JULY

CELEBRATING EMERGING ROMANCE AUTHORS

07-20 – Small Town Romance Author – Kathy Coatney

Monday, July 22, 2019

Regrets—Maybe Yes, Maybe No!

by Courtney Pierce


Being a child of the sixties, it’s a no-brainer to recall a litany of bonehead antics from my past that I might want to change. A few of those teenage misbehaves, like sneaking over to the boys’ camp from the girls’ camp to skinny dip, would be tough to let go. I was ten years old in 1969too young to go to concerts and too old for my Easy-Bake Oven. I made hippie clothes for my Barbie and listened to the Beatles, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Herman’s Hermits, and The Cowsills ad nauseum. Compared to kids today, I was a goody two shoes. If I could change anything, it would be that I would’ve stuck out my neck to partake in riskier adventures.

When my family lived in New Jersey in the early 70s, I loved every minute of ditching class to ride the train to the end of line and back. I'd quietly stare out the window and assess the passengers reading their newspapers, making up stories about their lives. In those days, there were no cell phones or selfies on social media to bust me. As long as I was home in time for supper and maintained good grades, that was good enough for my parents.

My older sister experienced all the cool stuff—like snagging concert tickets. She would sneak out to see The Rolling Stones, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin. Even Iron Butterfly was on her roster of sneak-away concerts. Best of all, she “experienced” Jimi Hendrix and saw The Who smashing their equipment. Of course, I stuck up for her to avoid the inevitable sibling retaliation.

I was so jealous! Gutless me wouldn’t dare risk getting in trouble. And besides, the cost of the ticket was beyond my reach, even at the outrageous price of $9.50. 

To make up for that void, I entered into a thirty-year career in the touring Broadway and concert business, earning my chops in theater basements to settle the shows with the producers. Extremely glamorousnot! I could see anyone I wanted, and often did, but I rarely enjoyed the show. It was work, not pleasure. Instead, I took all those Broadway stars for granted and worked into the wee hours before having to get on a plane home the next morning. Looking back, I should've sat to enjoy the show like everyone else, without a critical eye on what wasn’t perfect.

I met all kinds of stars, but most of them were just talented, average people who happened to get famous. Take Micky Rooney, for instance. I sat on a concrete step with him in the alley behind the Colonial Theater in Boston. His one-man show was his last hoorah. We talked about all kinds of stuff, but mostly he bitched about how horrible it was being famous. Lack of privacy and all.

Now that so many of my childhood icons are dying, the losses smart in a way that I can’t explain. These people were never supposed to get old and dieLou Reed, David Bowie, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, George Harrison, Tom Petty. They were all supposed to be frozen in time until I died, not them. I wish I’d been a pain-in-the-butt and made my sister take me with her to all those concerts. There were so many wasted opportunities that I now regret.

A sense of urgency hits me when I slide a CD into the player, and I’m compelled to say, “God, I wish I’d seen this band in their heyday.” It’s not the same when the bands attempt that last cash-in by going on a “Farewell, Farewell-Again Tour.” A seventy-year-old rocker replicating their youthful moves is more comical than entertaining. They aren’t quite how I remembered them.

Traveling Wilburys
A big exception was Tom Petty. Two years ago, we took the plunge to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Red Rocks near Denver. An amazing talent in an equally amazing venue. One month later he was found dead. That Red-Rocked us to our core, and left us wishing we’d seen The Travelling Wilburys, a compilation band whose members were Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynn. Now, only Jeff Lynn is left of the entire iconic group.

Photo: Washington Post
Several musicians and actors shaped my youth. I hold tight to all those CDs and DVDs, because they hold a piece of me. I remember licking my lips every few seconds to be like Doris Day. I attempted to tap dance like Shirley Temple and binge-watched Alfred Hitchcock movies just to spot his cameo appearances. And didn’t every kid want a dad like Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird?

Most of all, watching those movies and listening to the lyrics on those albums shaped my writing. Without them, I doubt I would've had the imagination to write any of the novels I do today.


