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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

San Antonio!

Terri Reed here it actually Monday night but I'll be on a plane at 5am PT and won't have a moment to write. I'm on my way to San Antonio along with 2000 authors for the annual Romance Writers of America conference.  One Wednesday night is the Readers for Life Literacy signing.  There will be over 500 romance authors with books to sign.  If you're in the area, stop on by! We'd love to see you. Here's the link to find the out more about the signing

I'll be signing my June release Undercover Marriage, book six of the Witness Protection continuity series from Love Inspired Suspense.
An illegal adoption ring—using kidnapped babies—has to be stopped. To gather the necessary evidence, U.S. marshal Serena Summers goes undercover—as a married woman desperate for a baby. Her "husband" is her own partner, U.S. marshal Josh McCall, whom Serena blames for her brother's death. How can she act like a loving wife when she has to constantly fight her feelings for a man she isn't sure she can trust? The closer they get to unraveling the dark web of deceit, though, the more being Josh's undercover wife means putting her life—and future—in his hands. 
Witness Protection: Hiding in plain sight

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Writing Real: Location

Hello from Gail Gaymer Martin at:  

Over time, I’ve learned if I want to write real I need to visit the location of my novel. While creating a fictitious location can be easier, I’ve found that fans love to read about real places. I’ve also learned real places offer bonuses as I researched.

Bonus 1 -Realistic Details

My writing is known for realistic characters and locations that bring my stories to life. For the last few years, I’ve used real towns for my novels. When I use a fictitious street or home description, I usually pattern it after one that is real. By researching real location, authors can take photos, note impressions, involve the senses and later can recall their reaction and experience. This can add reality to their novels. When I do Internet research, the photos and information also come to life. 

Bonus 2 - Simulating Plot Ideas

While researching a town, authors can learn town history, 
sights, events and activities that help stimulate story ideas. Recently, I spent two days in the small town of Owosso. Though a lifelong resident of Michigan, I’ve never had reason to visit this mid-state town. My publisher, Love Inspired, enjoys stories set in rural areas and small towns, making Owosso perfect. This town has its own castle, built by a 1920s novelist, James Curwood, to use as his writing sanctuary. 

With children in some of my novels, learning about the town’s three Playscape venues was a find. Two of these areas provide a kid’s splash pool, slides, swings, rock wall, rope brides, a pavilion and gazebo.  One Playscape is located at the DeVries Nature Conservatory and gives children opportunities to study nature in a hands-on activities. Owosso also has a sled hill for winter fun. The town has a Steam Railroading Institute, an art gallery, a conference center, sleigh museum, community actors and theater, numerous community festivals and events, and a nearby town that has a historic village.  People can roller skate, bowl and shop in a four street area, and the town is filled with restaurants and churches. All of these features triggered ideas for novels in the Lilac Circle Series.

Bonus 3 – Making Contacts

The Chamber of Commerce is the location of the woman who is in charge of all city events. She graciously took me on a tour of some of the cities features. We drove through residential areas where I located the street I call Lilac Circle, featuring characters from my series. We went to the nearby town of Corunna to visit their Playscape in McCurdy Park where characters will find Sled Hill, the historic village and the county Courthouse which is part of the first book, Unexpected Mommy, 2015 release. Through my contact I learned about holiday events and their details, such as: Christmas, Easter egg hunt, 4th of July celebration and other unique city festivals and celebrations.

I also learned the local newspaper is privately owned and
is open to carrying local articles that would interest the town’s residence. I am hopeful I can receive some press when my book series is released. Another contact was the Owosso Bookstore where they are interested in carrying my books when released. I offered to do a book signing.  These personal contacts provide individuals to call for answers to question not found through research.

Bonus 4 – Tax Deductible
The cost for a research trip is travel expenses which are tax deductible. The benefits are high: realism, idea stimulation, contacts and the ability to feel, taste, touch, smell, hear and see the location of your story.
Yes, you can fabricate a town, and you must if it’s speculative, but being there is a far greater investment especially for contemporary fiction, as well as historical fiction which is heightened by walking the fields of Gettysburg, exploring a real plantation, seeing migrant workers and where they live.  How can a writer imagine looking at Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower or riding in a gondola on the Grand Canal without experiencing it? I have, and so could you.

Researching for this book was a great experience, and I've visited Heidelberg. Germany numerous times now. Dreaming of Castles is a romance with humor and one I love.

5 Star Amazon Reviews, Dreaming of Castles:   Many adventures and mis-adventures while in Germany. There is both humor and romance in the book. Hope you will read the book and enjoy it as much as I did.  Amazon Reviewer
Spring Dalton along with her ‘less than perfect’ figure faces her life head-on and her cousin’s offer to stay with her in Heidelberg, Germany fulfilling her dream of a becoming an artist, losing weight and being swept away by Prince Charming. On the train from Frankfurt to Heidelberg, Spring meets Matt who falls into her lap and the two strangers embark on a floundering yet amazing adventure. Will Spring dreams come true and will she find her Prince Charming. Chuckle your way through her adventure. 

