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Posts Tagged ‘Shanna Hatfield’

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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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.

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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.

Christmas 1972

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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The Romance Reviews 6th Anniversary Party kicks off today and runs all month with more than 300 book giveaways and a $50 Amazon Gift Card grand prize.

To get in on the fun (including the chance to win one of my books!), visit their website today!

The Romance Reviews

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2-27-17

This is the time of year when I like to sort through cupboards, closets and drawers, purging things I no longer use, need, or want.

Every year, I find myself hanging on to stuff I don’t really like for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was a gift (but isn’t my taste or style). Maybe it’s something “too nice” to get rid of. It could even be something I bought on sale and never used. (Yes, that does happen).

Have you ever walked into a room in your house and looked at something and experienced an instantaneous thought of “I don’t like that” followed by “but, (fill in the blank with a name of a relative who gives hideous gifts) gave it to me so I have to keep it.”

You don’t. You really, really don’t. If the item makes you frown instead of smile, time to put it in a box and donate it or add it to things you’re saving for your next yard sale.

When I find myself staring at an item and realizing it’s just taking up useless space, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it bring me joy?
  2. Does it have a sentimental value?
  3. Is it useful?

If it doesn’t meet at least one of those criteria, out it goes. Last year, I took fourteen boxes of stuff to our local Goodwill center. And although I haven’t really done much sorting yet this year, I already have half a dozen boxes of assorted stuff ready to donate.

My point of all this rambling today is that when we give ourselves permission to let go of things that don’t bring us joy, we make more room in our lives (hearts, minds, and souls) for the things that do.

One of the hardest areas for me to purge is my closet. (Anyone else have that trouble. Let’s see a show of hands!)

Here’s a super helpful chart I’ve used before (and will again) to keep my closet from overflowing.

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Happy sorting and purging. May it bring you joy to clear out some of the clutter (I know I’ll be working on that this week!)

Oh, and when you ask yourself those three questions, they do not apply to immediate family members! 😉

 

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February 1942 was a dark time for Americans. Ten weeks earlier, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, pulling the United States into a war they’d tried hard to avoid.
rooseveltOn February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066,  authorizing the removal of any or all people from military areas “as deemed necessary or desirable.” The military in turn defined the entire West Coast, home to the majority of Americans of Japanese ancestry or citizenship, as a military area. (If you’d like to read the document for yourself, you can find it here.)
 More than 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese descent were detained in fifteen assembly centers in the spring of 1942, including the Portland Assembly Center.
Many of these people were born in America, some second or third generation Americans, but their place of birth became irrelevant in the coming days. Those living in the evacuation areas were forced to leave behind their homes, sell their possessions for mere pennies on the dollar, and abandon their businesses to report to assembly centers — or become fugitives in the land they called home.
My recently released sweet historical romance, Garden of Her Heart, details one woman’s plight as she has to choose between doing what she is ordered or what she knows to be right.

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Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?

The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese-Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.

After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life.

A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

 

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Available on:

   

Excerpt:

“Please, Miko? Would you at least consider marrying me?”

She shook her head and tried to pull away from him, but he drew her closer, wrapping his arms around her and holding her. His breath tantalized her ear as he bent his head near hers. “Please?”

“I can’t, Rock. I don’t want to be the cause of you missing out on the love of a lifetime.” She turned her head to the side and pressed it against his neck. Unintentionally, she heightened the yearning that already pulsed between them. Forcibly, he relaxed his hold on her.

“Miko,” he whispered. “Look at me, sweetheart.”

Unhurried, she tipped her head back, drawn into the bright warmth of his eyes.

“Miko, if I didn’t want to marry you, I wouldn’t offer. I rather like the idea of spending my future with you. We have more going for us than many couples who wed. There is no doubt in my mind at all about your ability to be a good wife. Me, on the other hand…” His cocky grin brought an amused light to her eyes. “It might be challenging to be married to someone like me.”

