08/08 – Judith Ashley, Romance as Therapy

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Writer's Voice

A writer's voice bubbles over with their feelings about their topic. Change those feelings and the voice used changes with it. Sometimes its as easy as making a decision. I recently heard one author say he had found himself using the 
word “seedy” to describe inner cities too often. He stopped and took the time to imagine how that would affect a reader living in an inner city. Now he makes certain to never use that or related words, and notes that consciously seeking better ways to describe city life has changed the way he writes.

Voice changes naturally when writers have a specific audience in mind. Think of your speaking voice. I bet it changes naturally depending on your audience, just like mine does. I can baby talk with the best of them when facing an infant or toddler. A teen or tween, an acquaintance or friend, coworker or boss, to a relative about the boss all require different voices. When I concentrate on who my listener is, I code switch without needing to consciously think about the change.

A writer's voice is the sum of the choices he or she makes while communicating information about a subject, and information about themselves, to a particular audience. Personality, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings about things, all being conveyed to a certain audience. Mainstream authors who want to write inclusively should first work to develop an inclusive Voice. It’s not enough to just want to write about diverse characters. An author must accurately see, hear and feel the world their diverse characters inhabit. If they can’t do that, their reader won’t be able to either.
Don't try to please everyone and end up with that voiceless "designed by committee" manuscript. Find that special audience member, and work to please him or her.
Now take a deep breath and let your voice flow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Well, given the locale of my third Clubmobile Girls novel, my heroine might more readily exclaim: “Cobras and Tigers and Elephants, oh my!”
Yes, we are headed to exotic and mystical India in my next WWII romance novel. Many readers won’t remember that Americans fought and died in India during WWII (or why), so I’m composing a prefatory note to set the stage. Trying to distill the high points into a succinct summary has impressed on me just how complex a situation my hero and heroine will face. Nationalist protests, riots and strikes roil the country during these waning days of the British Raj, famine results in suffering and starvation on a mass scale in large swathes of the country, intrigue abounds as the Indians, British, American, and Chinese jockey to advance their favored military and post-war strategic interests, guerrilla forces battle the enemy and the environment in the steamy jungles of Burma and northeast India, and Hump pilots making daily trips over the Himalayas in the worst airspace on earth face untold hazards to keep China supplied with vital food and military supplies.

My heroine is delighted and enthralled from the moment she catches sight of Bombay from the harbor. India is as far away from her small hometown in Missouri and her troubled past as it is possible to imagine. And while she initially focuses on the potential for adventure and a fresh start, she must all too quickly confront a myriad of challenges to her worldview of India and to her goals and plans.

By contrast, my hero wants nothing more than to escape India at the earliest possible opportunity. A son of American missionaries to Burma who attended boarding school in northwest India, he is anxious to return to America and his future in the ivy-covered halls of academia. He had, after all, already done his part for the war, flying combat missions with the Flying Tigers in the earliest months of the war. But escaping the lure of this labyrinthine land he had called home most of his life, not to mention a call of duty he is uniquely qualified to offer, proves difficult. The bright and brave young woman he cannot evict from his heart complicates things all the more.
            I would love to say that this more sequestered and slower paced life I’ve been leading has translated into huge daily word counts. Alas, that has not been the case. But I am nearing the end of my research process, have a good solid start in the early chapters, and have committed to start meeting that 1000-1500 word count daily goal again this week. I know I’m not the only author who has had difficulty with overall focus and productive habits in these challenging times. And the research required to corral the myriad competing potential plot points for this vast and complex setting has been an enormous undertaking. So that’s a long way of saying I am trying to give myself permission and space to let this story bloom gradually, rather than second-guessing whether I ought to have more to show for such an extended period of being largely housebound!  
I hope all of you continue to take care of yourself and your loved ones and stay in good spirits as we continue to adjust to a new normal.

You can learn more about me and my novels on my website, and you can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

You can purchase my first two Clubmobile Girls novels on Amazon.

Monday, August 10, 2020

It's Only the Beginning!

