Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Whether or not you make New Year's resolutions; whether you party with a huge crowd dressed in your best, or gather with a few friends and some family for a quiet celebration; enjoy yourselves!

Wishing you happiness, peace, love, lots of writing and great reading.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Tradition

As it’s Christmas Day, I thought I’d post a Christmas scene I wrote a couple of years ago. It takes place in a small Lakeland church on Christmas Eve, and Beth and Luke only met a couple of days before. This was from my first draft, but in my current draft (the 4th – or is it the 5th??) they meet much earlier, so I won’t be able to use this scene now. Maybe I’ll adapt it to use in a future novel!

They’d just finished singing The First Noel when the church clock started to chime the twelve strokes of midnight. Everyone remained standing and, after the final chime, the smiling vicar announced, “Joy to the World, the Lord has come,” and encouraged the congregation to exchange the time-old Christmas greetings.
Luke shook hands with the couple on his right, and then turned back to her.
“Happy Christmas, Beth,” he said softly.
She smiled and put out her hand to him. “Happy Christmas to you, too.”
He didn’t take her hand. Instead he enveloped her in a hug. His face was warm against her cheek, and his firm hands were tight on her back. Her own hands moved automatically around his thick sheepskin jacket, and everything inside her did a double somersault.
Her mind tried to detach itself from the moment. Something was happening here that she didn’t understand but it felt good, so good, to be in his arms.
Luke released her and gave her a quick smile. Beth didn’t have time to think about the effect of his hug as he introduced her to several people who came to greet him and who then leaned past him to shake her hand and wish her a happy Christmas. She was impressed yet again by the villagers’ friendly acceptance of a complete stranger.
Everyone was recalled to their seats by the vicar announcing the final carol, O Come, All Ye Faithful.
Standing by Luke’s side as they sang, she was nerve-tingling conscious of his nearness and his masculine scent, and of the way all her senses were responding. She could hear his strong voice, feel his arm brushing slightly against hers, and see his strong hands holding the carol sheet. Most of all she sensed her own inner tension, her pulse racing and every single nerve ending shivering in some strange anticipation.
“Of what?” she wondered.
She hardly knew him, so why was she feeling like this? Her body was giving her the answer that her brain wouldn’t accept as it stirred in response to a strong sensual attraction she’d thought she would never experience again. Quickly she pulled her mind back to the present, blushing slightly at what seemed to be sacrilegious thoughts in the middle of a church service.
During the carol, the vicar and choir had processed down the main aisle, and Beth saw the congregation start to file out of the pews and move towards the church door.
She glanced round at Luke. “What’s happening?”
“It’s the tradition here. Come on.”
They joined the rest of the people standing outside the church in the crisp night air.
“Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord,” the vicar called out, and then from inside the church the organist struck up the final verse of the carol and everyone joined in.
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee – Born this happy morning...
As they sang outside the grey stone church, Beth looked out at the slate roofs of the stone houses of the village below them, then beyond to the dark countryside with only a few pinpricks of light from isolated houses and farms, and finally up at the millions of stars in the sky. It was a magical few minutes. One star seemed brighter than all the rest. It was probably a planet but, for a fanciful moment, she imagined it to be the star of Bethlehem.
When the last strains of the organ finally died away, she looked round at Luke. “That was beautiful,” she breathed.
“Yeah, it’s a nice tradition.”
He put his arm around her and hugged her again.
A very Happy Christmas to you all!
Susan Boyle sings with Elvis!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Time to Rewrite

Jennifer is finally admitting her opening scene may not be as great as she wanted it to be.

Okay, I give up.

One of the manuscripts I’m writing, inspired by this gorgeous Victorian mansion I toured (pretending I was a potential buyer—yeah, right), has a first scene that I love. I’m not being pretentious and I’m not bragging, especially when you read the rest of this blog post, but I just really love the scene. Or rather, I love the idea of the scene.

It has a great opening line that hooks the reader, it introduces the hero and the heroine, it demonstrates their chemistry…and it’s completely unbelievable.

The hero walks up to the heroine and offers to mow her lawn. He’s a stranger, carrying a backpack, coming up a deserted road. She’s afraid of him, but also attracted to him. She says yes and allows him to do it.

