Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This Could Be The Most Important Post of The Year

My Annual Reminder

Nope, it's not a writing tip, it's a career saving tip. 

Several years ago, I read a post by Syndee Rogers-Nuckles about the importance of multiple or redundant backup systems. 

She was kind enough to let me reprint this, with a few additions of my own. 

Have you ever had your heart sink? Feel the sting of tears streaming down your face as you realized all your files had disappeared?

I have. In a total panic I searched my computer looking for any sign of hope, I shook my head trying to awaken out of what had to be a nightmare.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone reading this, other than LA, her buddy and me? 

Or were you one of the few lucky ones that had backups of all your files on another EHD (external hard drive) or DVD's? 

Or perhaps it's just been another thing on your ‘to do’ list? 

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to backup your files, but it can be so time-consuming and overwhelming. Like so many of you I am stretched to the limits of available time so after trying at least a dozen different strategies for backing up I finally hit upon something that really works for me.

Now, I use the ‘triple threat’, not just having a single backup copy but two so that you have three copies of all your important files. 

For instance, I have the following:

1- Original files: all my business files like documents are kept on my computer's built-in hard drive. My original design files are kept on my main External Hard Drive.

2- Backup 1: I try to make copies of all my important files as I create them to a second EHD that I keep hooked up to my computer. I try to back this up at least once a week.

3- Backup 2: This is where the online backup service comes in. I LOVE this! I use Backblaze which just runs in the background whenever my computer is on saving all my files for me! My files are backed up to a secure offsite server so if something were to happen to my computer I can still get to my files from another computer!

Online Backup Services


This service was easy to install and was backing up my files in minutes! One of the best things about this company is that it features unlimited storage. I was using Mozy before and they changed their pricing structure so much that it priced them right out of my budget. have been so happy with this service, I totally forget it’s running on my computer!

(LA) This is what I use. It took over 45 days to get all my data uploaded and that was several years ago, but it was done every day behind the scenes, I really didn't notice it at all.


I have heard good things about Carbonite. The biggest drawback is that they do not offer backups of your EHD’s, which is something I can’t live without. But if you are not using any EHD’s they are worth looking in to. 


I had trouble installing Mozy on my Mac when I switched over from a PC, and when I contacted customer support and followed the instructions they gave me it still did not work. It was around the same time they changed the pricing structure so I canceled my account and signed up with Backblaze.

(LA) I have friends who swear by Mozy, so check them out.  Things change all the time :)

Keep in mind that these online backup services are not meant to be an addition storage system, if you delete the files off your computer these companies will delete those same files after 30 days. 

Thank you Syndee for your research!!

Back up your career, and have a wonderful and hopefully now, a worry free Holiday Season.

If you know of other companies, feel free to post them in the comments section.

Ciao and Happy New Year,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Author Spotlight, New Release from Cynthia Woolf

I'm pleased to bring you Cynthia Woolf's latest release Genevieve, Bride of Nevada, American Mail-Order. This is a series of books released by the order in which the state the book is set in joined the Union.

A warehouse fire in Lawrence, Massachusetts has taken Genevieve “Genny” Copeland’s livelihood, but opened a new opportunity for her. If she takes the chance, she could have the family she’s always dreamed of but it would mean leaving everything she’s always known. Believing that opportunity only knocks once, Genny gets on a train west to Elko, Nevada and a new life. She becomes a mail-order bride.

Stuart MacDonnell lost his wife in child-birth six months ago. Now he’s left to raise a 2 year-old and a 6 month-old baby alone. He needs a wife but doesn’t want to court someone and pretend to be in love. He’ll never love again, but he needs a wife now and orders a mail-order bride.

Can Stuart and Genny come together and find happiness when they are at odds with each other? Will they find common ground and will love bloom amid the beautiful Ruby Mountains of Nevada?

