Love & Romance

As a romance author I am especially fond of the month of February and the glorification of all we hold dear. Love is in the air, although it’s in the air twelve months a year and twenty-four hours a day for most of us that create stories that end with happily ever after.Now that's love!

What is it about love that holds our interest? Is it the improbability of love in an age where we spend more time on our phones and computers than we do with our loved ones. Don Henley, the prolific, brilliant, songwriter, and singer, nailed it in his song The Heart of the Matter:

I got the call today
That I didn’t wanna hear
But I knew that it would come
An old, true friend of ours was talkin’ on the phone
She said you’d found someone
And I thought of all the bad luck,
And the struggles we went through
And how I lost me and you lost you
What are these voices outside love’s open door
Make us throw off our contentment
And beg for something more?
I’m learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about… Forgiveness

Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore
Ah… These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age?
Ah… The trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They’re the very things – we kill I guess…

The words to this song take my breath away. How does love survive in such a graceless age? I mulled that question over and over as I wrote this blog. Maybe that’s why romance books represent such a large segment of book sales. We all yearn for love, a respite from the daily bombardment of bad news. We all want someone to walk beside,  someone to help us navigate the storms that every life will face at some point. And what is happiness if there is no one to share it with? Yes, it’s true that some of us will never find it, and some of us will lose it. But that doesn’t diminish the dream of it.

Writing is an expression of dreams and observation. A great romance book in which two people overcome obstacle after obstacle to find, hold on to, and embrace love is a teaspoon of sugar to our souls. We want it, crave it, will do anything to possess it. It’s a passion that makes our sojourn on this planet worth the cost.

We as authors have a responsibility to deliver love stories that inspire, that lift the heart. Fashioning your stories with truth and possibility. Push your characters to find redemption in achieving their goals, but never forget that the crux of your story is the most basic of needs, to be loved and to love.

Excerpt from my current WIP, The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci, a romance/thriller:

It was nearly closing time, and there were few people left in the North Pavilion where pre-1700 paintings and sculptures were displayed. Natural light from the ceiling cast a warm glow through the room, washing the precious masterpieces in a filtered luminosity. Alex Caine entered one of the gallery rooms and noticed a young woman sitting by herself. Something about her stillness drew him. When he moved closer he could hear her mumbling in Italian.

The girl sat and stared at the portrait of a young man captured in eternal contemplation. Alex had seen his share of crackpot behavior, but he couldn’t get his head around this girl talking to a painting. The Botticelli painting was unlike any he’d ever seen. The subject’s eyes were hidden from the viewer. Why Botticelli had chosen to paint the young man with his eyes downcast was a mystery. The youth was handsome, almost beautiful. Thick dark waves of hair framed his face. He wore a stylish red velvet tunic that distinguished him as a man of royalty or rank. However, wealth could not dispel the overwhelming sadness imbued in his face. In three-quarter profile, his finely etched brows portrayed a man of extreme sensitivity, his face and demeanor more one of a poet than a man of commerce.

Something about the girl made his pulse accelerate. Her midnight hair swirled in a bun atop her head, and her black-framed glasses couldn’t hide her beauty. The prim accoutrements enhanced her high cheekbones and full mouth. He moved closer to get a better look at her. She was oblivious of him and showed no sign that her private sojourn had been intruded upon. With her hands folded in her lap, she sat like a statue. Her dark eyes never left the young aristocrat’s face.

She was so deep in contemplation that he could have broken out in song, and she wouldn’t have reacted. He hovered for a few minutes, unsure of what to do next. Moving closer, he sat on the bench and faced the painting. He could smell her floral scent. From the corner of his eye, he saw dark wisps of hair frame her pale, flawless face. The indescribable attraction he felt for her heated his blood. He tried to ignore the jolt of desire that vibrated through his body.

When he turned to observe her face, she’d closed her eyes. Had she come here to take a cat nap?