Photo: Micah Brooks
Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Kalispell, Montana with her husband, stepdaughter, and their brainiac cat, Princeton. Courtney writes for the baby boomer audience. She spent 28 years as an executive in the entertainment industry and used her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor, and mystery. She studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows Program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, Courtney is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and She Writes. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal.

Audiobook now Available!
Check out all of Courtney's books: 
windtreepress.com 

Print and E-books are available through most major online retailers, including Amazon.com.

Available Now!
Book 3 of the
Dushane Sisters
Trilogy
The Dushane Sisters Trilogy concludes with Indigo Legacy, available now. There's love in the air for Olivia and Woody, but will family intrigue get in the way? Ride along for the wild trip that starts in a New York auction house and peaks in a mansion on Boston's Beacon Hill. 

The Dushane sisters finally get to the truth about their mother.


New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight."


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Setting Goals to Propel My Writing to the Next Level by Kathy Coatney


FALLING IN LOVE SERIES
When I was offered the opportunity to write this blog for Romancing the Genres about taking my writing to the next level, it came just as I was investing some real time into marketing my books on Facebook (FB).

I have limited fiction writing time because I’m also a freelance photojournalist/editor. I write at least three articles a month and edit three different magazines, so I’m not an author who can write three or four books a year. Two is the best I can do.

I seriously considered hiring someone to do FB ads for me, but one thing kept stopping me. No one knows and loves my books as much as I do, so who better than me to write the ad copy? And if I can do that, I’ll have much better success with my ads, and improve my writing.

So, I’ve decided to give up some fiction writing time for the next 30 days to buckle down and learn how to market the books that are already published. To that end, I’ve committed myself to learning the ins and outs of FB ads. I have set aside time to work on my ads every day, which not only includes writing ads, but searching for new and better audiences, learning the jargon and the different ways to determine if my ads are successful. I feel this is critically important to moving my career to the next level.

There are several steps to FB ads from learning how to maneuver in business ads manager to becoming comfortable with all the steps in creating an ad. My first ad took two days to put together! The second ten minutes, so huge progress there.

THE CROOKED HALO CHRONICLES
Another big step is the ad copy. I needed snippets, headlines, and call to action. Fortunately, I took a blurb class last winter from Kathryn Jane (I highly recommend this class). I spent a lot of time developing new blurbs for all five of my books, worked on call to action, headline and snippets, which gave me enough to get my first ads up and running, but I will also have work on more because, what I’m learning is, you have to keep changing and tweaking your ad copy.

To date, I have managed to put seven ads together, I’ve paused the first three, and I currently have four others running, but I will be pausing another one soon. While the cost per click is in a good range, and I’m getting lots of clicks, I’m worried the photo may misrepresent my book.  Here is the link to the ad. https://fb.me/27qrinMXi6GMOxW

This ad is doing pretty well for me, too.
I will be keeping it because this photo very closely represents my story and my main character. I will be tweaking the photo on this ad as I want to change the look of the book cover on it.

Here are the two new ads I have out.

SHE'S OUT OF HIS LEAGUE
I’m testing these ads with different audiences, text, and photos. If you look close, you’ll see the man laying in the grass is the same model from a previous ad with my book cover on it.

It’s still too early to tell if these ads are successful, but early indications have shown they are at least doing okay. I will keep developing new ads, so that when these aren’t successful, they will be replaced.If you’re like me you’re probably saying, yeah, yeah, I agree with you, but I just don’t want to take time away from my writing, or it’s just too hard and I can’t figure it out.

I used those excuses for the last two years, but it occurred to me that if I want to be a successful, independently published author, I have to learn how to market my books or I will be doomed to write more and more books, faster and faster until I burn myself out.

I don’t want to lose the pleasure of writing my books so I’m determined to learn this. I also believe that just like I had to learn about POV and telling versus showing, that seemed oh so complicated all those years ago, I will learn how to do these ads. I have to.

