Thursday, November 30

A Little Bit More

by Margie Senechal

This is a follow-up posts to a couple of my posts in the past. Things you didn't even know you were still wondering about...

At the beginning of the year, we Wranglers usually choose a word to represent what we want to be our own life's theme for the year. In January, I chose the word More. 

I don't know about the other girls, but I remembered it all the way the through January and maybe into February. And then promptly forgot it.
 
Fast forward many months.

For Thanksgiving, we went to my sister's in-laws as we did for the first time last year. There were almost twenty five of us gathered around three tables. And I didn't have to prepare anything, which was good because I came straight from work.

Anyway, while we were enjoying dessert, my hostess, Kathy, appeared with a book for me. She remembered my word from January as I'd shared it with her at my brother-in-law's birthday party on New Year's Day. The book is filled with MORE. Kinda awesome. And kinda sad that she remembered and I let life get in the way of being MORE. Although I still have a few weeks left of 2017...

 A couple of months ago, I shared the story of my father-in-law's death and how he had a safe deposit box that we knew nothing about. The man died penniless--he lived in section 8 housing and SSI check to SSI check--so, what could he have that was worth saving in a safe deposit box?

Well, it was quite the ordeal to find out. Since he died without a will, we had to establish the right to close out his safe deposit box. We had to wait forty days before the courthouse would assign my sister-in-law, Kathy, as the family representative. But, then the bank wanted the brothers--my husband and brother-in-law--to sign off on it as well.

So, finally two months and a week after his death, Kathy and I headed to the bank--all papers signed, sealed, and delivered--and got escorted to a private room in which to open the box.

I now know how Geraldo Rivera might have felt after opening Al Capone's vault. Our expectations had been low to begin with, so we weren't sorely disappointed. Just a smidgen.

So, what was in the box? Garbage. Seriously. There were cards that once held coins that apparently he'd sold over the years, but kept the card. There were a couple of remaining coins, a watch in wrap, a silver pendant, a purple (amethyst?) stone necklace, and a silver thimble.

I took the King Arthur coin--which I looked up and is valued less than $30--and the silver pendant.

To be honest, I kinda miss not knowing and the mystery. Ahh well....



 I hope you have a great Thursday that propels you into a wonderful weekend! Leave a comment to win a $5 Starbucks gift card and small surprise.

Wednesday, November 29

Rereading at Christmas ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

It's a holiday giveaway week here at WordWranglers, so be sure to leave a comment below...and then check out the other Wrangler posts from this week and comment there too...you never know what you might win!

Liz asked on Monday about our favorite holiday reads. I have two.

Okay, I lied, I have several -- I adore Liz's (and the other Heartwarming Authors) take on small town Christmases, and the anthologies they've put out over the past three or so years. Start with Heartwarming Christmas and then work your way through them, I promise you won't be disappointed!

And y'all know my adoration for Nora Roberts, although I honestly can't think of a single 'Christmas' book she's put out (if you know of one, please comment below because I need whatever that book might be in my life), Kristan Higgins, Carly Phillips, the list of go-to authors seems to get longer and longer every year.

Still, there are two books that I read over and over...especially during the holiday season. They are Home for the Holidays by Johanna Lindsey and The Present by Johanna Lindsey. It's entirely possible that Johanna has many better books than the two of these, I honestly wouldn't know. Although I've read a handful of her books, I've by no means hit even the halfway mark. Mostly because I don't read a ton of historical romance (I know, you're gasping in shame at me right now, aren't you?). These two books, though, are go-tos for me.

When I need a Calgon, take me away moment to relieve some of the holiday stress.

When I can't find a single Christmas special of interest (sometimes, Hallmark's 455 days of Christmas just doesn't cut it).

When I'm feeling a little blue or a little out of sorts or just want to be transported.

Johanna Lindsey takes me to Christmas.

I get swept up into the tumultuous relationships of the Malory family, and I wonder - again and again - if the gypsy grandmother will wind up with the aristocrat, and if the brothers will be able to set aside their differences, and will the elderly father take a chance on love that has been waiting patiently for him? I worry that Larissa won't be able to save her family name, and I cry because Vincent wants to protect her even though he's sworn revenge on her family...and I cry when she realizes why she's been brought to Vincent's...and I wonder how these two will ever be able to let go of their pasts because surely not even Christmas magic can solve these problems.