In the next moment, the light coming from the skylight dimmed. Shadows enfolded the paintings. A brewing storm? He took note of the sudden, encroaching darkness that pervaded each painting, except one: The Botticelli painting was glowing. Alex stood scanning the room to discover where the illumination was coming from, but he could see no beam of light shooting down from the skylights.

What happened next made him doubt his sanity. He looked at the woman and saw a transformation. Her eyes fluttered open. They were no longer dark brown. They’d turned forest green. Her gaze fixated on the young man in the portrait as though he were alive and standing right before her. Her expression reflected radiant, passionate, love. Intense. All consuming. It took his breath away. His eyes shifted back to the portrait and what he saw made him lose his balance, his knees buckled forcing him to sit. The young man in the painting turned his face, opened his eyes and stared at Angela, his dark eyes mirroring the same intensity.

Alex was stunned. Never in his life had he witnessed such intense love in just one look, let alone directed at a portrait of an unknown man who’d died more than five centuries ago.

He shook his head, trying to clear his vision. Any minute he expected to hear Rod Serling’s voice.

What happened next floored him: Angela turned to him on the bench, slid closer until she was barely inches from him. She began speaking in Italian. He’d lived most of his life in Europe and was fluent in Italian. He understood every word she said. “Ti amo per sempre.”

I will love you forever.

His heart pounded. He couldn’t take his eyes off her full lips when she said, “Sei l’unico uomo che amerò mai”

You are the only man I will ever love.

She leaned in and pressed her lips to his, her tongue prodding, provoking him to respond. Uncontrollable desire seized him, his fingers tangled in the silk of her hair, pulling it free from the confines of her bun. A waterfall of dark waves cascaded down her back. Their tongues danced together and for long, breathless moments, he lost himself in her kiss. Regaining his composure, he pulled away from her luscious mouth. The woman gazed at him with the same intense love she’d directed at the painting. Her eyes, still the color of forest green moss. He was mesmerized. A yearning flowed through him, the likes of which, he’d never felt before. He wanted this woman with every fiber of his being. Shocked at his own visceral response, he let go of her, and leaned back, his gaze straying to the painting of the young man. He was relieved to see the portrait had returned to “normal” and the young man’s visage was turned away once more.

He glanced back at Angela when she stood up. “Siamo in questo insieme,” she whispered. “Devi aiutarmi. È il nostro destino.” He was paralyzed by her words, his heart beating arrhythmically in his chest.

We are in this together. You must help me. It is our destiny. And without another word, the strange woman turned and left.

The gallery filled with light again, the clouds no longer blocking the rays of the sun. There was nothing to indicate that anything out of the ordinary had occurred.

His heart was pounding, his face felt hot and feverish. The surprise kiss had unglued him. He sought to find a plausible explanation. He hadn’t had a PTSD attack in about two years. This didn’t feel like PTSD: That sense of the walls closing in, the thundering of shellfire or the roar of rockets and screams of civilians running for cover. This was something completely different. He closed his eyes, breathed deeply, and cleared his mind until the raging storm passed.

Inanimate objects don’t come to life. It must have been the light playing with my imagination. And the kiss? Yeah, it’s been too long since there’s been a woman in your life. You’re losing it, buddy. This case is getting to you.

The case was a conundrum. He’d been hired by Max to find a painting that might not even exist, based on letters from an art historian who disappeared off the face of the earth seventy-three years ago during the evacuation of Florence. Max’s uncle had claimed to have found a misattributed Leonardo da Vince wedding portrait.

It was Alberto Scordato, the director of the Getty Museum, that had brought Alex to Los Angeles. Scordato had recently quit the case. In a sudden change of heart, Scordato, who’d been gung-ho on the project, had soured and declared the painting a fraud. From what Max had told him about Scordato, Alex suspected the director with the Getty’s resources was on his own treasure hunt to find the painting first.

He looked at his watch. It was time for his meeting with Alberto Scordato

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A Writing Moment with Michelle Libby

Thank you for allowing me to get to know you all through the Soul Mate Publishing blog. I haven’t been around SMP for too long, but I am excited to get involved.