LEAVE ME BREATHLESS
Before I sign off, just a little bit about my books. I write deeply emotional, small town, romances. I have a three book series out, Falling For You…Again, Falling in Love With You, Falling in Love for the First Time.

I also have She’s Out of His League that is a stand alone at the moment, but I have two more books in the series that will be released shortly.

Leave Me Breathless is a romantic mystery, and I will have more books to follow in that series, too.

I also have a short story series, The Crooked Halo Chronicles, that I will be developing into a full series that has love, romance, and guardian angels. 

You can get Angels R Us for free just for subscribing to my newsletter.

Thank you all. It was lovely spending time with you. I look forward to meeting up with you on FB, TW, and kathycoatney.com.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Change The Past? #timetravel #romance

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of sci-fi and supernatural stories to engage your emotions. Since my main series involves time-travel, this month's topic should be easy, right?! 😉

One of the first rules I made for my time travellers was that, while they could technically travel anywhen in time, they couldn't go back into their own personal pasts (or futures). It's not quite Doctor Who with their fixed points in time where trying to change it could destroy the universe, but a mental thing - since they use mental powers to travel, there's a psychological block. If you know a loved one has died, for example, how can you go back when you know they're gone? Although for my main heroine Quin, there's a good reason not to as she explains to her equally talented son...

“There’s so much I should have asked you over the past year, so much I could have learned.”
Despite her tears, Quin laughed. “Oh, Geth, hindsight is such a wonderful thing.”
“But you said we can travel in time as well as space. Didn’t you ever try to go back and…?”
“We can’t go back,” Quin snapped, a sudden harshness in her expression that softened at his responding scowl. “And even if we could, if we could put every little mistake right, what would that do to us? We wouldn’t be the people we are now. Would we care so much if we hadn’t already lost things precious to us? Would we have pity for others if we hadn’t suffered ourselves? Everything that we are, everything that we try to do, believing it to be for the best; all of it is born from the life we’ve had, the decisions we’ve had to make, good or bad. There are so many things I want to put right, but knowing that I can’t means I try all the harder to make the right choices and be the best person I can.”
“Is that really what you believe?”
“I believe most things happen for a reason. The rest…is luck, good or bad. I don’t believe in any god, but sometimes I believe in Fate.”
***
Which is why, I guess, that even if I had the power I wouldn't want to go back and change anything. Even the smallest thing could make a huge change to how my life turned out, and despite some of it I'm pretty happy where I am. Although sometimes I wonder if the past me might have felt a little better if I could pop back and give her a hint...

Abandoned. Hunted. Out of control.


Gethyon Rees had always felt at odds with the universe, and hoped for an escape among the stars. But discovering he has the ability to cross time and space with just a thought brings more problems than it solves: a deadly bounty hunter who can follow him anywhere, the unwelcome return of Tarquin Secker--the mother who abandoned him--and an ancient darkness that seeks him and all those with his talents. 


When an unforgivable act sets him on the run, it'll take more than his unearthly powers to save his skin and the lives of those he cares about. It'll take a sacrifice he never expected to have to make.


A science fiction adventure novel previously published by BURST (Champagne Books), and part of the Travellers Universe. A 2014 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for Most Awesome Psychic Talent and a 2015 EPIC eBook Awards finalist in the Science Fiction category. Also now includes the SF short story The Bones of the Sea. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Back To The Future?

Hindsight is human nature but we'd drive ourselves crazy if we spent too much time in 'if only' land.

I've reached a point in my life where (thankfully) I can look back at bad decisions, or missed opportunities and say 'that's the past, what have you learned from that?' 

 Have you seen The Butterfly Effect movies? Characters travel back in time to change  decisions, actions, that they regretted - but no good came of it and the future changed for the worse.

Life is great and all the things I've done (good and bad) have got me here. Changing any of that would most certainly Butterfly Effect my life and it wouldn't be what it is today. Sure, it might be better - I might be living in a beautiful house in the English countryside because I became a world-wide best seller with my first book because i didn't procrastinate so much with my writing and actually followed up the request from an agent from a conference pitch. But I'm still writing, I am published and I have a wonderful, supportive group of local writing friends who I wouldn't see if I was in the lap of English luxury.