I don’t write stupid heroines. I don’t write stereotypically gorgeous heroes. And I have way more plot than sex, even though I do write sex scenes.

But after listening to multiple people tell me that the scene was bad, after listening to it being read out loud, and after letting it sit for a couple of months while I finished anther manuscript, I’m finally ready to admit that no matter how much I love the idea of the scene, it is really not good.

My heroine would have to be stupid to allow a strange man to mow her lawn for her. She can’t be simultaneously afraid and attracted to him in the same paragraph. My hero can be gorgeous, but I need a better way to describe him. And really, the sexual chemistry can take place a bit later.

Apparently, people like my second scene, so my project for this week is to make my second scene into my opening scene (and perhaps sneak a bit of my original opening scene into it—but only the good parts).

I’ll let you know how I do.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Loons and gingerbread men- They're connected.

Ana trips out after making cookie dough. 

Tomorrow I will bake gingerbread men and holiday sugar cookies with my offspring.

That's a strange word: offspring. My dictionary says it comes from Old English: off and springan, to rise.  the progeny of a person, animal or plant. A product or result.

Did my daughters spring out of my womb?
Technically yes, if you call 36 hours of labor "springing."

As a toddler, my son loved to lie on the bottoms of my feet as I lay on my back and raised him up in the air like an airplane. He "sprang" into imaginary flight with me, especially when I let go of his hands.

I get a spring in my step when I dash after my just-walking grandson. I would spring into action if a stranger looked too keenly at my wallet. I definitely spring when I jump on a trampoline.

An off spring sounds like it would cause a car to be lopsided. Or came off the screen door.

If we have an off spring, it means the weather is atypically cold, and winter is lingering long past our collective welcome.

Progeny is an equally high fallutin' word. Pro gene. Go genes! (Sounds like a football cheer.)
I am for genes, but not for genetically modifying them. No one should play God for profit.

Weeds have far too many progeny. Weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for up to 50 years. Talk about the undead.

Mosquito eggs are good for approximately 15 years. The mosquito is Minnesota's unofficial state bird.
The approved state bird is the loon, a water bird with a haunting night-time call, distinctive black and white markings and parental devotion. Its offspring ride on their parents' backs.

Which is almost as good as pretend flying.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Fading Tradition?

Debra ponders how technology has changed the way we do things.

I still send out Christmas cards every year. Some I send to people I see everyday as a greeting for the season. Others I send to people I hardly ever see or those I never see. The cards are a way to keep in contact with those who have been an important part of my life in the past. I always write a brief, personal note in each. Usually, I receive as many or more cards than I send. Not this year. This year, at least so far, our kitchen door is looking a bit bare.

It made me wonder? Will Christmas cards soon be a thing of the past?

Will people just send an e-mail or a text or post to Facebook? To me, this completely takes away the personal touch of a handwritten card.

Which brings me to letter writing. Talk about a thing of the past. No one writes letters anymore. At least by hand. And e-mails are riddled with grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors to an infuriating extent.

And don't even get me started on texting. We are creating a generation of people who can't spell or communicate in full sentences.

My boss sent around an interesting article which stated many companies are now requiring a writing sample as part of a job interview. Companies are looking for people who can communicate effectively. Sadly, even with hundreds of applicants available and looking for work, some positions aren't being filled because qualified candidates can't be found. Such a sad commentary on how technology isn't always a good thing.

As an author, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on effective written communication. What I don't have a grasp on is books...literally. Half of the books I read now are on my Kindle. Electronic books aren't the wave of the future, they are now. But I miss Borders. I loved walking in there and being surrounded by thousands of books. (Thank goodness I can still get that feeling at the library.) And there are still books I buy as books, whether to complete a collection or just because there's nothing like holding a paperback in your hands, breathing in the smell of the pages and ink. Or feeling the weight of a hardcover shift from one hand to the other as you make your way further into the story. But even my own books sell far more in e-format than in paperback. Although a sale is a sale, so I'm not complaining.

There are just some things I miss when the world changes so quickly we have to run to keep up.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thank you - two words that mean so much

Paula’s thoughts about two simple words that can mean so much.