I think I'll start Home for the Holidays today, and let myself get swept away to Christmas Past...just for a little while. Share your favorite holiday re-read in the comments for a chance to win a pair of Christmas socks and some other fun goodies from me!                                               ~Kristina

Tuesday, November 28

Bunny Slippers at the Bar and Other Writerly Moments

As you all know, Liz and I went to Madison a couple of weeks ago for our annual writing retreat and girly time. The hotel we ended up at was so delightful that we're determined to return to the Riverboat Inn in warmer weather so we can enjoy their sun porches and the pool. One thing we did enjoy immensely this trip was the lobby and the bar--we spent most of our three days camped out at a table in the lobby with our laptops. We both got a lot done--Liz wrote The End on the book that's due December first and I got in about 3K words on my first book for Tule Publishing, bringing my total to just over nine thousand words. Nice!

One cool thing the folks at the Riverboat do when you check in is give you a ticket for a free beverage at their bar, which is in the lobby and is just adorable. We stopped by for our freebie the first night we were there. As it happened, we were in our slippers--Liz's new fuzzy ones and my . . . well, my bunny slippers. If you haven't ever lived with a writer, just know that we appreciate silliness more than most, so the two of us sitting at a bar in our slippers while sipping adult beverages was just too much fun!


I got a lot of research in--the fun kind because the new series happens in a winery in southern Indiana, so of course, we had to hit several wineries. We tasted some amazing wine at The Ridge and at Ertel Winery, where we had a delicious lunch on Friday, and I came away with a bunch of great ideas.

Looks like it's giveaway week here at Word Wranglers, First be sure to head back to yesterday's post and comment for a chance at Liz's giveaway. Then in a comment to today's post, tell me the most ridiculous thing you've ever been caught wearing in public, either deliberately or by accident. Bunny slippers, anyone? I have some holiday goodies to send to one lucky commenter, along with a signed copy of Saving Sarah. This giveaway is open all week longm however only to readers in the continental US. So talk to me, mes amies, and maybe you'll win!

Monday, November 27

Starry nights, a giveaway, and what's your favorite?

Good morning! I hope you had the best of Thanksgivings. I loved it. Lots of food and all of my family in the same room except two. Black Friday was fun, too. I don't care about the bargains anymore, but spending hours of laughter time with my girls and grandkids is pretty priceless.

With new books out all over the place and holidays...well, all over the place, it's a busy time for all of us. A favorite time for sure, but busy nonetheless. I'd like to invite you all to the Starry Nights & Romance Harlequin Heartwarming Party on Facebook, celebrating the release of December's Heartwarming books. There will be a ton of giveaways, including several from me, and all kinds of "guest stars" joining us throughout the day. 



Something happened yesterday that made me feel so good. I know I'm not the only one it's happened to, but I guess I'm telling it so that as readers you'll be aware of how much you do for a book's writer when you mention it. Truthfully, yeah, good reviews are fabulous dance-around-the-room things, but no one knows better than an author how hard it is to find the time (or the right words) to post them.

So what happened? Ava and Nan mentioned books by Kristi and me on Facebook. They were good mentions, ones that made my heart sing some, and they were both free and unsolicited. I can't explain to you--or them--how much that meant. For me, it was extra-special because One More Summer remains a book of my heart almost six years after publication. 

Sooo.... For a giveaway chance at a Christmas ornament and a book, tell us about a book you think we should read for whatever reason. It can be your favorite holiday book (mine is Mary Balogh's A Christmas Promise and the Christmas Town series) or favorite girlfriends book or favorite beach book. You can tell us your favorite series--I recommend the Women of Willow Bay and the Slippery Rock novels. You can mention a new-to-you author you're so glad you found or one who can't release books fast enough for you (Kristan Higgins, anyone?) If you like, you can mention a book by a friend who you know tells great stories.


All commenters will be entered, although only once per name. I guarantee the authors will appreciate your support, and the Wranglers? Well, we will, too. Plus, we just love giveaways and Christmas ornaments!