I might have made different relationship choices, but then I probably wouldn't have met my perfect match who supports my writing (and all my other ventures). 

However, there are two things I would change that wouldn't have had repercussions on anything else except give me more peace of mind.

My dad died when I was only 17. I was a naive teenager who didn't appreciate the importance of time spent talking to your parents. If I could go back, with my current wisdom, I'd talk to him about his childhood, his family. His time in the war and meeting my mum. His experiences as a 'new Australian' / WW2 refugee and write his biography like I wrote my mum's. He loved to dance and so do I. I'd make sure we had times of dancing together.  

My darling mum died aged 93 and we were blessed to have her for so long. The one thing I've regretted is that the day she passed away, I went home from the hospital because we didn't realise how close the end was. In hindsight, I would have loved to have just sat with her so she wasn't alone. 

I could fill a book with things, small and large, that might benefits from a revisit but I put my emotional energy towards trying to do the best with today and tomorrow. 

We're human, we're gonna stuff up. Life might be easier if we didn't, but would it be interesting or stimulating?

Andra writes steamy romances across contemporary, paranormal and historical genres and loves posting about her daily writing life on Instagram @andraashesmutmaven 

www.andraashe.com


 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

If I Could Change One Thing in My Past... by Delsora Lowe


Truthfully, I can’t imagine changing anything in my life, even the dreadful experiences of losing a job, or my sister, favorite aunt, and dad, and friends. Strange as it seems, and despite my longing to have all those people back in my life, the things, good or bad, have shaped who I am.
Plant given to me by the Maine Romance Writers in honor of my sister.
They bloom every year right around her birthday
Would I take back the temper tantrum, when I was fourteen, (mind you, old enough to know better,) when I refused to go to the school my parents wanted me too? No. Sure, I regret being a PIA to my parents. And, thankfully, I did not win that battle. I just celebrated my 50th high school reunion.
Looking back, the best years of my life.

My best friends (male and female) to this day are from that school, including those who I lost along the way. They were sorely missed, but their influence in my life was ever present. We had an incredible reunion, not only in recalling old memories, but many discussions on how growing up in the 60s and attending a Quaker school influenced every one of our lives. And all the more meaningful, for me, was how much more I appreciated the experience and lessons taught from the long-ago temper tantrum.

YAY for long-time, great friends
Yes, I still talk to my deceased family and friends, and wish they could answer me back, offer me their wisdom, delight me with their humor, and accompany me on new adventures. In truth, they are still there, in my heart and my mind.

But the fact is, if I changed any one thing, my life would be different and I would have missed out on something. The old adage, when one door closes, another opens. Each life experience led me to the next.

The one thing I do wish I could change are all the wasted moments.


The moments I was too tired to write while working full-time, and keep up on all the constant changes in social media and marketing. The missed communication with friends who are no longer here. Those are my regrets. The moments where it was easier to veg on the couch in front of a Hallmark movie. Even though the movies have inspired my writing.
Anyone remember high school Christmas dances?
This love story is about the chaperones.
And right now, on Hallmark, it is Christmas in July, 24 hours a day. Which is perfect timing for revising my holiday romance, which has all things Thanksgiving and Christmas at a Vermont inn, including a refurbished sleigh.
My hero refurbishes an old sleigh as a surprise for the heroine.
Okay, total disclosure, I do watch those movies over and over and over. But I also take notes, study how they construct the plot, the character arcs, details on setting, and what tropes they use. I AM working and learning. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Having said all that, the wasted time of not keeping up on constant change, is now resulting in my taking more and more time out of my writing to catch up. And, hate to admit, but the “old” brain takes a lot longer to process the constant barrage of new information and updated techniques.

Still, I am who I am, because of the progression of my life experiences.