In this post, I’d like to talk to everyone about vacations. For those not in the north where we have a February vacation and an April vacation, instead of one March break, because we need to get out of the sub-freezing temperatures and soak up a little vitamin D, if we can.

By the time you guys read this, I will be whizzing down the road toward warmth, sun and tropical isles. Now, don’t be haters. I feel very fortunate that I’m able to go away with my family and parents this break.

Americans are notoriously bad at taking their vacation time. When working fulltime, Americans don’t want to take time off. They see it as bad work ethic. In 2017, “662 million vacation days were left on the table, four million days more than 2015,” according to www.projecttimeoff.com.

Europeans have the right idea. Using time wisely and working smarter will let them live longer and get more done during the workday.

Every time we take a vacation, be it for an hour or a month, our brains recharge, our outlook on everything starts to improve and we grow closer to those who are our support systems. Reconnecting with children, spouses and parents can happen when no one is stressing over being at work in the morning or if that last proposal was completed on time.

Okay, so vacationing on the South of France isn’t possible this year…there is a way to vacation without leaving the warmth of your own home. I’m sure it’s obvious, since it’s a blog from a publisher…BOOKS!

For the amount of money it would take for one meal on the road, readers can buy an adventure in the pages of a book. Get swept up in the romance and drama of someone else’s life. Relive first kisses, explore new lands, and fall in love.

 

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The best option, in my mind, is to bring a book, while on vacation. I find I don’t read as much when I’m already in a tropical location, unless the book was waterproof and I could take it in the pool with me. Never the less, I take at least two books with me on my trips. I read before falling asleep at night and occasionally in the afternoon over cocktails.

Last night’s book was “Black Bird of the Gallows” by Meg Kassel. It’s so good and well written. It’s YA semi-horror, but with romance.

The other thing we do as a family is listen to audiobooks. Our trips south usually include a Janet Evanovich – Stephanie Plum novel. We’re on “Tricky Twenty-two”. Laurali King is the best narrator for these books Evanovich could have chosen.

Thanks for checking in with me today.

Sun and sand,

Michelle Libby

Michelle is the author of “When the Vow Breaks” and other novels. Visit her at www.MichelleLibby.com.

 

 

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! by Rebecca Heflin

Never underestimate the power of a good newsletter. Sadly, with Facebook’s constantly-changing algorithms, your posts may be getting little-to-no-reach. But newsletters give you a direct line of communication to your readers. They are the perfect tool to announce new releases, contest wins, sales, or to simply share what’s new in your world. They can be sent monthly, quarterly, or whenever you have news.

So, what’s the skinny on newsletters? Glad you asked!

PLATFORMS

There are lots of newsletter platforms out there, but the most popular include Constant Contact, MailChimp, Active Campaign, and GetResponse. My website design platform, Wix, has their own newsletter product called ShoutOut, which is what I use.  Some platforms are free, some charge after you’ve reached a certain number of subscribers, while others charge a nominal monthly fee. There are plenty of reviews on the internet of the various products, so check them out before you decide.

BUILDING YOUR LIST

First, don’t buy lists. You want engaged recipients, people who actually want to read your newsletters and answer your calls to action. It’s much better to choose quality over quantity.

So, how do I build a list, you ask? Well, there are lots of ways.

  • If you blog, include an opt-in form after each post.
  • Promote it on social media.
  • Run contests and giveaways on social media. Entry into the contest requires the individual subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Include a sign-up form on your website.
  • Use an exit pop-up on your website that displays when it detects the visitor is about to leave.
  • Have a sign-up sheet at personal appearances and book signings. I display a sign-up sheet at every book signing and do giveaways. Anyone who signs up for my newsletter list is eligible to win a prize.