Genny took her hat and slapped it against her thigh hoping to remove some of the ash from the journey. Looking down she saw that her coat was the worse for wear and took it off and shook it, ash and dirt floating from it into the air. She shivered and put back on her coat, then picked up her bag and walked up to the one-story yellow station. She peeked in the window and saw a small waiting room with a potbellied stove and a ticket window.

The wind rushed past, making her pull the lapels of her coat closer and she thought about heading inside to get out of the cold. But how would Mr. MacDonnell find her? For the time being, she waited where she was. If she got too cold before he came then she could always retreat into the building.

Genny shivered in the cold wind, her coat unable to keep out the invisible force that froze her to the spot. Or had the approach of the tall man in the black hat, the collar of his sheepskin coat flipped up against the chill kept her motionless?

He stopped in front of her.

“Miss Copeland?”

His voice washed over her, a deep, silky baritone that sent shivers—having nothing to do with the weather—up her spine.

“Yes, I’m Genevieve Copeland, but everyone calls me Genny.” She held out her gloved hand. “Are you Mr. MacDonnell?”

His hand engulfed hers.

“I am. Stuart MacDonnell.”

He held her hand for a moment too long as his gaze took in her face and then traveled down her body. Perhaps she wasn’t wrong to hope for a solid marriage.

Neither had removed their gloves, but Genny would bet that his hands were rough, given the work he did for a living. She knew a rancher worked outside a lot, tending animals.

“Please come with me. I’ve taken the liberty of arranging for the judge to marry us upon your arrival.”

Genny’s heart leapt to her throat.

“So quickly? I thought we’d have a day or two in town to become better acquainted before we married.”

“I’m sorry, but we have to return to the ranch before this storm sets in.” He gestured toward the sky, full of storm clouds she hadn’t noticed before. “I brought a couple of blankets to wrap up in for the ride.”

This was what she’d signed up for…to be this man’s wife. Genny took a deep breath and pressed a hand to her nervous stomach.

“Very well. Let’s get on with it, shall we?”

The corners of his mouth turned up, but he said nothing, just picked up her bag and started toward a wagon at the end of the platform.

Genny walked beside the man who would be her husband. Close up, she saw he had blue eyes and brown hair. He was lean but by the way he moved she could tell he was also muscular. That made sense. From what she’d read at the library in Lawrence, ranching was a hard life. That was all right. Genny wasn’t afraid of hard work.

Buy on Amazon

Cynthia Woolf is an award-winning and best-selling author of sixteen historical western romance books and two short stories with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was about one-quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance, Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she's made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.

Titles Available:
GENEVIEVE: Bride of Nevada, American Mail-Order Brides Series
THE HUNTER BRIDE – Hope’s Crossing, Book 1
GIDEON – The Surprise Brides
MAIL ORDER OUTLAW – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 1
MAIL ORDER DOCTOR – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 2
MAIL ORDER BARON – The Brides of Tombstone, Book 3
NELLIE – The Brides of San Francisco 1
ANNIE – The Brides of San Francisco 2
CORA – The Brides of San Francisco 3
JAKE (Book 1, Destiny in Deadwood series)
LIAM (Book 2, Destiny in Deadwood series)
ZACH (Book 3, Destiny in Deadwood series)   
CAPITAL BRIDE (Book 1, Matchmaker & Co. series)
HEIRESS BRIDE (Book 2, Matchmaker & Co. series)
FIERY BRIDE (Book 3, Matchmaker & Co. series)
TAME A WILD HEART (Book 1, Tame series)
TAME A WILD WIND (Book 2, Tame series)
TAME A WILD BRIDE (Book 3, Tame series)
TAME A SUMMER HEART (short story, Tame series)
TAME A HONEYMOON HEART (novella, Tame series)

Find Cynthia:

Friday, December 11, 2015

NEW RELEASE! Believe In Me This Christmas Morn

Yes indeedy. Book Three of the Star Light ~ Star Bright Series, Believe In Me This Christmas Morn is now available. I can't tell you what it feels like to have the third book in a series available for you. Thrilling isn't strong enough.

