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TBT Ruins

In Something Borrowed, my novella in the anthology, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A SIXPENCE, Cordelia sketches at a local ruin.

I must confess something: I LOVE ruins.

The first time I went to England and Scotland in 1990, I was obsessed with finding ruins. In England, finding ruins is like looking for antelope in Wyoming, or seagulls in Seattle. They are everywhere.

And I was in heaven.

Here are some of the photos from Elgin Cathedral I took way back then. I loved how they show the sheer grandeur of these buildings and how they were constructed–the walls with the rubble in between, and mostly, how the stones have been “borrowed” by the locals over the centuries. Early recycling at its finest.

And so it seems, Cordelia, the heroine of Something Borrowed, shares my love of ruins. Okay, she can’t help herself.

They turned the corner in the road, and the entire reason Cordelia had set out in this direction came into view. Just off the road stood an old ruined castle, which was more a pile of rubble than fortress, the once lofty walls having been pilfered for centuries by the nearby villagers.

In the far western horizon the sun was beginning to settle in for the night, throwing off the day’s labors by bathing the sky in brilliant shades of pink and red, while the humble yellow stones of the castle glowed back with an ancient fire—that flicker of twilight where day and night entwined and embraced.

They both stopped, and Cordelia couldn’t help herself, she reached over and caught hold of his hand.
“Have you ever seen—”

“No, I haven’t. At least not in a very long time.” Then he surprised her utterly. “Thank you, Cordelia, for asking me—to come along and all. I had forgotten—”

So periodically as I write, (like when I was writing Something Borrowed) I pull out those photos from that long ago trip and smile at the ruins I found, the glorious houses I toured, in what became the inspiration for this career of mine.

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Keeping Up, Finding New Books

I have a terrible time keeping up with my favorite authors. I read all over the board, romance (of course!), historical mysteries, Game of Thrones-esque fantasy (Have I told you about the series by Anthony Ryan, BTW?

Blood Song

Start with Blood Song! So good!), also paranormal . . .

You get the point. Of course you do. You read like I do–all the time and always looking–for the stories that continue, for the authors we love, and that wonderful moment when you know you’ve found a new “auto-buy” author. And you have to hunt for everything they’ve ever written.

So here was what my dear friend Melissa McClone clued me into last week. BookBub has a feature where you can follow an author and when that author has a  new book, they will send you an email. Easy-peasy. If you want to see, here is a link to my BookBub page. I would be ever so thankful for a follow.

This past weekend, I went in and followed a bunch of my faves, and I thought I should share this with, well, everyone, ’cause, well, it’s great. So there it is. Go fav your auto-buy authors and never miss a book. You’re welcome. I know my TBR is ecstatic.

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Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who opened my recent newsletter–that gave you an automatic entry into my Newsletter Contest.
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And the winner is . . . Laverne Backhaus.

Laverne received a $25.00 gift card to Amazon.com. And don’t forget–when you see my newsletter in your Inbox, OPEN it!

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Intentional Writing

I’m struck by this word of late: Intentional. The definition is quite clear: done on purpose.

So I find myself asking this question over and over. What is my intention here? What is my purpose? Will my actions at this moment lead me closer to my intentions?intentional-20

I suppose as a writer, I’ve done this forever, because this is at the very heart of storytelling. What is the intention of this tale? What do I want the reader to learn with this story? What journey of discovery do I want take them along? What am I intentionally doing with my word choices, my characters, my plot?

I don’t think it matters what you are writing: a novel, short story, poem, blog post, or even a private journal entry that only you will ever see–all of these words have purpose, an intention. And to make the most of those words, focus your thoughts, your ideas on that purpose. With story telling, it might be asking yourself what you hope to accomplish with this scene. With a blog, what do you want the reader to take away, do, or accomplish once they read your words.

So whatever your course, whether it be writing or your daily choices, think about your intentions. Then take a deep breath and see the course before you, asking one simple question: What do I intend today?

As the answer forms, follow that path.

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Tuesday Teaser: Four Weddings and A Sixpence

When the four of us, Julia Quinn, Laura Lee Guhrke, Stefanie Sloane, and I came up with the idea for writing Four Weddings and a Sixpence, based on the old wedding rhyme (I know, me and my rhymes!) I had to have “Something Borrowed.” I mean as soon as we started talking about it, I just HAD TO HAVE THAT ONE. I could see the entire story in my mind–a heroine who needs to borrow a betrothed and then has to face the fact . . .

Well, let the Tuesday Teaser tell you the rest:

 “If you don’t mean to marry the earl—” Kate began just as they reached the second landing.