TEMPLATES

Consistency is key. Create a look and feel for your newsletter that reflects who you are, what you write, and most of all, your brand. Once you’ve created a solid template, it’s super easy to edit the content when you’re ready to send the latest installment.

Header – You want the recipient to know immediately who the newsletter is from. Using your brand graphics across all platforms (website, social media, and newsletters) provides instant recognition for your followers.

Header 2

Color Schemes – Using color codes, like Hex or RGB, you can customize your newsletter to match your brand colors.

Lay-out – Keep it clean and crisp, break it into sections, and use plenty of headers so readers can skip to the sections that interest them most. Maybe create consistent sections every month. Write foodie romance? Have a monthly recipe section. Write historical romance? Include an “On This Date in History Section.”

Lay-out

Footer – In the footer, remember to include your contact info, including social media links, website and/or blog links.

footer 2

Once you’ve created a template, send it out to friends and family to get their feedback. Are the colors eye-catching without being obtrusive? Is the font easy to read? Do they like the name (see below)?

CONTENT IS KING (OR QUEEN)

Create a Title – Author Lauren Layne as “The Clutch.” I have “Rebecca’s Readers.” Include your title in the subject line. When coming up with a title, you should check out the List of SPAM Trigger Words and avoid those at all costs. The last thing you want is to have your shiny new newsletter relegated to the dreaded junk folder because you used one of the forbidden words.

KISS – You know the KISS Principle, right? Keep it Simple, Stupid. Well, this definitely applies to newsletters. Write brief, punchy paragraphs and include eye-catching graphics (see below for more). No one has time to read War & Peace.

Make it Personal (but not too personal) – Say something more than “Buy My Books!” Talk about your summer vacation (briefly) and include a photo. Keep your readers apprised of what you’re working on, any upcoming personal appearances or book signings, the date of your next release, or a link to an excerpt. Give a shout out about a book you’re reading or a movie you enjoyed.  And, as with your books, make sure the content is edited and free of typos and grammatical errors.

Clear Call to Action (CTA) – Do you want them to buy your book? Leave a review? Vote for your cover in a contest? Use clear CTA buttons with links to where the action takes place. It’s all part of the KISS Principle.

Eye-catching graphics – It doesn’t always need to be your book cover. Include photos of you at your latest book signing, the newest furry addition to the family, or a pic from your trip to the Grand Canyon. Just make sure the file size is large enough that the photos are crisp and clear. Don’t have a photo? Many newsletter platforms offer free or inexpensive stock photos you can use.

There are also graphic design websites available, many for free. Check out PicMonkey, Canva, or Pixlr. Free or inexpensive stock photos are often available on these sites, as well.

Whew! You’ve created your template, given your newsletter a catchy name, and filled it with fun content and gorgeous graphics. Now what? Why, send it, of course! Then analyze your ROI. Newsletter platforms typically offer analytics so you can see how many and who opened it and/or clicked on it. At first, experiment with days of the week to determine which days seem to offer the most reads and clicks. Once you’ve figured that out, be consistent. I’ll be honest, some months I struggle to come up with news worth sharing, but I find once I start drafting it, I wind up with far more than I have room for. Creating my newsletter is my favorite marketing activity.

How about you? Do you have an author newsletter? What’s your take on newsletters?

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HEA IRL, or How I Met My Soul Mate

Hi! I’m a new author here at Soul Mate, so let me start off by introducing myself. My name is Cari Davis, and I’m a life-long book addict and daydreamer. I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t realize I was a writer until well into adulthood. I’m also an incurable hopeless romantic, so it seems very apropos that my inaugural post here falls on Valentine’s Day!

vday candy

For those of you not familiar with the acronyms in my title, HEA is Happily Ever After and IRL is In Real Life. As a writer and as a reader, I’ve always gravitated toward happy endings, no matter how dark, tragic, or suspenseful the beginnings and middles are. Real life has too many tragedies that don’t have happy endings. (I’m also a realist.) In my opinion, fiction is supposed to whisk you away from real life. I want to finish a story with a warm, fuzzy feeling for myself and a happily ever after for the characters.

