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, August 31, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Now don't get me wrong. I appreciate quiet. As a writer, it's essential. What I'm talking about here is silence as a response. You know those Christmas cards you send to old friends, closing your note with "I'd love to hear how you're doing?" And the doubt you feel when nothing comes back--not a note, not a phone call, not even a card the next Christmas? Don't they like you anymore? Do they even remember who you are?
Moral to this post--reward your authors by breaking the silence. Don't take it for granted that they know you like their work. Don't assume they won't care what you have to say. Write a review, or if you're not a reviewer, send them a message on Facebook or an email. Whether your favorites are household name bestsellers or yet to be heard of indies, if they're still breathing, they're waiting to hear from you.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
We haven't even reached the middle of August yet, and for some reason, I'm feeling restless. Not that I don't have plenty to do--there's the garden and that pesky reno of the dining room, not to mention any number of housekeeping projects. But the truth is, while I'm not writing another book just yet, I feel the need to do something at least a little bit writer-ish.
So here's what I'm thinking--why not have a little giveaway, or two or three? See if we can liven things up a little. I'll get to see who is or is not finding their way here, and some of you will get free books.
It's really very simple. You're already here on the blog. There are seven previews of my new book, Katie Lost and Found, in the posts this month and last. Just go to the preview mentioned in the question, find the answer--I promise it's as obvious as the nose on your face--and post it in the comments along with your name. On the third day, I'll put the names in a hat and draw a winner, who will receive their choice of a download of any of my books. Then I'll post another question, and so on. Depending on how things go, we could do this for the rest of the month, right? That would add up to six questions and six winners.
So here we go. Question number one--winner to be announced on the evening of August 17.
In Preview #1, http://valleyrise.blogspot.com/2014/07/katie-lost-and-found-preview-1.html, Tess and Cami are discussing the guests expected to arrive at Walnut Lodge that evening. Name the guest booked into the carriage house and his occupation.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
So my latest novel, Katie Lost and Found, is up and selling. I've spent the past seven months or so fabricating a 100 plus-year-old mansion in Middle of Nowhere, Kansas, filling it with all the furnishings and ambiance of a luxury inn, populating it with a crew of sympathetic characters, and telling the first of the stories in the series I plan to base around all of this. Done. Crossed off the list.
What do I do next? You'd think the answer would be as glaringly obvious as the bare windows and scarred walls of my dining room, wouldn't you? For the next month or two, I should devote every free hour and all my admittedly limited energy to making that room the beautiful centerpiece of our home it was meant to be. I should patch cracks, sand molding, spackle, paint, sew drapes, refinish a couple pieces of furniture, and hunt down a set of chairs before I even think of writing another book. Shouldn't I?
So here's where I am right now. I'm going to get started in earnest on the dining room. Thanksgiving is getting closer, after all, and I promised jokingly back in May that I'd have it done at least by then. To keep myself honest, I'm going to post my progress here. But, I'm pretty sure I'm also going to start work on another book, which I'll also post about here as I get underway, just for variety's sake.
Here I go, easing away from this intersection. What I know for sure is not what I should or could be doing, but what I can do if I try. I love working on this old house, despite the sweat and dust and sore joints. And I have to write, as surely as I have to eat and sleep. Doing one or the other isn't really an option right now. Doing both should end up rewarding me in two very satisfying ways. I hope you'll join me! This should be fun!
Monday, August 4, 2014
Click here for Katie Lost and Found--Available exclusively from Amazon.com
Saturday, August 2, 2014
|Katie Lost and Found|
He’d fallen hard and fast, to the point that breaking his own rules, not to mention those of his employer, seemed more than worth the risk. By the time they reached Paris, he was scheming to lure her to his room, where he prayed she’d let down her hair, literally—that braid was driving him crazy with its teasing curls—and join him in his fantasies. As fate would have it, they were housed in separate hotels. The only time they saw each other was on the tour bus taking them around the city. Still, he made his move, slipping her his room number on a note suggesting they spend their one free afternoon together. “I dream of being with you, Katie. Will you make my dreams come true?”
Peter winced at the memory of that note. Had he ever been so young? And had the woman he’d just encountered really been the object of his reckless obsession? Rising, he went to the window in hopes of catching sight of her again. In his memory of Katie, her body had been soft and inviting, full breasts and rounded hips. The curves were still there, although she was thinner, but there was a strength about her that felt unyielding in his arms. He found himself wanting to explore this woman much as he had the girl he’d first made love to in Paris.
“I was praying you’d come!”
In his exhilaration, he’d moved too fast. By the time the second button of her shirt was undone, so was Katie. Squirming out of his embrace, she’d shoved him hard, hissing “What are you doing? You invited me here to. . .to. . .what? Attack me?”
“No! Oh, no, liefje. I invited you here to love you!” Stepping back, hands raised in surrender, he was terrified of what might come next. While losing his job would be catastrophic, having Katie angry with him for the duration of the tour would be almost as bad.
But Katie seemed pacified. “Well, that’s different I guess.” Advancing on him, she’d given him another shove, sending him sprawling across the narrow bed. “But first we’re going to talk.”
Their talk began with the details of his sexual history. When she was satisfied that he had adequate experience, she made her own disclosures. She was not a virgin, she wanted him to know, but she’d only been with two boys who hadn’t convinced her sex was worth the trouble. She was counting on him to prove otherwise. Furthermore, she wanted him to explain exactly what he was going to do, so there wouldn’t be any surprises.
“You want me to describe what I’m going to do before I do it?” Ever so subtly, he started unbraiding her hair, pretending a calm he was far from feeling.
“That would be the best way, don’t you think?”
“I suppose. What if you want me to stop? Will you tell me, liefje?” He spread her loosened hair around her shoulders, running his fingers through the heavy waves.
The motion seemed to relax her. Resting her head on his shoulder, she sighed. “Of course. What does that mean, what you keep calling me?”
Pressing a kiss to her forehead, he answered, “Sweetheart, liefje. And what will you be doing while I’m describing each step?” His hand moved to her shoulders, stroking slow circles down her back, confirming his suspicions that she wasn’t wearing a bra.
“I don’t know. What should I be doing?” She raised her head, her eyes heavy-lidded with desire as they met his.
“Whatever you like.” Drawing her into his arms, he chuckled. “And I won’t need any warning, unless you’re planning to shove me again.”