Have you ever received a ‘thank you’ that will stay in your mind for ever?

This is nothing to do with writing – except maybe it is, so read on.

In the 90s, I was the Girl Guide Commissioner for our ‘county’, which covered an area of about 10 square miles to the west of Manchester and included (at that time) about 500 leaders and 5,000 girls. I was still working full time, but most evenings were taken up with meetings and visits, and even the evenings I spent at home involved preparation for meetings, dealing with individual leaders’ queries and problems, and the inevitable paperwork that accompanied the job.

I couldn’t even begin to estimate the hours I devoted to this voluntary work, but I enjoyed it – well, most of it! I received a lot of thanks both during and after my term of office, but my abiding memory occurred after a water sports day for Guides.

It had all gone well – the girls had enjoyed sailing, kayaking, canoeing, dragon-boat racing, etc. At the end of the day, as 150+ girls were getting ready to leave, a small Guide (aged about 10 or 11 ) stomped up to me, put her hands on her waist, almost belligerently, and said, “Are you the lady that organised all this?”

“Yes,” I said, wondering what was coming next.

“Well,” she replied, “I just want to say it’s been brilliant, so thank you very much,” and then she turned and stomped away again.

Out of all the thanks I received, that’s the one that sticks in my mind. One small girl came to me to say thank you.

How do I relate this to writing? It might be a comment by a friend – ‘Loved your novel, couldn’t put it down’ - or a review from an unknown person – “I gave five stars to this book because it really was a great romance, with an incredible story line and a book that I will be reading over and over.”

Readers should never underestimate the sheer joy they can give to a writer by simply saying (and meaning), ‘Thank you, I really enjoyed your book’ (or maybe even better, by posting a good review on Amazon!).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I’m Done-Not!

Jennifer finished her first drafts.

I’m done, I’m done, I’m done! I finally finished both manuscripts that I’ve been working on forever. One is a standalone contemporary romance and the other is the second in my Jewish romance series.

Happy dance.

But now the real work begins, of course. Editing. Believe me, there is going to be a lot of that.

As I was writing, I ran into a number of problems with both manuscripts. I wanted to get them finished, however, so I pushed through the problems, in some cases leaving big “FIX THIS” notes in places. There are plot holes that need filling in. There are complete about-faces in motivation or character development that require a lot of work. I knew that as I was writing and I knew I’d have to do some major rewriting.

The thought of revising at the time was enough to make me not want to continue writing, so I decided that I’d just finish the darn thing and then go back and fix everything. Because of life interfering and because I often switched between manuscripts, there were times that I forgot about certain elements in a story, only to remember much later that they needed to be there.

My Jewish romance takes place around the holiday of Passover, but there’s very little about the holiday in the book.

I need to fix that.

My hero’s backstory changed halfway through the story, influencing everything that comes afterwards.

I need to fix that.

The middles sag.

I need to fix that.

But at least the first drafts are done. Right now, I’m reading through the standalone, looking for major issues—plot holes, characters that get dropped, etc. I’ll go back and fix them and then do the finer editing work. I hope to have this one done by February (doubtful).

I have some great editing tips I learned at the writer’s conference I went to back in October. I’m looking forward to making use of them on these manuscripts. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas all year round

Ana muses on the gift of critiquing

My current WIP is a rewrite of my first completed romance. The original rambled, had way too many subplots, and was overly autobiographical.  It also had a surprisingly potent story arc, vivid secondary characters and a hero I am still in love with. I submitted it six years ago and received slammed door rejections. They hurt, but they taught me that I had much to learn about the craft of writing.

The spectre of self-doubt is my constant companion, but like Scrooge on Christmas morning, I believe in second chances. I am determined to gestate this rewrite and give it birth. I will let this story go and start on the next one.

That's where critiques come in. The true spirit of the Christmas season is giving, and I am grateful beyond measure for every critique I give and receive.

The critiques I do for others teach me to be a better writer. The critiques I receive are the best gifts I could ever receive.