But it’s all fantasy, right?

The kind of HEA you find in romances don’t happen in real life, right?

Wrong!

A little over a year ago, on February 9, 2017, I was attempting to drive home from work after a busy day. Heavy traffic stoked my stress level higher and higher. One obstacle after another, from a broken traffic light to a double-parked truck, blocked my progress. Finally, I threw up my hands in frustration (not literally!) and drove to the shore of Puget Sound. When I reached the water, I walked out onto a pier. The cold wind stung my cheeks and whipped my scarf, but I felt a sense of serenity descend upon me. My shoulders relaxed, and my mind calmed. Having been born and raised in Southern California, I could only handle a few minutes of the near-freezing temp. Yet, that was all I needed. I went back to my car and wrote, finally working out a plot issue I’d been pondering for days.

pier

It turned out to be an incredible afternoon (little did I know that it would also be life-changing), so I decided to capture the moment. I braved the cold once again, got out of my car, and took a pic of the pier. I then decided to tweet the image.

At that time, nearly 1700 miles away, a man in Lincoln, Nebraska was scrolling through Twitter. He’d had it in his heart for some time to move to the Pacific Northwest, so he followed a lot of what was going on in the area. My pic happened to be trending. He saw it and hit retweet.

Still sitting in my car, I received the notification. Not knowing who he was, I decided to check out his profile. Maybe he was a fellow writer. (He wasn’t.) I didn’t know exactly what it meant, but I felt an instant draw and knew — somehow, someway — our lives would intertwine.

I started watching his posts, commenting or retweeting occasionally. We eventually started direct messaging each other, which led to the exchange of phone numbers. That first phone call lasted three hours. We continued to speak every single day for hours. And hours.

Now, I know the horror stories . . . I’m aware of the TV show, Catfish. I maintained an air of caution. I tried to not build up my hopes. But still, I knew. We both knew. At one point, we asked each other what exactly we were to each other. It didn’t make sense to say we were boyfriend/girlfriend when we’d never met. Yet, there was one term that did fit, even if no one believed us: soul mate.

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Dwight moved to Washington on June 16th, and what we already knew was instantly confirmed. We debated how long to wait, but ultimately decided we’d waited long enough to find each other. On June 30th, we were married.

I now get to spend every day with my best friend, who loves me deeply and who “gets” me better than people I’ve known my entire life.

I’ve spent many Valentine’s Days alone or in not-so-good relationships, but I always maintained hope for a real life happily ever after. I always believed. And now I know without a doubt . . . true love exists. Soul mates exist.

Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day and your own HEA!! ♥♥♥

You can find me at any of the links below:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

Fool's Gold #16 Final 400x600

Fool’s Gold ~ Forged Hearts Book One

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My First, Not My Last, Give Me Everything

Hey! I’m Tasha Taylor, a Soul Mate author, and this is my first blog for Soul Mate Publishing.

I’m very excited to get the chance to share things with you lovely Soul Mate readers. So, let me tell you a little bit about myself and please, I would genuinely love to get the chance to know you all a little bit too. So remember, you can comment below – I love a good chinwag.

The first thing to say is I am from England – hence some of my vocabulary may sound a little strange. I know Soul Mate Publishing has an international readership – whereabouts in the world you live?

I am a mother of one ever-growing teenage boy, future ex-wife to my partner who likes to tell new people that he had jet black hair when I met him (that was nearly 15 years ago) and we have two beautiful dogs, who I am sure you will get to meet moving forwards.

By day, I work with primary care providers and their teams to support them during a transition period for embedded services. The job mostly lets me work from home, but that’s a definite skill set in itself – time management, staying focused, organisation, dedication, not listening out for the washer and dryer to finish, not staring at the walls trying to decide whether to paint or paper.

