There are all sorts of wonderful events and feelings in this world. None may be greater for an author than having a new book.

The paperback version of PASS THE KRYPTONITE was just released by Soul Mate Publishing, and I’m as excited by that as I was for either of my previous two novels!

Pass the Kryptonite is a young adult/new adult romantic comedy by third-time author, Raz Steel. It’s not what you think. There might be a few references to “Superman” but the story has nothing to do with the DC universe.

Willow Bolden, a nineteen year old psychology major, is on track to finish college so she and her BFF can attend grad school together and open their own clinic. And Willow loves her fiancé. She’s just not “in love” with him anymore. If only she could figure out how to tell him.

However, the “minor” fiancé problem pales in comparison to the brazen flirt hitting on her in cyber space. A zealous dancer hitting on her in Central Park. And a world-class psychology professor blocking graduation whom she’d like to hit.

She hates one. She’s never met two. And she’s analyzing all three. She has a roommate who loves to stir the pot, a cat who pretends to be a dog, and a dog who sings with a horse. Willow’s mother calls daily, her almost-ex-fiancé refuses to give-up, and she finds herself in a predictable rut.

But Willow is full of surprises! Keep reading. Stay safe.


Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 2 Comments

COVID, Hurricanes, Despair, and Hope:

COVID, Hurricanes, Despair, and Hope: 

This year has brought great tragedy for many people. The whole world suffered because of the misery wrought by COViD-19.  Many lost their lives, and many lost their jobs or businesses because of the lockdown that accompanied the COVID outbreak.  Police brutality and riots accompanied the horror of COVID-19; the world reeled as the videos of George Floyd’s death circulated around the world. 

In the southern United States, our misery was compounded by several poundings from Mother Nature.  Several hurricanes struck along the Gulf Coast. Several hit my home state, Louisiana, bringing devastation to parts of the state. Hurricane Zeta, the last of these storms, dealt a nasty blow to New Orleans, my city.  Make no mistake.  This storm was no Katrina, but it did level many gorgeous oaks, downed power lines, and left our homes very damp and dark. We stood outside, raking up leaves and shaking our heads perplexedly. (This was the first year since Katrina we had experienced hurricanes named after the Greek alphabet.) 

November, however, is the month for gratitude.  Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings, and I realized how many blessings I have in spite of the hardships the year has brought.  COVID has changed my teaching world. I now teach in a mask and sanitize desks after I deal with kids online and in the classroom.  However, I still have a job and insurance; for that, I’m grateful. During the lockdown, I wasn’t alone.  I had my husband with me, and he is my greatest blessing. As I said, Hurricane Zeta was no Katrina.  The city did not drown.  We had some wild wind; hubby and I sat on our porch, enjoying wine. We were blessed, and I pray for those who were not so lucky with the other storms that battered us.  Our power was out for five days; we absconded to a lovely B & B.  I wasn’t roughing it, and that brief sojourn away from our cold, powerless house brought me many blessings. I spent valuable time with my husband and did a great deal of writing.  Hubby and I spent time walking in Audubon Park, watching turtles in a pond.  I also made substantial progress on one of my WIPs, the third in the series that started with From Ice Wagon to Club House.

The tumult wrought by this year has left its mark on all of us. Many of us have lost people we love this year. For all of us, our way of life is perhaps irrevocably changed, but this year also has challenged us. It has forced us to adapt. It has forced us to look at ourselves as we ever have. We have experienced division; we have experienced unity. It is for us to grasp this time—to seize opportunity, to give, and to grow—and to make the world better for those we love and for ourselves.  This is the month for gratitude.  Let’s seize the promise of this time.

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Being Thankful

This month I suspect many bloggers will deal with the topic of thankfulness or gratitude. After all, it is the season. And in spite of the fact that I haven’t been able as of yet to meet my grandson who lives in Germany, or that the recent wild fire has displaced 30,000 people in my neighborhood, or that six people I know of, including my husband, tested positive for the Covid, all in all it’s been a pretty good year. (Ha!)