Saturday, November 18

Romance for the Holidays Giveaway!


ROMANCE FOR THE HOLIDAYS GIVEAWAY

Ho-Ho-Ho! Kindle Santa is on his way! Enter our giveaway from November 13-30 and you could be one of 7 lucky winners to take home some Christmas loot, including Kindles and Ebook Prize Packs where you choose the books you want to win! Check out the Rafflecopter:


(Sponsored by the 59 authors listed below)

Alicia Kobishop • Allison Gatta • Amanda Uhl • Anna Durand • Anne Stone • Anni Fife • Astrid Arditi • Bokerah Brumley • C.E. Wilson • Cailin Briste • Calinda B • Cherie Claire • Christine d'Abo • Connie DavĂ© • Constance Phillips • Cynthia A Clement • Cynthia Cooke • Dakota Willink • Debbie White • Denise Devine • Donna R. Mercer • Elizabeth Rose • Emily Leigh • Gayle Parness • Gemma Snow • Holland Rae • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jana Richards • Jeanne St. James • Jo-Ann Carson • Joan Reeves • Joanne Dannon • Josie Riviera • Judith Keim • Kris Michaels • Lana Campbell • Laurel Greer • Leanne Banks • Liz Durano • Maria K. Alexander • Mary Morgan • Melissa Belle • N.D. Jones • Natalie Ann • R.M. Gauthier • Robyn Neeley • Sahara Roberts • Siera London • Soraya Naomi • Stacy Gold • Stephanie Julian • Susan Jean Ricci • Suzanne Jenkins • Tamara Ferguson • Taylor Lee • Tena Stetler • Victoria Pinder • Whitley Cox

Shop Our Book Fair

And while you’re stopping by, pull up a cozy chair next to our virtual fireplace to shop for your next read at our Holiday Book Fair. Many titles 99 cents or FREE.


Friday, November 17

Mermaids and Dragons!

Happy Friday-Before-Thanksgiving!

Firstly, I'm part of a multi-author Facebook Hop going on now through November 20th. Feel free to start at my link below (or at any of the participating authors' Facebook pages, if you want). Then continue hopping through the rest of the authors. Many of us are doing our own giveaways, and there is a final big prize to be announced on November 20th. I am giving away a Kindle version of "The Lake House" anthology (you know... the one with my mermaid story ;-). So if you're interested in reading the awesome short stories from my Crossroads Romance Writer pals, this is a great chance to get a copy! (man, I love the holiday season... lots of goodies everywhere!!) 
 
And on another note, last week I wrote about the Romance Writers Gone Wild Facebook event that I was involved with this week, including the mermaid-themed box of goodies I’m giving away.

And speaking of mermaids… I have a writer pal who’s part of a multi-author box set devoted to mermaids and dragons. Holy beany-boppers, Batman! You say? I agree! I mean… mermaids and dragons?!? Who doesn’t like mermaids and dragons? As we say in my household (usually about anything Star Wars or Disney related) Shut up and take my money!

Here’s the scoop: 1 Collection. 26 Tales of Enchantment and Danger!

From the darkest skies to the deepest seas, dive into a breathtaking collision of mermaids, dragons, sirens, and more in SIRENS & SCALES, a unique Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Collection!

Your travels through these stories of dazzling ocean tides and the dizzying reaches of the heavens will leave you breathless. Join dragon shifters and mer-creatures for an experience of salty seafaring adventures and magnificent airborne enterprises where sky meets sea, love meets its match, and imagination has no end.

With 26 full-length stories of enchanting fiction, you'll learn the secrets of Atlantis, soar to uncharted peaks, and discover creatures of wing and fin and those who love them. Ready to set sail and catch the tide before your chance for adventure is lost forever? Then order this collection of BRAND NEW and EXCLUSIVE material from your favorite USA Today and award-winning authors before it's gone for good!

My writer pal, Jennifer Laslie, has a book in this collection, titled MERMAID ADRIFT.  Check it out:

When disaster strikes, Meriya must decide whether to stay on land or return to the sea.