It’s a skill set that should transfer well to my other persona as a writer, however, I am easily distracted, whether it’s researching characters or places online or creating a cover to give me inspiration. It takes me a while to actually finish anything, but again, I’m working on it. I started my first novel in 1996 and it didn’t actually get published until 2012. My second novel, Alex’s Return – Secrets of St. Sebastian, published by Soul Mate Publishing, took considerably less time to write, but a long time to edit, as the ever-patient Cheryl will agree.

Talking of working on things, my third novel has a working title of World’s End, and is a contemporary romance. I started this a few years ago, and it is moving along steadily. I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

I also took the decision between Christmas and New Year, that I needed to give myself some more time to do the things I want to do. I set myself the challenge of staying off my personal Facebook account for the month of January 2018 (I’m writing this on 5th January, and so far so good!). It hasn’t been easy, because when I pick up my phone, I used to automatically check email, texts, Facebook Messenger – it’s a habit that can be broken!

[Update 12/02/18 – I read five books in January and succeeded in staying off Facebook for a month. I don’t feel I missed anything – the world didn’t end :)]

I wanted to give myself time to read like I used to and so when my partner gave me four books for Christmas, I’d already read two of them within 72 hours – I was off work at the time.

Writing, for me, has also become a guilty pleasure, and so I snatch time where I can, when I should probably be doing other things, but it’s not enough. So that was my third challenge – to allow myself dedicated, rather than borrowed, time to write.

And these are genuine challenges. You’ll know in your own busy lives that the things that you enjoy, the little things that make you, you, often get put to the side, and that’s why I decided that 2018 was going to be the Year of Me. My three challenges are only little things, but they are my first, but not my last of the year.

Is there anything else about me that you should know? I like to talk. (I’m just about sitting on my hands so as not to give you everything all at once!) I have a tendency to jump from one subject to another without warning. I like to drink Bud. I also like to drink gin, every now and then (remind me to show you the gin cabinet my partner built from an old suitcase!). My absolute favorite drink is tea – I drink buckets of the stuff. I’m loyal. I care. I’m quite shy. I laugh at quite inappropriate things, quite loudly.

Enough about me, tell me about you. Who are you? Where are you? What do you do? Likes and dislikes? Hopes and dreams? Give me everything!

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It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and I could have gone down that route for my debut post, as a romance writer, but there’s two very subtle (my friends and family will tell you I’m about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but I’m working on it) a.k.a. very loose links in this post to the Big V-Day and my challenge to you all is to let me know what they are!

The first link, and forgive my poetic licence, can be found in this post – think Walrus! The second link can be found in the very last chapter of Alex’s Return – Secrets of St. Sebastian and is somebody’s name.

The prize? Well, that depends on how you view what I’m about to offer!

I’ll put the names of those who guess correctly into a figurative hat and choose one at random to be interviewed in a future post.

I’ll be blogging on a regular basis – the dates for my next few blogs are below. But don’t be shy, get in touch via the comments below, or send me an email or visit my website to find out what else is going on. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • March 27th
  • May 8th
  • June 19th

Take care, love Tasha xx

Email:       tashatayls@gmail.com

Twitter:    @tashatayls

Web:          www.tashataylor.weebly.com

 

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Writer’s Block Or Creative Hibernation?

I haven’t written anything substantial since NaNoWriMo ended-fiction wise or otherwise. Part of the problem was planning for deployment to Puerto Rico on a medical mission, which required a lot of energy and planning for what was a real life disaster as opposed to plotting a fictional one. It was a little spooky that Hurricane Maria was a “high end” Category 4 storm, like Hurricane Edward in Storm Watch. But while I do believe in synchrony, the novel was written over a year ago, inspired by real life experiences. Politics aside, the frightening escalations in the severity of storms over the past few years came home to roost when Hurricanes Irene and Sandy ( both Category 3 storms) hit New York City and had us on our backs for about a month each. That, and my childhood experiences with hurricanes,  were the fiction fodder for Storm Watch.

