Friday, January 30, 2009

The Dreaded Synopsis

After writing an 80,000 word story, you’d think a 800 word synopsis of the story would be a breeze…NOT. I would rather write five full length stories than one synopsis. I’ve taken workshops, read article after article on how to write the perfect synopsis, and have written several which have led to contracts, but I still cringe at the thought of writing one.

My Texas Ranger story, The Wedding Plan, is complete. My critique partners gave their insights, my beta reader reviewed it, and I’ve gone over it several times. Now, I have to write the synopsis so I can query it.

This story is about Texas Ranger Brenner Adams who is hell-bent on catching the cattle rustler that’s responsible for the deaths of his family, and decides he needs an Achilles’ heel for the rustler to go after--a bride. The heroine of the story, Crystal Mills agrees to wed a stranger because she’s willing to do anything to keep the children of Sister Mary’s Orphanage off the dreaded orphan trains. Since neither Crystal nor Brenner share their ‘wedding plan’ with the other, the plan goes array from page one.

Set in the sandhills of Nebraska in 1881, it was a fun story to write, and my goal for next week is to write the dreaded synopsis.

This week I was notified I could order advance print copies of Shotgun Bride, which was wonderful because I had several people order copies, and they've been calling to see if they were in yet.

Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Win a Sony E-Book Reader

Between January 15 and March 17, 2009 – just purchase one of my e-books from The Wild Rose Press (or a book from one of the other participating authors) and you can enter to win a free SONY eReader!

It’s that easy! And just think of how light you’ll be able to pack this summer when traveling! (If you’re like me you usually have one bag dedicated to reading while on vacation. I can’t go anywhere without a book.)

Once you purchase a book or short story from any of the participating authors email your order number to That's it. They’ll verify your order and enter you into the drawing. If you purchase more than one title, you can enter more than one time. (Aw, nice, you can double or triple your chances!) The winner will be announced in March.

For the full list of participating authors, click here.

Also…The Romance Studio gave Shotgun Bride, The Quinter Brides Books One, five hearts. Brenda Talley, said, “…a spellbinding storyline that I couldn’t read fast enough. Then I was sad when it ended.” This is the fifth wonderful review I’ve received on this book. It’s still hanging out in the top twenty-five at Fictionwise and 75 readers from their site have rated it. Thanks to all of you wonderful e-book readers!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tag, you're it!

This morning I was ‘tagged’ by Paty Jager. (Bless her little heart, she knows I have an MS I’m working on!)

Paty, by the way, set an exercise goal this year and is walking over two miles (across rough terrain) every day…Way to go Paty! If it would ever warm up in Minnesota, I might consider walking further than from the front door to the garage in the morning and back again at night.

Anyway, for this game of tag the rules are:

Link to the person who tagged you; write down six things that make you happy; post the rules; tag six others and let them know you’ve done it; tell the person who tagged you when your entry is up.

Six Things That Make Me Happy--

1) My family—the whole gamut, from grandkids to parents, and all those assorted ‘twice removed’ cousins and shirttail relations. There is always something happening or someone around that makes me smile!

2) Our animals. Over the years we’ve had some wonderful companions, and the trio of dogs living in our house right now are a hoot!

3) Writing, writing, and writing. If someone told me they’d give me a million bucks if I never wrote again, I’d have to decline. Pulling up my latest MS always makes me happy.

4) Hearing from readers, whether it’s a review house, a friend, or an email from a stranger. I love the idea of making someone else happy, and knowing one of my stories provided them with entertainment and delight is the ultimate.

5) My Mustang. I can’t believe an inanimate object could ever instill this much passion, but Sissy does. And considering the number of years I dreamed about her makes her seem like a fairytale everyday. (Yes, she is still in storage, and I’m anxiously awaiting spring…or summer depending on the length of the deep freeze we are experiencing in Minnesota right now.)

6) Crawling into bed every night and thanking the good Lord for the life He is encouraging me to live.

