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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Ever-morphing Blurb

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a blurb is defined as "A brief publicity notice, as on a book jacket. [Coined by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), American humorist.]

I'm glad to learn Mr. Burgess was a humorist, but this particular bit of humor escapes me.  Blurbs, by my definition, are  major pains in the posteriors of most authors.  When required to sum up in a concise paragraph or two the plot, characters, setting and merit of my own work, any talent I have for clever phrasing instantly evaporates.  Most of the writers I know would gladly pay to have someone else write their blurbs, if they only had a budget for such luxuries. 

That said, the one luxury we do have is the open-ended opportunity to get it right.  At least on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, with the click of a key or two, I can change up the "product description" (KDP speak for blurb) as often as I can come up with fresh inspiration.  I'm sad to report that inspiration doesn't come along too often, but today, for some unknown reason, I decided to give it a shot.  The blurb for the first book in my series was looking a little sad, a tad flat and in need of plumping up a bit.  Sort of like a well-used sofa cushion, it wasn't all that inviting anymore.  After a good half-hour of word-play, here's what I came up with. 

A secret Christmas homecoming, a blinding snowstorm, and in the course of one night two shattered lives will be changed forever.

Nineteen-year-old Emily Haynes had lost almost everything she loved.  Relying on what seems to be guidance from her invalid father, she returns to her past in hopes of discovering some sign toward the future.  What begins as a joyous homecoming quickly becomes a nightmare when a badly injured stranger stumbles on the scene, his brief presence threatening to alter everything she believes about herself and the plan for her life.  A less determined girl might have been shaken by such an experience, but not Emily.  She is certain she's made the right choice, so certain that in the following three years, she almost convinces herself.

Superstar violinist Stani Moss appeared to have everything--fame, fortune and a career guaranteed to bring more of the same, until one hasty decision placed it all in jeopardy.  Terrified and confused, he struggles not only to recover his former skill, but to find answers to the questions which haunt him.  Throughout his slow journey back, one image lingers in his buried memories of that fateful night--the vision of a girl he's never met.  The journey will eventually lead him to Emily, and beyond that day, everything about his life will be transformed.

Set in the years around 1970, Hearts Unfold begins the saga of two people whose paths should never have crossed, who defy the odds to create a life they can share.  The first of four volumes in the Miracle at Valley Rise Series, this novel could stand alone as a triumphant tale of romance, but there's much more to the story, as Emily and Stani reveal their pasts and strive to bridge the distance between their worlds.  Follow their progress, be entertained by their adventures, and perhaps be inspired by their unwavering belief in the transforming power of love.

I know I have no objectivity when it comes to a book I've spent much of the past two years writing.  I can only hope these paragraphs give a potential reader some clue as to the story I've tried to tell.  This blurb will have a chance to work it's magic, assuming it has any, of course, in the next few months, because for the moment, there's nothing more I can think of to say. 

I'd love to have your comments on this or any of my posts!


  1. That's a darn good blurb. Blurbs and synposis are the hardest, but I believe you do it quite well.

  2. Thanks Jennifer! You'd think after enough attempts, it wouldn't be so hard! Maybe we're overthinking the whole process. On the other hand, we've been told over and over how ESSENTIAL a good hook is. Scary!