By: Marcia King-Gamble

Don’t do as I say, although somehow, it’s worked for me. By this I mean don’t start a project and then never finish it unless you have to.  The panster in me, makes this a recurring problem. Actually, not a problem, the way I see it, it’s an opportunity

What’s a panster?   A panster isn’t a plotter, that’s for sure. It’s a writer who lets things happen and writes what pops into her head until the plot comes together.  That means no extravagant plotting boards, charts, or Excel spreadsheets. No meticulous note taking about what has to happen before pen makes contact with paper, or fingers connect with keyboard.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with plotting out the details of your story. It’s just not my personality and so not right for me.  Panstering is how I roll, and what works for me.

What I’ve learned from being in the writing business twenty plus years is you spend three to four months writing and perfecting a book, (I write fast,) only to submit and not hear back for six months to a year. Sometimes it’s taken two years to get feedback.  By then I could have sold that manuscript to someone else or published it myself. This was especially annoying back in the day when multiple submissions were frowned on. You submitted, then prayed and hoped you’d hear back soon. After a year or so, you received the dreaded rejection. Here is one that became an actual book.

Because of this annoying factor, I learned to write many stories consisting of just three chapters.  These chapters I polished to perfection and sent out to editors. My justification for doing this is that by the time the editor got back to me, I would have written the book. Frankly, this process has saved me a lot of wasted time and anguish. Often if the editor really liked the book, they worked with me to deliver in a couple of months. If the three chapters were rejected, then I had a work still in progress and I would refine the manuscript in my spare time.

The upside is endless manuscripts that have beginnings and no endings. This means I always have something at the ready should a publisher start a new line or look for something specific. A manuscript in the developmental stage also allows me to make easy adjustments.

Recently, I brushed off a manuscript started about five years ago and eliminated all the sex scenes. This particular publisher wanted a sweet story line. That was a heck of a lot easier to do since I was only four or five chapters in. Had I written the entire book; it would have been an enormous rewrite.

Another plus is having something ready to present on the fly. In traditional publishing, the standard question is, “what else are you working on?” What I’ve also found, is if I leave a manuscript and come back to it months later, I come at it with a fresh eye. The plot may take a completely different twist, or a concept I have been struggling with suddenly jells. 

There was one story that I knew something was off but couldn’t put a finger on it. Years later I realized the conflict needed a tweak. There just wasn’t enough there for the reader to root for either of my characters. Then it clicked. Back to writing 101. Two dogs fighting over one bone. I came up with something relevant that would matter to my character and to my readers. So, yes deepen the plot.  

 The long-winded answer, when anyone asks me what I’m working on, is many things. I’m a good multi-tasker, and I bore quickly, so alternating between stories keeps me motivated and fresh.

 On the burner now is another H. E. Caldwell story. So far there have been two. First there was Elle’s story in By Design.  And now my latest release, Cyndy’s story in By Heart. My other work in progress is tentatively titled Dr. in the House. This one’s   about a plus-size model, who just wallows in the attention she’s getting. Her love interest, however, shies away from publicity of any kind. Now that’s a problem.  This is a rags to riches story.

What I am currently working on is a story of an internet friendship, forged because of loss. The women are brought together in person when once again tragedy hits.

Before I wrap things up, one last question, which do you find to be the more compelling opening hook?  

A/ Eboni with an i was trouble on steroids. She was exactly the kind of trouble he didn’t need.

B/ “If there’s a doctor onboard, please ring your call button.”


As you can see, this summer I am working hard to better my hooks. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Stay Safe and be Happy!


Here's the perfect beach read. 14 short stories  and it comes with a free companion cocktail book you can download here:


Find Marcia King-Gamble Online

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Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, caring for her animal family, and trying to keep sane.

It's not too late to enter this week's drawing to win this prize:  Just sign up for my mailing  list, here. or purchase By Heart or Last Chance Beach: Summer's End

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Romance Novels as Therapy

 Good Morning!

I’m Judith Ashley, author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, soul nourishing romantic women’s fiction that honors pagan spiritual practices. My stories show you what life could be like if you had a place like The Circle where you are unconditionally accepted, supported and loved. And where, with this support, you do overcome obstacles and find your happily-ever-after.
Welcome to a discussion or more accurately a Blog-Versation on Romance Novels as Therapy.

