Birthday Blowout!

 Birthdays, ah, we love them, but do we? They’re inevitable, some are good, some are weird, and some are long-awaited. We can’t wait to reach thirteen.

WOW, finally—I’m a teenager!

A teenager at thirteen doesn’t seem to make much difference except we begin to feel grown-up, and start to notice our parents are becoming disagreeable.
Then there’s that sweet-sixteen party for the girls, leaving the boys out in the cold unless they get invited. Well, that’s a piece of cake to figure out, we can dance with them. If they don’t know how we can teach them.

But wait, isn’t eighteen grown up? We get to drive. That’s the driving age in Brooklyn and New York City—and vote. Both driving and voting are huge responsibilities. The day my driver’s license arrived in the mail—I couldn’t wait to open the envelope—’PASSED.’

Dad danced with me when I showed him my shiny new license. “Good job, now I want you to pick up your mother at work, she gets off at 5:00 pm.” She worked on 47th and Broadway in New York at a place they make dungarees, Blue Bell. I did it! I took the Belt Parkway to the Gowanus Expressway and over the Manhattan Bridge, and I drove back the same way with my Mom in the car. “Good Job,” she said.

The other biggie, voting. We choose all kinds of governmental people, like the President of the United States. You’ve almost forgotten all the fun you had at your sweet sixteen, dancing with the boys, eating goodies and blowing candles out on your cake–and now you can vote? Have you been following the presidential candidates and the promises to their country, their philosophy, and their skills to make appropriate decisions that will affect the people and you?

Are you busy graduating from high school, and choosing a college, be it virtual or not? I don’t know—the responsibilities of an eighteen-year-olds’ are daunting, aren’t they?

Should I go on? What happens at twenty-one, turning thirty, or even forty, supposedly over-the-hill? I don’t think there’s an over-the-hill anymore. We are healthier than ever. We exercise, make our hearts more robust, and our lungs better to fight off dangerous viruses.

In this house, we’ve seen fifty, sixty, seventy, and even eighty. Life has gotten better and busier, and okeydokey as daddy used to say. We win contests for writing, for dancing, for fashion. We promote healthy products for Beautycounter, the most innovative and forward-thinking company in the USA!

Where will it all end? In heaven, I guess. I’m just too busy. Heaven can wait.

 My current books
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Birthday Blowout!

 Birthdays, ah, we love them, but do we? They’re inevitable, some are good, some are weird, and some are long-awaited. We can’t wait to reach thirteen.

WOW, finally—I’m a teenager!

A teenager at thirteen doesn’t seem to make much difference except we begin to feel grown-up, and start to notice our parents are becoming disagreeable.
Then there’s that sweet-sixteen party for the girls, leaving the boys out in the cold unless they get invited. Well, that’s a piece of cake to figure out, we can dance with them. If they don’t know how we can teach them.

But wait, isn’t eighteen grown up? We get to drive. That’s the driving age in Brooklyn and New York City—and vote. Both driving and voting are huge responsibilities. The day my driver’s license arrived in the mail—I couldn’t wait to open the envelope—’PASSED.’

Dad danced with me when I showed him my shiny new license. “Good job, now I want you to pick up your mother at work, she gets off at 5:00 pm.” She worked on 47th and Broadway in New York at a place they make dungarees, Blue Bell. I did it! I took the Belt Parkway to the Gowanus Expressway and over the Manhattan Bridge, and I drove back the same way with my Mom in the car. “Good Job,” she said.

The other biggie, voting. We choose all kinds of governmental people, like the President of the United States. You’ve almost forgotten all the fun you had at your sweet sixteen, dancing with the boys, eating goodies and blowing candles out on your cake–and now you can vote? Have you been following the presidential candidates and the promises to their country, their philosophy, and their skills to make appropriate decisions that will affect the people and you?

Are you busy graduating from high school, and choosing a college, be it virtual or not? I don’t know—the responsibilities of an eighteen-year-olds’ are daunting, aren’t they?

Should I go on? What happens at twenty-one, turning thirty, or even forty, supposedly over-the-hill? I don’t think there’s an over-the-hill anymore. We are healthier than ever. We exercise, make our hearts more robust, and our lungs better to fight off dangerous viruses.