This is Mitch's story and it all came about because you, my dear readers, asked I find a way to make him whole and loved. 

And from today until December 26th it's on sale for 99¢, as are Be Mine This Christmas Night and Forever Yours This New Year's Night
Let's make this one a bestseller as well :)

It’s the week before Christmas and Belle Grantham has won the best gift ever. A website makeover she’s certain will save her struggling literacy nonprofit. 
Mitchell Thomas is giving Belle what she needs, a new website to maximize potential donations. In return, he’s getting the Christmas present he so badly wants, an escape from snowy Boulder, Colorado, and haunting memories. 
Their wishes are threatened after Belle meets with a donor and discovers his financial rescue comes with unwanted strings...and a ticking clock.  
As Mitch and Belle work side by side against time, Mitch is sure that Texas-bred Belle, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, will have little in common with him, who barely owned a spoon until college.
Will Belle believe in him after being dealt a soul-shattering complication? 

Buy Links:
Believe In Me This Christmas Morn
Be Mine This Christmas Night - Bestseller #1 in Amazon Holiday
Forever Yours This New Year's Night - Bestseller #1 in Amazon Holiday

Monday, December 7, 2015

Author Spotlight Featuring K.L. Docter and the Season of Thrills Boxed Set

Please welcome author K.L. Docter, and her new release Season of Thrills Boxed Set.

Take it away K.L.,

At the ripe old age of ten, I decided I wanted to be a police officer thanks to a sad incident in my neighborhood when an officer was gunned down while on a domestic abuse call. The sad thing was that he’d finished the call, everything was calm, but a drunken neighbor took exception to his presence and shot him on his way back to the car. That incident gave me my first awareness of the injustices of the world and I decided then and there to become a cop so I could address those injustices.

Needless to say, I never became a police officer. Other life incidents veered me in new directions. I’ve made writing my life. This one incident though is why I now write romantic suspense as K.L. Docter. I wrote contemporary romance novels for years as Karen Docter, many with suspense undertones that I was always toning down or ripping out of my work entirely. 

One day, a book I was writing resisted all of my attempts to rip out the suspense elements and one of my critique partners said, “Just write a suspense.” To which I said, “But I can’t write suspense!” Her smart reply was, “Honey, you already are.”

I will be forever grateful to my friend for setting K.L. Docter free. KILLING SECRETS is the first standalone story in the Thorne’s Thorns series about six foster brothers, and the dangers and women who crash into their lives. It is now included in the SEASON OF THRILLS BOX SET, 5 full-length suspense/mystery/thriller novels by Bestselling Authors, which released December 1, 2015.

At the first crack of gunfire, Rachel dove headfirst into the garden she was weeding. Listening for the second report she expected to follow, she prayed Amanda stayed at Patrick Thorne’s house where she’d gone an hour ago to play with her new friend, Suze.
Gasping for air, she inhaled the rich, spicy scent of freshly turned soil and crushed nasturtiums instead. Dirt and grit bit into her cheek and the bare flesh exposed by her cutoffs and T-shirt. The mid-afternoon sun beat hot against her shoulders and legs, and all she could do was lie there and watch a fat bumblebee dip into a russet blossom three inches from her nose.
Had she run almost nine hundred miles only to die like this, grubbing alone in the dirt like a spineless worm?
A surge of anger gave her impetus to lift her head. She peeked over the flimsy wall of twelve-inch annuals between her and the street. A second gunshot rang out, belched in a cloud of black smoke from an ancient Volkswagen bus that disappeared around the corner.
She groaned, more relieved than embarrassed by her overreaction. Her chin dropped. Taking several deep draughts of the thin Colorado air, she worked to calm the pound of her heart against her ribcage. Her efforts made her head swim. A minute later she was able to push herself out of the three-foot section of garden she’d mown down.
Her nerves had been on edge since she fled Dallas on Friday, five days ago. If she weren’t so overwrought it would have occurred to her Greg would never stand at a distance and take potshots at her. No. Greg liked to look into her eyes when he meted out his punishments.
An icy shiver skimmed her skin. Each day that passed without his appearance should have reassured her she’d made the right decision to accept Katy’s arrangements with the Thornes. As long as Greg didn’t track her and Amanda to Denver, they were safe.
Problem is she hadn’t felt safe since Amanda was born and she discovered what kind of man she’d married. Now she couldn’t pluck enough weeds from Evelyn Thorne’s gardens by day to tear the anxiety from her heart at night. Her growing sense of trepidation kept her awake long after the morning stars dimmed above the mile-high city’s cloudless skies.
How could the justice system simply hand Greg a “get out of jail free” card?  She’d always known the man had connections in high places, but how had he arranged for the evidence in his case—evidence she’d risked everything to provide—to disappear before he even went to trial?  If he’d accomplished that feat while behind bars, how in the world was she and Amanda going to stay out of his clutches?
She felt like there were giant bull’s-eyes painted on their backs, that it was only a matter of time before Greg tracked them down. During their marriage the man would spend weeks, even months, laying meticulous groundwork for one of his cons. He’d had six months to plan dozens of new punishments for his betrayer.
           “‘Til death us do part, darlin’.”