The pandemic has been a long and difficult ride for our family, but it’s also given me many opportunities for growth, which I probably would not have garnered had it not raised its ugly head. First, I was able to retire from teaching after 43 years of university instruction. I’ve loved teaching and have many happy memories of helping students find success in their
educational journeys. Yet, when classes moved to a strictly online format, I saw it as an opportunity to retire. And so I did! I still teach voice both privately via Zoom and via my virtual courses on the website, but no longer am I driving to campus, keeping office hours, and correcting tests and papers into the early hours of the morning.

Interestingly, the pandemic has also given me time to focus on my writing, as well as on my social media skills. The Dalai Lama once said that his greatest teachers were the communist Chinese, and now I think I understand what he meant. Often in our worst moments we as individuals find ways to turn life’s lemons into lemonade (or for some of us, Limoncello).  And when we struggle as a nation, historically we tend to gather together as community and push toward a more perfect union. 

The purpose of this blog is as a thank you note to all those who over the last six to nine months have signed up for my newsletter, as well to all those who have generously given up their time to read my books and write reviews. If you’ve never signed up for a newsletter
or written a review, you’re really missing out on an opportunity to do something nice for someone. When you come right down to it, to be noticed and appreciated is what we all truly hope for. Without our beta readers, we wouldn’t find the quality we so crave in our books. Without a readership, we wouldn’t sell a single book. And without reviews, it would be impossible to rocket our writing careers off the proverbial launching pad.

So . . . thank you Covid-19, thank you Chinese communists, and thank you most of all those who have written, who are writing, and who plan to write future reviews and sign up for our fellow authors’ newsletters.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Born and raised near the Puget Sound in Washington State, Gwen Overland and her family now live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Prior to that Gwen lived in Los Angeles and had careers in directing, acting, and singing while performing at the piano. After years in academia, writing one research article followed by another, Gwen turned her talents toward writing fiction and found she happily could not stop. Love’s Harvest and Free My Heart, two novels from her Salmon Run Series, have been published by Soul Mate, and she has just signed a contract for her third book of that series, Waiting for You, to be released June of 2021. Her self-published, romantic comedy/mystery series, The Millicent Winthrop Novels, is available in both English and German.  In addition, Gwen also has two published non-fiction books on the work she does in conjunction with her business, Expressive Voice Dynamics: Soul of Voice and Soul of My Voice.  When she’s not reading, writing, or playing with her two pugs, Buster Keaton and Emmett Kelly, Gwen works in the theatre and assists psychotherapy clients in discovering more joy and meaning in their lives. 
Keep up with Gwen by following her on Twitter @gwenoverland; Gwen Overland Author on Facebook; @GwenOverland on Instagram, or at and  E-mail:

Posted in Contemporary Romance, Gallivanting With Gwen!, Inspiration, Marketing, Motivation, Networking, Publishing, Romance, Social Media, Soul Mate Publishing, Women's Fiction, Writing | 3 Comments

Writing Medical Romance

I write medical romance. A tip for others who want to write about doctors: they cannot/would not date their patients – unless they want to lose their licence to practice medicine. I know that readers are sometimes asked to suspend reality when reading fiction, but a doctor hooking up with their patient makes me cringe. It’s so unprofessional. Something else I’m often asked about with respect to the scope of practice outside of a clinic or medical facility – doctors can pretty much only do First Aid and CPR like any other bystander. Not many doctors carry around a stethoscope, medical equipment, or urgently needed drugs on an outing!

In Perfectly Reasonable, Trace is applying to medical school. With a little help from Margo, he plans to ace the dreaded medical school interview. Now he just has to convince Margo to help him!

A bit about Perfectly Reasonable ~

PerfectlyReasonable (400)_edited-4Love what you do and do what you love. Sounds perfectly reasonable, but chances are, you’ll find your passion in the last place you look . . .

Margo MacMillan finished medical school, but in the process, her self-confidence and self-esteem took a beating. So for the sake of self-preservation, she’s stepped away from medicine to re-group. In the meantime, painting soothes her soul and pays the bills.

Trace Bennett set his sights on a medical degree and has to prepare the perfect medical school application. His big plan is to paint his condo for a little feng shui divine luck. When Margo shows up to paint, he realizes he’s found exactly what he’s looking for. He just has to convince Margo to share more than the art of medicine.

She’s got it. He wants it. It’s Perfectly Reasonable.