As an author, how do you show (consciously or intuitively) your readers ways to manage/handle/deal with negative or abusive relationships? Or perhaps you show your readers ways to enhance a relationship from okay to outstanding?

As a reader, what book(s) have you read that helped you find a solution to a relationship problem in your life?

And the third perspective applies to author or reader. When have you used reading romance novels to support you through a difficult life experience?

I’m so excited to have this Blog-Versation with you.

I'll be watching for your comments, so please leave one or more. After all this is a 'discussion'.

Friday, August 7, 2020

A New Approach to an Old Manuscript

Hi, I’m Judith Ashley, author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, soul nourishing romantic women’s fiction that honors pagan spiritual practices. My stories show you what life could be like if you had a place like The Circle where you are unconditionally accepted, supported and loved. And where, with this support, you do overcome obstacles and find your happily-ever-after.

I’ve 8 fiction books published (The Sacred Women’s Circle (7) and The Visions quartet (Visions of Happiness with 3 more down the pike). The women and men in my stories all have the kind of every-day problems many of us have. What I show in these books is how ordinary people can overcome challenges with the unconditional acceptance, support and love of a group of like-minded women and their own personal spiritual practice.
Writing these books was cathartic and healing for me. I was able to use my personal knowledge of and in some cases my personal experiences to illustrate issues such as domestic violence, single parenting, death of a spouse, cancer, self-doubt, self-criticism – well, you get the message.
How, when we are burdened with doubts and fears, can we move forward in our lives, take that chance, take that leap and for our best life, our happily-ever-after?

Sharing emotions, dreams, fears was easy when writing fictional characters. However, I have a background in Social Services and while not a social worker or therapist, I have over 50 years working in the fields of domestic and international adoption, child protective services, geriatric care management, professional guardianship, protection of vulnerable adults and I was a parenting grandmother. Lots of life experiences.
I drew heavily on my training and certification under Dr.William Glasser and have been on the senior teaching faculty of The William Glasser Institute International and am an active instructor in The Glasser Institute for Choice Theory – US. If you are familiar with Dr. Glasser’s work, you’ll see it embedded in the stories I write.

And if you aren’t familiar with his work, let me introduce you!

In addition to writing fiction, I also write non-fiction. Staying Sane in a Crazy World gives readers a blue-print to create their own Personal Staying Sane Plan.

Currently I’m getting ready to do a total rewrite of my second non-fiction, Yes, You Can Create A Life You Love. In 1979 and 1980 I created a training Love, Worth, Fun, Freedom: How To Get More. I saw small miracles happen in the lives of people who took my course through a local community college.

In 1999, I joined Wild Women Writers with the idea to turn the course into a “self-help” book. I got side-tracked and wrote my fiction books instead.

And now I’m back!

I’ve actually written the book but when one of my “first readers” commented that while the book was good, I sounded like I was giving a lecture that stopped me in my tracks. I’ve spent several months pondering how to move forward. I’ve ideas which include starting from the beginning. In other words, put the original material aside and write. When it comes to the exercises, they will be basically the same but the illustrations will be new.


Ohhh yesss!

Why? Because that “lecture voice” while drawn from my knowledge and experiences is distance from the real me. What I am leaping off the proverbial cliff to do, is write this book from my heart, from the same place I write my fiction.

My goal is to have Yes You Can Create A Life You Love published by the end of the year. Just typing that gives me an uncomfortable feeling. Revealing my imperfect self in real life, in real time is daunting for me. And I know my book will be better for my having stepped forth and moved through “daunting”.

In the meantime, do take a look at Staying Sane. Regardless of your politics, you will find creating your Personal Staying Sane Plan a boon to get you through these coming months if not years.

You can find all of my books at your favorite e-book vendor. Be sure to ask your local library if you’d prefer to read my books through that resource.

Learn more about Judith's The Sacred Women’s Circle series at

Follow Judith on Twitter: JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB! 