The SEASON OF THRILLS Box Set contains 5 complete suspense/mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and bestselling authors: Jerrie Alexander, Kim Cresswell, K. L. Docter, Rachel Kent, and Marian Lanouette 

HELL OR HIGH WATERS by Jerrie Alexander A woman in danger. A man she loves but can't trust. 

When former SEAL Nate Wolfe learns a woman from his past is in danger, nothing will stop him from protecting her. Not even her. 

Dallas Child Protection Services Investigator Kay Taylor doesn't want or need Nate in her life. But he doesn't seem to understand the word no. He seems to also have forgotten the brand he left on her heart.

When Kay is taken and sold to a monster, the devil himself couldn't stop Nate from doing whatever it takes to find her...but will he be in time? 

REFLECTION (A Whitney Steel Novel - Book One) by Kim Cresswell 
Lunch with the ex-husband is not always a fun thing especially when bullets start flying and reporter Whitney Steel finds herself in the middle of a human cloning story that will rock the world...providing she lives long enough to get her byline. "A deeply emotional romantic suspense that starts bold and holds you captive to the very end." --New York Times Bestseller, Dianna Love 

KILLING SECRETS (A Thorne’s Thorn Novel, Book One) by K. L. Docter 
Some secrets are better left dead. Too bad the Angel Killer’s digging them up. 

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her traumatized child, his key to the James fortune. Patrick Thorne isn’t interested in helping another of his parents’ charity cases, especially after losing his unborn son and wife to suicide. Only trust will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a child of her silent prison, and save them both from a killer who stands too close. 

BROKEN PIECES (Bits & Pieces Book One) by Rachel Kent 
Tara Jacobs had her life completely planned. She truly did have it all after a lifetime of struggles. Unfortunately, her stepbrother arrives in town and threatens to ruin her well-laid plans with some blackmail. Tara stops at almost nothing to keep her skeletons from tumbling out of the closet. 

IF I FAIL (A Jake Carrington Mystery Book One) by Marian Lanouette 
Are rules really meant to be broken? Jake Carrington finds out the hard way and the answer is no! Dating Chloe Wagner was a huge mistake, and Jake should have known better—he’s investigating the murder of Chloe’s sister. Now Chloe is the number one suspect in that murder. If she’s convicted, Jake could lose not only his rank, but his career. If that’s not bad enough, he’s got a stalker on his hands, someone who’s threatening his fledgling relationship with the lovely Mia. Things are getting just a little too personal for comfort! 

SEASON OF THRILLS Box Set is a value-packed, thrill ride for those who love romantic suspense, procedural suspense, detective mysteries, thrillers, and so much more! 

Bestselling Author K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels...Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter and Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter.