In this house, we’ve seen fifty, sixty, seventy, and even eighty. Life has gotten better and busier, and okeydokey as daddy used to say. We win contests for writing, for dancing, for fashion. We promote healthy products for Beautycounter, the most innovative and forward-thinking company in the USA!

Where will it all end? In heaven, I guess. I’m just too busy. Heaven can wait.

 My current books
Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 3 Comments

Brave New Worlds

Now, more than ever, the world needs stories. Your stories – our stories.

SMP brave new worlds

A book is another world, an escape – and sometimes an inspiration. I think everyone has read at least one book where the story resonated so strongly that it became life changing. After those words nothing was ever the same. A door was opened and it was never to shut again. The heroism in a fantasy quest, the pursuit of exploration into space in science fiction. The finding of your one true love or recovering from its loss. The courage of a teenager to stand up to bullies, or just to follow their dreams. A book where for a time, you and the author are one mind, one heart.

We are going through some terrible times. Yet in the darkness there is always hope. The last thing left in Pandora’s box needs to shine on the world. Hope, and empathy. The feeling that you understand someone else, even if their life is very different. They are just as human as yourself, with the same needs for love, shelter, safety. They may live across the street or across the world, yet we are the same species, and share the same hopes.

Can a book inspire readers to become better – to achieve? By opening the soul of another you share their lives, and realise that they are not so different to yourself. How would you react in their place? Is it even our duty as authors to set the bar higher – to help uplift people seeking help, seeking distraction, looking for a role model?

We don’t have to look far to see darkness – it is on the news, continuously. People read to distract themselves from reality. So maybe give them a world worth striving for – show them that there is still hope in the world. Will your book or character resonate with a reader? If it will be life changing – make it a change for the better.

About Cindy

Cindy Tomamichel is a multi genre author, with her SMP series Druid’s Portal a time travel action adventure romance set in Roman Britain. Short stories of fantasy, scifi and romance can be found on her website, where she blogs on aspects of world building.

Contact Cindy on

Website: https://www.cindytomamichel.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindyTomamichelAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel

Newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/AdventureNews

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Quarantined with Creativity

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We’re all in pretty much the same boat, and have been for at least the past two months now. The pandemic has definitely changed the world we used to live in, and heaven only knows what kind of world we will be returning to as restrictions ease. For a writer, this “extra time to write” should have been a blessing. But it’s forced. For those of us whose creative minds aren’t used to this kind of freedom, it may constitute a curse.

My own quarantine has been going on for much longer than the past several months. As most of you know, a life-changing injury landed me at home in July 2019. For me, the additional complication has been limited use of my right hand–and I am, or was, right-handed.

My writing came to a screeching halt. But after the first few months of limbo, since I couldn’t write, I ramped up my reading time. I am happy to say that after many false starts in trying to continue on books I had planned or started before the injury, I found a light at the end of my tunnel. The revelation, however, is taking me on an entirely different course.

Formerly obsessed with supernatural suspense, I wrote romance intertwined with ghost stories. These weren’t working for me anymore. For one, I have always been initially inspired by a location–an abandoned hotel, a crumbling asylum, a neglected Civil War Era house. My travel has been limited–I can’t even drive. And even though the Internet is a wonderful tool, I simply couldn’t feel the “vibes” through the screen that incited stories in the past. I had to change tack.

Instead of beginning with setting, I learned how to begin with characters.

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I discovered an absolutely wonderful book by Alida Winternheimer called “The Story Works Guide to Character Development.” I hadn’t gotten too far in when a simple sentence acted as a crisp slap upside my head.

“Your character is the vehicle through which readers engage with your story.”

Okay, so most of you are probably saying, “Duh. Didn’t you know that, Soulie?”

I may have been vaguely aware of how important my characters were, but I’d always started with a place, and its ghosts, and its history. I suddenly realized that what I needed to do was start with developing my characters, and then worry about where their story would take place once I got to know them better.

A second revelation hit me as I looked at the way I’d been doing things before. Why did I always start with location and its history? The past of a place (and its resident ghosts) played a big part in my Haunted Voices series. Why? Because in addition to writing and telling stories, I am obsessed with history.