A smile curved her mouth upward and Rock tamped down the desire to kiss her again, even with the pastor watching their every move.

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A few weeks ago I said I had some exciting news coming up to share with you. Well, here it is!

I’ll be in Atlanta, GA, for the RT Booklover’s Convention in May, participating in  what we hope will be a super fun event:

Magnolias & Moonshine — a Southern, Shabby-Chic Affair!
Friday Night, May 5, from 9:30 – 11:30pm

You can find out more about the event on our special Magnolias and Moonshine website.

  “Bling” up your best cowboy boots and join twenty sweet and spicy romance authors for a taste of the old south as they host the Magnolias & Moonshine County Fair. Play some fun games (like smash the tin can and fishing), win prizes and enjoy live music starring 2014 Georgia Country Male Artist of the Year, Thomas Fountain.

Be sure to visit an old-fashioned “Kissing Booth” where cover models will be giving out a bevy of Hershey’s Kisses! You can also enter the “Best Bling Boots” contest for a chance to win a blue ribbon for the best decorated pair! Or just sit back and enjoy the fun-filled evening that has something for everyone!
Early arrivals will be greeted with Apple Pie Moonshine (or lemonade) in a collectible, mini mason jar while they last, and the first 400 guests will receive a special commemorative tote bag ready to be filled with amazing swag that each author will be giving away. And everyone who attends will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win many door prizes that will be raffled off throughout the evening.
To keep up with news about the event, join the Facebook Page!

And if you’d like to attend the event, you can register with RT.

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The Magnolias and Moonshine series was created specifically for the RT Booklover’s Convention and has ten sweet and ten sizzle contemporary novellas, all set in Atlanta. The stories include cowboys, weddings, county fairs, reunited love stories, and much more. Step into the world of the South and hear the cicadas, taste the mint juleps, see the stars, and smell the magnolias.
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My contribution to the series is Taste of Tara.
For a while, I’ve been toying with the idea of a heroine who grew up in the Northwest but wants, more than almost anything, to spend time in the South.  When I was asked to participate in this series, it seemed the perfect time to bring the story to life.
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What’s a wannabe Southern Belle to do?

Pastry Chef Tara Tarleton doesn’t want much out of life except to have a successful career and someday visit the South. When the opportunity arises to spend a month on a plantation near Atlanta helping bring a living history event to life, she jumps at the chance. Filled with grand visions of channeling a southern belle, disappointment settles over her when reality comes to call. Plagued with allergies, humidity, and a creaky old house, she’s ready hand over her mint julep and return home. Then she meets a man who rescues her from thugs, bugs, and herself.

Life has taught Brett Cutler to enjoy one day at a time. That’s exactly what he’s doing when a beautiful girl runs into his arms as she tries to escape men intent on harming her. From that moment on, he’s ready to plan the next fifty years of his future. The only problem is the woman who’s captured his heart has no intention of staying in town.

Taste of Tara is a lively, fun read that captures the sweet romance of following your dreams, no matter where they may lead.

You can pre-order Taste of Tara for only 99 cents! It releases April 29!
You’ll find it at these online retailers:
Participating authors (in order of release days – the first is April 10):

Ciara Knight (Sweet)

Hildie McQueen (Sizzle)

Beth Williamson (Sizzle)

Susan Hatler (Sweet)

Lindi Peterson (Sweet)

Kymber Morgan (Sizzle)

Amanda McIntyre (Sizzle)

Lucy McConnell (Sweet)

Sharon Hamilton (Sizzle)

Lisa Kessler (Sizzle)

Kirsten Osbourne (Sweet)

Susan Carlisle (Sizzle)

Tina DeSalvo (Sizzle)

Raine English (Sweet)

Amelia C. Adams (Sweet)

E. Burke (Sizzle)

Melinda Curtis (Sweet)

Merry Farmer (Sizzle)

Shanna Hatfield (Sweet)

Jennifer Peel (Sweet)

 

 

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