Karen/K.L.'s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

When she's not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them to fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better! FMI:

Buy Links:

Find K.L.:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Signing at Barnes & Noble Nov. 21st.

I'm pleased to tell you that Barnes & Noble is having its annual Discovery Weekend starting November 20, and I've been asked to be part of it.  Nine other authors and I will be part of a special book signing in the Loveland store.  Here are the details:

Loveland B&N (Centerra Shopping Center)
Saturday, November 21
1 to 3 p.m.

You'll find both contemporary and historical romances, thrillers and romantic suspense.   There's definitely something for everyone. 

I'll have my five novels including my latest, Viking Gold, and a peek at my third book in the Star Light ~ Star Bright Christmas series, Believe In Me This Christmas Morn, which is launching December 12th.

Autographed books make ideal Christmas gifts.

Stop by and say hi, I'd love to see you.
Warmest Regards, 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Why The Business Side of Writing Matters by Amy Brantley

We may not like the reality, but writing the book is only the first step in a writing career. Please welcome my guest today, Amy Brantley, who is not only an author but has an awesome business for helping authors on the business end; A Girl and her E-books.  She's offering a gift to one commenter and some great deals as well. Read on.......

Imagine if a company created an awesome product but never advertised – just placed it on store shelves and hoped people would buy it. It could be the greatest product ever invented, but without proper marketing customers aren't going to know about it. The same holds true for books, maybe even more so because each book is competing with literally millions of other books. Waiting around and hoping for someone to find your book isn't the way to go.

As a fellow author, I understand the need to stay focused on writing. You want to meet those deadlines and getting in Amazon's good graces requires publishing a new book every two months. Unfortunately, if you don't focus on the business side of writing, you may never see the numbers you're hoping for.

What is the business side of writing exactly? Think of your books as the product and yourself as the brand. As an author, you want to create an image for yourself and connect with readers (AKA buyers). This can be done through social media networks, newsletters, conferences, etc. As for your product (books), you want to market them in much of the same way. You want to make sure they are shared in front of your target audience. This can be done through social media campaigns, ads, guest blog posts, book tours, and much, much more.

The reason is matters so much to pay attention to both writing and marketing is simple. Without marketing, you're waiting for someone to stumble across your book. When you market your book to a targeted audience, you have a much better chance at getting discovered. If you have a strong social media presence, you also have the chance for those readers to become fans who are on the lookout for the next book.

What can you do to get started? The following are some of the easiest ways to start marketing your brand and your products:

1.    Open and starting using Twitter and Facebook accounts. Make sure you have a Facebook page rather than just a Facebook account. Second, make absolutely sure that you post about more than just your book. It's a real turn off for a reader to find a Facebook page or Twitter account that is nothing but posts about where to buy a book. Post about things that you're doing, what you're reading, and topics your target audience would find interesting.

2.    Dust off your newsletter. You should strive to send out a newsletter at least once a month, but no more than once a week. A newsletter is again a great place to interact with your readers. You want to give them something they can't get elsewhere. Maybe it's a sneak peek at your next book, a favorite recipe, a character interview, etc. Just give them something so they keep opening each edition of your newsletter.

3.    Create graphic ads to use around the internet. Graphic ads are really appealing. A graphic ad can include your book cover and a tag line from your book. However, if you're creating an ad to use in the Facebook ad program, you want to only add your cover art to the graphic on top of another background image. Too much text will cause the ad to be rejected. Graphic ads can be used in Twitter, in Facebook feeds, in newsletters, on book blogs, and several other places.

4.     Make time for marketing. You make time to get your word count in each day. You may time to go over that first draft. Why not make time to market your books? A bit of time each day can go a long way to boosting the success of your brand and products.

5.     Hire an assistant. Publishing a book every two months is not easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work and a lot of words each day. This is the main reason marketing slides to the side. The good news is there is help available. Hiring an author assistant allows you to handle the business side of writing without giving up any time that you could be writing.

