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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

It’s release day for Bobbins and Boots!

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Bobbins and Boots

Baker City Brides, Book 4

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How does an act of kindness result in… marriage?

 One carefree cowboy is about to find out in this sweet historical romance!

 Born dirt-poor into a life of hardship, Allie Tillman seizes the opportunity to better her situation by answering an advertisement for a mail-order bride in the West. Upon her arrival in Baker City, Oregon, she discovers her intended is a low-down, lying thief. Determined not to marry him, she grasps at the one thing that will keep him from forcing her to be his wife — marrying another man.

Good-natured cowboy Ben Amick had no idea a simple trip into town would completely change his life. When he happens upon a mail-order bride desperate to avoid marrying her fiancé, Ben does the first thing that pops into his head and weds her. Willingly, he gives her the protection of his name and his arms, never expecting her to capture his heart.

Humorous, heartfelt, and awash in sweet romance, Bobbins and Boots captures the tender and tumultuous emotions of falling in love.

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Meet Ben and Allie

Excerpt:

“You love me?” Tears pooled in her eyes and her lower lip quivered. She couldn’t believe this handsome, wonderful, gentle, teasing cowboy loved her. “You really love me? But, Ben, I’m nobody. I’m just…”

“The girl I love and can’t live without.” Ben stood and pulled her to her feet before wrapping his arms around her. “I love you, Alaina Maelee Amick.” He kissed one cheek then the other. “I love your freckles.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “I love the sound of your laughter.” He kissed her forehead. “I love your cute little lopsided smile.” He kissed the left corner of her mouth. “And I love your silky hair.” He pulled out the pins holding it in a bun and watched it tumble down her back and over her shoulders.

Allie sighed contentedly when Ben buried his hands in her long tresses and inhaled a deep breath, basking in her honeysuckle scent.

When he leaned back, his eyes were full of love and longing. “I love everything about you, Allie. But I also love you with all my heart.”

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If you are a writer looking for some good resource books to add to your writing toolbox, think about getting Melinda Curtis’ new release.

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Frankly my dear… Creating Unforgettable Characters truly is a book full of tools, tips, and clever hacks to create memorable, realistic, flawed characters.

The book provided the basics for creating characters and conflict as well as offered a fascinating look into eighteen schemas.

A schema is a mental concept that provides the framework about what a person can expect from a variety of experiences and situations. Schemas are developed based on life experiences and the information is then stored in memory. Schemas are created by our brains as a short cut to make navigation easier in similar situations that may arise in the future.

These schemas, and Curtis’ in-depth look into how they can relate to characters, can help drive your writing of characters to the next level.

You can find the book on Amazon today!

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It doesn’t matter if your writing style is planned, spontaneous, or somewhere in between–it’s the character and conflict that sells! Character and conflict hooks in studio execs, holds an editor’s attention, and draws in readers, compelling them to turn the page. So what is the secret sauce? How can you hack into believable and compelling characters? By using a tried and true psychological principle adapted for writers by Melinda Curtis, an award-winning, USA Today bestseller of over 35 books and novellas.

In this book, you’ll find the basics of character and conflict, along with a multi-faceted psychological principle that can be used to create characters who need to grow and change. Inside are numerous tips to create and deepen character and conflict from the beginning of your story to the end. You’ll discover hacks to give your characters depth and provide them with behavioral bumpers so they act consistently throughout your story, until they grow and change in an emotionally satisfying finale. As an added bonus, there are over 100 examples from movies and television that illustrate how to use each principle. That means adding this book to your writing toolbox will help you sell to editors and studio execs, and create compelling reads that bring audiences back for more.

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And if you want to find out more about your schema, you can do this quick little quiz: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/whats-your-schema_1

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USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Melinda Curtis is the award winning author of contemporary romance that spans the sexy scale – from sweet romance to sweet romantic comedy (written under the Melinda Curtis brand) to fun, sexier romances (written under the Mel Curtis brand).

 

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Joy Lessons Week 12

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Happy First Day of Spring, everyone!

Although it is rainy and foggy here today (what a combination), I’m so excited it is finally spring. This weekend, I even saw a robin playing in the cat’s water bowl, splashing and shaking its tail feathers, having a marvelous time.

And this morning, I feel a little bit like that robin, excited and full of joy (even if I have no plans of shaking my tail feathers around) because it is officially spring.

Spring is such a beautiful, glorious time for so many reasons. It means winter is behind us (something I cheer about every year). It means new life is springing up all around us as the grass begins to turn green, flowers begin to bloom, temperatures warm, and the sky seems bluer. To me, spring is also about renewal and hope and faith.

It’s about filling our hearts with joy brought on by the possibilities and wonder that await us.

Today, I wish you all a heart full of joy as we welcome in the arrival of spring.

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Just one week until Bobbins and Boots releases!

I’m so excited!

For fun, I thought you might enjoy a little peek into the book with a fun excerpt:

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None too soon, they rode down the trail that brought them to the ranch yard. Jack waved to his parents as they sat on their porch together while Lily played in the yard with Rigsly.

“Did you have fun this afternoon?” Jemma asked as Jack jumped off Nick and tied him to the fence.

“Boy, did I!” Jack opened the gate and ran into the yard.

“What on earth happened to Allie?” Jemma asked. She and Thane rose and stared at her sodden, disheveled state as she and Ben approached.