Now for six people to tag…Hmmm…since I love historical romance, especially western, I think I’ll go for six authors who write them. (Several of these writers post on the Cactus Rose Blog, be sure to check it out!)

Nancy Henderson
Tanya Hanson
Celia Yeary
Linda LaRoque
Deborah Schneider
Anna Small

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 Releases

I have five stories that will be released in 2009.

First, in April 2009 will be An April to Remember. April Simonson survives the explosion of the Civil War riverboat the Sultana in 1865, but refuses to leave Memphis until she learns if her brother and niece are still alive. Jerek Brinkley vows to help her, but will his other commitment, to see justice is done to the boat burner, tear them apart?
(Print and e-book)

Next, in May 2009, will be Rancher McBride. Set in northern Kansas in 1879, Josie Hollister drives her last herd of Texas longhorns from the panhandle, determined to remain in Kansas and marry Calvin McBride. But Cal is just as determined he doesn’t want the woman Josie has become—she’s just like Abigail Christenson. Will Cal come to his senses or will Josie head back to Texas, leaving Cal to wed Abigail?
(E-book only)

Also in May will be Doctor McBride, again set northern Kansas in 1879. Emma Binns knows what she wants, Doctor Jake McBride and is willing to do anything to catch him. Jake is tired of running from Emma, but years ago he promised her father he’d leave her alone, and a McBride’s word is worth its weight in gold. Can her father’s mind be changed, or will Jake be trapped by Abigail Christenson before he has a chance to try?
(E-book only)

Then in June there will be Sheriff McBride, the youngest McBride brother, Adam. His story is part of the Lawmen and Outlaw Anthology and is set in northern Kansas in 1879. Hannah Stewart (Carlton) is wanted by the law, and keeping her secret is impossible when she encounters Sheriff McBride. Adam is convinced he can clear Hannah’s name, but will Abigail Christenson, the woman his brothers sicked on him, be the death of him first? Or then again, maybe the man Hannah refused to marry back in Ohio will shoot him before the wedding.
(Print and e-book)

And later in 2009, Badland Bride, The Quinter Brides Book 2, will be released. It‘s set in western Kansas in 1882. Lila Scott is trying to escape her abuser when she encounters Skeeter (Steven) Quinter and gladly accepts his help. Problem is as soon as he takes her to his family’s home, his mother realizes Lila is pregnant and forces Skeeter to marry her. Can another shotgun wedding turn out to be a blessing in disguise for this second Quinter brother?
(Print and e-book)

Oh, and Shotgun Bride, The Quinter Brides Book 1, will become available in print in February 2009. (Shotgun Bride spent four weeks on the top ten bestselling list at Fictionwise. Today it is still in the top 25 at number 12!)

Am I excited? You betcha!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holiday Reflections

Aw, the 2008 holiday season is over, (wipes brow). Yes, they were wonderful, but I must admit, I’m glad they’re over. My granddaughter’s birthday is December 23rd. With all of the celebrations and extended family, by Christmas Day, even she was saying, “No, open, Da Da.” She was tired and ready to stay home and play with the presents she’d received in the previous days.

I received some wonderful gifts. Lots of great Mustang stuff and of course some additional Elvis things, but also the most unusual gift I’ve ever received. My husband bought me a gift certificate for a conceal and carry class. It was not something I’d asked for (though I hadn’t asked for anything so maybe he was at his wit’s end), and I really hesitated at taking the class, but afterwards I was glad I did it. Yes, I passed, and so if I ever feel the need, I can legally ‘pack heat’. The class, which was the Saturday after Christmas and took all day, was so very interesting.

The instructors were wonderful, and I’d consider it a self defense class, beside a gun safety training class. It also provided me with a broader understanding of respect for those who must carry a handgun for their jobs…And a deeper perceptive on the pioneers who lived by the gun on their hip.

So what was your most unusual gift? (This year or any other year.)

Oh, and I have to say THANK YOU to anyone who purchased my books, especially Shotgun Bride, The Quinter Brides Book 1. It has hung out on the Fictionwise bestselling list for over three weeks.