Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's my birthday week!

I admit that while growing up my birthday, or that of any of my brothers, wasn't a special deal in my family. Because of that attitude I worry that perhaps I didn't give my children the attention their birthday deserved. I do know, however, they each appreciated the fact that the one aspect of their birthday that I observed is that their siblings had to take on their assigned  chores for the day :)

Yesterday, I and The Craftsman enjoyed a lovely day with our children and grandchildren, celebrating in advance my birthday. I love my children, and am immensely proud of the adults they have grown to be. I love the fact that, despite their differences, they are close and are willing to spend a valuable off day not only but to spend the day spending time with me.

This time last year I admit I saw little to celebrate my birthday. I had reached the end of the road, as far as I was concerned, in my writing career.  Now, I'm facing the approaching release of my first publication.!

Today I had to do the final edits of my manuscript...when I read over the acknowledgements and got to the part where I mention my children I had tears in my eyes. 

I hope they'll be pleased with the book - and with the words that don't even come close to thanking them for their love and support.

I know, no matter what, that I love them, and their father, beyond words.

Maybe it's not so hard to face a birthday after all!

Friday, July 4, 2014


Yes I'm celebrating the 4th of July.  As a devoted, patriotic American I love this holiday!  I feel so honored and proud of the fact that I live in the United States. 
Today however, I really celebrate the release of my critique partner's debut novel this past Monday!
Christine and I met and became critique partner under circumstances that can only be explained as fate.  I know you're going to love her -- and this book.  It might be her first but I can promise it will not be her last.
Hi Pam!
Thanks so much for hosting me on what I know is one of your favorite days to celebrate: INDEPENDENCE DAY! I’m so happy to share the day with you and talk about my writing process. 
1) Who or what has had the biggest influence on your writing?
I have to say that the romance authors who have entertained me throughout the years with their books gave me the desire to write my own romance stories. And then when I finally got brave enough to write my first book and get in involved with the Romance Writers of America, I learned that these incredible authors are also mentors, teachers, coaches, and examples of how to grow as writer and become published one day. The generosity of those who have gone before me is incredible.
2) What aspect of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
Next to developing characters and the ideas about the story, I’d say revising is my favorite part about writing. I don’t write a great first draft (or second or third or fourth...). That’s the way I get to know the characters and the story elements better. Then when I dig into the revisions, I find ways to layer in the subtleties and stuff like clothes, setting, senses, etc. It’s fun playing with the story and finding ways to make it stronger and better even when the answers aren’t always easy to dig out.
3) What has been your biggest surprise since you sold? 
The doubt and fear that I had to push down before I sold still exist. I’m still the same person who worries that she’ll let down the editor, the readers, myself. If anything, I think it’s worse now than before I sold. So that battle continues daily. The other huge surprise has been the awesome support I’ve had from the most incredible people behind the scenes at Entangled Publishing. Everyone from the publisher to the authors to the editorial and support staff has been gracious and kind to me as I embark on this new journey as a newbie author.
4) Generally, which comes first – character or plot?
I’m all about the characters first. Then I like to loosely plot the emotional turning points of the story. I think that the emotional highs and lows are truly the essence of the romance story/plot.
5) What are 3 pieces of advice you would give new/aspiring writers? 
A. Remember that this is YOUR journey and don’t feel like you have to rush to get to the finish line. There is NO finish line. There are just new paths to travel. Enjoy the journey, and make friends with people you can trust now and in the future. 
B. Learn your craft. Study, write lots of words, go to conferences, and absorb all the knowledge you can absorb.
 C. Have fun! Don’t lose sight of why you started writing before and after you get published. This writing gig is a gift, precious and wonderful, so enjoy yourself and celebrate every milestone big or small. They all count!!
Now y’all know I LOVE to celebrate—heck I celebrate writing every day with a nice glass of wine on the veranda. Today one lucky commenter will receive a free copy of my debut novel THE MAVERICK’S RED HOT REUNION.
Now let’s get the hot dogs and burgers on the grill, watch the fireworks, and celebrate the Fourth of July!!!
Here’s a little info about The Maverick’s Red Hot Reunion
Can he satisfy his craving without losing his heart?
Corporate Maverick Zach Tanner returns to North Carolina to rebuild his dying friend's resort. He's got the money, the power, and the will to transform Sweetbriar Springs into a premier spa for the glamorous, but he doesn't count on the woman he once loved…and lost…to handle the construction contract. Zach thought he'd buried his desire for Kennedy five years ago. He was wrong, and now he’s determined to satisfy his craving...
Construction company owner Kennedy Gibson is eager to restore Sweetbriar Springs, but when she realizes Zach is her new boss she's terrified he'll learn the truth about their breakup so long ago. She vowed never to hurt him again, but she can't deny the passion he reignites in her. She wants to believe she has a chance for a different future with him, but will her secret threaten to destroy their red-hot reunion?
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Christine’s Bio:
Born in the Netherlands, Christine moved to Canada where she spent her formative years. Then she married her Texan Alpha Physicist, moved to the United States and she has lived both south and north of the Mason Dixon line. Now Christine resides in Alabama with her husband, two insane cats and her wonderful daughter. She enjoys finding the silly in the serious, making wine out of sour grapes, and giving people giggle fits along with heartfelt hugs. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world, cooking gourmet food, and desperately seeking a corkscrew.
Christine loves to meet new people.                  
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