Enjoy an excerpt ~

“So, you’re a doctor,” Trace said slowly.

Jeez. Back to that. “Yup.”

“How come a doctor is painting my living room?”

“Because you’re paying twice the usual fee,” Margo said with a cheeky grin.

“Shouldn’t you be…doctoring?”

Her smile slipped. He sounded like her mother. All that time, all that money, blah, blah, blah. “I could be, but at the moment, I’m painting.” She pointed to the paint sample hanging on the wall. “That’s the color I chose.”

He looked over. “I like it. Hopefully it will work.”

“I think it’ll work. Blue’s a neutral color. Looks good in this lighting and it’ll be a great backdrop with your metal furniture.”

“Hm-mm. I’m hoping it’ll be lucky.”


“Feng shui. Water and metal elements, á la blue paint and metal furniture, in the west and southwest rooms are supposed to bring divine luck this year. Good bye beige and wooden antiques.”

She smiled at him. He wants to get lucky? Look at those abs. Really, any color would do. “Sounds like you’ve researched this.”

He took a sip of coffee and set the cup down. “I have. I’m applying to medicine. Again. I’m giving it one last chance, and this time I’m doing it properly.”



“And you think feng shui will help?” She reached for a small tool in the outer pocket of the tote bag and used it to pry open the lid from the first can of paint.

“Couldn’t hurt. And I want to cover all the bases. If I can get a little divine luck on my side, I’m all for it.”

She smiled at him as she stirred the paint. Hopefully he had more than feng shui up his sleeve. “I’ll get this done and get you started. I’m happy to help.” Especially if it meant her bills would get paid.

“Are you? You could be handy.”

“Oh I’m definitely handy,” she said with a smile.

Buy link:

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.

Linda loves to connect with readers ~




Amazon Author Page:

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Advice Columns

I posted this in my newsletter and thought you might enjoy it too! Hope you are all staying safe and doing well in these uncertain times!

Is anyone else fascinated by advice columns? From a young age, when we got the daily Boston Globe I would read both Dear Abby and Ann Landers every day. I was always intrigued by the people who would write in and the intimate details they would share for the world to read.

In this modern age I have many more to choose from, and I have several bookmarked. I used to read Carolyn Hax, but now she is exclusive to the Washington Post and behind a paywall. My bookmarks, in no particular order, are Ask Amy, Dear Abby, Captain Awkward, Dear Prudence, Wayne and Tamara, Meredith/Love Letters, Miss Manners and Harriette Cole. I used to also read others but gave them up for various reasons. Yeah, I guess I’m a bit of an advice column junkie.

Each one gives me something a little different. Miss Manners is so delightfully last century, and her wit so dry, that she’s like a bite sized bit of fun. Wayne and Tamara are no-nonsense, no BS practical advice that may not be what the letter writers want to hear. Captain Awkward doesn’t post that often, but I look forward to the times when they do. Their columns are full of difficult questions, and mutual angst, and feel very real to me. I marvel at the courage of what some of those people put in their letters, baring open the secrets of their souls.

I enjoyed advice columns even before quarantine, but even more so now. Maybe it’s a way of feeling in control or perhaps it’s wondering what I would say if I wrote in to one of them. What would I ask about? There was a period in my life when I overshared to my friends and family and they knew all the details of my life (whether they wanted to or not). I am different now and keep my issues very much to myself. Would I share those with a columnist? Or would I write asking them questions, interview style, about how they choose their letters and their answers.

Part of me would like to write a column like that. Would I give good advice? What sorts of letters would I get? Each of those people has a specific style, and attracts a certain kind of reader. What sort of reader would I attract, if any?  Would my advice help people? I am unlikely to act on that impulse any more than I am going to try to create crossword puzzles (another interest of mine) but I wonder. Maybe someday I will!

Be well and stay safe!

Claire Davon

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 3 Comments

Yorkies and Tryptophan by DeAnn Smallwood

I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday of the year. Why? ‘Cause of the yummy, delicious, turkey dinner. I also enjoy my nap that comes after I gorge myself on the golden brown, roasted turkey and all the other mouthwatering dishes. It’s due to that culprit…TRYPTOPHAN in the turkey, making my body feel heavy and my eyes wanting to close. Wrong! Let me explain.