Cordelia came to a stop, catching hold of the railing. “Of course I don’t—”

She only wished she sounded more convincing. Because she didn’t want to get married.

She didn’t. Her gaze strayed down the stairs.

Kate made a grand harrumph, caught hold of her, and continued pulling her upstairs, lecturing as they went. “Then might I remind you that Lord Thornton isn’t your betrothed.”

“I know that,” Cordelia did her best to look outraged. “I haven’t the least idea what you are implying.”

She failed miserably, for Kate gave a regal shake of her head. “Cordelia, that man isn’t yours to dally with. And very soon he will need to be returned.”

“I am well aware of the situation,” Cordelia shot back. “I’m the one who came up with it.”

“Then I suggest you have a care before any more complications develop,” Kate replied, and continued up the stairs in a grand huff.

As if Cordelia needed to be told as much.

Something borrowed must always be returned.

Mustn’t it?

Want to read more? Here is the excerpt. Or just dive right in and order your copy here. If you liked this #TuesdayTeaser, please click one of the share buttons below. Because isn’t that what good stories are for–sharing!

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Newsletter Winner

Congratulations to Tamara B! She won the $50 gift card to Amazon. And my thanks to everyone who took the time to enter.

I hope you’ve had a chance to read FOUR WEDDINGS AND A SIXPENCE! If not, take a sneak peek here.

And of course, my best wishes to you in 2017. May the New Year be filled with blessings, love, and great stories.

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Tuesday Lunch Break: Mad About the Major

This week, let’s take a lunch break with Mad About the Major, my recent novella addition to the Bachelor Chronicle’s series. A reader recently wrote a review and called it “Pure whimsy.” Two words that made me smile. That was exactly what I was striving for–a fun IMG_0529fast read that was a sly wink at the wonderful Audrey Hepburn movie, Roman Holiday.

I thought Birdie deserved a day off from being the Duke of Parkerton’s daughter. Now you can take a quick escape with the madcap Arabella “Birdie” Tremont in this excerpt.

Continuing my lunch theme contest questions: If you could have lunch anywhere in the world, where would you be reading the excerpt from Mad About the Major?

Post your answer below and you are entered in the drawing for a lunch bag prize pack. A winner will be posted in next Tuesday’s Lunch Break post.

Last week’s winner: Anita H (who, BTW, likes dim sum for lunch. YUM!

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Tuesday Lunch Break – Stealing the Bride

It is Tuesday once again and time for a Lunch Break Read! This week, Stealing the Bride, is the featured Excerpt–which also happens to feature one of my most favorite heroes–Temple. He stole my heart the moment he stepped on the page in One Night of Passion, and he continued to pop into my books for years to come. IMG_0513

Fair warning: Temple is an irascible charmer who will steal your heart.

So enjoy your lunch, have a quick read and enjoy Stealing the Bride. And after you’ve read the excerpt, consider coming back and posting a comment below. Then you’ll be entered in this week’s drawing for a Lunch Bag prize pack.

Last week’s winner: Maryellen

This week’s question: What is your favorite thing to have for lunch? (Mine: A turkey/cran sandwich on wheat bread from Bakeman’s in downtown Seattle.)

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Tuesday Lunch Break – Along Came a Duke

I have a confession to make: I am a lunch time reader. I think I like lunch more for the chance to read than the eating part. LOL!

So for the next ten weeks, I’ll be featuring an excerpt from one of my books–the perfect sort IMG_0510of lunch break sampling. And when you are done reading (and having lunch!), come back here to leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a new lunch bag stuffed with books and goodies.

Make sure to come back every Tuesday for a new excerpt and a new contest.

This week’s featured excerpt: Along Came a Duke. If you haven’t read Tabby and Preston’s story, here’s your chance to kick back, have some lunch and read the Excerpt. Then make sure to come back and comment so you are entered for the contest.

To enter, simply comment below–about anything: what you are currently reading, what you had for lunch, which book you’d like to see featured on Tuesday Lunch Break. That’s it, you’re entered.

Winner will be announced next Tuesday (May 24th) right here on the Blog.

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Newsletter/Facebook Contest Winners

My contest over on my Facebook page broke just about every record! I’ve never seen so many LIKES, COMMENTS, or SHARES. So thank you, one and all, who played along. And so, without further ado, the winners are:

Facebook:KnaveOfHearts_1080x1080

Sara McLaughlin

Marianna Buccafuri Clark

Diane Lucy

Bonus for Newsletter Readers:

Christie (@sixfortheroad on Twitter)

Linda Williams

Thanks to one and all for entering and if you are listed as one of the winners, please send me your mailing address via my Contact page! Thanks so much for playing along.

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