So moving forward, I’ll try to waste less time, take more opportunities to learn and experience, and live the rest of my life to the fullest (okay, I’ll still watch Hallmark and devour romances, because in my profession neither are a waste of time 😊 and they make me SUPER HAPPY.)



  ~ cottages to cabins ~ keep the home fires burning ~

Delsora Lowe writes small town sweet romances and contemporary westerns from the mountains of Colorado to the shores of Maine. Author of the Starlight Grille series, Serenity Harbor Maine novellas, and the Cowboys of Mineral Springs series, Lowe has also authored short romances for Woman’s World magazine.

A first meet, royalty and the nanny romance between a self-exiled prince with a royal chip on his shoulders and the local rancher's daughter who rails against any man who tries to tell her what to do. When she tries to tell the prince how to raise his son, tempers flare and sparks fly.
Amazon E-book link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PZD3FNC/ref=sr_1_2? rid=32PO3EI3KDLQI&keywords=delsora+lowe&qid=1553611414&s=digital-text&sprefix=dels%2Cdigital-text%2C196&sr=1-2-catcorr   
Amazon Print Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1091276862?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860 
Books2Read link, includes Barnes and Noble and iBooks: books2read.com/u/b6xzr6

Social Media Links:


Clip Art Links

Classmates – crayons - https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-group-photo-image740763

Christmas Sleigh - http://clipart-library.com/christmas-sleigh-pictures.html

Snarky happy face - http://cliparting.com/free-smiley-face-clip-art-1465/
Flying time – man and clock - https://www.iclipart.com/search.php?keys=cliches&tl=clipart

Monday, July 15, 2019

A Lunar Anniversary...by Kristin Wallace


Did you know there's a historic anniversary coming up this month? 50 years ago - on July 20, 1969 - Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Minutes later, Buzz Aldrin joined him. Armstrong’s line “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” remains one of the most iconic statements in history. 

History of the Moon Landing

The seeds of the “moon shot” began in the late 1950s. In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower established the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. This led to the formation of Project Mercury, the first American program aimed at launching humans into space. The astronauts in that program included: Alan Shepard (first American in space), John Glenn (first American to orbit the earth), Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra, and Donald “Deke” Slayton. 

Then in 1961, President John F. Kennedy launched a grand idea that the nation should “…commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”

Eight years later, on July 16, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on board. On July 20, the lunar module known as the “Eagle” landed on the moon. 

It’s amazing to think that 50 years have gone by. The occasion will be marked with a series of anniversary celebrations at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas, and other cities across the country. Maybe you’ll get a chance to catch one of the events!


Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. Her latest book, SECOND CHANCE HERO, is available now.  

AMAZON  /  APPLE BOOKS  /  B&N   /   KOBO 






Saturday, July 13, 2019

Breaking Away from the Crowd

By Courtney Pierce


Today I have the opportunity to expand beyond my regular post as a Genre-ista to guest blog about this crazy writing biz. As I tap away on the draft of my seventh book, Big Sky Talk, I'm pleased to say that the hefty word count in my literary backpack has earned me the “write” to impart some wisdom. It's a tough business that I now take quite seriously. It didn't start out that way when I wrote my first book, Stitches.


Wisdom lesson #1: No two stories are alike, but chasing a lucrative trend means that you're too late. (As Rocky used to say to Bullwinkle, “That trick never works!”)  Since there are only seven basic story structures in all of literature (according to author Christopher Booker), a fresh take on those plots needs to be unique and loaded with personal style. An example is Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series fitting squarely within the framework of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

My first series, the Stitches Trilogy, unpacked my imagination with wild abandon. It's structure fits squarely into a "Voyage and Return". Stitches, Brushes, and Riffs became the books I desperately wanted to read and couldn’t find. These books contain everything I love: mystery, crime, heart, humor, naughty pets, and magical realism. I even re-invented ancient Egyptian history to solve the mystery of a supernatural artifact. My baby boomer characters embark on a trek to England, tracked by an FBI agent, and then I plunge them into a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Queens to solve the mystery of immortality. I didn’t give a hoot if the series became a bestseller or not, because I was having way too much fun with the research and story composition.

