years ago and write full-time—or to be more accurate I sit in front of my computer full time. I can manage an hour to exercise or walk every day. I can cook twice a week and eat leftover or eat out the rest of the week, socialize two or three times a week. I consider this to be a perfectly balanced life.

Except… Around Christmas time, I deliberately put work aside. With the kids visiting it’s impossible to reach my computer, considering there are always a couple, or more teenagers sleeping in my office who can never sleep early or wake up early. So I graciously relinquish my work area and remain in the kitchen where I’ve already spent two weeks cooking, baking and preparing for the family gathering and a happy holiday. Call it family time, fun and socializing,

Yes a perfectly balanced life. Except on the two days I have to take care of the grandchildren, picking them from school, driving them to their various after-school activities and waiting for them, cooking and serving dinner—all of that goes under work and family time. Let’s not forget their adorable Cocker spaniel, Bosty, that I have to walk—call it exercise and fun.

Quite a balanced life. Except on the weeks where I have a deadline for a book and write nonstop to finish my story and edit, or format a multi-author box, or promote a new release… The eight hours of work morph into twelve or fourteen hours of non-paid overtime. Forget exercise, except running to the bathroom, forget family time, my husband swore that I become deaf during this period and never answer with cohesive sentences.

Considering there is so much I want to do, I’m still faced with the same problem of balancing my time.

I think balancing one’s time is wonderful. In theory. I always learned that to be successful you ought to give your main goal your 101%.  So how can you divide your time in multiple activities and still be successful?

Yet some people manage to multitask and be successful at everything they do. If you are one of these fortunate people, how do you do it?

Don’t forget to check our two new boxes:

Unforgettable Passion – Unforgettable Charmers (The Unforgettables Book 10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Sassy in the Snow: Find Your Winter Romance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Modern Princes Series:

A Bride For Prince Paul: She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!
A Bodyguard For The Princess: A murder at Harvard in Princess Chloe’s student building.
Jingle With My Princess: The doc and the princess… He saves lives but Princess Charlene may save his heart.

Happy – cough – New Year! Load your eReader and snuggle in. #mgtab

I was going to write a peppy post to celebrate 2019, something that started off with something like, Hey, we’re two weeks into our New Year, how’s it going? Fabulously, I hope!

And then I was going to share some of the dreams I’m dreaming for the next twelve months, some of the goals I’m aspiring to, some of hopes that I have (because I am one of those people—the list-making, journal-filling, overthinking types. ?)—but then I got sick.

No sympathy needed, as it was just a bad cold and I’m well on the mend now. However, it did remind me that sometimes, yes, you want to cheer and yell, “Go me!” and make copious plans on piles of bright colored sticky notes—but other times you want to burrow into the couch, wrapped in blankets, your well-stocked eReader on your lap, a furry friend snuggled close, and a mug of soup or tea in hand. ‘Tis definitely the season for that!

And on that note, especially since we’re going into a weekend, I thought I’d help you load your digital bookshelves, so you’ll be prepared for some lovely “shut in” nights—though hopefully without sniffles or a bad cough. ?

Read all the books? Challenge acceptedHere we go! As most of you know we Author’s Billboard authors have a treasure trove of box sets under our belts—with memes and themes and romance tropes to fit any mood. The wonderful Suzanne Jenkins has put them all in one place for your perusing and buying pleasure. They’re a great way to discover new-to-you authors and genres—but also just to stockpile the types of stories you already know you love. Have fun!

 

 

If you’re craving immersion in a whole new cozy world and longing for the fun of a connected series, I’d be honored if you give my just-released River’s Sigh B & B Vol. 1 – 4 collection a try. It contains the first 4 novels in the series (which are all full-length, standalone novels with HEAs) and offers all the fun of revisiting old characters you love (or hate, LOL) while you fall in love with new ones.

Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Google 

 

Last but not least, for any of you kindred resolution-making, goal-oriented spirits who, while perhaps sympathizing that I was sick, were simultaneously disappointed that I didn’t share goals or resolutions in this post or provide an inspiring, motivating call-to-action, One to Keep will be right up your alley. Sophie always has lots of goals, too, and she’s especially full of determination and resolve this year, so much so that she has a special holiday planned to celebrate her newest resolution. A holiday for one, thank you very much.

 

 

Okay . . . that should keep you busy for a while. (I hope you stocked up on tea and easy snacks too!)

Wishing you a lovely, book-filled, germ-free weekend,

? Ev

Until next time . . .

River's Sigh B & B box set. Stay cozy!