© 2020 Judith Ashley

Thursday, August 6, 2020

How I Started Writing a Christmas Novel by Dora Bramden

It all began when I decided to participate in a Melbourne Romance Writers Guild online writing challenge. The first consideration was, what can I realistically commit to? I hadn’t written any new words for a long time because I’d been reworking a book I wrote earlier. To fire up my creative spark, I needed the excitement of a fresh story. Also, I craved trying to write something unlike anything I had ever done before.

What would give me joy? What would be a pleasure to immerse myself in? Christmas in July came to mind. I love Christmas shops, the ones that are stuffed full with happiness decor. Elves and Santas, fairies and angels, nativity scenes and forest animals, I love them all. Anyone who knows me can tell you how much I love Christmas decorating. I have posts about it on my blog: Dora’s Romantic Lifestyle.

It wasn’t long after I started imagining a cute Christmas shop that Samantha Bell, the shop’s owner, made her appearance behind a counter tucked into a corner. She turned and looked at a staircase that led to a mezzanine area full of boxes crammed to the ancient oak beams. Then she looked out the shop’s front glass door. The street outside was in an English village that was paved in brick and lined with  Tudor style shops. I have my heroine and the setting. I have the beginnings of a Christmas novel.

Samantha Bell has been struggling to keep up Jingle Bells, her father’s Christmas shop, since he passed away five years ago. I wondered, in author style, what is the worst thing that could happen to her? I imagined her arriving at the shop one morning, coffee in hand, ready to open up and start her day. It’s the first of October and the official start to her Christmas season. New stock will start arriving today, and the town’s people will be calling in to see the new displays she’s setting up.

But someone has put a piece of paper on the front door with a big red X on it. On closer inspection, the fine print declares that her building has been condemned. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Jingle Bells. Her life, as she’d always known it, would be finished too. How would she provide for herself without the shop?

Samantha heads straight to the council offices to sort out what must be a terrible mistake. It’s here she meets Nicholas Grant, the super organized and efficient manager of the building department. He excels in administering the department codes. Following the guidelines suits him perfectly. Oh, and he doesn’t do birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas. He spends those days with his model railway, which he’s very proud of.

But there’s something about blond curls and red cheeks and tears in blue eyes that make Nicholas look a little closer into Miss Bell’s situation. It seems a fire report has been the cause, strange that it hadn’t been flagged until now. Then he remembers how her father, always came to the orphanage where Nicholas lived for six years, dressed up as Santa Clause to give presents to the orphans. Miss Bell had accompanied him, dressed as an elf. She was all grown up now at five feet tall, but she still has blue eyes, bouncing blond curls, and red cheeks.

Before Nicholas knows it he’s up to his armpits in helping Miss Bell to unravel the council’s building codes that apply to her shop

I have an idea where the story will go from here, and I’ve been uncovering a lot of this lovely couple’s back-story. I’m enjoying my time in the Christmas shop world of Samantha and Nicholas and I’m getting to know the villagers who are their friends and supporters.

I hope to have it finished and ready to release in time for this Christmas, but it could end up being a Christmas in July story for next year. I plan on including that kind of information in my newsletter that I'll have up and running soon so if you'd like to be on the list, email me at and I'll pop you on it.


Don’t forget to check out my Christmas decor posts on my blog. Just follow the link below and choose the Christmas Category to see them all.

Dora Bramden writes heart-melting, passionate, romance.

Follow me on:

Amazon Author Page

Instagram @dorabramden

Facebook Dora Bramden Author Page

Dora’s Romantic Life Blog


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Work in Perpetual Progress

By Robin Weaver

Back in the Dark Ages (a.k.a. 2010) I had the ever-so-brilliant idea to float a body in my pool.  Okay, don’t call the cops just yet.  The stiff dude was a prop.  For a Halloween Party.

I spent hours making my faux corpse realistic.  After covering a large block of Styrofoam with a white shirt, I attached a pair of jeans and stuffed the legs with packing peanuts.  I completed the look with flip-flops, positioned exactly right and added a straw hat to give the illusion the body floated face down.  The piece-de-resistance, I plunged a knife in Mr. Cad Diver’s back and used spray paint to simulate blood.  Beautiful, right?