My new course is in entirely different genre: historical romance. Stay tuned . . .

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The Write Word with Wareeze

Writer’s Block – Hints to Help

Hello Friends New and Old,

Welcome to the Soul Mate Publishing blog. Thank you for taking the time to read my post for Soul Mate Publishing henceforth known as SMP. SMP offers many different types of novels, historical romance, contemporary, etc. along with several books per year for the reading public.

On a personal note, I write historical romance with a twist of suspense under my pen name Wareeze Woodson. My five novels published by SMP are as follows, not necessarily in order: Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, An Enduring Love, Captured by the Viscount, and my historical western-Bittersweep. One self-published-After She Became a Lady. All six of my books are available on Amazon. My latest book published November 2019 was Captured by the Viscount.

Final Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman #b copy   WW_ALadysVanishingChoices_105x158 An Enduring Love #1 copy CapturedByTheViscount_Kindle Bittersweep_200x300

My posts on the SMP blog are many and varied always covering varied topics about writing. One of the difficult parts of writing is running into a mental block. When an author is writing along and the scene ends, where does the writer go from here? That is the question plaguing most writers at one time or the other usually occurring in the middle of the book. The writer has written the beginning of the book and wow, it is smashing…hopefully. Now what?

The first thing I do to move passed such a problem is to free write. I am well acquainted with the hero and the heroine of my story at this point. Alright, what next? When I free write, I place either the hero or the heroine or sometimes both in a scene, where, when, and the problem develops. I have a work in progress and I’m free writing at this point in this conversation. Occasionally I simply start to write with either the hero or the heroine standing, talking, with some action or sitting still. This is free writing now, today about the characters in my present work in progress.

 

The sunlight of late afternoon bathed Phillip in light streaming through the windows of the private parlor linking his bedchamber to Emily’s. He stood there with his shirt unbuttoned and hanging out of his trousers cursing under his breath when the door opened. His wife entered the room. Staring at his lovely Em, he let out an oath in a savage whisper. He could easily throttle that little chit, Annalise, at the moment.

With a stricken expression, tears running down her face, Emily cried. “Why, Phillip. I saw Annalise leaving this wing of the house only moments ago.”

He allowed a deep breath to hiss through his lips. “You seem to have jumped to a false conclusion, my dear. Always look before you leap.”

“I did look.”

“Yes, however, you you may have looked, but you also took a leap anyway. You have jumped to an incorrect conclusion about the circumstance before you.”

 

I have blogged about setting a scene in a couple of past blogs. Remember to determine to place the scene. Does the scene happen inside of a building or dwelling, or outside riding in a carriage, or riding a horse. (Recall that I write historical romance, so naturally there are no cars, planes, computer or modern conveniences.) What time of day is it in the scene? What is the weather like? I set the scene without having a plan. I had no idea what would happen. I placed my hero, Phillip in the master’s suite not knowing Emily would discover him there. Free writing never has a plan other than including the characters somewhere. Now, as the writer, I must resolve the situation between the hero and the heroine. I have something to consider and write about. Did he or didn’t he betray his wife?

Let us move forward to another solution to the mental block problem. I have often written the very last scene in the book…the happy ever after ending. When I write that scene, I discover several plot points needing attention. Therefore, I write from the end to the middle of the story where I left off. If a certain situation happens, then something else came before that. What happened before the ending? Then before that scene, etc? I must write that scene also. Soon, I have filled in the middle with satisfying information weaving the story together.

I have one other way to move forward with my story. I seldom recommend this particular method because it is difficult. I often think about my characters when I am trying to sleep at night…not a restful occupation. Sometimes I don’t deliberately think of my story, but I can’t seem to turn my brain off anyway. At that point, my mind runs and runs without stopping. This method is often productive, but I have been deprived of badly needed sleep.

I hoped this was helpful information for the writer and interesting material for the reader who doesn’t write. If you visit my website, there you will find blurbs to my books and an excerpt or two about each book. Thank you again for taking the time to read my post.