Marketing your books in today's world is more important than ever. Thousands of books are published each day and, without a strong marketing plan, your book can easily get lost. The good news is there are easy things you can do to market your books and yourself.

As a fellow author, I understand these needs and run a company called Book Promos by A Girl and Her eBooks. My company offers everything from basic services like sharing your book to working as an author assistant. There's no job too big or too small.

If you contact me and mention this article, I'll take 20% off your order. Comment below and you'll automatically be chosen to win a full promo pack.

For readers of this blog, I'm also offering a special where you can get the following for only $300! (20% discount cannot be used on this offer).

You'll get: 
Tweets 2x per day
30 Facebook posts per month
$50 credit each month to use on whatever services you need

Seperately, this is a value of $1680. As a bundle, it's usually $600. For LA's blog readers, it's only $300! (LA: this is a year's worth of promo!!)

Find Amy: 

Even if you don't use my services, I do hope you'll think more seriously about the importance of marketing yourself and your books. Yes, it does take work, but it's time well spent. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Take Five With Author Candee Fick

Today it's my honor to host Candee Fick and her debut novel Catch of a Lifetime.
And wait until you read her answer to the last question!!

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Candee.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Catch of a Lifetime?

Hi, Leslie, thank for hosting me today. I love football, and it’s a good thing I do because I’m married to a coach our oldest son plays. But what if I didn’t like the game? What if I hated it? That thought led me down a rabbit trail of speculation to discover my heroine, Cassie, and imagine what would make her feel that strongly about football. Then I wondered if I could change her mind.

How do you use setting to further your story?

Catch of a Lifetime revolves around a fictional college football program, so that naturally led to scenes in places like practice fields, the sidelines, meeting rooms, and training facilities. I added places around town, Colorado weather, and even took trips to other states for road games. But this setting was so much more than a place, especially when dealing with football player egos, competitive natures, testosterone, eligibility issues, NCAA compliance officers, dreams of bowl games, the thrill of victory, and yes, the agony of defeat. I was able to glean a lot of emotion and tension for the story by bringing the setting to life.

How do you construct your characters?

I’m a visual person, so I like to start with a picture of how I imagine them looking. Then I build enough background information to motivate their story goal and explain the lie they believe, because that wound will be healed by the end of the story as the character grows and changes. Of course, I’ll add and tweak things as the story develops so I make sure to keep a cheat sheet of the facts and tidbits about each character so I can keep things consistent.

How is your main character completely different than you?

Well, um, Cassie hates football. She also has an athletic past, so I made her an Olympic caliber gymnast when I can hardly do a cartwheel, let alone the splits or any tumbling without, um, tumbling.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

I’m a bit of a science nerd. While I was an elementary education major in college, my first job was actually teaching high school chemistry at a private school. For the past ten-plus years, my day job has been doing legal research for an industrial hygiene company where I read and summarize depositions in asbestos cases. I get to work from home so that’s been great, but it’s little wonder why I escape to fiction-land whenever I can!

Give us a brief summary of Catch of a Lifetime:

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. 

Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Buy Links:

Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Find Candee:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Take Five with Author Anna Durand

Today we are lucky to meet Anna Durand. See which music groups 
she enjoys listening to.  Some of my favs are there as well.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Anna.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book  Intuition?

Intuition is the second book in my Psychic Crossroads series. When I wrote the first book, Willpower, it felt like Grace and David's story wasn't quite finished. They were engaged again – she didn't know they'd been engaged already, thanks to her  amnesia – and happy in their relationship. But I wanted to tell more of David's story, and make them both suffer a bit more for their final happily ever after. As writers, we must torture our characters – and I'll admit I love dreaming up ways to make them suffer (insert evil cackle here).

Have you been a lifelong reader of romance?  What are some the first books you remember reading?

I've always enjoyed a good love story with a happy ending, but for most of my life I didn't realize that meant I loved romance novels. One of the first books I remember reading wasn't romance, though. It was the story of a little toy guy in a canoe riding the currents downriver. I wish I could remember the title, but my brain must've dumped that data a long time ago!

