I put a lot of thought into the endings of my novels. In a romance, the last scene should wrap up the final loose thread. The enemy is vanquished, even if that enemy is nothing more than a character’s worst fears.
It leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind that these two people—the hero and heroine—belong together for all time. It leaves us feeling good, perhaps tearfully so. It lets us believe that despite the obstacles, true love prevails.
I get that and though writing is work, endings tend to be organic and grow out of the story.
But I’ve come to an ending that I have grappled with for a week—how do I say goodbye to the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills blog and its readers, some who have followed me all over the web? Even harder, how do I part with the women who have become my virtual sisters?
Not easily, even though it was my choice to leave the Jaunty Quills. I was a fan of the Jaunty Quills from its start. When I was asked to join them, I was elated. I’m still proud to be a Quill on my last blog. But since Christmas it’s been a chore for me to keep up my obligation and promise to give you, the reader, an interesting blog.
My schedule is so crammed with a day job, writing and life that I knew I had to trim anything that stole time from my own writing obligations and from my personal life. Regular blogging was one of the things that I realized must go.
Thanks to the readers for following me. I deeply appreciate you and hope to keep in contact, whether on my website blog or Facebook. My next book from Harlequin, Taking Back What He’s Owed, will release in November.
To my sister Quills—Elise, Catherine, Cindy, Emily, Katherine, Kristan, Nancy, Robyn, Shana, and Terri. I wish you all the success and happiness in the world and I hope our paths cross many times the future. You guys are the very best!
Hugs to all,
I read and I write emotionally driven romances where finding real love is the prevalent theme. But finding love usually isn’t my characters main goal. In fact, love is usually the last thing either wants, especially from the other.
Of course, I never make it easy on my characters. I heap internal conflicts on them, mix it with a good does of lust and toss them into a world of emotional chaos. I don’t give them easy avenues out – they have to stick together to the bitter end, dragging their baggage through mud with the hope both will recognize that they complete each other – that they can have true love after they’ve lightened their burdens by tossing away the old beliefs and fears that have chained their hearts all this time.
From one who’s been in that dark camp for too long, I know it isn’t easy to break out. Opening your heart to possible hurt again is terrifying. Experiencing only conditional love – the pat on the head, you done good feeling – is a poor substitute for finding somebody who loves and accepts you for who you are, who doesn’t judge, doesn’t try to change you.
Typically my heroines are similar to me – looking for the real thing but just haven’t found The One. They aren’t going to settle for conditional love – it’s all or nothing for them.
My heroes tend to be jaded. They either don’t believe in love, have been burned to a crisp by the emotion before and avoid it now, or just don’t know what love is.
And really, what is love?
That’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot of times.
Love is invisible. Felt not seen. Elusive. The precious gem to find amid a sea of sand.
True love is unconditional. That’s the love that fills us, warms us, makes us whole. Unconditional love completes us.
It is as much the giving of deep emotional support as much as it is receiving the same from that someone special. It’s the companionable silence of two hearts watching the same sun set and feeling happy to share such a moment together.
Each time I start writing a new story, I face the challenge of finding the right way to show how two people can find real love and finally experience that blissful happiness that comes out of such a deep abiding love. I love writing about their journey as they find a way to cast off their fears and embrace a new tomorrow with that one special love. And when I’m not writing them, I love reading about them. Because really, what’s more satisfying than watching two people fall in love?
Why do you read romances? What made you know your wife or husband or lover was the real love to last for all time?
I attended the RT Booklovers convention in Chicago this past week, along with fellow Quills, Shane Galen and Emily McKay. The five-day convention is hectic and professional with over a hundred workshops and reader events hosted by authors and industry professionals from all genres. Aspiring authors can sign up for private chats and pitches with editors and agents. Plus there are fun gatherings and parties every night for all to attend. Many, like myself and friends, decided to spend quality downtime in the bar at night, giving us time to chat, unwind and regroup.
It was a hectic, fantastic week that thrilled and exhausted me. I started my professional stint with the Western Reader workshop where all the western authors participating gave out totes to everyone attending. We had cover models on hand and line dancing, gave out grand prizes and had a great time overall. I met new readers while reuniting with dear ones, and gave away notepads, pens, trading cards and books. Nothing was left after the event but smiles.
My second big event was the Harlequin Power and Passion series reader event where everyone attending received bags of goodies and books. Games were played with the winners getting bags of books. Authors schmoozed and signed autographs with readers, booksellers and librarians from around the world. Again, I gave away notepads and more books. Harlequin had this poster of my latest book printed for the event and for me to keep. Lovely.
The week ended on Saturday with the Giant Book signing that is also open to the public. Imagine a ballroom filled with tables of authors and thousands of readers and fans streaming by. The noise level is intense while readers scramble to get autographs from favorite authors. Cover models strolled among them for photo opportunities as well.
I came home with tired feet and fond memories. Many readers faithfully attend this convention every year, and we get new readers from every place the convention is held. Next year RT Convention will be at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City.
So what about you? Have you attended this or another writing convention before? Think about coming, even if it’s just to the public book signing. I’ll be there!
I’ve done a lot of talking about buying a new swimsuit but never actually did it. Me and swimsuit trying on/buying are not friends anyway and the old one piece I had was still looking pretty good and fitting well.
It’s not that I don’t love being in or near the water. I just dread the trying on swimsuits and freak in a dressing room because every suit revealed way too more of me that I wanted to show. Ever. Plus do they have to use the worst mirrors ever in dressing rooms? Do they get a deal from fun house mirrors or something?
This year I took the plunge and went shopping for a swimsuit, mainly because the Sodbuster (the new man in my life) spends a good deal of summer leisure time on the water, and the sun and chlorine had wrecked the old suit I felt comfortable wearing.
The good news is there are plenty of styles available, from string bikinis to one piece to swim dresses. The trouble was deciding what I wanted and then finding something to fit.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a quality suit. I stick with a noted brand because those do tend to last. Also, I ruled out me in a bikini or monokini or any thing bearing a resemblance to either. Even if I had ever looked good more naked than clothed, wearing one is just not me.
Second I was tired of a one piece and wanted something different, but not so different as a swim dress. That has too much of an old Victorian feel to it, plus I looked frumpy in one. Maybe if I added a hat? Kidding. The swim dress has it’s place but it’s just not me.
I went for a tankini style and found two that 1) fit and 2) were becoming on my body. Also I opted for boy shorts over the very brief bikini bottoms or the swim skirt. And because I am a dirt magnet, I chose something with colorful tops and black bottoms instead of all white.
Now that I’ve taken the plunge and bought two swimsuits, I am very relieved and a bit excited to show them off. Well, at least to one special someone in my life.
What about you? Most of us dread the swimsuit buying ordeal, but what’s your reason? Have you opted to buy new this year? Change your style?
I’m starting to worry. We had an awesome winter with above normal temperatures, zero ice storms and just a dusting or so of snow. It never got freeze-in-your-boots cold.
March breezed in like a lamb with warm winds, sunny days and above normal temps. Forget jackets — we were edging into shorts and tank weather.
Everything was popping through the ground in celebration. Daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and tulips laid a colorful carpet in yards, including my own.
Magnolia trees bloomed through their cycle without getting the typical freeze that turned the flowers brown, as did the redbuds, peach and Bradford pears. Everywhere you look is beauty.
But I can’t help thinking the payback for this great weather is going to bite us hard one day. With warmer temps come the increase in storms, and in much of the US that means tornadoes.
How’s spring shaping up in your world? Are you anxious to plant a garden or flowers? Laze by the pool or beach with a good book?