Two Romances

I recently read two very different romance novels in which the authors couldn’t be further apart.  Sisters and Rivals was written by an Australian writer while Second Chance Romance was written by an American Southern writer.

Second Chance Romance is Jill Weatherholt’s debut novel while Sisters and Rivals  is one of thirty or so books published by Margaret Lynette Sharp.

Yet, they have in common their ability to create characters which draw you in, whether they are sweet and kind or selfish and sneaky.

Sisters and Rivals by [Sharp, Margaret Lynette]

It’s the mid nineteen fifties, and the nascent romance of two young Sydneysiders is about to be challenged. The heroine, Linda, is being courted by an ambitious young carpenter named Harry. Seemingly without effort, he passes the scrutiny of her parents and they encourage her alliance with him.

Trouble brews, though, when her sister Tessa lays eyes on him and, despite her engagement to a young accountant, makes her feelings abundantly clear. Will Tessa’s overtures ruin the fledgling love between Harry and Linda?

My Take

Ah, to be young and in love and having to face the heartbreak of betrayal. Anyone who has experienced betrayal will surely find comfort in reading this book.

The setting takes place in fifties Australia but it could easily have been in Canada or the US for its accent on the values and day to day universal details of an era absent of internet or cellphones and sex was well…perhaps more chaste then.

I found the book to be suspenseful enough to keep me reading and found the fifties era to be wonderfully portrayed.

Visit Margaret’s author page here.

 

 

Second Chance Romance

Jackson Daughtry’s jobs as a paramedic and part-owner of a local café keep him busy—but the single dad’s number one priority is raising his little girl with love and small-town values. And when his business partner’s hotshot lawyer niece comes to town planning to disrupt their lives by moving her aunt away, Jackson has to set Melanie Harper straight. When circumstances force them to work side by side in the coffee shop, Jackson slowly discovers what put the sadness in Melanie’s pretty brown eyes. Now it’ll take all his faith—and a hopeful five-year-old—to show the city gal that she’s already home.

 

My Take

Second Chance Romance is one of these feel good books which gives us hope in the goodness of humankind.  An inspiring book for anyone embarking on a relationship with someone who has small children. The relationship between the adorable five year old and her father’s girlfriend is worth paying attention to. 

It was refreshing to read a book where the characters are sweet, honest, good people. Also refreshing that they were middle-aged.

The book warmed my heart with its tenderness and honest abiding characters and its warm and friendly rural setting. 

Definitely a pick me up book.

Visit Jill’s author page here.

 

 

The Longest Nine Months Update

 Dear Fellow Bloggers,

This is simply to let you know that some updates have been made on The Longest Nine Months and, if it hasn’t already been updated for you, you can download the update through your “Manage Your Content and Devices” page.

To receive updates to your eBooks automatically:

  1. Turn on the Annotations Backup* for your Kindle device or Kindle reading app. This will sync your notes, highlights, eBookmarks, and furthest page read

  2. Go to the Manage Your Content and Devices page

  3. Select “Automatic Book Update” under the Settings tab

  4. Select “On” from the dropdown menu

Thanks for reading my work.

 

the longest nine months 2

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00QYYX008

What The Heart Cannot Live Without

I cannot remember how The Heart’s Journey Home fell into my hands but like most things in life, it came at the right moment.

I was in the process of writing The Longest Nine Months and it was in reading Natalie Ducey’s poem Borrowed Angel that I came across these lines:

The mind fears the certainty

Of what the heart cannot live without

The words reminded me of my protagonist, Campbell Jones, and the difficult decision facing her.  I was so inspired by these words that I included the quote at the opening of The Longest Nine Months.

 

journey-cover

The Heart’s Journey Home is poetry for the soul. ♥

The Heart’s Journey Home is a collection of 23 poems that capture the essence of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts – the brilliant beauty of life’s journey. We all love/loved deeply and most likely have been on both sides of goodbye. We know the immobilizing force of grief; we experienced hardships that have brought tears, revelations, and self-discoveries of strength unknown. These trials could easily dishearten us, but instead we choose to be more loving, compassionate, and kind. That is worth celebrating. The Heart’s Journey Home is a celebration of our heart’s journey through life’s majestic beauty. ( In BookLife)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE BOOK PROMOTION

This coming weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada.

There is lots that I am thankful for. The list is long and includes you, dear online friends.

Thanks for your inspiring posts, your amazing photos and art work. Your wisdom, your spirit and your support. Thanks for sharing part of your life with me. 🙂

 

The Longest Nine Months.jpg oct. 2017

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00QYYX008

If you’re downloading to an IPad You cannot purchase content through the Kindle app due to Apple Store restrictions; you’ll need to use Amazon’s website instead and scroll down to Part 3: Purchasing New Kindle Content on Your iPad. keep reading.  

This promotion is good from October 6, 2017 to October 10, 2017. Don’t miss this free book offer!

I’d love your thoughts on it!

Thanks

 

 

 

 

Self-Editing Your Work

It’s my pleasure to have Kristina Stanley over to explain her latest project. Although she is well known for her mystery series she also is very much involved in helping authors sell their work. She is the author of The Author’s Guide to Selling Books to Non-Bookstores and her latest non-fiction is Fictionary – helping writers edit their first drafts.

 

 Fictionary

I’m very pleased to be invited onto Carol’s blog to share my writing and editing journey. I’d love to tell you why we created Fictionary and how it can help you.