Washed ashore after a natural disaster, Meriya finds herself in the human world, injured and running out of time. Unsure whether her family survived, she must determine the better course: stay on land, and thus become human, or return to the sea calling to her. When young Rowan claimed a mermaid rescued him after a boating accident which took his father's life, no one believed him. Now, with Meriya recovering in his pool, he must do everything in his power to keep her a secret. Can Rowan convince Meriya to stay in his world or will her betrothed and the secrets swirling in the ocean's depths prove a stronger pull?

Other books by the following authors: Kellie McAllen, Award-Winning author Pauline Creeden, RJ Blain, Graceley Knox, USA Today bestselling author Starla Night, USA Today bestselling author Gaja J. Kos, A.L. Knorr, Bethany Wicker, Ivy Quinn and Midnight Voss, Award-Finalist Natasha S. Brown, Isra Sravenheart, Harper Alexander, Rone Award Nominee C.S. Moore, Tina Glasneck, Award-Winning author Carly Fall, B. Kristin McMichael, Award-Winning author Natalie G. Owens and Zee Monodee, Konstanz Silverbow, N.D. Jones, USA Today bestselling author Cate Farren, USA Today bestselling author Kelly Anne Blount, Jennifer M. Eaton, Jennifer Laslie, Mindy Ruiz, USA Today bestselling author Katalina Leon, D.D. Miers & B.Crow, Kyoko M.

Releases January 2nd
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gflg3D
iBooks: http://apple.co/2xmnNPv
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2yu3bKb
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2yCvqX8
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2yciCps

Mermaids and Dragons… ‘nuff said. ;-)

And a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Thursday, November 16

The Metamorphis of an Idea

by Margie Senechal

The number one question writers are asked has got to be, "Where do you get your ideas?" For writers, it's an easy and hard question to answer.

Image result for how do writers get their ideasSome days you feel like, "Where don't I get my ideas?" Other days, it's "I wish I knew." and still others, "I steal them."

For me, the initial idea is easy. I have a folder of ideas--along with sticky notes scattered along my desk, news clippings on my bulletin board--to prove it. 

The real work comes in the harvesting of the idea. We're kind of like farmers like that. We find a seed, we plant it, and then we have to nurture and care for it before it comes into it's glory.

Take Suitcases if you will.

The seed was a story about a girl who collected suitcases but never went anywhere. I had a compelling first paragraph and page.
Image result for butterfly meme

Why doesn't she go anywhere? That's the planting of the seed. Once I thought that, I couldn't let her go. 

As I wrote/write it, things have morphed. Originally, I was going to have her mother manipulating her into not going anywhere. But that couldn't sustain an entire novella, let alone an entire novel.

When Chessie arrived on the scene, I thought she was related to one character and now a third of the way through, I realize she needs to be with a different one. (Which will be ironed out in the rewrite, Jana)

Image result for the simplicity of cider by amy e. reichertDuring the summer, I read Amy E. Reichert's The Simplicity of Cider. The book is about a woman trying to save her family orchard through her apple cider business. And one of the things she does is create new apple blends by splicing and grafting. Think of a wine master with apples. Great book, btw.

It's a lot like the process we go through as writers during our cultivation period--which I have to admit, could be my favorite part of writing. The creation of goals, character, plot...before I have to start trimming and deadheading. But, that's another post.

Suffice it to say, next time you meet a writer, don't ask where they get their ideas. Ask instead, how do they cultivate their ideas? And then hurry back here and tell me.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 15

#WW: You Can't Edit a Blank Page

Sometimes I feel like there hasn't been a time I haven't been editing. In journalism school we edited and edited to get our news articles just so and once they were perfect on the page we printed them out and pasted up the paper. When I moved into TV news I learned that kind of editing was simple. In television they send you out in the big, wide world, tell you to shoot good pictures and get good interviews...and then come back and make the hour of footage you just shot into a story of a minute or less. And then I started writing my own stories and learned all that editing would stand me in good sted...because writing the perfect story the first time through is truly a myth. At least for me.

But I've learned a few things along the way and editing isn't the heinous crime against creativity it once was.

First, don't tackle it all at once. There are layers to my editing. As I'm writing the first draft, I read through the previous chapter before starting fresh with a new chapter. During that pass I correct small misspellings or grammar issues. I don't allow more than that. Once the book is finished I allot time for 3 full passes: 1 to check on grammar issues, 1 to check continuity - is that character's name really Reginald? WTF was I thinking?!? - plot and flow issues (this sounds like a lot but I've found they work well together), and a final pass to see what I've overlooked. On that final pass I print out a copy in 14ish point type and some kind of color ink (lately I like blue). I find the bigger font and color change helps me catch little issues I haven't to that point.

Second, time is my friend. You know those editing layers? I don't tackle them on the first, second and third day after finishing the draft. I wait at least 2 weeks before starting any kind of editing. And I try to let at least a few days slip by before going from one draft phase to another. Those built-in waits help me 'forget' the story so each time it's like looking at it with fresh eyes.

Third, new projects are a great carrot. During those wait times, I'm not twiddling my thumbs. I'm reading - out of and in the genre I write. I'm writing - sometimes on a new book, sometimes researching a new book, sometimes just free-writing some really, truly, horribly bad poetry that will forever be locked under my bed. But I'm still working on the creative side of my brain.

The subject line up there comes from La Nora herself. She said something to that effect a few years ago and it's kind of caught on in writing circles. Because she is 100% right. You can't edit a story that hasn't been written. In some cases you can't tell a story that hasn't been edited.

Do you have an editing tip that you live by? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, November 14

Liz and Nan Hit the Road

This is necessarily a short post today because Liz and I are on the road for our annual writing trip. This year, we decided to stick closer to home, so it's Madison, Indiana for our retreat. We actually booked rooms at Clifty Falls State Park way back in the early summer, but a couple of weeks ago, they called and canceled us because they're doing maintenance on the lodge. Kinda bummed us out, but intrepid as always, we soldiered on and found a new place to stay. It's an old hotel in Madison that is under new ownership and has recently been renovated--The Riverboat Inn and Suites. Nice folks and very accommodating on the phone, so I'm anxious to see how this one goes.

Here are a couple of pictures of the inn--the view of the Ohio is amazing, right? We're kind of excited about trying a new place and I confess, a little bit wary of trying a new place. But there will be wine and writing and food and writing and wine and exploring and writing and wine...oh, and did I mention wine?

We're planning to hit a few wineries on the way down and while we're in Madison--strictly for research, of course. My new series for Tule Publishing (YAY!!) takes place at a family winery in the southern Indiana hills just above the the Ohio River. My fictional town of River's Edge looks a lot like the river towns we all know and love down there. Exploring will be treat!

Although we won't be reporting here from the road this time, I'll blog our adventures on my website: www.nanreinhardt.com, so you can follow us there if you're curious. I'm pretty sure it will look a lot like the above shot of Liz from last year's Michigan retreat. Also watch our FB pages because you know, pictures will probably show up there, too.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone! 

Monday, November 13

Show us how you really feel

This isn't a new post--I wrote it in April of 2016 for another blog, but I happened onto it and--since I'm pretty much buried here--hope you don't mind if I slip it in here.


One of my favorite parts of writing romance is that I get to explore emotion. I get to hold it in my hands and virtually peel it like an apple or a peach or a tangerine. Exactly like that, because sometimes the emotion is tart and sharp like an early apple; often it’s sweet and juicy like a peach; sometimes it’s almost too easy, like slipping the rind off the tangerine.

Other times, I get to pick up a piece of fabric and tear it in half the wrong way, against the grain, when those first threads absolutely will not break...and then then do, and the fabric rips but it’s not straight. It’s not pretty, but it’s strong. It will stay with you. Of course, you have to put it back together to make it strong, and sometimes there will be little holes or crooked scars in the cloth.

Still other times, I get to play a bass drum really loud in the sunshine. Or walk in the rain where the water softens everything, blurring its edges and softening the sound of music, but irritates at the same time.

I confess, I’ve blogged about writing until the very thought of coming up with something new about it makes my eyes cross on their own and my fingers come to an abrupt stop on the keyboard. That’s why I’m getting a little abstract with emotion. Well, that and the fact that it’s my favorite component of romantic fiction. There are so many parts, aren’t there? The story itself, the heroine’s and the hero’s journeys, the sensuality, the action (if I’d written this about action, we’d still be in the first paragraph—that’s how bad I am at it), the setting, the black moment, the...oh, you get it, right?

