Friday, December 30, 2016

Blogging Themes for 2017

I’ve been working on my blogs for next year. This year it got a little derailed because of life stuff.
I’ve decided to try themes for next year. I’m alternating the themes between writing themes, and marketing, publishing themes. I’m planning to post on themes on Tuesday and then have guest authors sharing their thoughts on the theme of the month, info on their own writing and some fun stuff you might not know, plus they’re latest book on Thursday.
Here are the monthly themes for the year:
January – Theme - Genres
February – Self–pubbed/traditional/ other writing formats
March – Heroes
April – Covers
May – Heroines
June – Marketing
July – Settings
August – Reviews
September – Secondary characters
October – Pets – Yes/No/Why
November – Weather
December – Seasonal stories – Christmas/ Valentines/ Halloween

Hopefully you’ll check back to see what’s being said each month.
Or if you’d like to guest one of the months, let me know.
Hopefully 2017 will be a fun year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What Are You Reading?

Do read during the holidays? Do you have a list to be read (TBR) in January? How do you chose the books on your list?
I have to admit I haven’t been reading this last week. Holidays, cooking, eating, visiting and socializing got in the way. I am looking for good books to read during the next few weeks. I prefer mystery and romantic suspense. Sometimes women’s fiction. I have a few favorite authors I usually chose, but for the new year I thought I’d check out a few new authors.

Helena Fairfax recommended one her blog that sounded good – Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarity. This is also a Goodreads recommendation, so that’s going on my list.
Goodreads recommends It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover, End of Watch by Stephen King, and The Last Mile by David Baldacci.

The best sellers from Amazon included The Princess Diaries by Carrie Fisher, and Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star.

Also, The Power of Love and Murder by Benda Whitehall, Stone of Heaven by L. A Sartor, Rachel by Caroline Clemmons, and The Beast Within by Jacquie Biggar.

And I’ll be looking for other recommendations from authors I haven’t read. I’d love to hear who you’re reading.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions vary in each country. For many nations it means Christmas trees, real or artificial and lots of lights, exchanging Christmas cards, Christmas stockings or shoes, singing Christmas carols and the creation of the Nativity scene. Advent calendars are opened and Advent wreaths hung. Candy canes are in abundance and there’s Christmas dinner with the turkey and/or ham and all the trimmings. In Canada, we have pork sausage which we stuff in the turkey neck. The dressing goes in the cavity. We serve Christmas pudding and mincemeat pie.  And garlic sausage rings are great for appetizers. I know in the United States sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie is popular.
Then there’s the exchange of presents. Some expensive ones, but many homemade with love and others from local craft markets. There’s the burning of the Yule log in some countries.

Books and TV programs tell stories about Baby Jesus, Santa Claus, St. Nick, reindeer, and snow men. For many it may include a midnight Mass or Christmas Eve church service.

Christmas is three days away. We went to the Winterhaven Festival of Lights this year and I’ve never seen so many lights and displays in such a small area.

I'm writing this, playing Christmas carols, and singing along. One of my traditions. We put up Christmas lights and I’m ready to cook a turkey dinner. A few more traditions. I’ve made some glass fusion gifts and donated to several groups to help others at this time of year.  
What about you? What are your traditions?

Whatever they may be. Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Orleans or Wikipedia

When you pick a setting for your story do you place it somewhere you've been or that's familiar?
In this day we can research everything on the net, but is it as good as being there?
In my book, A Cruise to Remember, we had taken several cruises. I decided to set a novel on a cruise. I knew about cruises and the ports where we stopped.  I included them in the book.

The novel I'm writing is set in New Orleans. I have visited there several times so I know Bourbon street and that area. I don't know the residential areas around the French Quarter so I did have to use the internet to get a better feel for that area.

For my series set in Montana, on a ranch in fictional Duster, I had no experience with ranch life. I've driven through Montana a few times, but that's it. I hit the internet and got some information. Then I posted to a few groups I'm on and asked a questions about running a ranch. People were wonderful and I got lots of information. Hopefully it helped to make the setting more realistic.

So I use both for my settings. I'm more comfortable if I've been to the area, but Wikipedia, the internet and some loops can be very helpful.

What about you? How do you chose a setting? What's important in writing your setting?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Prologue and Epilogue

Victoria Chatham suggested this topic: Prologue and Epilogue. Do they have a use? Should they be used? Can you have one without the other? This topic was suggested by one of our group, Victoria Chatham. Be sure to check out her blog.
It’s an interesting topic. I’ve used both in drafts, and I’ve been called on it from a critique partner or editor. And I end up taking the prologue out and starting the story in a different place. They didn’t have a use in the stories when I really analyzed it. I think the first thing you need to decide is where should the story start. What’s the inciting moment? Does it change the direction of the story?