Tryptophan is a nutrient. It’s one of the naturally occurring amino acids. Amino acids are building blocks for muscle. They are also a starter compound for our neurotransmitters. Our body can’t make tryptophan on its own. We have to get it from food protein. So here’s the common belief regarding the famous post Thanksgiving nap: Eating all that yummy turkey puts tryptophan in our blood. There it quickly goes to our brain where it is converted to serotonin. Aha! Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can make you sleepy. Look out recliner here we come. Hold on football game while I let that culprit turkey have its way…tryptophan and serotonin at work.

SPOILER ALERT !!! There is no more tryptophan in turkey than in chicken or beef. In fact, nuts and cheese contain more. Certainly there isn’t enough to make you sleepy. The poor bird has been maligned. The “turkey coma” comes from our feasting on the delicious and abundant Thanksgiving meal. We (I know I do) stuff ourselves full to exploding then we nap so we can wake up and indulge in round two of the feast. Pumpkin pie and whip cream comes to mind. Maybe a slice of apple topped with ice cream.

In light of all this, the Yorkies want to know if fur babies (dogs to some) can have turkey Thanksgiving? According to the American Kennel Club, yes, they can. Meat only…no skin. No stuffing, nix on the pumpkin pie, and any other rich ingredients, spices or butter that can cause pancreatitis or digestive ailments. They also can have potatoes if not too heavily buttered, sweet potatoes and peas. So set a plate for these babies after all, Thanksgiving is really all about giving thanks for our blessings. And aren’t these Angels Among Us a blessing?


This blog has been a little harder to write since I no longer have my little Yorkie, Stormy, to help me. She passed away in October. My other two Yorkies, Eli and Peyton, are doing their best and so am I. We miss her. She took pieces of our hearts with her.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 1 Comment

The pup needed a buddy and a job.

Maggie turned nine months old on October 13th. We adore her curiosity, fearlessness, and enthusiasm. The challenge of keeping her shepherd brain and energy in check frequently wears us out. This photo sums up her attitude. “If I’m bored, I’ll find something to do.” My husband and I cracked up at her book of choice. She must’ve found it downstairs, removed the book jacket, carried it to her crate in the living room, hidden it, chewed on it, and then brought it out to show us. Note to self: no more puppies at 60+ years old.

Maggie longed for a play buddy. We’ve had two dogs most of our married life, so after a call to the wonderful rescue group, Ursa entered the picture on September 3rd. She’d been abandoned in coyote country. She’s Blue Heeler/Cattle Dog and we’re working through her timid uncertainty. Emerging is a morning dog who delights in taking on Maggie. The rescue woman knew we’d go slow with Ursa. Patience is paying off and the two are fast friends. We love our new girl.

Now onto the job part. Maggie knows the rules. The first is for dogs to stay out of the kitchen. “But Mom, Spock the cat eats in there?” she asks with her puppy eyes. Ursa was herded out by her several times. Ursa also found a gap in the fence and set out on an adventure. Maggie sat at the gap and barked until we noticed. A day later, Spock (wearing his pink halter and leash) left his designated area and slipped through the fence. Yup, I found Maggie with her paw on the leash from the inside, holding Spock from going too far on the outside. She’s the furry herd manager and I approve.

I recently celebrated a birthday, and my husband baked his first-ever cake. It was a beautifully frosted two-layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Someone came to the door to drop a gift. During a quick chat, I heard an unfamiliar slurp, slurp. Yup, Maggie had her paws on the counter and proceeded to clear a swath about 2″ x 3″. Being the daughter of a Depression mom, I carved off that section and we ate the delicious cake.

A friend presented me with the perfect birthday card marking Maggie’s accomplishment. She could’ve eaten a big chunk or pulled it to the floor. She knows the rules!

Proud to have won the 2020 Uncaged Book Award for Mystery/Suspense.
Posted in Simply Stated By Sally!, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged | 3 Comments

10 Quotable Quotes from No More Secrets

Whenever I pick up a new book—fiction or nonfiction—I like to pause and note any passages that trigger aha moments.

In earlier times (pre-computer), I would copy those pearls of wisdom into an “Inspirational Quotations” file. I still have that file but now post digitally.