“You should have seen Ben, Mama.” Jack grinned as he raced up the porch steps and grabbed his mother’s hand in his. “He ripped off her clothes and started in thumping on her then he tossed her in the river. She didn’t even know how to swim, but it was sure something to see.”

“I bet it was,” Thane mumbled under his breath. His wife’s elbow connected with his side, making him grunt.

“Benjamin Amick! What possessed you to do such a thing to your wife?” Jemma fisted her hands on her hips and glared at the young cowboy.

Ben glanced at Allie. Her face was nearly as red as the basket of apples sitting on the porch. “My wife wasn’t watching where she stood and ended up with a mess of ants in her pants.” He shot her a devilish smile. “Or I guess I should say bloomers. However, she still hasn’t agreed to let me check to make sure all them lil’ critters are gone.”

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Bobbins and Boots (Baker City Brides Book 4) will release March 23!

You can pre-order your copy today for only 99 cents! (The price will increase after release day to $3.99.)

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Joy Lessons Week 11

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The other day I unwrapped one of my favorite dark chocolate treats and inside the wrapper it said, “Joy is contagious.”

Taken aback by this little nugget of wisdom inside my decadent candy, I stared at it for a few minutes, just thinking about how true that is.

While some people will say misery loves company, what really loves company is joy! When we are filled with joy and happiness, for the most part, we want to share that with others, to brighten their day, to give them a little piece of our inner sunshine.

I just love that thought that joy is contagious.

Contagious is defined as: tending to spread from person to person.

So… what if we each make it a point to spread a little joy this week. How many people can you infect with joy?

I’d love it if we all gave it a try. You can even come back here next week and share your results if you like.

Here’s to a week filled with contagious joy!

 

 

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I am incredibly pleased and excited to share the news that you can now listen to Thimbles and Thistles on Audible or Amazon!

John Martin Byrne did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life as the narrator – including an incredible Scottish burr for Ian MacGregor!

Here is a little sample:

Thimbles and Thistles

 

Thimbles and Thistles CoverStubborn, mule-headed, independent woman!

She’d take that as a compliment…

Maggie Dalton has no need for a man in her life. Widowed more than ten years, she’s built a successful business and managed quite well on her own in the bustling town of Baker City, Oregon. Aggravated by her inability to block thoughts of the handsome lumber mill owner from her mind, she renews her determination to resist his attempts at friendship.

Full of Scottish charm and mischief, Ian MacGregor could claim any available woman in Baker City as his own, except the enchanting dress shop owner who continues to ignore him. Not one to give up on what he wants, Ian vows to win Maggie’s heart or leave the town he’s come to love.

You can also find the book for Kindle or in paperback form on Amazon.

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Joy Lessons Week 10

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For the most part, I avoid things that will draw me down the road to nostalgia because despite the sweetness of the memories, there are those that truly do sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.

Last week, my awesome cousin, Brad, and his equally awesome girlfriend, Brenda, gave me a flash drive full of photographs my uncle had taken years and years ago. The images were originally a collection of slides and I’d never seen any of them.

Brad and Brenda cleverly took photos of the slides when they watched them at Christmas with my beloved auntie then saved all the photos on DVDs and flash drives, making them so much more usable.

As I opened the file and began looking through the images (many taken years and years before I was born), that feeling of nostalgia swept over me.

There, in beautiful full-color photos were images of my family. Those still with us and those I miss so much… like my grandparents. My grandpa passed away when I was just thirteen.

There were my two vibrant aunts, both lost to cancer.

My uncles, including my dear Uncle Mel who took most of the photos.

And my sister, captured in her teen years.

shelley and deb with Dynamite

Here, she’s riding my pony, Dynamite, while my sister-in-law leads it. My brother and two cousins stand in the background.

Doug and Kim Christmas at GG Wiggins

Not all the photos made my eyes leak, though. This one made me laugh aloud. These two goofy guys are my brothers. The one on the left obviously needed to have a very intense fashion intervention before he left the house. I’m kind of surprised Mom let him go out wearing that vest with that shirt. Oh, and check out the sideburns. Nice, guys. Really nice.

skating party

Apparently, one year my parents hosted the annual Christmas gathering we didn’t have snow, so instead of sledding, everyone skated on our pond. There are so many things about this picture that makes me smile, not the least of which that my fashion-challenged brother rode his motorbike to the pond. I’m assuming if the pond is frozen that solid, it had to have been cold. (Also evidenced by the way my aunts are bundled up in their furry-collar coats.)

There were also some photos of me I had no idea existed.

baby with Aunt Lo

Like this one of my Aunt Loletia holding me when I was just two months old. She passed away just a few years after Captain Cavedweller and I wed.

 

at the farm 1972

Or this photo taken the summer before I turned two. Apparently, I loved the color pink even then, and liked to blend my girly side (notice the doll in my hand) while still doing my best at being a farm girl (straw in the background). We will not discuss the weird, ugly brown shoes I’m wearing.

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And this one, taken the Christmas after my second birthday. Rather wistful looking, don’t you think? Since I was the only baby in the extended family at that time, I can’t help but wonder what I’m looking at? Which cousin got something shiny or nifty that caught my interest?

Okay, enough strolling down memory lane. I’ll wrap up the rambling and get to the point of this week’s lesson which is this:

Even when we know something (especially a memory) will make us nostalgic and sad and cause our hearts to pinch a little, there is still joy in it too.

Don’t miss out on the joy because you want to avoid the tears. Smile while those memories leak from your eyes and roll down your cheeks, knowing it’s a blessing to have memories like that.

 

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