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

Pump up the music! While writing, I listen to film scores, but when I'm preparing to write, I crank up the stereo with vocal music. I love a good pop anthem, or an uptempo tune to make me dance. You'll often find me singing along with OneRepublic, Rob Thomas, Delta Goodrem, or Vanessa Amorosi. I studied music in college, with concentrations in voice and piano, so I'm not too shabby while belting out my favorite tunes. :-)

What would be your advice to people who are considering a writing career?

Develop a thick skin and incredible patience. You'll hear stories about so-and-so who sold her first novel to the first publisher she queried, or maybe she self-published and became an instant sensation. Some of these stories are true, but many have secret truths behind them – like the author's father is best friends with the president of the publishing company, or the author paid for fake Amazon reviews. The key to success in anything, but especially writing, is to ignore these legends and focus on crafting the best stories you can. You'll get rejected (many times). You'll get savaged by contest judges (for no good reason). You'll start out with five Twitter followers (who are your family and friends). Be patient, don't take nasty comments to heart, and KEEP WRITING.

You’re having a dinner party.  What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up?     Why?

I'd pray Karl Tesler doesn't show, because he'd whip out his nasty gadgets and torture the other guests to make sure they don't have psychic powers. If they do...Well, they won't be attending my next dinner party, for sure!

Give us a brief summary of Intuition:

Torn apart by their haunted pasts, Grace Powell and her fiancĂ© David Ransom are struggling to reclaim their passionate bond and build a normal life — one without danger and paranormal powers. But David can't renounce his obsession with hunting down Karl Tesler, who abducts and tortures psychics. David endured Tesler's tactics himself, but despite what Grace believes, he's not out for revenge.

Tesler covets her unprecedented abilities and her mysterious connection to a source of limitless psychic power. David will do anything — even abandon and lie to her — to protect Grace from Tesler.

With a psychic stalker on her trail, Grace charges into a desperate mission to uncover the truth about David's obsession. But Tesler's agents are closing in on her, and a terrifying new enemy is rising…

As events drive Grace and David toward a battle of epic proportions, they must risk everything — their relationship, their lives, and even their souls — to defeat an enemy who wields unspeakable psychic power.

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Anna Durand is an award-winning writer, a freelance librarian, and an audiobook addict. She specializes in sexy romances, both paranormal and contemporary, featuring spunky heroines and hunky heroes. In her previous life as a librarian, she haunted the stacks of public libraries but never met any hot vampires hunting for magical books.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Crafted A Character I Can't Write

First time ever event.  I crafted a character that I'm fighting tooth and nail throughout the book. 

I've always been able to muscle my way through a problem, either by writing through it or just letting the fix come to me, usually in the shower, which seems to be my muse enhancer.

But this time, I created a character who I cannot identify with on any level. I have no experience to draw on for her.  And my deadline is looming.

Granted, if I didn't have a deadline staring me squarely in the face, I might be able to think deeper and fix it, but I don't. I've hit a boulder sitting squarely in the road of my story.

So, I'm changing her a bit, and making her greatest fear is something that I, and many of you can relate to. Becoming unnecessary. The worst thing that can happen to a person who is always giving of one's self. Be it at the job, for a friend or coworker or family. Then finding out that the rug is now pulled out from beneath your feet.

That everything you've been doing just isn't good enough. Or worse, in my character's case that she is pretty much unnecessary to the continuation of the nonprofit she founded. 

The story line isn't changing, but my character and her actions/reactions are changing.  

And since the deadline is still looming, I guess I better get to writing ... the book.

Have any of you faced this issue in your writing?  Have any of you faced this in your life? What happened and how did you react?

Hugs always, 
L. A.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Take Five with Author Jill Haymaker

Today you get to meet Jill Haymaker and learn a bit about her new series, Peakview. 
And wait until you read her answer to the last question. 
Don't miss it!!