While I wrote my first three books, I sharpened my craft in the Hawthorne Fellows literary program at the Attic Institute. I was inspired to make the impossible possible The most important lesson I learned, though, was to shed my fear of actually finishing the books and sending them out into the world.

Photo: Script Magazine
When I met with several literary agents about that first series, I was forced to squeeze the Stitches Trilogy into a genre box. Heck! I wasn’t Romance, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, LBGT, Erotica, Steampunk, or Dystopian. My stories were clean, poignant, humorous, and written for the over-fifty crowd, specifically baby boomers like me. Our behavior is driven by Peter Pan Syndrome and adventure. We also have emotional shrapnel stuck under our aging skin, which even the sharpest of tweezers can't extract. I vividly remember being sixteen and turning sixty this year. The decades in between were a blur of a career and responsibility.

Wisdom lesson #2: A story without serious conflict is boring. It takes courage for an author to reduce their beloved characters to tears and push them to their limits. But redemption is oh-so-sweet when I have the power to fix it all in unexpected ways.

I didn’t feel like a bona fide writer until I started my second trilogy about the wacky Dushane Sisters: The Executrix, Indigo Lake, and Indigo Legacy. That series revealed a lot of  personal stuff, and I had to muster up the courage to dig deep within myself. The big difference from the first series was that I wrote the Dushane Sisters Trilogy with readers in mind. As a result, my humor got edgier. My story line got tighter. And the conflict got more uncomfortable. I heaped so much trouble on the three sisters that digging them out became downright hilarious.

Wisdom lesson #3: Release a reader’s imagination. Characters are best developed through what they say and do, not through their backstories or intense physical description. If a novel isn’t made up of 80% dialogue—characters talking—then the book slows to a crawl. A simple three-word comment can say much more than a whole paragraph of explanation about what’s behind it.

I must do a good job with this particular wisdom lesson, because the first book of each trilogy started out as a standalone story. My readers' insisted that I keep the characters going. So buoyed by confidence, I expanded each story to a trilogy. And I’m glad I did. Telling a story in three full-length novels—a complete beginning, middle, and end—allowed me to challenge myself and my craft. Each series became a much bigger story than what I could create in one novel of eighty-thousand words.


Wisdom lesson #4: Behind every successful novel is the author’s truth. The story and characters may be purely fictional, but readers know when the emotions and actions aren’t genuine.

This last wisdom lesson is one I’d go to the mat for. As an author, I must have a real-life reference for the emotions I project on my characters. Otherwise, their credibility—and mine—suffers, and they cease to be believable. How can I possibly know what my character feels about losing a parent if I haven’t personally experienced that devastation? I would also find it difficult to write about a character’s crumbling marriage had I not suffered through a divorce myself.

My intention with Big Sky Talk is to create a tight, intense story that engages readers and makes them think. Set in Kalispell, Montana, a ghost story unfolds among the magic of wildlife, mountains, lakes, and nature's dangers. Themes of aging, losing parents, and taking emotional risks will fill the pages. The cast includes an orphaned retiree, an about-to-retire sheriff, an injured grizzly bear . . . and a rifle. That's certainly a combo I can have fun with!

Now, it's back to work to employ my own advice. True to my words, I am a pretty good shot with a hunting rifle, have lost a parent, been alone after decades of marriage, and am about to retire. I'm planning for Big Sky Talk to be a standalone novel. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Unless my readers tell me otherwise.


Photo: Micah Brooks
Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer splitting her time between Milwaukie, Oregon, and Kalispell, Montana with her husband. stepdaughter, and their brainiac cat, Princeton. Courtney writes for the baby boomer audience. She spent 28 years as an executive in the entertainment industry and used her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor, and mystery. She studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows Program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, Courtney is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and She Writes. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal.

Audiobook now Available!
Check out all of Courtney's books: 
windtreepress.com 

Print and E-books are available through most major online retailers, including Amazon.com.