Now, does the reader need a prologue to give the background or can it be filtered into the story? I think if it’s a prologue it needs to be from a different time or setting.  If it’s back story it should be added in small doses throughout the story.
Epilogue can have a use, in my opinion. I have used them.  You write the story and tie up all the loose ends. The goal has been met.  The h/h have resolved their issues. The reader is satisfied. Right? Maybe, but sometimes you want to add a few little details that didn’t fit the quick paced ending.

For instance, it’s a series and after you wrote ‘The End’ and before the start of the next book, there was a marriage and maybe an adoption. It could be done in back story, but it’s more relative to the previous book. The reader may want to know what happened after ‘The End’.
If you do write an Epilogue and I think can be used, it should be short and include only the items you think the reader might be interested in.

Can you use one without the other? Absolutely. But make sure it’s necessary and there’s no other way to include information the reader will want. And it should be info the readers want – not what the writer wants to share.
I’m looking forward to hearing what other writers say, because this is a controversial topic.  Check out theses authors.
Margaret Fieland
Skye Taylor
Dr. Bob Rich
Marci Baun
A.J. Maguire
Victoria Chatham
Anne Stenhouse
Helena Fairfax
Connie Vines
Rachael Kosinski
Kay Sisk
Rhobin Courtright

Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Holidays and Writing

We’re into the biggest holiday season of the year. Christmas is in 10 days.
You have family, friends, baking, parties, maybe a job and you’re a writer. How do you balance it all? Do you quit writing? You can start again in January. 
Do you shop online? Do you skip baking or buy it at a local bakery? Do you skip parties to write?

I have a slight advantage. We snowbird, so I do Christmas cards the first week in November and mail them. I do my Christmas shopping a few weeks before we leave and hide them in the back of a funky closet in my home office.  A few days before Christmas I tell my daughter where they are and she can distribute them. And I don’t bake.
I did say ‘slight’ advantage. Because I’m in an RV park with all sorts of activities, so right now I’m doing glass fusion, genealogy and learning the ukulele. And all our neighbors get together several times a week to socialize.

So, when do I write. I spend early morning before I get up, thinking about my characters and the story. I might make a few notes. Then I set aside an hour and a half to write five days a week. If something interferes, I make sure I write fifteen minutes (even if it’s gibberish) before I go to bed. If for some reason I can’t, I try to add it to the time the next day.

It’s not perfect, but is it working for me? Mostly, yes, I’m hoping to finish Death Southern Style in the next few days.
What about you? How do you handle the holiday season?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas or Seasonal Stories

So, you’re going to write a Christmas story. Is it a novel, a novella, or a short story?

When do you write it? When do you publish it?

I am not writing this from experience but from considering what and when to write. Usually around October I think, yikes, I should be writing a Christmas novella. But I’m not in the mood for Christmas. No way could I write a novel at this time, probably not even novella.

For other occasions, Easter, Valentines Day, or Breast Cancer month I write a piece and it’s rejected because I should have sent it in 2 months earlier. So, I need to write it five or six months before I send it in.

It’s almost a new year and I’m looking at my goals for the next year. So, for Valentines day – I’m too late.
Easter, should be by early January.

I have to admit I have a problem getting in the mood four or five months in advance. It’s Christmas and New Year’s and I should be writing Easter stories.

My goal is to fit these novellas into a schedule five to six months before the event.

How do you fit the seasons into your writing plans? Do you need to be in the mood? What are you writing now?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Genre- How do You Decide?

I’ve got a book almost ready to publish. I’m almost ready to send it to my proof reader and get a cover.

I started to think about marketing. What genre do I put the book in?
I write romantic suspense. Some are western and other’s PI and detective. This one is a medical about cloning. It’s setting is a hospital. The cloning is designer children, and cloning for body part’s. There’s suspense, but I’m wondering if this fits into a sci-fi category. I don’t write sci-fi but this seems a little in that direction.

So when I market it – what do I say? I checked out Wikipedia and here’s some of the genres they define.
          Classic – fiction that has become part of an accepted literary canon, widely taught in schools
  • Crime/detective – fiction about a crime, how the criminal gets caught, and the repercussions of the crime
  • Fantasy – fiction with strange or otherworldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality
  • Historical fiction – story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting
  • Horror – fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both the characters and the reader
  • Mystery – this is fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets
  • Science fiction – story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets
  • Short story – fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots
  • Suspense/thriller – fiction about harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm
  • Western  – set in the American Old West frontier and typically set in the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century
If you write a straight romance, or western it’s easy, but what if you cross genres, how do you decide where your book works?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Eleanor Webster's Latest Harlequin Historical

About Eleanor Webster

Eleanor Webster has a passion for many things, the most ardent likely being shoes.

But she’s also passionate about a story well told.  With the help of some debutantes and viscounts and a twist of the unknown, Eleanor’s stories weave a tale of enchantment, hope, and most importantly, love.

When not writing, you’ll find Eleanor dreaming of being a world traveler, reading, running, reading, hiking in the wilds of British Columbia, where she makes her home with her husband and two daughters, and – did we mention reading?

