Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Story or voice?

Yesterday on my Facebook page--here it is, come join me--I asked friends and followers there what they'd been reading lately. I asked largely because I'd just finished such a great book, Just In Time, by Marie Bostwick, and have enjoyed the responses because they've all differed so much from each other. And they made me think of another few questions. Since I was supposed to blog today, I figured I'd ask them here.

What means the most to you in a book? Once you've bought it, whether because of the cover, the blurb, the author, the title, or the fact that it was either free or on sale, what keeps you there? And, while I'm asking, how long do you give it before you decide not to finish?

When I ask what "keeps you there," what I really want to know is whether it's the story or the writing. Personally, I can read the dullest story in the world if it's written in a voice that invites me into the conversation. If the setting is described so that I'm there getting my feet wet in the creek and swatting at mosquitoes, I want to stay. If the emotion makes my heart hurt or tears roll or gets me smiling when there's no one to smile at, I'm there. The story is secondary. 

If it's the best story in the world and has won more awards than most of us have ever dreamed of but the writing isn't evocative to me, I probably won't finish. I'll check out the ending and I won't ever give it a bad review, but I won't seek out other books by that particular author, either. 

I give a story a minimum of two chapters before I decide it's not going to work for me. Or, occasionally, I order the sample Amazon offers. I usually know by the end of that--I'm not sure how long those are--whether it's a keeper or not. 

On the same subject, but not really, does anyone else find that they enjoy audio-books by people whose writing they normally can't or don't or won't read? I do, often, and would love to have a viable explanation for it. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Loving Logan - Pre-order news! by @BonnieEdwards #GemsinAttic

I'm so excited to share that the second book in my Return to Welcome series is now up for pre-order. Early buyers will get a chance to read the story of Elle Foster and Logan Hughes for only 99c. Loving Logan will be released July 1.
Pre-Order 99c

Here's a bit more about the story:

She has three rules: Don’t date. Don’t sleep with the boss. Don’t believe in happily-ever-after.

Elle Foster left Welcome broke, pregnant, and with a bad-girl rep. Now, she’s returned to Welcome, still broke, with four children, but has vowed to never get pregnant again.

Logan Hughes is younger and establishing a new business. Adopted, he wants nothing more than to have a family of his own.

He needs an assistant and Elle needs the work…

A pirate raider lurks inside Logan and when he lets him loose, even a determined woman can fall under his spell. And that sexy pirate may make Elle Foster break all her rules.

Can Logan give up fatherhood for the one woman he wants more than life itself?


About Welcome, WA...

Ahhh....the lovely town of Welcome, WA where no one is welcome to return. I created Welcome when I wanted to write about a homecoming that didn't go smoothly. And now I know why! This idyllic town with the lovely bakery, the tree-lined streets, and friendly faces is not what it seems.

Jealousy and old grudges with a dollop of nasty gossip make Welcome...well...less than welcoming. (and makes for some comic relief)

And I love a good play on words, don't you? I hope you enjoy my newest romance series and know I'm winking when I say: Welcome home!

In other news Book 1, Finding Mercy is now available in print! 
Finding Mercy in Print
Bonnie Edwards lives with her husband and pets on the rainy coast of British Columbia. She has written novels, novellas and short stories for Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself. For more deals and progress reports on new books subscribe: Bonnie's Newsy Bits

Look for more exciting releases on her website.  https://www.bonnieedwards.com/

Follow her:




Monday, June 18, 2018

The Excitement of 'The Chase'

Or ... as authors often call it ... finding a new plot.

As great as it feels to come up with a new story idea, the hard work behind 'the chase' is not all that glamorous. Both authors and readers long for a new idea, an unusual twist to a standard plot.

Romances of the 1960's and early 70's were filled with doctor heroes and their steadfast nurse or receptionist heroines. A singular twist was the widowed doctor hero who falls for his child's nanny. If the book had a foreign setting the hero was most likely a Prince or Sheikh.

In the late 70's and early 80's romances added in suspense. By the late 80's, love scenes had come out in the open. All the major publishers were adding racier lines to their catalog. Still, no swear words, and body parts were still euphemisms rather than the real bold thing.

The late 1980's and early 1990's saw a rise in shorter historical romances. No longer the 300+ page saga, Shorter, quicker, but equally satisfying reads could be found with more emphasis on the relationship than on the history.

And, just as the genre was changing, so were the authors' careers. As story lines got bolder, so did the writers creating them.