When I started writing my own novels, I was happy to receive emails from readers who were touched and inspired by certain passages.

Here are ten quotations from No More Secrets that have resonated with early readers:

“Keeping secrets is wrong, especially if those secrets are toxic. If they’re not shared, those secrets will implode.”

“Instead of obsessing over the uncertain future, I decided to focus on what was good in my life.”

“Don’t wait for a crisis before acting.”

“You alone are enough. Don’t ever forget that, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.”

“You are destined for greater things. Take your time and choose wisely.”

“I can’t solve your problems for you, but I can listen without judgment.”

“You are determined to do it alone, and that is admirable, to a point.”

“You can’t live your life for your mother. Make your own decisions, and you will have no regrets.”

“Don’t turn your back on love, even if it doesn’t present itself in a socially acceptable form.”

“Whatever happens in my life, I will be able to draw strength from the memories of these unforgettable days.”

Blurb – No More Secrets

Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.

But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…

Buy Links

 Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Australia)

Posted in Inspiration, What's Up With Joanne!, Women's Fiction | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Writing Through Stress…

Happy Halloween, everyone!

I was supposed to blog back in July or August. I wrote the post and scheduled it, but something glitched and… well…

We’re still in a super stressful time. With Covid and as a nation. I know I am over-saturated with politics and media. I’ve been trying really hard to stay off of social media. The absolute negativity is just too much for my sanity.

Since my last post, my employment was secured. That Man went back to the office. His boss needs him close by. (We’re in totally different departments) I have no timeline for a return to the office. I moved the workspace to my “new” office. I’m still tweaking things, but it’s definitely a workable space now. I’m happy with that and with the lack of cats trying to sit on my keyboard when I type. The kid that still lives at home went back to work a few months ago and has been working 60+/week because they’re short staffed. She’s exhausted and super stressed.

I also finished the book I was working on. It needs massive editing, so it’s resting right now. I started a new story that I’m super excited about. AND I contracted two re-releases with SMP. I can’t wait for those!

We had trick or treat night here last night. (Don’t ask why it was on a Thursday. It always is because of football season in our town) I love trick or treat night, especially now that I don’t have to walk with the kids. Ha! It was a strange and different, but okay. Typically we have a bunch of people here using our house as a home base. My dining room table is piled with costume components, make up, and everything trick or treat related. We have tons of food and everyone brings a bag of candy to throw into the cauldron. It was just That Man and I on our porch with the cauldron of candy. We had about 1/3 of the usual trick or treaters, but those we did have were happy and cute. One parent thanked us for making things seem normal for the kids and that really meant a lot to us. We masked and stayed socially distant, too. But we got to talk to our neighbors and hear funny things from the kids. So while it was nothing like our normal, it was still good.

Things are still over the top stressful, but we’re managing. There are days I just want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head, and there are days that I worry about every single thing, but mostly it’s just dealing with things as they come. I guess that’s all any of us can do.

Stay strong and well, friends.


Posted in Soul Mate Publishing, The Heart of Victoria Smith | 4 Comments

The 7 Ps of Plotting by Catherine Castle

courtesy of Pixabay

I love alliteration, and lists of alliteration. So, with the aim of adding a new twist to an old narrative, (did you catch that alliteration?) I’ve taken a few permissions with plotting and renamed the familiar parts—but not the nitty gritty—of this basic craft element every writer should know. And if you don’t know about plotting, here’s a quick lesson I hope you enjoy. Just so you don’t get too confused, the normal names of the plot parts are in italics,

The 7 Ps of Plotting (in my alliteration list) are Promise, POV, Problems, Predicaments, Pacing, Pinnacle, and Peroration.

The Promise—The opening of every book holds a promise. A dead body usually promises mystery or suspense. A meeting between a man and a woman, with a spark of attraction, usually promises romance. If your character gets stuck in a doggie door while trying to retrieve her stray cat from the neighbor’s property, you are promising your reader comedy. The promise of your book is the hook you hold out to catch the reader. You have about three pages to hook a reader, agent or an editor. So make your opening a great one by introducing a character that’s important to the story right off the bat. Make sure you have, at the very least, a hint of the conflict to come, a hint of the setting, and a hint of your voice. Notice, I said hint. Don’t bog your reader down in copious amounts of back story or narrative with your opening. You’ll have hundreds of pages to work that in.