Okay, perhaps beautiful isn’t the precise adjective we need, but you get the picture.  I was so proud of my very genuine-looking corpse and couldn’t wait for my guests to view.  The general reaction?  Why did you do that?

Well, duh?  Halloween. Mystery Writer. Fun.

Obviously, not the reaction I expected.  Which made me wonder, why would they have done had the body been real?  So, while my floater wasn’t the life of the party, my novel, Styrofoam Corpse was born.  In my alternate reality, guests were wowed by the life-like, eh dead-like floater and voila, the next morning a real corpse had taken Cad’s place.

With the exception of Mr. Diver, the book was entirely fictional, but somehow, having the prop seemed to propel my writing.  Since then, books two and three of the Corpse series have been under construction.  The victim in Burned Illusions is discovered in the torched vehicle and will likely be called Pyro Corpse. In the third book, the body is discovered hanging from the side of a building, and will probably be called Condo Corpse. More important, all three novels feature heroines in the precarious situation of being the number one suspect. Perhaps I should subtitle my new series, “You’ve got the wrong girl.” 

For a recent virtual retreat, I submitted 22 pages of book two, for our critique sessions.  That prompted me to restart the journey to “the end.”  I needed something to set a fire under my bu...keyboard.  Maybe I should burn a car for Halloween…

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Many irons in the fire

       When I read this month’s topic - my current work-in-progress – I did one of those laughs that ends in a sob because it suggests a singular WIP. One of the many side effects I’ve experienced during the current world crisis (I’m sick [ha!] of writing the C-word and the P-word) is scattered thinking. When you-know-what hit our shores way, way back in February, I’d been roaring toward the finish line of Book 2 in my fledgling contemporary series, MacLeod’s Cove Romance. Amelia (graphic designer and the heroine’s sister in Book 1) and Nate (owner of a craft brewery) team up to help organize the annual Oktoberfest. Of course, nothing goes to plan, particularly since they can’t agree on anything.

But as I tried to come to terms with the upheaval, my thoughts and ideas went the way of the Dodo for about a month. Once I got over the initial panic (wash all the groceries!!!) and could concentrate in a creative way, I ignored Book 2 and started Book 3 because the characters were new, the plot was shiny, and the writing was fun! I lived vicariously in my simpler fictional world and churned out fifty thousand words in a month. Jinny (Nate’s sister in Book 2) starts working for Bill (former IT whiz) on his restaurant renovation. Unbeknownst to her, and everyone else in town, he’s got a couple of big secrets that end up messing with her mind, man.

And then summer arrived in my corner of the world and because it’s a short season here in Nova Scotia, I was distracted by wanting to be out enjoying the warm weather. I had chicks to tickle, a garden to tend, and some serious exploring of my home and native land (Oh, Canada!) to accomplish. 

So why not put away the current WIP, which was at the fiddly editing stage, and write something short and fun? So here I am with my third work-in-progress, a holiday novella in the MacLeod’s Cove series. Jill is part-owner of a car dealership but is dissatisfied with her life – something is missing. So she rents a cottage on the beach for the week between Christmas and New Year’s for some peace and solitude in which to map out her future, think deep thoughts, and complete an online course called Empowered You! Unfortunately, the reclusive writer living in the big house on the hill ends up being a huge, delicious distraction. Patrick is recovering from a personal tragedy and is unable to write. He’s annoyed by the world, especially that beautiful woman who keeps intruding into his self-imposed self-pity fest.

Three works-in-progress, all close to “the end”.

So…what new story will I start now?

Guess who’s moving in next door?


Nicole Bennett is used to bad luck—it’s kind of a family curse. She’s spent the past year stitching her life back together after losing her dream job. Well, it paid the rent. Now stuck working at her family’s grocery store while wrangling a demoralized dad and a spoiled-brat sister, the last thing she needs is for the man who wrecked her life to move in next door, even if it is for only three weeks. So what if he’s sexier than sin and makes her believe in fairy tale endings?


Ross Calvert’s life in the fast lane crashed when he lost his job and fiancée. All he’s got to show for years of hard work are a sleek sports car and a closet full of designer suits – minus the closet. Determined to salvage his relationship with his best friend, he trades in the corporate life for a brief stint as a caregiver. The decision was simple—until he discovers the tempting vixen he wronged lives next door. Maybe she’s what he needs to reboot his life.