Christmas all year round.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hunky Roman Tribunes - by Nancy Jardine

Nancy Jardine is here today to tell us about hunky Roman tribunes!
Hello to all Heroines With Hearts. I’m delighted to visit you today, so close to the launch of my second Celtic/Roman historical adventure After Whorl: Bran Reborn (Dec 16th 2013).
I’m even more pleased to be able to witter on about Roman tribunes. Hunky tribunes- you say? Is the male protagonist in After Whorl: Bran Reborn, the second book in my Celtic Fervour series a Roman Military Tribune? Well…actually no. It shows my Scottish origins and I guess total bias, that my hero is an amazing Brigante Celt called…Bran. If you’ve already read The Beltane Choice you’ll know him by another name, but for the moment I’ll let you guess what that is.
Nevertheless, there is a Roman tribune, who might be an almost next best thing - depending on your viewpoint for he is indeed quite a character! In both After Whorl: Bran Reborn, and the third book in the series After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks (due for publication around March 2014), my Gaius Livanus Valerius is a very important character. The similarity of titles for books 2 and 3 is intentional, since the stories are ‘stand- alone’ yet they are also ‘intertwined’.
Gaius is not quite from the top-notch senatorial class, but his background is of good equestrian stock- this meant his father could purchase a commission for him to enter the ranks of the officer class in the Roman army. Normally that might be done around the age of eighteen, but there’s a little story in After Whorl: Bran Reborn about the reason for Gaius having to enter service a few years earlier than the norm. In fact, what it did mean is that Gaius had to serve in a non-officer class role till he was old enough to be elevated to a junior clerk post – effectively the ‘posh’ guy in with the ‘plebs’.
Has that early entry to military life made any difference to Gaius? Absolutely! Gaius is much more toughened by having had to work with the rank and file. My Celtic heroine, Ineda, may not call him exactly hunky but she does - eventually - consider that he is a very fit and good looking soldier. When Ineda initially gets to know Gaius, she learns he’s much older than the usual Tribune Angusticlavius. Complicated names here but let’s simplify. The head honcho was the Legatus Legionis – the Legate. Below him, at second in command, would have been the Tribune Laticlavius. The next tier down in the ranking usually had five men in the post of Tribune Angusticlavii – Gaius’ rank. They were around 25 years of age.
Since Gaius has reasons for prolonging his stay in Britannia, and not wanting to return to Rome, he’s accepted a second term of office at the rank of Tribune Angusticlavius and is closer to 30. Ineda finds out that as well as still being in charge of a large number of soldiers, Gaius has also been singled out by the Roman Governor of Britannia to do some extra special duties. A very well regarded and experienced soldier is my Gaius!
Gaius has already done duty in Britannia as part of a ala – a mounted regiment where he was a wee bit heavily involved with the Demetae and the Ordovices. I love those names- don’t you? Well, they were the troublesome tribes of the areas we would now call North and West Wales. So, in fact, Gaius has already sharpened his teeth on some warring Celts before he gets involved with my Brigantes, who were from northern England.
File licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.
What did I imagine my Gaius to look like? This image shows an older man wearing what was likely to have been what Gaius would have worn. Kick start that imagination of yours. Replace the man’s face with your favourite young hunk and you just might have Gaius!
This next link shows what Hollywood imagined a tribune to look like. If anyone remembers the deep sexy tones of rugged-faced Richard Burton, this is quite a young Richard when he played a Roman tribune who ends up with the robe of Jesus. Not quite the same uniform as my Gaius but replace the younger Richard Burton’s face into the uniform on the wiki image and that would be just about okay for Gaius, too!

For more information on those ‘six or eight pack’ breastplates worn by Roman Tribunes you can hop on over to my blog where I’ve got files on all manner of Celts and Romans: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com
My Pinterest board also has a nice selection:  http://www.pinterest.com/nanjar/

Thanks for allowing me to visit today, ladies- it’s always a pleasure to share a lovely young man with you.

Facebook Launch Party **Giveaways**
For a chance to enter the draw for a ‘triquetra’ necklace and other prizes join Nancy’s Facebook Launch party https://www.facebook.com/events/520880144659724/  and look for details of how to win the prizes on offer.