Available in trade book or eBook format. For the Amazon links visit: Dreaming Of Castles


Friday, July 18, 2014

Guest blog post, devotional, and giveaway on Shannah's blog

Hey guys, Camy here! I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to let you know about my guest blog post at Shannah’s blog. I’m talking about my writing process for my latest book, which is a short novel/long novella published in Sealed With a Kiss, the latest Inspy Kisses collection. I’m talking about my hero and heroine and showing the actors who inspired them.

I’m also doing a short devotional for Shannah’s Water Your Faith Wednesday, and then there’s a giveaway for my contemporary romance, Sushi for One. Head over to enter!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

First review of Danger at the Border

Terri Reed here, I just learned that Romantic Times Magazine gave Danger at the Border 4 1/2 stars!

“Biologist, Dr. Tessa Cleary is called in to investigate the source of a deadly toxin that is threatening lives on the U.S./Canadian border. Border patrol agent, Jeff Steele will assist. Jeff views Tessa as high maintenance and is looking forward to returning home as soon as possible. When they are kidnapped, they must trust each other if they hope to make it out alive. This is the first installment in Reed’s Northern Border Patrol series. As the danger increases, the reader is pulled further into the story. The secondary characters are well integrated, and the suspense and romance are evenly balanced.” Leslie McKee, RT Magazine

And for a chance to win a copy follow this link to Harlequin's Goodreads page.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer time....

Summertime adventures, anyone?

Can you believe it's mid-July already?  I don't know where this spring went, and here we are, heading into shorter days already.

After a moment or two of thought, I know why our spring and summer have been speeding by....quite a bit of travel, and lots of family events.

Here is the  lemon bundt cake I made for the party celebrating our daughter Emily's college graduation in May--she got her MS in Special Ed.  Her husband graduated too, so we had lots to celebrate!

Then a few days later, she and I headed to the Gulf so she could start looking at property and get a feel for the area, before we headed over to  New Orleans for the Romantic Times convention.

Oh, my.  What a wonderful time we had, enjoying the restaurants in the Garden District and French Quarter, and just soaking up the atmosphere down there.   I love New Orleans!

Have you been there?  Every time, I find myself on a Swamp Tour.  Bayou country is so beautiful, with its  mysterious waterways, Spanish moss draped trees  and creatures lurking in dark water.  Invariably,  the tour guides lure alligators from the shore with marshmallows, hotdogs or chicken.

This year, the guide seemed overly friendly with the  swamp creatures.  I was relieved when he didn't get hauled into the water... and glad that I was on the nice, safe boat.  :)

This little feller was  released after we had a chance to meet him.  I suspect he won't be nearly as friendly in another year or so.

 I hope you've been having a wonderful summer, filled with sunny days, time with family, and plenty of good books to read.

I would love to hear about some of your memorable summertime experiences!

Blessings,  Roxanne Rustand

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Allie Pleiter on "pretty, shiny..."

I went to Denver last month, and all I took home was...

...this very pretty trophy!

Now, we are not an athletic family by any stretch of the imagination, but thanks to my husband's sports car enthusiast hobby, we have our fair share of trophies.  As a matter of fact, he won one just the weekend before my acquisition--and his even lights up!  This, however, is my first, it means a lot.

And that's not a bad thing.  I've been nominated for awards several times.  It always feel nice--especially when the nods come from fellow writers or, in this case, from readers.  We want to be appreciated.  We want to have our hard work recognized, no matter what our field of endeavor.

The trouble comes when such snazzy hardware becomes the goal, rather than the happy extra.  If I seek to write for acclaim, that's not nearly enough juice to keep me going through the day-in, day-out slog of sitting down at my computer and making words happen for fourteen years.  Instead, I've found that the real go-power for me comes from love of the process.  Being a writer is about 2% cool public acclaim, and about 93% sitting alone and making it happen.  The other 5% (maybe more) is pure Hand of God.

Am I happy to have this little trinket? You betcha.  It feels great.  I was pleased. I've waited a long time to add the words "award-winning" to my biography.  Does it significantly change my life?  No.  And it's best I keep it that way.

Hardware is fun, but a new book is even better.  Fans of the Gordon Falls series--book #2 The Fireman's Homecoming is the volume which earned me my spiffy trophy--will be happy to know that book #4 was just rated an RT Top Pick for August.  I hope you'll enjoy A Heart to Heal or any of the entire Gordon Falls series.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Loving

Jenna Mindel wondering if summer's really here.... It's chilly today in Northern Michigan and not expected to climb out of the 60's.  We'll see as the day progresses.  I live in an area that attracts summer residents and tourists alike.   Living here, I'm privileged to regularly enjoy what makes the area so special - miles of  bike paths, beaches and gorgeous sights.  I hope I never take any of it for granted.

Some of my summer favorites are jumping off our breakwall....

Picking cherries....

Going to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park...

Snorkeling the bay for famous Petoskey Stones...

Taking in the sight of the majestic Mackinac Bridge..
And bike riding but I can't seem to locate a picture.  You get the idea. :)

So, what kinds of things or places to go are you looking forward to this summer?

Check out my website for my latest books set in Northern Michigan.

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