Connect with Eleanor





Married for His Convenience

Tainted by illegitimacy, plain Sarah Martin has no illusions of a grand marriage. So when the Earl of Langford makes her a proposal that will take her one step closer to finding her half sister, she can't refuse!

Sebastian's dreams of romance died with his late wife's affair, so now he needs a convenient wife to act as governess for his silent daughter. Yet Sarah continues to surprise and challenge him, and soon Sebastian can't deny the joy his new bride could bring to his life—and into his bed!

Available November 22, 2016




Google Play:


Dramatic events never happened to her. Ever.

‘If I remove my hand, do you promise not to scream?’ The voice was male. Warm breath touched her ear.

Sarah nodded. The man loosened his hold. She turned.

Her eyes widened as she took in his size, the breadth of his shoulders and the midnight-black of his clothes.

‘Good God, you’re a woman,’ he said.

‘You’’re a gentleman.’ For the cloth he wore was fine and not the roughened garb of a common thief.

She grabbed on to these details as though, through their analysis, she would make sense of the situation.

‘What was your purpose for spying on me?’ His gaze narrowed, his voice calm and without emotion.

‘Spying? I don’t even know you.’ The rabbit squirmed and she clutched it more tightly.

‘Then why are you hiding?’

‘I’m not. Even if I were, you have no reason to accost me.’ Her cheeks flushed with indignation as her fear lessened.

He dropped his hand, stepping back. ‘I apologise. I thought you were a burglar.’

‘We tend not to get many burglars in these parts. Who are you anyway?’

‘Sebastian Hastings, Earl of Langford, at your service.’

He made his bow. ‘And a guest at Eavensham.’

‘A guest? Then why are you in the kitchen garden?’

‘Taking the air,’ he said.

‘That usually doesn’t involve accosting one’s fellow man.

You are lucky I am not of a hysterical disposition.’


Briefly, she wondered if wry humour laced his voice,

but his lips were straight and no twinkle softened his expression. In the fading light, the strong chin and cheekbones looked more akin to a statue than anything having the softness of flesh.

At this moment, the rabbit thrust its head free of the shawl.

‘Dinner is running late, I presume.’ Lord Langford’s eyes widened, but he spoke with an unnerving lack of any natural surprise.

‘The creature is hurt and I need to bandage him, except Mr. Hudson, the butler, is not fond of animals and I wanted to ensure his absence.’

‘The butler has my sympathies.’

Sarah opened her mouth to respond but the rabbit, suddenly spooked, kicked at her stomach as it clawed against the shawl. Sarah gasped, doubling over, instinctively whispering the reassurances offered by her mother after childhood nightmares.

‘You speak French?’


‘French? You are fluent?’

‘What? Yes, my mother spoke it—could we discuss my linguistic skills later?’ she gasped, so intent on holding the rabbit that she lost her footing and stumbled against the man. His hand shot out. She felt his touch and the strangely tingling pressure of his strong fingers splayed against her back.

 ‘Are you all right?’

 ‘Yes—um—I was momentarily thrown off balance.’

She straightened. They stood so close she heard the intake of his breath and felt its whisper.

‘Perhaps,’ she added, ‘you could see if the butler is in the kitchen? I do not know how long I can keep hold of this fellow.’

‘Of course.’ Lord Langford stepped towards the window as though spying on the servants were an everyday occurrence. ‘I can see the cook and several girls, scullery maids, I assume. I believe the butler is absent.’

‘Thank you. I am obliged.’

Tightening her hold on the rabbit, Sarah paused, briefly reluctant to curtail the surreal interlude. Then, with a nod of thanks, she stooped to pick up the valise.

‘Allow me,’ Lord Langford said, opening the door. ‘You seem to have your hands full.’

‘Er—thank you.’ She glanced up. The hallway’s flickering oil lamp cast interesting shadows across his face, emphasising the harsh line of his cheek and chin and the blackness of his hair.

She stepped inside and exhaled as the door swung shut, conscious of relief, regret and an unpleasant wobbliness in both her stomach and knees.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Writing Habits

Do you have a writing schedule? Do you write everyday?
One of the things I’ve always been told is you need to write everyday.

It’s a habit that many good writers follow. I run a BIAW four times a year for my writing group, Kiss of Death. The message I try to get across to the participants is that the purpose of BIAW is to develop a habit of writing every day. The actual word count is secondary. If it’s 100 words every day for the week, you’re on track for making your writing a habit. Then you need to keep it up after BIAW finishes.
Maybe find a writing partner and post totals every day. It’s the accountability factor. If you’re being honest and have to check in with someone everyday it should encourage you to write a few words w everyday.

People tell me they didn’t have time to write – family interfered, it was a long day at work.
My reply is, you can find a few minutes. What about ten minutes before you go to bed? Or maybe 15 minutes during a lunch hour if you work? Or get up ten minutes earlier and write?

Other things such as NaNo, to me, it’s not so much finishing, it’s writing a few words every day.

How badly do you want it? Can you find a few minutes every day?
Do you write every day? How do you manage it?