The POV—Make sure you’re telling your story from the right POV. Who is the character, or characters, at the heart of your story? Readers want to identify with your characters and if you don’t know whose story you are writing, they aren’t going to care about reading it. If you start out in the POV of a character you kill off in the next chapter, readers are going to be confused, and maybe even a bit angry at you. They have invested in your character already. Most romances have two POVs—the heroine and the hero. You might get away with adding a villain, but be very sure you need him. Longer books can support more characters, but be careful not to head hop. If you choose omniscient POV, realize readers want to connect with a character, and omniscient POV doesn’t allow them to easily do that.

The Problems—Problems, aka conflicts, are at the heart of your plot. Without them you have no story. Every plot and subplot must have problems for your characters to resolve, goals they must achieve. These problems can be internal or external, or both. Let the reader know upfront what your characters are facing. Waiting until chapter six will be too late. You don’t have to reveal everything in the first page, a clear hint at the upcoming problem can be enough to catch the reader’s interest.

Predicaments—Predicaments are the obstacles that keep your characters from accomplishing their goals and solving their problems. They are the plot turning points in your story that complicate the characters’ lives and frustrate them on their journey. Predicaments drive your story forward. They lead your character to the point of no return, to the black moments when it seems like all is lost. They provide the resolution to finish the job or get the goal at any cost. They increase tension, affect character development, lay the groundwork to achieve the goals, and lead characters to where they need to be to solve their problems. Make your characters’ predicaments powerful enough to keep readers interested. Pile them on to raise the stakes, making it harder to achieve goals. Plot twists, unexpected elements that take readers by surprise, are great ways to raise the stakes and take the ordinary story to the extraordinary. Be sure to plant seeds for any plot twists earlier in the story, so when the event happens you won’t leave your readers feeling cheated. You want them to say “Wow, I didn’t see that coming, but it makes sense if I think about it.”

The PacingPacing and plot points go hand-in-hand. If you frontload plot points you can end up with a sagging middle. If you place them too far back in the book, you’ll lose readers’ interest. When plotting your book, consider graphing the pivotal plot points, spacing them out so they push the story forward naturally. Each plot point must support the rest, yet be different in scale and intensity. A story composed totally of fast-paced plot points is a run-away train that gives readers heart palpations. You want their hearts to race at the proper times, not give them heart attacks. Slower scenes interspersed within those heart-racing scenes creates ebb and flow that gives readers a chance to take it all in, and gives  you a place to drop in some of the narrative writers love so much.

The Pinnacle—The pinnacle is the climax of your story, the peak of emotional response from the reader, the place where the protagonist solves his or her problems. At the climax, the reader knows there will be a happily-ever-after, or the murderer will be punished, or the world will be saved from invasion. The pinnacle of the story must be satisfying and resolve the stories issues in a logical way, or with a twist that readers didn’t see coming, but fully understand by the clues you planted along the way.

The Peroration—Yes, I know it’s a weird word, and I’m taking some literary license here, since peroration isn’t actually about novels but is the wrap up of a speech. It’s also the closest P word I could find to use for the “wrap-up” section of a plot. The last part of a plot, which is everything that occurs after the pinnacle of the story, is actually called the denouement. Mark Twain called it the “marryin’ and the buryin’” It’s the part of the story that wraps up the fate of any characters not mentioned in the climax and shows the results of the plot. In romances you’ll often see the denouement depicting a glimpse of the happily-ever-after, the requisite happy home, happy husband and wife, happy 2 1/2 kids and a dog.  In other genres you might see life returning to normal for a murder victim’s family, incarceration of the bad guy, the wounded soldier getting his medals, or the earth recovering after alien invasion. This section of the plot gives the reader closure and answers any questions about characters or events you might have left dangling in the breeze. Brevity is the key word in the peroration, or denouement. Short, sweet, and to the point. After all, the story has ended, the problems are solved, and there should be no more predicaments left … unless you have a sequel waiting in the wings. And, if you do, the same rules of plotting apply to that story.

So go forth … put pen to paper, plan … and plot!

Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog

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