What starts off as a no-strings fling soon veers into making promises that might be impossible to keep.

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. She spends her days writing spicy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and historical romance. When not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious. She lives in Nova Scotia with her patient husband and two spoiled cats.


Website ~ Bookbub ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

Monday, August 3, 2020

Easing through Summer by Paty Jager

In our neck of the woods, the last week of July was brutal! It was over 100 F for several days. We aren't used to that. Usually we have a week where we are in the 90s, hovering near 100, but never over. The good news about the hot weather, it kept myself and my cover designer inside. ;)

My latest Shandra Higheagle Mystery, Capricious Demise, book 15 in the series is published. I had the idea for the book about two Shandra books ago. Not the murders but the subplot. Once I figured out how to work that in along with a murder or two...the story was off and running.

It's funny how this story came to me as a scene in on of the secondary character's point of view. That scene helped me make the decision I did at the end of the book. I'm not telling you what that is, because it will spoil the book for you if you decide to read it. ;)

Capricious Demise

Book 15

Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series


Shandra Higheagle’s deceased Grandmother enters Shandra’s dream, showing her two lost children. Her grandmother never comes to her dreams unless there is a murder to solve. But whose? The children? Or someone related to them?

Ryan is called out to a suicide, that isn’t. While contacting next of kin, he finds the victim’s husband also murdered and their two children missing.

Using her dreams, Shandra helps locate the missing twins whom they take into their home as foster children. The hunt for the reason the parents were murdered becomes urgent when the children reveal they may have seen the killer.

universal buy link:

I'll have a novella from my Tumbling Creek Ranch contemporary western romance series releasing this month. It's titled Collateral Love and is the 4th novella in that series. The cover isn't finalized yet. Along this same line, I have also put the first three novellas from his series in a print book titled Love at Tumbling Creek Ranch. It will be available this month as well. 

8 Seconds to Love

The bull rider brought into Jared McIntyre’s ER is the girl he couldn’t get out of his head the last fifteen years. During his tour in Iraq, he lost another thrill-seeking woman, and he isn’t about to let this one destroy her life.

Love Me Anyway

Melanie Trask ran away from an abusive husband and found a job at a dude ranch with a wonderful caring cowboy, Brett Wallis. When they can no longer deny their feelings, Brett offers to help her divorce her husband. But she has one more secret she hasn’t revealed…

The Wrong Cowboy to Love

Ruby Cutter allows her cousin, the bride, to give her a makeover for the upcoming wedding because she wants to catch the attention of her high school crush. But while she’s infatuated with one man, she may be falling for another…

universal ebook buy link

My cover designer and I are also working on new covers for the Isabella Mumphrey  Action Adventure/Romantic Suspense trilogy. When those are finished I'll have a huge cover reveal sale and promotion. 

What I'm currently writing is the 6th book in the Gabriel Hawke Novels. In this book, Hawke is investigating a vehicle fire that happened in real life. The state trooper I rode with to get a feel for  Hawke's job showed me where a vehicle had caught on fire after "rolling' over a campfire. I told him I didn't see how the vehicle rolled on such a flat area. He said that was the conclusion all the investigators thought, but the D.A. called it an accident and that was as far as it went. In my book, it is a homicide and Hawke is digging up all the evidence to prove who did it.  

Because Hawke is Native American, I try to use titles that sound like Native American stories and always with a living creature in the title. Right now I'm stuck on the title. I know it will have turkey. My working title is: Turkey Struts Too Much-  Then this morning I thought about Gobbling or Strutting Turkey Fries. Still working on it. Any thoughts? 

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 46 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. This is what Books a Plenty Book Reviews has to say about the Gabriel Hawke series: "The blend of nature tracking, clues, and the animals makes for a fascinating mystery that is hard to put down.

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest   / Bookbub

Friday, July 31, 2020

When Readers Demand More! by Kathleen Lawless

Like a lot of authors, I started out in traditional publishing and slowly made my way to the world of independent publishing.  I really like the direct contact with readers and the chance to respond to their requests.  I also like the ability to set my own publishing schedule and publish as many books a year as suits my writing speed and my lifestyle.

