Friday, January 18, 2019

Love Those Secondary Characters

Our first Group Blog of the New Year and it’s a great one. How do you develop secondary characters? Do you even have a favorite secondary character?
I thought I’d start with the definition.  The secondary character is more than just a minor character and is responsible for progressing the story in some way. He or she is necessary to the story because this character reveals key details, motivates the protagonist, foils the protagonist, or helps define the story’s setting. The secondary character almost always interacts with the protagonist on some level, be it through dialogue or a memory that the protagonist has of this secondary character. They help us show, not tell.

I develop mine much like I do my main characters but with less detail. I decide who needs a friend or someone to talk to, someone who helps move the story forward. Then I do a little back story, a description, some personality traits and some good and bad points. I may not write about any of it, but it helps get the feel of the secondary character. As with the main characters, I get to know them better as the story progresses, but as secondary characters I write them a little looser and can have fun with them. I was once warned not to like them too much, or they could take over the story.
Hmm, a favorite secondary character… I love Gran in my Hawkins’ Ranch series. She’s the matriarch of the family and a busy body, who moves a lot of the stories forward, especially the romance part. And Betty, who owns the Diner which is gossip center, and she knows everything and loves the townspeople. And from the Foundation, The Fourth Victim, there’s Link Stone, (for entirely different reasons) the security officer and Carly’s semi-bodyguard, but he’s being elevated in the next book. I’m looking forward to reading what other authors have to say. Please join me by checking them out.

Skye Taylor
Margaret Fieland
Helena Fairfax
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier
Connie Vines
Judith Copek
Victoria Chatham
Rhobin L Courtright

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Caroline Clemmons Latest Release

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Caroline: Most of my books are western historical romances. I love history, especially post Civil War 19th century American history. I love the Southwest. 
I’ve also written contemporary romance, time travel, a cozy mystery, and a traditional mystery. I love to read all of those and wanted to write what I enjoy reading. The only other things I read are women’s fiction and Regency. I might get around to writing those eventually.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Caroline: My father was a big influence. He taught me that one could write about anything by using imagination. I had an excellent journalism teacher who inspired me. Strangely enough, it was my mother-in-law who suggested I write novels. I used to write pages and pages in weekly letters to my family members. My mother-in-law said that the vignettes I wrote about our life were like reading a book. She brought me a large grocery bag of romance books to read. I got hooked on romance books and decided to write one.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Caroline: Sitting at my computer snaps me into writing mode. I don’t enjoy using my laptop although I do when we travel. I like my little pink office and my computer set up. A lot of my favorite things are here. Ideas come from everywhere.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Caroline: I don’t now but I did as a child. I loved Bugs Bunny and pestered my dad to read me the Bugs Bunny cartoon in the evening paper every day while my mom finished supper. Dad taught me to read very early, and I say it was because he got tired of reading Bugs Bunny. Actually, it was because he thought education was valuable and didn’t think the school taught me enough.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Caroline: Queen Elizabeth II because she fascinates me. She is really quite an admirable person.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Caroline:  Read, of course. I’d love to read without feeling guilty for reading instead of writing or cleaning house.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Caroline: I’m actually working on two things, unusual for me. One is a novella in the Kincaid series, MONK’S BRIDE. The other is book two in the Pearson Grove series. Both are set in Texas. 

Blurb for Garnet
Garnet is a sweet historical western in the Widows of Wildcat Ridge Series.

Garnet Chandler is fighting to hold onto her cafĂ©, her niece and nephew, and her sanity after the deaths of her husband, his brother, and his sister-in-law. A persistent prowler and the threat of losing custody of her niece and nephew spur her to action. She doesn’t need another man, but she needs a husband long enough to convince the children’s grandparents she can offer them a stable home.

Bounty hunter Adam Bennett was ready to settle down when his friend was killed by a horse thief. He set out to capture the man who had also killed a guard when escaping prison. Adam must have let down his defenses because the man he followed and two cohorts waylaid Adam, beating him and stealing all his possessions before kicking him down a steep ravine. Adam is determined to capture the three as soon as he heals from their encounter.
Garnet and Adam join forces to achieve both their goals but will that be enough?

Excerpt from Garnet
A loud rap at the back door startled her. She kept the curtains closed unless they were serving food and she couldn’t see who had knocked.