Blog launch Tour **Special Prize**
A special Blog Tour ‘friend’ will WIN a mystery gift for the most commented visits to blogs during the launch tour for After Whorl: Bran Reborn. (i.e. most comments between 9th Dec and 18th Dec wins the prize). To be sure you don’t miss any blog posts check Nancy’s Blog regularly between the 9th Dec and the 17th Dec.

Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she does have a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s just supposed to be ‘just’ childminding her twice a week.
A lover of all things historical it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.

You’ll find Nancy at the following places: Amazon UK author page  Amazon US author page Blog Website Facebook Goodreads About Me LinkedIn Twitter @nansjar Google+

After Whorl: Bran Reborn
is available for pre-order in paperback from Amazon UK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Whorl-Reborn-Nancy-Jardine/dp/1909841323/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1_CEPA)

Ravaged by war
…AD 71. After the battle at Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed.
Returning to Marske, Ineda finds her grandmother dead, though Brennus is not. Snared by a Roman patrol, they are marched to Witton where he is forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion.
Embracing his new identity as Bran, Brennus vows to avert Roman occupation of northernmost Brigantia. Ineda becomes his doughty spying accomplice, though sometimes she’s too impetuous. Trading with the Romans lends excellent opportunities for information gathering. Over time, Bran’s feelings for Ineda mar with his loyalty to Ineda’s father.
When she disappears, and cannot be found, Bran enters direct service with Venutius, King of the Brigantes.

Nancy, thank you so much for being our Friday Friend today, and for giving us such interesting information about Roman tribunes We wish you every success with After Whorl: Bran Reborn.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Growing Older

Paula reflects on growing older!

It comes as quite a shock to realise that you are the oldest member of your family still living. I realised this last Friday when I learnt that my one remaining uncle passed away aged 94 on Thursday (the same evening as Nelson Mandela).
There may be some distant half-cousins still alive somewhere, but as far as my immediate family is concerned, I’m now the oldest, which is quite a sobering thought!
It made me realise, though, how perceptions of age have changed. When I was a child in the 1950s, I thought my grandparents and great-aunts/uncles (who must have been in their 60s and 70s then) were positively ancient. My grandfather always wore a tweed three-piece suit (jacket, pants and matching waistcoat/vest). He also had a fob watch on a chain which always fascinated me. No way could I ever imagine him in jeans, or even an open-necked shirt! However, it wasn't simply the way they dressed (usually in darkish or neutral colours) but also their lifestyle, which appeared to be very uneventful, apart from occasional visits to family or friends.
My parents’ generation, in contrast, seemed to be more active than the previous generation. They had holidays overseas, took an active part in community groups (my father, for example, was still teaching First Aid when he was in his 80s), and, unlike my grandparents, went out in the evenings, to the theatre, cinema or a restaurant.
So what about this present ‘older’ generation? I think we tend to be much ‘younger’ in our outlook than previous generations. Maybe that’s something to do with growing up in the ‘swinging sixties’, which, although we didn’t realise it at the time, really was a time of social revolution.
I was 45 when my first grandson was born, and someone said to me at the time, ‘Grandmas don’t wear jeans and drink pints of beer.’ My response was, ‘This one does!’ And ‘this one’ has, I think, continued to maintain a ‘modern’ outlook (apart from some of the pop music my grandsons favour!).
Many of my friends are now in their 70s and 80s, and are still as active as they were 20 or 30 years ago. Having said that, some of my grandson’s friends are well impressed that his grandma can use a computer and is even on Facebook, so maybe all grandmas aren’t necessarily the same!
This all leads on to the question of how we portray the ‘older generation’ in our novels. The parents of a 20+ year old heroine today would (generally speaking) have been born in the 1960s or early 1970s, the grandparents in the 40s or 50s.
I think we need to take account of the fact that today's ‘older’ generation is becoming younger, not in age of course, but in outlook. Today's grandparents are no longer like the Dowager Duchess in Downton Abbey (much as I love her!). If she was alive today, she’d probably be off on an Amazon River adventure like one 85 year old I know.
I’ve tried to make the parents of my heroes or heroines true to their age-group – and not the stereotypical parents or grandparents of yesteryear. Grandmas no longer sit in rocking chairs and knit socks –I can vouch for that!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Writing Interrupted

Jennifer's trying to write with the kids home--yikes!