This freedom means I have the ability to listen to my readers and act on it in a timely fashion.  So when I wrapped up my popular western series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and readers weren’t ready to say goodbye to this family and this town, I didn’t lose any time.  These are sweet books with characters I love, and it’s fun to bring them back for a second round in my new series Widows of the Wild West.  Readers took a liking to Percival Bloom, an interesting secondary character in the original series, and clamored for his HEA. 

HOPE, Percy’s love interest, kicks off the new series and is available for pre order here.

Snippet from HOPE 

         Hope found herself scrutinized by passersby from time to time and wondered if she stuck out like a sore thumb in a town where she expected most everyone knew everyone else.  If the rumors of ten men to every woman out West were to be believed, the men must be back at the ranch, while the few town ladies went about their errands.   

         Impossible to say what she had hoped to accomplish by her trip, but being here didn’t make her feel closer to Percy.  On the contrary . . .

         Disheartened, she returned to the hotel.  There was nothing for her here.  It had been a mistake to come. 

         As she approached the hotel, the faint sounds of piano music greeted her.  How wonderful!  Someone must be playing the grand piano she had seen in the lobby earlier; a welcome distraction from her thoughts. 

         Inside the lobby, she stopped short.  Even though his back was toward her, there was something familiar about the pianist.  As if on cue, the song ended, he ran his hand along the keys in a flamboyant finale, rose and turned her way. 


         “Hello, Hope.  Welcome to Bullet.”           

 There is a prequel with these two that is free to anyone who signs up for my newsletter.

If I’ve piqued your curious about the series, Book 1, BRODY’S BRIDE, is currently on sale for only 99 cents.


As a lover of both summer and the beach, I jumped at the chance when I was invited to join 13 other talented bestselling authors in a brand new summer box set, LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, currently available to preorder for only 99 cents.

BLUE SKY SUMMER is part of the set, a classic second chance romance. 

Here’s a preview. 

To Alisha, the town looked different with Mark by her side, as he entertained her with a running monologue of the town’s history that she expected was at least half made up.  The sun shone brightly in a sky so blue it almost hurt her eyes.  Seated next to Mark, her heart overflowed with contentment.  The whole island looked different.  Brighter.  Special.

         She shifted to study Mark’s profile as he drove.  She’d always managed on her own, but she’d managed better with Mark.  He’d been the first one to truly believe in her. 

         Tentatively, she put a hand on Mark’s leg, feeling the warmth of his skin beneath his board shorts and the pull of his quad muscle as he accelerated. 

         “I’m sorry I hurt you,” she said in a small voice.

         She saw his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed thickly.  No quick grin this time.  No denial of the fact that she hurt him.

         “We were good together,” he said finally.   

         She nodded, blinking away the unwelcome sheen of tears behind her sunglasses.

         “Was that the problem?  You couldn’t handle good?”

         “I knew you would never leave me to attend med school, even after you’d been accepted,” she said finally, feeling it was time for the truth.

         He stomped on the brake and threw the Jeep into park so suddenly she was grateful for her seatbelt.  He turned to face her.  That’s why you dumped me?”   

         She nodded.

         “So it was all a crock.  What you said about needing to concentrate on your career without the distraction of a boyfriend?”

         “I thought, if you weren’t feeling responsible for me, or committed to me, you’d look after yourself first.  Chase your dream.”

         “You never thought, maybe this was something we should have a conversation about?  Possibly even reach some sort of mutual agreement?”

         She pleated the hem of her shorts between her fingers.  “I see that now.  I see a lot of things I didn’t see back then.”

         Mark exhaled a long, pained sigh, put the Jeep back into drive and soon they left the town behind, following a narrow coastal roadway.  Alisha rested her head against the seatback.  She’d been sure she’d feel better after apologizing to Mark.  So why did she feel worse?

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Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her alpha male heroes.   

Not that she can ever stick to just one genre.  So many stories to tell—never enough time.

With close to 30 published novels to her credit, she enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional romance into historical romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and stories for young adults.        

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