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Archive for June, 2017

 

 

Patricia Davids—Their Pretend Amish Courtship

Fannie Erb isn’t looking for a husband – especially if it means she has to leave behind her beloved horses to go find one. What she needs is a way to assure her parents that she’s not hopeless when it comes to love. And her family friend, Noah Bowman, might just be her solution.

A fake relationship would free them both from unwanted matchmaking plans, but how could Fannie predict that pretending to date the handsome boy next door would awaken genuine emotions? By summer’s end, they’ll be free to go their separate ways, but Fannie’s growing feelings are transforming her neighbor into the only man who might ever reign in her adventurous heart.

Available at fine bookstores and at Harlequin online: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9780373622788_their-pretend-amish-courtship.html

 

Q & A WITH PATRICIA DAVIDS

What was your favorite part about writing Their Pretend Amish Courtship?

My favorite part of writing Their Pretend Amish Courtship was coming up with the dialogue between Fannie and Noah when they were sniping at each other. I’d write the scene and then come back to tweak it over and over again until I got just the right amount of tension or humor. I had a lot of fun with them.

How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I normally spend about a month researching before I start writing but I continue to research through the entire writing process. I know a lot about the Amish culture but I’m always learning something new.

What are the traits you admire most in Fannie and Noah?

I have to say it was their youth. Oh, to be that young again. They weren’t the most mature characters to start out with and that made them fun to write, but they both underwent an emotional growth process that allowed them to discover real love.

How long does it typically take for you to write a book?

I will normally write a 55,000-word manuscript in three months after a month of research.

What is your favorite thing about writing romance?

I love everything about writing romance except…writing. I love the birth of an idea that morphs into a story and then finding the perfect characters to tell that story. I love making things turn out right for a wonderful couple. I just hate spelling it out word by word as I struggle to take my ideas and turn them into something that makes sense to anyone who reads it. Writing for me is hard, tedious work.

How many books have you written? Is there one that you would consider your favorite?

I have 32 completed manuscripts including the one I’m about to finish this week. Do I have a favorite? Yes. Two of them. The Amish Midwife is the Amish book I like best because my family and friends helped so much with my research for it. My other favorite is a western historical romance I wrote years ago that has never found a home. I happen to think it’s my best work.

What are a few of your favorite books? Do you have any recommendations?

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer is one of my all-time favorite books. Walking After Midnight by Karen Robards is another and if you haven’t read The Life of Pi you should.

What book are you currently reading right now?

I hesitate to say this, but I’m not much of a reader. I know. Shocker! I used to be a voracious reader. I would read two or three books a week. Now, I read mainly for research. Once in a while I’ll read something a friend recommends. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin was one I recently finished and enjoyed.

Do you have any tips for people suffering from writer’s block?

Until two years ago I didn’t believe in writer’s block. I thought it was a cop-out used by writers without the determination it takes to slog through to the end. I’m a stubborn person who likes to finish what I start. But after losing my mother and becoming the caregiver for my ill father and then suffering my own health crisis, I ran out of things to write about. Somehow, the creative part of my brain that loves to make up stories just stopped working. I couldn’t come up with a plot to save my soul. I had to take a break. I didn’t write for six months. I was fortunate that my publisher understood and supported me until I found my voice again. My advice is to let go of the guilt of not writing and take care of yourself. When you are in a good place, the voices come back.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

I love new writers because they are filled with enthusiasm. They have the desire but they don’t always have the skill. My main advice is to learn the craft. Dissect books you love to see how the author evokes emotions in the characters and in the reader. Study the pacing of the story. Where and how does it rush you along and where and how does it make you dwell in the moment. A new writer must embrace constructive criticism. It’ a hard lesson but it’s a valuable one. Every story can be improved. Finally, never ever give up believing that you will achieve your dream.

ABOUT PATRICIA DAVIDS

USA Today best-selling author Patricia Davids was born and raised in Kansas. After forty years as an NICU nurse, Pat switched careers after forty years to become an inspirational writer in 1996. Today, she enjoys crafting emotionally satisfying romances where love and faith being two people together forever. She enjoys spending time with her daughter and grandchildren, traveling, and playing with her dogs, who think fetch should be a twenty-four hour a day game. When not on the road or throwing a ball, Pat is happily dreaming up new stories.

 

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Vicki Lewis Thompson—In the Cowboy’s Arms

Matt Forrest was born to be an actor, but he grew up at Thunder Mountain Ranch as a cowboy. So when things go haywire after shooting his first Hollywood movie, he retreats to his childhood home where he knows his parents and foster brothers can help him figure out what he really wants out of life.

But PR agent, Geena Lysander, isn’t about to lose one of her best new clients—so she follows him. And things get complicated because she’s attracted to Matt, and not just for his handsome, movie-star good looks. As she gets to know the man behind the cowboy, their professional relationship becomes passionately personal. Could Matt’s next big role be as Geena’s leading man?