Available Now!
Book 3 of the
Dushane Sisters
Trilogy
The Dushane Sisters Trilogy concludes with Indigo Legacy, available now. There's love in the air for Olivia and Woody, but will family intrigue get in the way? Ride along for the wild trip that starts in a New York auction house and peaks in a mansion on Boston's Beacon Hill. 

The Dushane sisters finally get to the truth about their mother.


New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight."



Friday, July 12, 2019

Could I have just one more. . .

by Diana McCollum

As many of you have said, I wouldn't change anything I've experienced in my life because all the  good and bad have made me the person I am today.

My one regret, I wish that I could have just one more day with my mom before she went into the lost her memory completely. The last 2 weeks at the memory care home she wasn't present, she was confused and upset all the time.  The last two months of her life she was slipping into full fledged dementia, Alzheimers and needed 24 hr care. If I could have that day with mom, I would tell her I was sorry I didn't realize she had been ill for so long. It took a hospital stay and the doctor telling me mom's scan showed Alzheimers and she needed 24 hr care.

Since mom lived with us, the changes were subtle. Just mom being mom. Looking back I can see she was falling into dementia for the past few years.

Hindsight is always a few minutes too late, isn't it?

The past couple of years before she died I sometimes got frustrated with her, she lived with us. I tried not to show it, but once in a while I couldn't help it. She had a couple months when she bought mop and glow for the floors every time we went to a store. Forgetting things like the garbage disposal she turned on then walked away from. Things like that, not normal. If I had only known then that she was already suffering from Alzheimers I would have been more patient, more understanding.

An example of my frustration: Mom and I were looking for a parking spot at the grocery store about a year ago. An obese woman was slowly crossing in front of us. Mom says, "honk the horn, maybe she'll walk faster!".  I said, "Mom! She can't walk any faster." I could literally feel my blood pressure rise. My frustration came from mom having no empathy for the woman who was obviously distressed. And Mom used a walker and walked very slow herself.

Grief has been one of my closest friends since December, when mom passed.

Mother's Day loomed in the future and I found myself becoming more anxious. My sister, Sarah and I decided a good way to deal with this first Mother's Day with no 'Mother', was to spread love and joy to others.

So we surprised some family members with 'Mothers' day cards and gifts.

As Lynn said in her post, share the love. In doing our new Mother's Day tradition we made our daughters, nieces, friends, and daughter-in-laws happy. None of them were expecting anything from us, but their joy brought us happiness and joy too, on what would have been a sad day.

My motto is now spread the love. Smile at the grouchy looking person in the grocery line, maybe that will make their day.

If you could have one more day to talk to someone who passed, who would it be?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

If there was one thing in your life you'd change, what is it and why? by Lynn Lovegreen

I am lucky to have a pretty good life so far. There aren’t many things I would change, although I wish I were kinder at certain times. (My apologies to those out there that I hurt or treated badly.) Even the bad stuff in my life taught me lessons and helped me grow and become a better person. But if I had to change one thing, it would be the deaths of people I loved.

I’ve lost grandparents, a sister, mother, and several friends. Some of them died many years ago, and some recently. Each death left holes in my heart, especially the deaths of my sister and mother. Grief hit me pretty hard, and while I was able to move on after a few years, there are still moments when a song, movie, or even a certain scent will bring tears to my eyes.

There are times when I’d give anything to have them here again. I’d love to see them again, and to have them here to watch my daughter, her cousins, and my son-in-law grow up into the amazing adults they are today. But we can’t have everything. My consolations are sweet memories of my lost ones, and the thought that they’d be proud of the woman I’ve become. 

What we can do is to take care of each other the best we can, and savor all the moments we have together. Thank goodness I still have the love of my husband and other family members. I show them my love as often as I can. 

I hope you can do the same with yours. Wishing you lots of time with the people you love!



Lynn Lovegreen has lived in Alaska for fifty years. After twenty years in the classroom, she retired to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and volunteering at her local library. Her young adult historical fiction is set in Alaska, a great place for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.