Natural disasters and weather magic are a big part of my current urban fantasy series in progress, but not even immersion in the reality of rescue and recovery sparked any desire to get back to writing the second book in the series. I’ve been back on the mainland for two weeks, and can barely write anything-fiction or non fiction-including a shopping list.

The cold and dark weather was wreaking its seasonal affective disordered effects long before I returned to mid-winter after sweating in the Caribbean sun making rounds in hurricane ravaged areas. And trying to make sense of my thoughts and feelings, and put them into writing that will eventually make its way into my memoir is still caught up in a logjam of emotion and haunting memories of what our teams could do to help–but also what we could not do and what that means for real people, not fictional characters.

 Hector Rivera, RN and Carole Ann Moleti, FNP of NYSNA making home visits

Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico-January 23, 2018

 

I’ve decided that rest, reflection, and channeling whatever energy I can muster into next steps that I can take in real life are what I need right now to light the spark to conjure characters and plots that, even with paranormal elements, resonate with readers.

Here’s how I worked it out in Storm Watch:

Mike picked up the phone on the desk. Still dead. His cell phone was, too. “Stay here, Sandra. I’m going to try and get help.” He grabbed the keys to Liz’s car.

The Bimmer was buried under pine boughs. It took a while to move the branches out of the way, and the doors were stuck shut by the crushed edge of the roof. A few kicks later, Mike had the driver side door open and slid into the seat. He held his breath as he turned the key, but there were only a few clicks before the entire electrical system blacked out.

He pounded the steering wheel. Even if he could find a radio somewhere and get a call out, would anyone be able to get here in time?

Harley had been shoveling sand for hours and, despite his age, showed no sign of tiring. He’d worked his way around the porch, and was now excavating a path from the driveway to the road. But just like in a blizzard, digging out your property would do no good until a bulldozer came along to clear the main routes.

“Hey, I need some advice.”

Harley pushed the shovel into the dune covering all of Route 6A. “What?” He yawned, knitted his fingers, and stretched his arms.

“I’ve got to get Liz to a doctor. And Sandra is looking a bit sickly, too. Any ideas?” Mike found it hard to believe that a ninety-six-year-old could have more energy than the three of them put together.

“In the old days we’d collect driftwood and light a fire. Course then there weren’t no weathermen to tell us a storm was comin’. We learned to tell by the sky and wind direction.” Harley yawned again.

“You too tired to go now?” Mike was in a hurry, but rushing the poor old guy wouldn’t help.

“Nah. Water and food will be running out soon with four of us.” He waved for Mike to follow and started down to the beach.

Despite his age, and the ordeal he’d been through, Harley walked effortlessly around the piles of debris. Mike was the one huffing by the time they got to the top of the dune the storm had created.

 

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Spring-cleaning (a little early)

The best thing about hibernating inside during a cold and snowy winter is getting a head start on all the spring-cleaning that needs to be done. In the last few weeks, I’ve gone through closets and weeded out old clothes, sorted through papers dating back twenty years, and cleared out books that were very much loved but needed a new home. Not only did I free up space with all the de-cluttering, but I had a great sense of satisfaction doing it. And the best thing about spring-cleaning is the chance to recycle and donate the stuff to a good cause. Our local symphony hosts a big book sale each year to raise money, so I dropped off five bags of books for them. Another bag of books went to a neighbourhood drugstore that raises money for children’s charities. A drama company took a bin and four bolts of fabric that I had lying around and had given up hope of ever using. It’ll be put to good use for costumes and props. Charities for cerebral palsy and diabetes will get the bags of clothes and household items. As a result very little was actually thrown out. It was a win-win all round! Now when spring finally gets here, and I want to be outdoors, the spring-cleaning will all be done!

If you’d prefer to hibernate with a fun romantic comedy, you might enjoy Perfectly Honest. 😀

 

 

Perfectly Honest (Perfectly Series Book 1)

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!

 

 

Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at http://www.lindaoconnor.net. Laugh every day. Love every minute.

 

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Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 2 Comments