Available at all fine bookstore and at Harelquin online: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9780373623525_in-the-cowboys-arms.html

 

How-to Tips for Aspiring Writers: Tips for those looking to get their work published/break into the industry.

  1. Be an artist and a businesswoman. A myth persists that all you need is a great book and minions will appear to do the rest. A great book is a good start, but it will languish unless it’s shepherded through the process by an educated author who’s studied the market and researched her publishing options.
  2. Turn in clean copy. Pleasing a reader is the goal, whether the reader is your mom, an agent, an editor, or the stranger who plunks down money for your book. No one deserves to be handed a story riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes unless that person has agreed, for love or money, to help you make it presentable.
  3. Study story structure. Commercial fiction is more than a random collection of scenes. Many excellent books have been written about story structure if you’re hazy on the concept. Even if you think you understand it, brush up on the topic to be sure.
  4. Read and analyze bestsellers in your sub-genre. They’ve achieved what you’re aiming for and it’s extremely valuable to figure out how and why they’re reaching a large audience. If the answer seems elusive, keep looking. It’s there.
  5. Find your tribe. Writing is a solitary pursuit, but with all the communication tools we have, you should be able to locate your peeps. If possible, funnel down from the general category of writer to fiction writer, then to romance fiction writer and finally to the specific sub-genre(s) you’re targeting. Building a network of those who write what you do will help with your plots, your sales and your sanity.

ABOUT VICKI LEWIS THOMPSON

Vicki Lewis Thompson is a New York Times bestselling author who worked as a journalist and a high school English teacher before deciding to become a romance novelist. She was the recipient of Romance Writers of America’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, and has published more than 150 books. Her love affair with cowboys started with the Lone Ranger, continued through Maverick, and took a turn south of the border with Zorro. Fortunately for her, she lives in the Arizona desert, where broad-shouldered, lean-hipped cowboys abound.  Visit her website at http://www.vickilewisthompson.com.

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Cathy Gillen Thacker—Wanted Texas Daddy

All small towns have their secrets. No one in Laramie, Texas knows about Sage Lockhart’s friends-with-benefits relationship with the handsome cowboy, Nick Monroe. However, Sage wants something more from Nick—something that could change the very nature of their arrangement. She wants to have his baby.

Nick has always wanted to take things with Sage to the next level. Having a child wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, but it’s an adventure he can’t refuse. Of course, neither of them realized just how complicated things could get.

Now, with a baby on the way and all of their careful plans unraveling, Sage and Nick must face the one secret they’ve been hiding from themselves…and from each other.

Available at all fine bookstores and at Harlequin direct: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488010774_wanted-texas-daddy.html

 

Q & A WITH CATHY GILEN THACKER

Here’s an intimate look at Cathy Gillen Thacker and her new book.

What was your favorite part about writing WANTED: TEXAS DADDY?

I loved having a pregnant heroine, and doting daddy-to-be.

What was challenging about writing this book?

I covered the entire pregnancy, from the first mention of having a child together, to bringing baby home from the hospital. A lot of ground to cover in 55,000 words!

How would you describe the relationship between Sage and Nick?

Committed. They started out as great friends, became lovers and then finally husband and wife.

How did you come up with their names? Do they mean anything specific?

Nick is a guy’s guy, so I wanted him to have a name that was both masculine and accessible. Sage is a popular girl’s name in the southwest—probably because the plant is both hardy and evergreen and beautifully blooming. Sage really blossoms in response to Nick’s love and attention.

When did you first realize that you wanted to be writer?

I started dreaming up stories when I was eleven-adding details to the story was how I put myself to sleep most nights. I got serious about putting words to page when my children were toddlers.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Teach.

What else do you love to do besides writing?

Spend time with family. Garden, read, listen to music, watch TV and movies to feed my voracious appetite for ‘story’.

What is the biggest misconception about your genre?

That the books are silly, pointless, or easily created. A great love story stays with the reader long after the last page is read. Creating a memorable story is a lot of work!

What future projects are you working on?

I just started a new six book series about the heroes and heroines of fictional Laramie County.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Finish the book. Taking the story from beginning all the way to the end teaches a writer more about craft, than anything else. Then, while trying to sell the first book, start another, and finish that, too!

About Cathy Gillen Thacker

 

CATHY GILLEN THACKER is a full-time wife, mother of three, and author who began writing stories during “nap time” when her children were toddlers. She wrote seven books as she taught herself how to be an author, and her eighth attempt was published in 1982. Since then, she has written and published more than 100 Harlequin novels. She and her husband resided in Texas for eighteen years and now make their home in North Carolina.  Her mysteries, romantic comedies, and family stories have made numerous appearances on bestseller lists, but her best reward is knowing one of her books made someone’s day a little brighter.

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