My very first romance novel was, as you might guess, a Precious Gem! Published in 1996, Courting Trouble was a typical sweet category romance. Looking back now, I realize I might have been ahead of my time because I'd created a "foodie" romance long before they were a thing.

With a small town sheriff for my hero, and a cookbook author for my heroine, I'd set a personal bar for myself that my second book would have to beat.

My second book also sold to the Precious Gem line but, unfortunately was lost when the line closed unexpectedly. I tucked the book away and didn't bring it back out until 2014 when, revamped, I sold it to Soul Mate Publishing. This was my take on a plot twist. Home is Where the Hunk is became my backward secret baby book. It featured a father who knew he was the father but had no idea who'd given his child life.

Winner of the 2015 International Digital Award for Contemporary Romance, this book will always be one of my favorites.

In between Courting Trouble and Home is Where the Hunk is, there were many other books in a variety of genres. Everything from vintage historical (1960's and 70's) to futuristic fantasy to erotic romance. Hey, a girl's got to keep her options open!

What's next? What new idea? What plot twist?

At the moment, I've chosen to take on a classic. I'm giving The Wizard of Oz a face lift. Waking Up in Oz is my vintage take on the infamous story. With any luck, I've twisted it just enough to make it new again.

Until next month, happy reading and creative writing!

Nancy




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

One Favorite Book? by @lcrandallwriter

I like to play games with my husband. I don't mean things like manipulation or power plays, I mean simple things like "ever have you ever?" My games often don't make sense and they certainly don't matter a lot. It's just fun.

One game is, what movie have we seen that actor in? Another has been what three things do you hate doing? And what three things are most fun doing? It's not unusual to learn new things about him while playing games, which fascinates me because we've been married many years. For this particular game, I learned he doesn't like to negotiate for lower prices, say on a new car. That blew me out of the water. He is very good at it. When I told our kids that he doesn't like it, they were shocked. "What! No way!"

My games typically are impromptu. Last night I asked him, "What is your all time most favorite book?" That stumped him. He is a voracious reader and has enjoyed many, many books. That was his answer -- "I've liked a lot of books." I persisted. "What one book is your favorite?" Then I asked myself and I was stumped. Geez, I've been reading and loving books since I was a young child. I still remember reading The Poky Little Puppy over and over and over.

This morning my husband had two answers, one nonfiction book and one fiction, but both were books about characters expanding and becoming more than they'd been before. The Great Bridge, by David McCullough, chronicled the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, which took enormous perseverance, intelligence, and devotion. The second book, Take Me With You by Kathryn Ryan Hyde, really touched my husband's heart. It featured a main character showing two children the world and forging life-long friendships and heartfelt admiration.

Me? I'm still trying to narrow down my list of favorite books to one.

So what about you? Can you name one favorite book and share why you love it?


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

No Place Like Home by Karen Kelley


     Just over two years ago Karl and I became full time RVers. We bit the bullet and downsized from 2,000 sq feet to app 300 sq feet. It took us over a year just to do that. When you've been married as long as we have you collect a lot of "stuff".

     Even though we rarely traveled beyond our small Texas town, pop. 3,000, we were ready for this new adventure. We sold the house, moved into our fifth wheel, and took off. In the last 26 months we've visited 39 fabulous states, made a few blunders along the way, and had the best time of our lives.

     We were getting ready to pull out of Tifton, Georgia on April 23rd when Karl's left lung collapsed. We were terrified. After four days in the Tifton hospital, they transported him to Emory hospital in Atlanta because the hole in his lung was "really big" and wasn't closing on it's own.

     Family comes first, always. I put my writing on hold as Karl and I prepared for his first surgery--ever. He did great, but in recovery developed another leak, even though it was smaller than the first one. We were devastated. It took around 3 weeks for it to close on it's own.

     We made the decision to head back to Texas and stay in one place for a while so that Karl could recuperate, make doctor appointments, get a smaller oxygen system set up, and I can catch up on my writing. It was a good decision. After traveling for 26 months, we're both ready to stay put for a while.

     BUT, will we get the itch to start traveling again, or  will we take off again for parts unknown? Who knows. There is something to the saying, 'no place like home' and Texas is home. We love the Hill Country, but there's always going to be a bit of an adventurer in us.

     So, are you an adventurer, or are you a stay put type person? Or maybe a little of both?

 
Have a great day!
Karen Kelley
www.authorkarenkelley.com

Subscribe to this Blog!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner