Thoughts from the Treadmill: Featuring The Wild Rose Press Authors 3

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Back again this week to spotlight two more The Wild Rose Press authors, Babette James and Calisa Rhose. Please check them out and consider adding them to your to-be-read list. You’ll also find the weekly Rafflecopter drawing at the end where you can enter to win the weekly $10 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press.

Babette James

Calisa Rhose

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Spotlight on The Wild Rose Press Authors 2

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Last week I started spotlighting some of my fellow roses from The Wild Rose Press to introduce my readers to their work. In Week 2, Linda Joyce and Jill James are featured.  Linda is currently up for a 2014 Rone Award for her debut romance novel, Bayou Born, which is featured here. You can vote for her at  http://indtale.com/2014-rone-awards. Her second book in that series, Bayou Bound, is currently available in ebook format only on Amazon.com. This is also a chance for you to win a $10 weekly gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press through the Rafflecopter drawing at  bottom of this post.

First, though, I am pleased to share with you the cover of my upcoming book from The Wild Rose Press, Saved by the Salsa. We just firmed it up last week. No release date has been set yet. I’ll keep you informed as I know more. This is the first book of The Sullivan’s Creek Series. I’m hopeful Books 2 and 3 will be joining this one in the near future.

SavedbytheSalsa_w8725_750

48337f922b883740bad05298707e58de.image.200x300

 

Bayou Born – Linda Joyce

Branna Lind’s self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She canceled her “wedding of the decade,” though she isn’t saying why. She wants life on her own terms, no ready-made job in the family business: no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal.

College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. Experience has taught him beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble and Branna fits that type. He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire–Branna.

Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? Even if she stands her ground, can she convince James that she truly is his “type”?

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 320
Word Count: 77531
978-1-61217-820-2 Paperback
978-1-61217-821-9 Digital

About Linda

Linda Joyce is an award-winning author born on Christmas Eve in Biloxi, Mississippi. Her Louisiana family’s roots run deep, and they’re intertwined with her Japanese heritage. Her vagabond childhood afforded her a variety of travel opportunities. Now she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their three dogs: General Beauregard, Gentleman Jack, and Masterpiece Renoir.

Linda penned her first manuscript while living in Japan as a U.S. Air Force dependent. Her classmates lined up at recess to read her latest pages. During high school in Florida, a literary magazine published her poetry. In college, she worked on the school’s newspaper as a reporter and learned layout and design.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Linda holds a Bachelor of Science in Management. She worked in corporate America, earned the Senior Claims Law Associate professional designation, and completed Six Sigma Green Belt training.

Linda is a self-professed foodie and has the kitchen of her dreams. She enjoys painting when she can fit it in. She and her husband, Don, love college football. They frequently go RVing, and at last count, they’ve traveled to twenty-one states with “the boys.”

Contact Info

Website: http://www.linda-joyce.com

Blog: http://lindajoycecontemplates.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/LindaJoyceAuthor

Twitter: @LJWriter  https://twitter.com/LJWriter

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6950241.Linda_Joyce

Buy link: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=1087

 

8ddaf1082431c8bc51be7518974041e8.image.200x312Tempting Adam – Jill James

They both want the same thing – St. Eden Studios.

Corporate raider Yvette Giardino intends to bring St. Eden Studios to its knees. It’s a job. One her grandmother’s health depends on. That Adam St. Eden will suffer isn’t personal. Until he awakens her sympathy and stirs her body in ways she can’t explain.

Adam wants one thing and one thing only – to protect the dream his grandfather began. But when the board demands he work with stunning Yvette, a woman he’d mistakenly indulged with in a little after-hours play, his world turns upside down. Missed meetings, unhappy clients, and nights of intense pleasure – he can blame one person. Yvette.

With his corporation crumbling around him, can Adam rise above the fallout and see his sexy temptress for what she really is – a victim of manipulation and a woman who desperately needs his love?

About Jill

Jill has loved to write since she first began putting on puppet shows in her garage for a nickel a person.  Her first love was poetry until she picked up her first romance novel, after that it was all romance.  She writes contemporary and paranormal romance.  She is a member of RWA since 2004 and a member of  the From The Heart chapter, Silicon Valley chapter, and Sacramento Valley Rose chapter.  She had a few poetry contest wins and a published short story, Lunch Break before she got The Call. When Jill isn’t writing you will find her reading, her other passion. She lives in Northern California with her husband, who is the inspiration for all her romance novel heroes.

Her debut novel, Tempting Adam, released February 2011, from The Wild Rose Press. She has Indie published with Divorce, Interrupted. Book 1 of the Lake Willowbee series, Dare To Trust, Book 2 of the series, and Defend My Love, Book 3 of the series, along with The Lake Willowbee Series, Books 1-3. Also published is Dangerous Shift, her first paranormal romantic suspense.

She is now an Amazon Best-selling author with Christmas on Main Street with the Authors of Main Street.

Contact info:

Twitter: @jill_james

Buy link: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4395:

Rafflecopter Drawing

Click on this link for a chance to win this week’s $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Wild Rose Press Author Spotlights

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

In my last blog post, I indicated I was switching from a weekly to a monthly post starting in March. I’m going to change up that approach somewhat. I will continue posting weekly for the next several weeks (provided the new feature described below work) but will only be posting my own blog article monthly.

When The Wild Rose Press offered me a contract for And He Cooks Too last year, I became part of the bountiful garden of TWRP authors. I am so proud to be included in this group of talented writers that for the next few weeks I plan to spotlight some of them here on this blog. I say “plan” because I’ve never shared this blog with other authors before, so I’m a newbie at this kind of digital collaboration. Here you’ll find the cover of their recent books, a blurb, an excerpt, the author’s bio and the buy links for your browsing pleasure.

Also included is a rafflecopter link for a chance to win prizes from the Wild Rose Press.

872561114a6c9b189d31fc8d65df15b6.image.200x300 (2)Barbara Bettis  – Silverhawk

To avenge his mother’s honor, Sir Giles of Cambrai has come to England to kill his father. First, however, he’ll take sweet revenge by kidnapping his sire’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Abandoned in a convent by her brother, Lady Emelin finally has the chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady–while hunting the traitors–is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate. But the greatest challenge to both Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Rating: Sensual Page Count: 374 Word Count: 93467 978-1-61217-985-8 Paperback 978-1-61217-986-5 Digital

Excerpt:

Lady Emelin tucked her heavy brown wimple beneath her chin and watched the wounded knight.

Swollen eyelids, a puffy cheek, and bloody scrapes couldn’t hide the knight’s handsome features. Waves of midnight hair fell across his wide forehead to brush one side of his square, stubble-darkened jaw. Grit clustered on the high bridge of his nose.

What shame such a strong, rugged man should be cut down. Her pulse fluttered, and she sucked in a sharp breath. Ashamed of such reaction, she squeezed shut her eyes.

Would Stephen have been so handsome, had he lived through the crusade? She hardly recalled what her youthful first betrothed looked like when he left, a hopeful squire at nineteen, to follow his foster father on King Richard’s journey. If only he’d returned from Outremer, she’d be wed now, with the family she craved.

She sighed, reached for her patient’s cheek—and found herself staring into the palest gray eyes she had ever seen. His mouth moved, and she leaned forward.

“What is it?” she murmured.

“Before…I…die…” came the hoarse whisper.

“Yes? What would you like before you die?” If it were in her power, she would provide the poor man with his wish. Drink? Food?

A strong hand gripped the back of her head, pulled her forward. That close, she saw his eyes weren’t flat gray, but clear, layered like a winter pond winking with ice. They were silver.

“To…kiss…a nun,” came the outrageous reply before his lips met hers.

About Barbara

I can’t remember a time I didn’t love books. I can recall when I was seven, sitting in the corner of my grandmother’s couch enthralled with a volume of folk tales and myths from other countries, which came with the encyclopedia set my mother had purchased.

One of my favorite places growing up was the small public library where I could lose myself for hours in the aisles housing the historical novels, most written by men. In fact, two of my all-time favorites were books discovered then.

Of course, I absorbed the works of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, and when I discovered Georgette Heyer, I was in heaven. (A list of my ‘favorite’ authors could fill a page)

I loved writing, as well as reading. The summer between the seventh and eighth grades, a friend and I spread blankets beneath an old oak at the foot of our lawn on the farm and wrote a pot-boiler of a story about a tribal uprising in a far-off land and the heroic hunter who save the beautiful heroine’s life. The story was truly awful.

In college, my dream was to be a writer, but life took a different turn. After a stint as an insurance health claims adjuster, I finished my first degree, then took a job in newspapers. I worked mostly at a small daily so my two sons could attend a small town school. I enjoyed being a reporter and, later, an editor. Even after I became a teacher, my summers were spent at area newspapers or magazines. I still do an occasional feature story.

But it wasn’t until after my husband died unexpectedly a few years ago that I decided to try my hand at fiction. At last. I opted for other changes then, too. I gave up teaching journalism and English full time at a small college. Now I work part time at a local community college as an English instructor. This gives me time to write.

I love creating stories of other times and places, of heroines ‘to dies for’ and heroes to live for. Of happy endings.

I hope you like them too.

Contact info:

www.barbarabettis.com

www.barbarbettis.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor

www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis

Buy links

Buy link for Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1bQX3td

Buy link for The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1bM6ua2

Buy link for B & N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/silverhawk-barbara-bettis

Brenda Sparks

1755d066ccc14f1192abf5bd03e20e07.image.366x550The Alpha Council Chronicles

In the shadows of the night, there exists a band of warriors–a group of vampires, known as the Alpha Council.  Their formidable leader, Stephan von Haas, has vowed to protect not only his kind but the humans existing alongside them. His duty comes before all else–until a sassy blonde saunters into his life.

When a sensual, dark-haired stranger walks into Katrina Spencer’s life, he stirs her deepest desires and sweeps her into a world beyond her wildest dreams. But when Katrina is targeted by Stephan’s enemies, reality shifts into something violent and deadly, as she is thrust into a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and vengeance is coming for her.

Together they will confront an extraordinary destiny of peril, passion, and dark pleasures. But when one horrid mistake brings retribution, their love may pay the price.

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 390
Word Count: 96572
978-1-62830-116-8     Paperback
978-1-62830-117-5     Digital

Excerpt:

“So tell me, young one, is Kat short for something or did your parents just have a fascination with felines?”

“It’s short for Katrina. But everyone calls me Kat.”

She began to gather the playing cards from the table, but Stephan stilled her shaking hands by covering them with his own. Something akin to an electric current passed between them. Katrina gazed at Stephan, drinking him in, dangerous, magnificent, and so very beautiful.

“Where are my manners?” she asked, her voice quivering. “Would you like a drink?”

“You read my mind,” he replied as he rose, pulling her toward him. “I am a little parched, actually.”

Their eyes locked and Kat once again fell into his dark gaze. Her mind detached, as if she watched herself from above.

The feel of his mouth registered on her lips, while the smell of sandalwood engulfed her. His lips feathered kisses down her jaw, coming to a rest where her shoulder met her throat. She swooned. His arms closed around her like a set of steel bands, pulling her up against his firm body. Kat moaned when his tongue flicked out to taste her sensitive skin. He inhaled deeply against her neck causing goose bumps to pimple her flesh.

“Honeysuckle,” he murmured, his lips brushing against her flesh. His fangs lengthened, scraping the skin where her pulse beat, sending her heart racing. He cupped her bottom in one hand and tightened his arm around her waist. Her body stiffened only a little as he pulled her tighter against him, lifting her off her feet.

About Brenda

I think most of us would like to be the makers of our own world.  To have control over who lives, who dies, who receives blessings in their lives, and who gets what they deserve from Karma.  There are a few of us who actually get to experience that kind of power and we are called author, writer, story teller.

When driving to work one day, my inner world began to form.  Much like the universe, it started with a bang.  A violent scene that played in my mind’s eye as I drove.  A scene where two vampires were locked in a heated battle.  The winner’s reward?  The love of his long life.

My world developed from that one scene into several stories.  I found myself wanting to share the world I created with others, hoping they would enjoy my inhabitants as much as I did, so I put fingers to the keyboard and started typing.  It took me several years to teach myself the craft and finish my first manuscript.  I learned how to write by reading what others had written.  Read. Write. Read. Write.  Research. Write.  So goes my life and I love it.

In the real world, I live in the Sunshine State.  While I am hoping to one day be able to fulfill my dream of writing full time, I currently balance my writing with my professional commitment to the local school district.  It can be difficult at times to juggle the two, but I love writing and will continue to do it as long as my inner universe keeps expanding.

Contact info:

www.brenda-sparks.com

Buy links:

Rafflecopter Drawing

Thanks for coming by. The weekly prize is a $10 gift certificate at The Wild Rose Press. Here’s this week’s Rafflecopter link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Re-resolving

treadmillThe second month of the calendar year is coming to a close. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Have you been making progress or have they died on the vine? I revisited my first blog post of 2014 to reacquaint myself with what I planned to do this year. My spouse has now retired and is busy finishing the basement of our new home. Our latest grandchild, a girl, arrived two weeks ago. I finished the rough draft of the manuscript I’ve been working on since last summer, the sequel to The Sleepover Clause, tentatively titled The Travel Clause, and I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press to publish Saved by the Salsa.

I also indicated I wanted to work smarter with my writing this year and produce more. On the positive side, I’m making progress. I’ve begun listing the physical descriptions, personal characteristics and relationships of my characters. Not finished, but a good start. I anticipated some of the information I’d need to provide my publisher once my contract was signed; in the future, I will need to get started sooner, but this was a good beginning.

I also drafted a rough outline of the third-part of my “Sullivan’s Creek” series, created a brand for it and began the outline of a Christmas novella.

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

On the negative, or should I say not-quite-as-positive, side, I haven’t made as much of a dent in the writing I want to do this year. I can rationalize my lack of progress by pointing out how I stuck with my work-in-progress to finish the rough draft even though I didn’t have a clear idea how I wanted it to end (that’s what revisions are for), and this dogged day-by-day, line-by-line dedication took more time than it should have. Some of my time has also been taken up with edits (which get priority over all other writing) and reading several books for a writing contest. The only good thing about these rationalizations is they pinpoint how I invested my time elsewhere so I can plan for similar eventualities down the road.

But here’s the thing about resolutions, at least as far as I’m concerned: just because you haven’t realized them yet doesn’t mean you scrap them. Instead, you hunker down and keep working on them in the months ahead, only you get smarter at it.

The Coach Me is helping the Writer Me work through a course correction, what I need to do differently. Create a weekly to-do list. Nothing fancy or detailed. Maybe three or four items per week. Not necessarily to be completed but to be worked on. Then keep tabs of daily progress. There’s something very motivational about crossing items off a list. One of those items to be chiseled away at is doing a better job documenting and anticipating promotional needs. I mentioned that in January but didn’t tackle it yet. I’m also on the lookout for more tips from fellow authors and others about how they’ve become more productive.

As part of this effort, starting in March I plan to go to a monthly rather than weekly blog post on the second Monday of the month. I hope you’ll keep reading.

DriventoMatrimony_7901_750AndHeCooksToo_7346_750

Buy Links

Driven to Matrimony             

The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

And He Cooks Too               

The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

All Romance

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Connecting

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Almost didn’t get this post out on time this week. I lost connectivity to the Internet four days ago, just as I was about to send some very critical information to my editor and to some friends who were helping me with my current project. Fortunately, I receive email on my iPhone, so I could stay in touch that way, but I wasn’t able to send anything from my computer files to anyone. Although I guess I sort of knew how much I depended on the Internet, it took something like this incident to reinforce the message.

It’s scary, realizing how much I’ve come to depend on the Internet, especially since so much of my time is now devoted to writing and promoting e-books. It’s even scarier to realize how limited my knowledge is when it comes to problemsolving computer issues. I tried. I spent all day last Thursday attempting to bring it back to life. I even thought I’d identified one or two probable culprits, but I just couldn’t resolve them.

Finally, I contacted the young man who is responsible for the A-V work at our local university and asked if he’d consider helping. To my delight, he said he does this all the time, so Saturday he came over to check things out. He let me start by telling him what I’d been doing just before everything went wonkers and giving my “diagnosis” what was wrong. Then he went to work. It was fascinating to watch him do his thing, almost like observing my friend play a concerto on her baby grand. It didn’t take him long to spot the problem. Then it took several more minutes for him to uninstall and then install different applications.

While he worked, we chatted. I was curious about his background. How does someone pick up so much information about this entity I depend on so much and understand so little? He had a year in toward a business degree, then decided to go a different direction, to a technical college, when tuition became too steep. He was very insightful, comparing the way he learned about changes in the industry and how one thing related to another just by talking to his peers and reading up on new developments on the Internet to how I, as an author, kept up with changes in the publishing world. He meant well, and his analogy was pretty spot on. It’s just that my attempts at keeping up with things are somewhat hit and miss, as something either pops up or I need to research a particular subject. Or maybe I have picked up more than I realize? Anyway, what really surprised me was when he told me his age: twenty-two. My granddaughter is almost that age. I could conceivably have a grandchild his age.cropped-office-cropped.jpg

I continue to marvel at how the younger generations are so much more proficient with technology. At a recent gathering of friends my age, one of the women remarked about how a friend still had a rotary-dial landline phone. Younger neighbors needed to use it and weren’t able to until they asked. They had never seen one. When I was growing up and first using the telephone, I had to tell the operator the five-digit number I wanted. That’s how much things have changed. So I guess I shouldn’t beat myself up that I can’t figure out how to fix certain computer problems. After all, I am using it. (Daily, hourly – boy do I know that after the last few days!)

DriventoMatrimony_7901_750AndHeCooksToo_7346_750

Buy Links

Driven to Matrimony              The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

                                                Amazon Kindle and Print

                                                Nook

                                                iTunes

                                                iBookstore Print

                                                Kobo

 

And He Cooks Too                The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

All Romance

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Let the Good Times Roll

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

It’s that time of year again when you see this phrase, “Laissez roller les bon temps,” bantered about as people, especially those in New Orleans, prepare for Mardi Gras later this month. Well, I’ve just experienced a week of my own good times rolling in. So good, I didn’t remember until just now, mid-evening on Sunday night, that I hadn’t written my weekly blog post yet for tomorrow morning. I thought I’d use this occasion to let you in on some of them.

A month ago, as I was waiting in the Des Moines International Airport to catch my flight to Chicago and then subsequent flight to Orlando to return to Florida after the holidays, at seven on a Sunday morning, I pulled up my email from my editor at The Wild Rose Press, Cindy Davis, indicating she was recommending to senior staff that my latest submission, Saved by the Salsa, be published. Two weeks ago, I received the contract. This past week, the signed contract was returned to me. Saved by the Salsa is on its way to publication! This is my third book with TWRP, my fourth to be published. So far, the experience of being told your baby is going to be seen and read by others hasn’t gotten old.

I’ll be talking about this book several more times in the next months leading up to publication, but let me give you your first taste of it here. This is the first of a three-part series about Sullivan’s Creek, a new housing development that is conceived in the rolling prairie of central Iowa. This first book explores how the design concept comes into being despite the issues faced by and between the two architects assigned to bring life to an amorphous idea spawned by an anonymous client. Lacey Rogers is a petite but well-endowed junior architect just beginning to make a name for herself at her firm who finds herself teamed up with the organization’s superstar, Jack Dalton. Though she’s delighted to have this chance to learn from the best, Jack questions why he’s been teamed up with this newbie, when he’s accustomed to working solo. Is he slipping? Is that the reason why he hasn’t made partner yet? Their different styles immediately threaten their continued work relationship; she believes in research and data, he lives by his wits and charm, drawing out and channeling the client’s desires in his designs. pred_ed_2013ebookpublisher

As delighted as I am with this piece of news, I’ve had a terrific weekend as well. Saturday, purely by luck, I came across the Iowa-Michigan basketball game on ESPN. I love my Hawkeyes, although I don’t always get to see their games, so I decided to keep this on while I worked on my manuscript. I’d heard they were having a good season, but I wasn’t prepared for this game. Maybe you like the nailbiters. I do, too, when my team prevails in the end. But I also likes me some runaways, where my team demonstrates its strength and talent. I got my fill with this game. Ahead by 27 points at one time, they finished up by 18. What fun.

Today was the topper. Out of the blue, I received a call from my son telling me he had news, I had a new grandchild. My granddaughter, Lauren Kristine, had decided to arrive early, twelve days early, in fact. This is my seventh grandchild, but each one is as special as the others. And it’s been almost seventeen years since a girl joined the family. Wasn’t it a lucky break for me that I already had plans with friends to hit the mall this afternoon? Two children’s clothing stores certainly benefited.  And she arrived on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Maybe we’ve got a little rocker in our midst?

Even if you’ve been struggling with snow and ice and sleet and cold temps or drought, I hope the good times are rolling in for you as well. And congratulations to The Wild Rose Press for being named Publisher of the Year for the sixth year in a row by Preditors and Editors.

DriventoMatrimony_7901_750AndHeCooksToo_7346_750

Buy Links

Driven to Matrimony              The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

And He Cooks Too                The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

All Romance

Thoughts from the Treadmill: Reunions

treadmillEver had one of those occasions with close friends where everything seemed to click and you came away feeling more terrific than you had in days? I e experienced one of those times this past weekend when I had coffee with two friends. One is spending this week on a short cruise with six high school girl friends, and we spent the better part of our time together hearing about her plans. Though she has gone on several cruises, loves them, and just got back from one two weeks ago, this was going to be the first cruise for some of the others in her high school group and she really wanted them to enjoy themselves (Editorial comment: Just avoiding an outbreak of the flu while on board would be a place to start.).

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

Photo by Leslie Sloan, Ignite The Light Photography

She shared her ideas for two list of questions she was planning as ice breakers to get conversation rolling. One was a list to which they could respond anonymously and the other was more open, like seven females who haven’t seen each other in years need any help getting started reminiscing. Although her discussion ideas were great, we, okay, I, couldn’t help coming up with additional ways to generate conversation. One of my questions was: tell us something none of us know about you. This wasn’t an original thought. Almost every guest interview on other authors’ blogs includes some version of this question. Each time I’ve attempted to answer it, I’ve struggled to find something not only unknown but also interesting. But it was fun to share some of my responses with these two friends, although the fact that I used to enjoy catching nightcrawlers after a recent rain, when the moisture drove them out of their worm holes onto the lawn and they were there for the taking, wasn’t as “earth”- shattering as I thought it might be.

Lake Superior as seen from the back of our rental.

Lake Superior as seen from the back of our rental.

A year and a half ago, I planned a reunion with my own high school friends. I couldn’t help but be reminded of it as I’ve listened to my friend’s current plans. Like her group, ours was comprised of seven. (Magic number? Probably not, just too difficult to coordinate many more than that.) We rented a house at Two Harbors, Minnesota right on Lake Superior in the North Woods. We didn’t need discussion questions to get us going. The first hour when all of us met at one friend’s home in Minneapolis was pure conversational bedlam. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in thirty-five years, and yet, it took no time at all to feel like we’d only been apart a few months. Those few days together were magical. Although we promised each other we’d do something like that again as we parted ways, even if we never do, we had that special time together, to feel young again, to renew connections and examine where we’d all gone with our lives. IMG_1226

Although I’ve made it to most of my actual high school class reunions over the years, this smaller, longer version was much more fun and memorable. I’d highly recommend it as a way of reliving your past.

Me relaxing by the lake

Me relaxing by the lake

Packing for our journey north.

Packing for our journey north.

As a writer, times like these are gold mines for future stories. No, my friends, if you’re reading this, I don’t plan any characters specifically based on any of you per se, but it’s wonderful to have these experiences to draw from when creating other characters and describing their friendships. Reunions can really reenergize.

Reliving the past around the campfire.

Reliving the past around the campfire.

Lots of talk in the hot tub.

Lots of talk in the hot tub.

DriventoMatrimony_7901_750AndHeCooksToo_7346_75076fbc-thesleepoverclause

Buy Links

Driven to Matrimony              The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

And He Cooks Too                The Wild Rose Press, The Wild Rose Press Print

Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

All Romance

 

The Sleepover Clause            Amazon Kindle and Print

Nook

iTunes

iBookstore Print

Kobo

All Romance