Joey grabbed his stick. “Don’t answer it. Might be the robber there.”
She wiped her hands on her apron. “Or a friend who needs something.” Joey didn’t know the Colt was in her apron pocket. After taking a deep, bracing breath, she opened the door.

The dirtiest man she’d ever seen stood there. His beard was as dirty as his clothes. Fresh cuts showed through the mud on his face. He was tall and broad-shouldered but looked as if he could barely stand.
“Ma’am, my name is Adam Bennett. Please don’t be put off by my appearance. I was robbed up the mountain a ways and lost all my gear. I’m mighty hungry. If you need anything done, I like to work for a meal.”

Joey was by her side. “He isn’t the one from last night.” All the same, her nephew kept his pick handle in his hand.
“We’re the Chandlers. Come in and sit down. Wait, wash your hands and face at the sink first. You can’t handle food while you’re that filthy.”

While the man washed his hands, she filled a plate from leftovers and poured a cup of coffee. “Joey, please get my medicine box from upstairs.”
He leaned close. “I don’t think I should leave you alone while he’s here.”

Joey took being man of the family seriously. “Oh, all right. Hyacinth, would you get the medicine box for me?”
“How come he doesn’t have to and I do?” Usually sweet, Hyacinth was a bit spoiled and definitely jealous of her brother.”

“Because Mr. Bennett is injured and needs our help. Please hurry.”

Her niece stomped up the stairs while muttering under her breath, her golden curls bouncing with each step.
When Garnet glanced at the man, she saw he’d wolfed down his food. “I’ll get you more. How long since you’ve eaten?”

“Not sure how long I was in and out of consciousness up there. They attacked me on Saturday. What day is this?”
“Monday. No wonder you’re hungry.” She set another plate of food in front of him and refilled his cup.

Buy Link for Garnet

You can find Caroline on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.
Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.
Follow her on BookBub.
Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?
She loves to hear from readers at

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Where Do You Get Your Characters?

Things people ask when they hear I’m a writer and before their eyes glaze over:
- Are you published? (at least now they’ve accepted being published on e-readers)
- where do you get your ideas?
- who are your characters based on?

So, who are your characters based on? Mine come from various places. I usually have a plot in mind first, then I start thinking about the main characters. My latest release, The Fourth Victim – Sara’s Story has seven main characters and two supporting characters plus two villains and a few others. (I know, way too many characters but I couldn’t figure out anyway to cut them).
My idea was to have women helping women from difficult and often potentially fatal situations. So, I came up with three women who meet in university. They become friends. They come different backgrounds but besides getting their degree they had a few things in common. They have access to money and a strong desire to help women. They volunteer at women’s shelters during college and help set up a few new ones. Then they decide to help women from difficult situations and train to do this. They form The Foundation.

I continue to develop and flesh out the characters, maybe there’s a little of my own desire to help women become stronger in there, but the characters aren’t based on any specific person. As they become stronger and more effective, they decide to train other women to do the same thing and more characters are added. All based on my imagination, character check lists and question, and types that would work in that situation – and a little paranormal wouldn’t hurt either. check out The Fourth Victim on my website at

The only time I’ve used people I know is if someone annoys me and I put them in as a character that I can eliminate inn the story.

What about you? Where do your characters come from? Are they based on people you know?

Thursday, January 10, 2019


A few years ago, I read my first romance novel and I was hooked, so much so that I decided to give the idea of writing a story a chance. My style is more gritty than sweet and I look forward to writing many more stories with strong heroines and imperfect but determined characters. Love, courage, hope, and second chances are a few of my favorite themes. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time outside and finding ways to avoid cooking. I live in beautiful Virginia with my husband, two daughters, and a sweet, hairy monster of a dog.

BEVERLEY: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
CHRISTINA: I prefer writing paranormal romance with a major suspense element. I like the paranormal genre because I can bend reality to create a strange, extraordinary version of reality. I add a dose of suspense to everything I write because I have always loved to read stories that keep me wondering what will happen next.
BEVERLEY: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
CHRISTINA: When I was a kid, I loved writing down short stories and poems just for fun. My grandmother Marie and my great aunt Margaret used to give me beautiful blank journals. They would tell me to write whatever I wanted inside and encouraged me to keep filling up my notebooks. It wasn’t until much later in life that I thought about sharing any of the stories and poems I wrote. Sometimes, when I’m stuck on a chapter and can’t think of what should come next, I think about those notebooks I had as a kid and how at first, I didn’t want to put anything inside on the pages because I didn’t want to ruin the pretty notebooks. Eventually, I filled the notebooks with some stories I thought were good, some that I never finished, and some that were pretty awful. But nothing happens when the pages get left blank. Only stillness and frustration.
BEVERLEY: What gets your creative juices flowing?
CHRISTINA: I often listen to music while I write. Every now and then, a song hits me in just the right way and I find myself writing page after page. I even include references to a few particular songs in my stories. In Wolf’s Challenge, I named a nightclub Midnight Blue after the Lou Gramm song of the same name. In Bear’s Edge, I always imaged the hero, Grant, working out to a playlist of Rush, Korn, Social Distortion, and Ozzy Osbourne. 
BEVERLEY: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
CHRISTINA: Jerry, the mouse from Tom and Jerry. Though he was smaller than Tom, the cat, Jerry managed to stay alive, not by cowering in the corner and waiting for Tom to be gone, but by being clever. Tom made the best of the situation of having a cat in the house by going on the offensive and terrorizing Tom, even if that meant a little danger and risk.
BEVERLEY: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
CHRISTINA: I honestly don’t know. Many of my heroes and childhood favorites have proven to be less than stellar human beings. I think I’d rather just assume the few people that I do still admire are decent and avoid a one on one conversation that could possibly destroy that illusion.
BEVERLEY: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
CHRISTINA: I would grab a few of my friends that I don’t get to see as often as I would like and we would head to the beach to spend the day swimming, shopping, and trying different restaurants.
BEVERLEY: What are you working on now?
CHRISTINA: I’m working on book 3 in the Stranger Creatures series. In book 3, Detective Nikki Jackson isn’t looking for love. She has a great job and some other side work that keeps her busy. When a strong, quiet, dark-eyed man arrives in Great Oaks to assist Nikki on a case, she’s determined to keep things professional. So is he. And yet…

Blurb for Wolf’s Challenge
When Sydney left Seattle two years ago, she was scared, traumatized, and done with men for good. Now she has a good job, a hobby that's fast becoming a second career, and best of all, she's adopted a little girl named Angel. Life is good and Sydney's not about to let charming lawyer Derrick mess that up, no matter how sexy he is, or how sweet he seems. 
Things aren't always as they appear in the town of Great Oaks, Virginia. Derrick isn’t the ladies’ man Sydney thinks he is, but he does have a few secrets, such as his ability to transform into a powerful wolf at will. 
Can Derrick convince Sydney to give him a chance, something more than her elusive maybe? More importantly, should he? He's still trying to forgive himself for being at the wheel during the accident that killed his son. Losing Sydney when she learns the truth might break him, but he's pretty sure not having her in his life would be just as bad.

A troubled woman running from her guilty conscience has Sydney and Derrick in her crosshairs, and she’ll do whatever it takes to win her game. Will Sydney and Derrick survive long enough to be together?

Buy Links for Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures Book 1):
Barnes and Noble:

You can find Christina at:
Amazon author page:

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The New Year and Goal Setting

The New Year is moving along quickly and I’m slogging along behind, trying to catch up.
Everyone is busy doing new year resolutions. Do you make resolutions? Do you keep them? And if you do, for how long?

I gave up making resolution years ago because they never worked and then I felt guilty when I broke them, so I switched to making goals. It’s kind of nice when you start a new year to think about where you’ve been in 2018 and evaluate those goals and then focus on things that you’d like to accomplish in 2019. I try to make them realistic and measurable.  For example, last year I said I wanted to start sending out newsletters a few times a year. I managed to send one out before the end o the year – so I accomplished that goal.
I usually divide my goals up into at least two different categories – my personal goals and my writing goals, which is what I did this year.  For my personal goals – do I want to lose weight? Of course I do, but will I?  Who knows?  Instead my goal is to eat healthy. I’m going to follow the Mediterranean Diet which is the top diet for healthy eating.  My main goal is to be healthier, reduce and keep my blood pressure low and feel better. I also want to increase my exercise and aim for 7,000 -10,000 steps daily. And I’d like to work on time management. This also works with my writing goals.

My writing goals start with time management. I want to be more organized, so I write every day, even a few minutes and find some time to keep up with marketing and promotion.  I want to sed out 4 newsletters this year, do one or two guest blogs a month. I want to spend more time on the business of writing and learning about it, do more promos and gift books, do a few more ads.
We’ll see how I do. I’d love to hear some of your goals for 2019.