I’m an author who loves to edit, and I believe today’s author must be also their own structural editor.

The difficulty with editing is keeping track of writing knowledge, the time it takes, and the cost of an editor. So what if I could have writing tips focused on my manuscript, speed up the process, spend less money, AND write better fiction?

This is the story of how we created Fictionary.

What is the Fictionary?

 Fictionary will help writers turn a first draft into a great story by becoming their own big-picture editor.

 

With Fictionary, you can focus on character, plot, and setting. Fictionary helps you evaluate on a scene-by-scene basis or on the overall novel structure. Fictionary will show you the most important structural elements to work on first and guide you through the rewriting process.

Why a structural editing tool for writers?

Creating Fictionary began when I finished the first draft of my first novel. By then I’d read over 50 how-to-write and how-to-self-edit books. I’d taken writing courses and workshops, and had 100s of writing and rewriting tips swirling about in my head.

I knew I had to begin the editing process and improve the quality of my draft before sharing my work, but I didn’t know how to go about it.

My Worry:

How was I supposed to remember the torrent of advice and apply it to each scene? A spreadsheet, that’s how!

I created a spreadsheet with a chapter-by-chapter, scene-by-scene structure. Then I listed the different writing advice I needed to consider for EVERY scene. I ended up with over 75 “key elements of fiction”. I used the reports from the spreadsheet to visualize my novel.

The process I used was then developed into the Fictionary online tool for writers.

Did Fictionary Work For Me?        

After the hard work of self-editing, the quality of my fiction was validated when my first two novels were shortlisted for prestigious crime writing awards and I landed a two-book deal with publisher Imajin Books.

My first editor said: “If every manuscript was this good, my job would be so easy!”

The next exciting moment came when DESCENT, my first novel, hit #1 on Amazon’s hot new releases. Descent was published by Luzifer-Verlag in Germany, and I sold the audio rights to Auspicious Apparatus Press. Imajin Books also published BLAZE, AVALANCHE and LOOK THE OTHER WAY.

Building Fictionary

 I wanted to share my process, SO OTHER WRITERS COULD BENEFIT FROM AN IMMEDIATE APPROACH TO SELF-EDITING and rewriting first drafts. But who would want to use a spreadsheet?  Perhaps a fun, fast tool that helps writers visualize and self-edit their novels would be better.

I joined forces with author Michael Conn and business specialist Mathew Stanley, and we formed a company called Feedback Innovations just to build this tool for fiction writers.

You can find out more about Fictionary at https://Fictionary.co

Turn Your First Draft Into A Great Story

You can try Fictionary for free (no credit card required) for two weeks.

Download our free eBook, BIG-PICTURE Editing And The 15 Key Elements Of Fiction, and learn how big-picture editing is all about evaluating the major components of your story.

I’d love to hear in the comments what your biggest structural editing issue is.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Kristina Stanley the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Feedback Innovations: a company created to help writers rewrite better fiction. She is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. DESCENT, BLAZE, and AVALANCE are published by Imajin Books. THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES is her first non-fiction book.

 

You can find her at:

 

How I Got Published: Thelma Mariano

 

Thelma Mariano began writing fiction in the confessions field, where she sold over 40 stories to women’s magazines (such as True Story, True Confessions and True Experience) put out by NYC publishers in the days of mass readership.

She also freelance edited at the corporate level of a major multinational and published dozens of articles in the self-development field, primarily on the Web. For ten years, she worked as a life coach and motivational speaker to help people overcome limiting beliefs and go after their dreams.

Fiction, though, is what makes her heart sing, both as editor and author.

She recently launched a website to offer her services as a Freelance Editor for writers of women’s contemporary fiction. She enjoys working with other writers to help them strengthen and improve their characterization, fix plot holes, and increase story tension. She values what wants to be expressed, whether working with another author or writing her own novels.

HOW I GOT PUBLISHED

For Night Cries, I was offered representation by First Books, Inc., a Chicago-based literary agency, in 1994. They said they could sell it as “women’s mainstream” in the mass market but asked me to cut out two of my subplots and reduce the point-of-view characters from 4 to 2. At the time, I balked at the changes and put the book on the back burner. Twenty-three years later, I looked at the novel with fresh eyes and saw they were right! By then, the publishing world had gone through a sea change and self-publishing was a viable option. So I made the necessary revisions and put my novel in the marketplace.

A poignant novel about teenage sexual abuse and broken family ties … told through two sisters finding their way back to wholeness and each other.

 

 

For my second novel, ConneXions, I was represented by reputable literary agents in London as well as NYC. They told me that publishers wanted a focus on “the hunt for the serial killer” but I preferred to tell the story from the viewpoint of the potential victims he targeted.

It hasn’t been out on Amazon that long but has been selected as a Reader’s Favorite and given an excellent editorial review.

A dating site where lonely women have become prey … for a serial killer

 

 

My third novel, SeaStruck, is a paranormal romance (mermaid story) that first came to me in a dream.

In a race against time, a mermaid finds the perfect mate but an ancient curse binds her to another man.

 

For many years, I sold my copyright to publishing companies who bought my stories and published them without a byline, because that was “the deal” in the confessions market. With self-publishing, I feel I am taking my power back by maintaining control over my own material.  I decide on the covers and the content and keep my work on the market as long as I wish.

You can visit Thelma here and here.