Most of us, I believe, have our areas of expertise. Ken Meyer, who’s the best limerick-writer this side of the Irish Sea, is in the
writers’ group I’m a part of, and he wrote a setting the other day I swear engaged every one of my senses and left them yearning for more. I love setting, I do, but mine never resonate like that.

KathleenGilles Seidel takes us on such a comfortable trip through
the protagonists’ journeys that I don’t even realize we’re moving until the train stops at the “oh, here we are” moment.


KristanHiggins does the same thing with black moments. I don’t even realize I’m there until I have tears on my face.


But me? I write emotion. Not better than anyone else, probably, but I love it so much that even if I stop writing books someday—and I will, right?—I think I’ll always write emotion just for the pleasure and pain of feeling it.

So, whether you’re a reader or a writer or both, talk to us about your favorite part of romance novels.

Have a great week.


Saturday, November 11

A Plan for Self-Editing

This was how I felt when I reread my manuscript. Not happy.
Last week I was telling you my tale of woe regarding the manuscript I’m hoping to get into shape and submit to a publisher. I’d written this manuscript a couple of years ago and then put it aside. I thought it was fairly decent, but when I reread it, I was bummed out. It needs reworking. I wallowed in disappointment for a while, and then in an effort to get myself unstuck, I started to think of ways I could revive and renew this manuscript. Here's my plan to whip this puppy into shape and hopefully get myself pumped up about this story again:

1. Getting to know you. I think I get into trouble when I don’t know my characters well enough. I also get into trouble when I don’t know details of my story well enough. For instance, in the three-book series I’ve been working on with my editor, she pointed out that I had all kinds of inconsistencies between the books, and even within the same book. Things like ages of characters, the timing of when certain events occurred in the past, and so on. So, I’m going back to the drawing board to make sure I know my characters and their motivations, and to make sure know where my story is going. I want my characters, especially my heroine, to be strong and interesting. No more crying at the drop of a hat!

2. Throw away the crutches! All writers have certain words they tend to overuse and depend on, like crutches. Turns out I have several words and phrases that I overuse. I knew of some of them already – just, that, smiled – but I had no idea how many times I used “felt” and “took” until it was pointed out to me. When I looked at the manuscript I’m trying to fix, I saw the same overuse. These words aren’t called crutches for nothing. I lean on them, using them as an easy fix instead of coming up with a much more imaginative, or stronger word or expression. First order of business: use ‘find and replace’ to eliminate or at least cut down on my crutch words.

3. More Crutches! In my recent round of edits, I discovered how often I used the device of asking a question rather than making a statement. Like “Why would he do this to her?” “He wouldn’t hurt her, would he?” and so on. You get the picture. The stupid thing is I didn’t even realize I was doing this. A well-timed question occasionally is fine. But when used over and over, it becomes tedious. Questions be gone! Perhaps your crutch isn’t like mine, but I’m guessing other writers have devices they depend on a little too much. Or maybe I’m just weird.

4. Commenters on Liz’s blog had some great advice. Here’s some things that people suggested on Liz’s blog:

- Stepping away - Take a break from your writing so you can come back and look at your manuscript with fresh eyes. If one project stalls on me, I often work on something else, even if it’s just a blog post. The point is to not stall completely. Keep writing on something.

- Asking a critique partner to give a second opinion - Sometimes, a writer is too close to her work to be able to see it clearly. That’s when it’s a great idea to ask a writing friend or critique partner for advice. Sometimes they can see something that eludes you.

- A whole new character - In her blog, Liz said her characters were acting out of character. In some cases, maybe acting ‘out of character’ is really their true character. Depending on the story, sometimes there’s nothing else to do but to go back to the beginning and change the characters.

- A little dab’l do ya - On the other hand, sometimes all you need is a few tweaks in a few strategic places. The trick is to know what changes to make.

- Changing Point of View – Maybe writing the scene in another character’s point of view is all the difference needed. A rule of thumb is that a scene should be written from the point of view of the character who has the most to lose. But it all depends on what works for your manuscript.