Jill is offering a sale and don't miss her on.

Welcome Jill, what inspired you to write Breakfast for Two?

I fell in love with both the main characters in this book Violet and Howard, when I wrote the first book in the series, Colorado Sunset.  I just love my little town of Peakview nestled high in the Colorado mountains.  I wanted to write a romance about characters in their sixties, to show that romance is just as real for people our age, that they still have the same feelings, wants and desires as twenty-somethings. But at the same time, I wanted to show the unique issues and dilemmas that older people deal with in a love relationship. I hope that I have been able to portray their unique personalities and sense of humor on facing their senior years. I wanted to give baby boomers a romance they could relate to.

How did you use setting to further your story?

I’ve always believed that setting is almost like another character in any story.  As a reader, I fall in love with the setting and want to continue to read more stories in the same location.  When I started Colorado Sunset I didn’t know Peakview existed. It just happened. But once I had created it, I fell in love with the small town.  Many of the issues my characters face are unique to small-town living.  I think Peakview and its residents allowed for Violet and Howard to fall in love.

How do you construct your characters?

I think my characters construct themselves.  I start out by doing a backstory for each of my characters, I construct as much detail as possible about their entire lives leading up to the beginning of my book (when your characters are in their 60’s that can be a lot of backstory. Then I try to have them conform to how someone with those experiences would react to what’s going on in their lives. I am definitely a Pantser, so I usually don’t know at the beginning of a story where my characters are going to take me. Sometimes they really surprise me.

How is your main character completely different from you?

All of my characters have a part of me in them.  Violet has lived a very different life than I have, so her views are somewhat different than mine, but I think we have the same hopes and dreams.  I made her the town busybody, which being an introvert is not something that I would do. She is way more outgoing than I am.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect.

I was a bartender for almost twenty years before becoming an attorney. You can learn a lot about people by watching and listening to them when they drink. I think I draw many of my characters from people I met in bars. People will give their bartender more personal information than they share with most of their friends and family. I have always been fascinated by the study of people and how they react to others.

The tiny, mountain town of Peakview, Colorado, wouldn’t be the same without Violet’s CafĂ©, and its owner, Violet Woods. Widowed in her fifties, she leads a solitary life with only her cat Lucky to keep her warm at night. All thoughts of romance died with Stan. They had a wonderful, long happy marriage, and she’s content to live out the rest of her life with her memories.

Howard Crandall, Peakview’s only mechanic, is a confirmed bachelor and something of a hermit. When Stan died, he took it upon himself to look out for Violet. Over the years, they have become friends, but it isn’t until the past he has hid from for thirty year past suddenly catches up with him, that he opens up to the idea of finding love.

Is there a second chance for these two lonely souls?


Book 1 in the series, Colorado Sunset is Free from October 1-5
Buy Link: Amazon

Jill Haymaker was born and raised in Indiana and Ohio. After high school, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Fort Collins, Colorado in 1975.  Ms. Haymaker has made her home in Fort Collins ever since except for three years in the 1990’s when she left to attend law school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has practiced family law in Fort Collins for the past 20 years. She has three grown children, a son and two daughters.  She also has three granddaughters.

Jill has always had a passion for writing.  Colorado Sunset was her first full-length romance novel.  It is the first in a series of novels centered in the small town of Peakview, Colorado. The second book in the series, Breakfast for Two, was released on September 15, 2015. She is working on the third book, a Cabin in the Pines, to be released in early 2016.She also has had several short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her latest story in a book entitled Thanks to My Mom.

When not practicing law or writing, Jill enjoys gardening, long walks with her Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She enjoys their numerous sporting events. She is also an avid football fan and can be found on autumn weekends cheering on the Broncos, the CSU Rams, and the Huskers. She has a passion for working with high school youth- she is a youth group leader at her church, coaches a high school Mock Trial team and is a volunteer for high school Cross Country and Track teams.

Find Jill:
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