We have a snow day today. Yesterday was an ice storm in the morning and the kids had a delayed opening. I love mornings like that when we can leisurely get out of bed and not have to rush. Although the ice took a really long time to melt, and my car slid down the driveway horizontally, by the time the kids came home from school in the afternoon, the ice was gone (for the most part).

Today, they’re expecting a lot of snow throughout the day, so they cancelled school. Once again, we’re all home today and that means our plans change. Especially my writing plans.

I’ve written when the girls are home before, so I know it’s doable. It’s just not necessarily doable at the time that I want to do it, and it’s definitely not doable without interruption.

There are homework projects they need to work on, and of course, those involve questions and “Mom, come look” and stalling.

There is cleaning that I want them to do, and that involves arguing and finding supplies and inspecting.

There is baking that they want to do, which involves finding cookbooks and checking ingredients and tasting (and making sure my kitchen doesn’t burn down) and cleaning.

So I’ll get writing done today, eventually. It might not be as much as I want, or as uninterrupted as I’d like. But it will, at some point, get done.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Nostalgia

Ana reminisces about a past holiday tradition.

I lived with my grandparents for several years while my dad worked overseas. Christmas was a festive time. Lots of decorations, a huge tree in front of the fireplace, eggnog (spiked, of course).

I was a foodie from a very young age, so I have fond memories of special holiday treats. My grandmother's cook was from Lithuania.

Tillie loved to bake, and she loved that I loved to sample her treats. Here is her recipe for 'Coo-coons.' It's remarkably similar to recipes from other cultures, which reinforces my feeling that the holiday spirit is universal.

Tillie's Coo-coons
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and 1 cup flour. Mix well.
Add remaining flour and nuts.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.
Bake cookie balls until lightly golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Immediately roll in powdered sugar, and then roll again, until balls are well covered with powdered sugar. Cool.
Store in a covered container.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Rue Allyn, Today's Friday Friend

Rue Allyn, author of the new book One Day's Loving!


     Ana, thank you very much for inviting me to share my thoughts with you and your readers. I look forward to some lively discussion on the topic of anticipation and books. 
     In honor of the holiday season, when we eagerly await the events—meals, performances, gift giving, worship services, decorations—I think exploring how anticipation works for readers and authors is timely.
      Story moments that anchor the story in your mind J--climaxes, black moments, love scenes, witty repartee, heart melting encounters--are the pieces of a great story. They are why we read. Right? 
Well maybe not. Perhaps the reason we read is as simple as anticipation of each of those pieces. Isn’t a page-turner a book that keeps the reader guessing, maintains our anticipation of what comes next?
      I have always believed that only three major plot lines exist—man versus man, man versus nature, and man versus God (whatever God may be to you). Someone—man, nature or God—always wins, and someone always loses. Even in romantic fiction someone always loses by sacrificing his or her desires before reaping the greater reward of love. 
     So it isn’t anticipation of the ending that keeps me reading. In a murder mystery, I know the mystery will be solved. In a romance, I know the couple will live happily ever after. Explanations are always made before the book ends, questions are always resolved. In fact, I anticipate the explanations, the resolutions, and the HEAs.
     In the best books—the page turners—I try to anticipate the next plot twist, the surprise turn of character, the unexpected jump in tension. I enjoy the moments of resolution when one question is resolved just as another issue is raised, making me anticipate again. 
     If you ask me what I enjoy most about reading--and writing--it isn’t the satisfaction of resolution—nice as that is—but rather the anticipation, the sweet tension of discovering how author and characters achieve those resolutions.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know what keeps you reading.

As I wrote the Wildfire Love series, I thrilled at each new discovery, at every surprise (yes on occasion even authors get surprised by their stories) and every twist of plot and character. Here’s a hint about the action in the most recent Wildfire Love book, One Day’s Loving.

One Day’s Loving

Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable.  The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog.  She’s not happy about it, but what can she do?  She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.

A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?

You can read more about One Day’s Loving at my website or purchase directly from Amazon.

About Rue Allyn

Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com