Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy 4th of July

My family is off on a small 3 day vacation for the holiday. I hope you and your families have a great 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Please Welcome My Guest

Please welcome my guest, Romance Author Susabelle Kelmer.

Susabelle is a wife and mother living at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Northern Colorado. She believes in romance, second chances, and the magic of moonlight. When she isn't writing, she works with students with disabilities in the college environment. 

Susabelle's tagline is Love is Everything.

Summer is Here!

I want to thank Katherine Grey for hosting me on her blog today.  I’m so excited to talk about my debut novel with The Wild Rose Press.  Fairest of the Faire published on June 5th (more on that later).  Today, I’d love to talk to you about a Rocky Mountain Summer!

I live just east of the foothills of the Rockies in Northern Colorado.  Summer doesn’t get here until late, and it comes in slow, like someone trying to step into cold water.  First a toe goes in, then is pulled back out and we shiver.  Then another try with the toe, and maybe the whole foot.  Then back out as the chill returns.  It snows through May and sometimes into June.  The ground never really warms up the way it does in the Midwest where I come from.  Gardening is a dice game.

But then everything blooms: the tulips and daffodils, the poppies in reds and oranges, the irises of every possible color.  My dianthus always come back in a burst of color, as if they had not died down to nothing over the winter.  And then the peonies bloom.  The smell is heavenly, the huge blooms open up like triple-petaled roses.  They grow particularly well here, although the three in my yard are too young to do so.  The cemetery near my house has hundreds of them – nearly every grave has one or two planted on it.  

Up in the mountains this time of year, the wildflowers are beginning to bloom.  Columbine, purple lattice, bluebells, wild roses, Indian Paintbrush, elephant heads, and plenty more I don’t know the names of.  Open fields are crowded with yellows and whites, and ever damp space of ditch next to the mountain roads are like rainbows.  The season is short, and the flowers have to take advantage of the time they do have. It amazes me to see them.  There may be no other vegetation, especially above the tree line, but the flowers are there.  

Those precious few months of summer mean we are gardening hard, trying to get our vegetables to harvest before the hard freeze comes, before the snow.  Tomatoes and peppers can barely make it.  Cold weather veggies like kohlrabi, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, turnips, and parsnips love it and do well.  Summer squash can grow as fast as weeds because of our dry heat, but winter squash often do not produce until just before our first hard freeze.  But still, we try, because that’s what gardeners do.  Often, we say to one another, “Well, there’s always next year!”

I love all of the seasons here, even if some of them are short.  Spring comes and goes in a month, and autumn bursts out in bright yellow when our Aspen trees turn, but only lasts a couple of months.  Snow by Halloween is common.  Right now, though, I’m looking forward to summer barbecues, concerts in the park, hikes in the green valleys, bike rides on the greenways, and evenings sitting on the outside patio at one of our many local restaurants, enjoying the late sunsets.

What do you most like about summer?  Answer in the comments!

Katherine here. Check out Susabelle's new contemporary romance. The excerpt is below.

Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law's Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller. 

Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie's don't-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart. 

When she is threatened by her late husband's bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.

“Who said anything about a relationship?” he said, standing up so he could tower over her again. “I’m just trying to have a little fun. You know, fun?”
If he’d been an animal, she was sure he’d have had hair raised on the back of his neck, he seemed so angry, and it struck her painfully. She hadn’t wanted to anger him or hurt him. She turned away from him and closed her eyes to tamp down the tears she knew would come if she let them. She crossed her arms over her chest, to hold in the pain. Being tired made her much too vulnerable.
“Yes,” she finally said. “I know about fun. Life isn’t always fun, though.”
“Princess.” His voice was soft, tender. “I won’t hurt you. It’s not in my plan.”
Despite herself, she felt the shivers of desire race down from her shoulders, down her arms and legs, and back up to that secret, soft place at her core. She bowed her head and gritted her teeth, hoping for the feeling to go away.
      “And what is your plan, Gage?”
      “It’s a simple plan. I want you to feel good. I want to feel good, too.” 

Available NOW at the following links:

You can learn more about Susabelle by following her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter or by checking out her website and blog.  