Respectfully,

Wareeze Woodson

Website: http://www.wareezewoodson.com

Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wareeze-Woodson/523727757689755

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/wareeze

Twitter: http://twitter.com/@wareeze

 

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 3 Comments

Reflection Makes You and Your Characters Stronger

By Jeanine Englert

I have a confession to make: I didn’t have a Facebook account until March of 2018 when I became a Golden Heart Finalist. And the first time I got a “memory” on Facebook, I was annoyed. Why would I want a glimpse back at myself? Eeewww.

Then, I realized it served more as a reflection and celebration of a moment I had felt happy enough to post about. Maybe it was about a writer friend’s success or my own. Or just a picture of one of our sweet pups or a dinner out with my husband and the decadent chocolate cake we shared. Either way, over time I started to look forward to looking back at the past through these pop up “memory” posts. I think doing so in real life as well as on the page with your characters makes your story more relevant, emotional, and real. When you read about a character reflecting on the past, you feel it deep in your gut and you live whatever pain or joy they did. And that makes good writing, always, doesn’t it?

A mirror to reflect on my writing past.

My characters don’t usually share their backstory with me until I’ve finished my first draft as I’m a pantser through and through. Plotting and I don’t have a great relationship. When I attempt to plot, it’s as if my subconscious is snickering, knowing the words I’m typing won’t last for long. But after I complete that first draft, begin to edit, and know my characters backstory, I can add the self-reflection and awareness that make them stronger and more compelling on the page. Who doesn’t want to see a character struggle with their own weaknesses, their own shameful past, and their own haphazard missteps toward redeeming themselves?

I challenge you this last week of May to reflect on these first five months of 2020, however unpleasant or bizarre they might have been and take that discomfort, gratitude, and uncertainty and allow your characters to wallow in those same feelings. Adding in emotion and reflection may help not only your characters become more three dimensional for you on the page, but it may help you gain the added perspective you need to charge into this last half of 2020 with renewed optimism and hope.

Be fearless. Be honest. Be authentic. And know that we all as readers and writers will appreciate every awkward, baby giraffe step forward you share. You might even enjoy them more in a few years’ time when they pop up in your Facebook feed or stare back at you on the cover of your latest book release.

Care to share a memory or moment of reflection that has helped you or your characters to grow? Feel free to comment as I’d love to hear from you!

Jeanine Englert is a Golden Heart ® Finalist and Daphne du Maurier Award winner in historical romantic suspense. After years of writing in secret, she joined Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers in 2013 and has been an active member ever since. She writes Scottish Highland historicals and historical romantic suspense novels.

When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved pups, and of course mysteries with other readers on Twitter @JeanineWrites, Facebook, or at her website www.jeaninewrites.com.

Her debut novel, Lovely Digits, released in June of 2019 by Soul Mate Publishing, is a Victorian romantic suspense that won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award and was named a 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist for best unpublished romantic suspense.

Where you can find me:

Website: www.jeaninewrites.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JeanineWrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46222432-lovely-digits

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanineWrites

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jeanine-englert?list=about

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Refreshing Recipe

I thought I’d share one of my favorite salad recipes. It’s nutritious and gluten-free – and the addition of sliced oranges brighten the flavor of the spinach. If you like your dressing a bit spicy, you can add a splash of hot sauce!

Fresh Baby Spinach and Fruit with Pecan Dressing

¾ cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted

2 oranges, peeled and sliced

2 apples, peeled and chopped

10 oz spinach

2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion

Dressing:

¼ cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp dry mustard

½ cup white vinegar

½ cup canola oil

Toast 1 cup pecans in a frying pan or 350°F (175°C) oven for 5-8 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant. Reserve ¼ cup for the dressing and toss the rest with the oranges, apples, and spinach. Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender or blend using a hand-held blender. Pour over salad ingredients and toss.

If you’re looking to read for a fun escape, you’ll love Perfectly Honest. And it’s free with Kindle Unlimited!

Cover PerfectlyHonest600Perfectly Honest

You never know where your words will take you…

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s “fiancée” for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka “Dr. Eye Candy,” is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his “fiancée” helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his “fiancée” ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

One-click here to buy: https://amzn.com/B00S77IW9O

Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Website: https://www.lindaoconnor.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98

 

 

 

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