I'd love more advice. How do you get yourself unstuck? If you’ve got a favorite self-editing hack, I’d love to hear it!

Friday, November 10

Romance Writers Gone Wild Giveaway

Happy Friday! I signed up to participate in what is the Mother-of-all-author-giveaways next week… at least it is to me, given my limited experience. I am one of 100 authors in the multi-genre Romance Writers Gone Wild giveaway event going on next week (November 13-17), and it’s mind-numbingly huge!

If you haven’t signed up to attend this party and get some of the goodies they’re giving away, do so right now! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/144781006139014/ I’ll wait while you go do this.

Back? Okay, good. For those of you who just kept reading, let me tell you what you’re going to miss if you don’t sign up: One HUGE giveaway. I forget exactly what it was, but it’s free and something you probably don’t want to buy yourself. Then there are the small gift card giveaways going on throughout. With one swipe up of my finger just now, I saw about $75 worth of gift cards posted. And on top of all that, most of the authors are doing their own giveaways. The odds you’ll win something are better than shooting fish in a barrel here.
 

Ooooo, Mermaid Beanie Boppers!
You know you want them!
And the icing on the cake? I’ll be posting with the paranormal/sci-fi authors next Wednesday and giving away e-versions of my books. AND a mermaid-themed box of goodies complete with mermaid beanie-boppers. I know what you’re thinking… Mermaid beanie boppers? Shut up and take my money! The good news is there is no purchase necessary to play! I know, right… You’d have to be crazy NOT to be part of this (and I know you’re not crazy. Not in a non-author kind of way, anyway)!

Okay, I’ll wait while you stampede over to the link above to get in on this event. ;-)

Pushy sales-pitch aside, this is a huge deal, I’m wondering why the heck I signed up because it’s waaaaay over my head, and I just want to make a good showing. Truth be told, the last author takeover/giveaway thing I did resulted in two people responding to my posts. One of whom was the event organizer. Not really sure what went wrong, because I’m pretty sure I was my usual fascinatingly witty self (*tongue in cheek*). Don’t go join just because you feel sorry for me. But it does seem like an awesome Facebook party, with lots of fabulous authors from all genres and lots of giveaways.

Better odds than the lottery. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 9

Letting the Muse Out

Image result for writing confessionby Margie Senechal

My Confession: With the exception of this blog and a few book reviews over on Goodreads, I have not written in weeks.

I have a myriad of reasons excuses. For example, I've been under the weather for a while. As I write this, my head is throbbing from a sinus headache which a collection of drugs and green apples--read that one on FB--have yet to vanquish.

Because of a co-worker's vacation followed by Christmas prep, my schedule's been all over the place. This week I had Monday and Wednesday off. I am too old for split days off. Just saying...

I haven't been inspired. Yeah, I know butt-in-chair works. 

I freeze up when I think about sending Suitcases to be critiqued or read or anything--even though I'm the one who practically begged for writerly sisterhood help. Go figure.

But then today, I was driving and thinking (and wishing my headache would go away) when I heard someone say, "I think I might be plagued by water."


This may or may not be part of Ree's story
Okay, that's actually my thought very often. But, this time the voice was younger than mine. "I was born under the sign of water and it's plagued me ever since."

"Tell me more," I said. And she did.

Her name is Ree and she's bi-racial. She's in foster care and her last chance looks like it might be ending soon. Her solution might seem pretty drastic, but it might also set her on a wonderful new journey.

Image result for pretty mailboxesI don't know if this is going anywhere, but it felt so good to create again. And my Muse seems to be giddy with the release--filling my thoughts and dreams with Ree's secrets.

Watch your mailboxes ladies, Suitcases to follow soon. How soon? Very soon.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 7

Life's what happens... @Nan Reinhardt

...when you're making other plans. Nan's life is going to change--for the good--when her family moves back to the Midwest soon after living in California for a long time. To make sure the kids really do move, Nan and Jim are spending some days helping them with the move. So Nan says. This is the only picture I've seen. You be the judge. :-)



In case you don't have it yet, don't miss getting your copy of Saving Sarah. It's a good, empowering story, the Wranglers' favorite kind!



Nan will be back next week, although she'll be on the road again. Wait and see where!

Liz