Monday, June 29, 2015

Facebook Page

For about the last 10 months or so, my Facebook page posts have consisted mainly of quotes about reading and/or writing and little else. While I was working the longer hours, posting the quotes was about all I had time for. Now that my work hours have changed and I'm back to having a scheduled writing time every week day, one of my goals is to do more with my Facebook page than I have been.

The problem is I'm not sure what exactly to post that will be of interest. I follow other authors so I have a general idea of what other writers post. Given how Facebook limits how many people actually see a post on any given day, I'm torn between posting every day or just a couple of times a week.

So here's my question to you -- As a reader what do you look for or hope to see on an author's page? As a writer, what type of things do you post that seem to garner you the most views? How many times do you post each week?

Finally if you're not following my Facebook page but would like to, feel free to click on this link - Katherine Grey - Facebook

Friday, June 26, 2015

This I know for sure...

I can't express how great it is to work for an employer that treats his employees like he'd treat his family. Every Friday he buys lunch and we all have lunch together in the conference room. Every morning when he comes in if he comes in after the official start time, he makes sure to say good morning to everyone. If he's there first, he greets everyone as they arrive. Today, he's closing the office at 1:00pm just because. No real special reason, just that he thought we've all been working hard and deserve to get out early with full pay for the day.

These things might not seem like much but considering some of my past employers, this is huge. It's this type of employer that engenders loyalty. And because he's so great to work for, his employees are willing to go above and beyond for him and not think twice about it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My current WIP (work in progress): Revised 60 pages last week. I feel like the book is already vastly improved. I've tried to add more detail in regard to emotional and setting content and cut a lot of extra words that weren't needed. My first drafts tend to be a bit wordy. I also did some research on a couple of items that I'd marked on the original draft as needing verification.

Quote of the week: "All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination." ~ Earl Nightingale

What I'm reading: I just started "Sugar's Twice As Sweet" by Marina Adair. I haven't read any of her books before, but my sister gave me the book and told me it was a must read.

Random things: Sunday was the official start of summer. Summer is my favorite time of the year, but I always look upon the Summer Solstice with a bit of melancholy. While it's the longest day of the year, it also means that each day will grow shorter until we're back in that most dreaded of seasons (at least in my opinion) -- winter.

Random Photo of the Week:

This is my nephew's cat, Sgt. Tibbs. He's decided the decorative bowl on the coffee table is his new favorite place to sleep.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Continuity or What color is your hair again?

A few years ago I woke up with an idea for a new story. I jotted a few notes down so I wouldn't forget the general idea and headed off to begin my day. Since I was already working on revisions for a book under contract, I would write things down about the new story whenever they popped into my head. When I finally was able to sit down and focus on this new idea, I realized I not only had a story line for the main characters but also vague story lines for at least 3 of the secondary characters.

I'd never written a series before so I plunged ahead and wrote the first story. Once that was done, I set it aside and wrote the second story. After that one was done, I wrote about the first 100 pages of the third story and then ran into a brick wall of uncertainty. Not the kind of uncertainty that whispers in your ear in the middle of the night that your work will never sell, but the kind where I couldn't remember the most basic details from the first story that needed to carry through the series.

My writing came to a screeching halt as self doubt crept in. How could I forget the eye color or hair color of the heroine or hero from the first book in the series? How could I forget the most basic premise the whole series was built upon? And more importantly, how the heck did writers who have multiple books in a series manage to keep all these details straight?

I set the manuscript of the 3rd book aside and started revising the first draft of the first book in the series. I had intended to do that after I finished the second book, but the words were flowing for the 3rd book and I didn't want to lose those ideas that were coming so quickly. Now as I'm editing that first book, I'm putting all the pertinent details about each character whether they will have their own book or not into a spreadsheet. These details include physical descriptions, character traits, occupations, background information about their childhoods, their parents, and the key event that has made them the way they are today. I've also included setting details and anything else I think I might need for a book further down the road.

At this point I don't know if I'll write more than one series but if I do, I'll know to keep track of such details at the beginning instead of later and save myself a lot of editing in the process.