life

All posts in the life category

My interview with Katherine Wyvern!

Published May 14, 2018 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

I enjoy interviewing other authors and finding out what makes them tick. Today I have Katherine Wyvern on the hot seat. 🙂 Here goes…

  1. Katherine, what first drew you to writing?

I was a lonely child, and I always had imaginary friends, with whom I would have complicated adventures in my head … writing was the result of that I think. The stories were there, why not write them?

  1. How long have you been writing?

Since I can remember, pretty much. Already in primary school!

  1. Have you always written in the romance genre, or did it take you a while to find your niche?

My first completed short stories, which I wrote in my teens, were mostly fantasy, but they already had elements of romance, and they became more and more sensual…

  1. How would you describe your writing style?

Poetic, for sure. I write a lot of poetry and some of that voice bleeds into my prose giving it a lyric feel. But I also write extremely explicit sex scenes and gritty, naturalistic dialogue.

  1. Who are your favorite romance authors?

Lauren Burka for her short stories MATE and Whip Hand. And Katerina Ross. All that I have read from her is perfect.

  1. What are the primary influences on your writing?

Antonia S. Byatt. Although it’s presumptuous to claim my prose is anything as good as her, there is no doubt her voice colored my “sense” of the English language (which is not my native language). And Patrick O’Brian. His prose is lush, moving, versatile, impishly witty.

  1. What is your writing routine? Please describe a typical writing session for us. What do you do when you sit down to write?

I usually start by rereading, editing and polishing previously written parts. I am a little obsessive that way, but it also helps me to sink back into the rhythm and flow of the story.

  1. What is the most surprising thing about you?

Tough one! I asked my husband, and he says, my 360°, full spectrum creativity. It is true that I am obsessively creative in a number of mediums … fine arts, crafts of all kinds, writing, photography…

  1. What are your writing pet peeves?

Haha! That’s a dangerous question! Explicit sex scenes where the sex cannot even be attempted to be believed (seriously, do not use porn for research!). Flat, humorless prose. And unnaturally scripted, artificial dialogue.

  1. Major milestones in your writing journey so far?

Having my debut novel, Black Carnival, published. And picking up writing again after a major writer block (four long years!), which resulted in my most beautiful lovestory ever, Woman as a Foreign Language.

  1. What are some of your writing tips and tricks? What triggers your story? Do you keep a notepad handy?

I can’t say I have much in the way of tricks or tips … I write in a completely instinctive way. Although I will polish a scene obsessively, the first draft of it must flow compulsively, or not at all. A story or even a single scene, can be triggered by the strangest little things, a dream, an actor or model that catches my fantasy and becomes part of my imaginary world, where stories are always churning… A notepad is a good thing because my poetic vein will sometimes scream out a few lines that must be written, must be written exactly this way, don’t you dare forget them…
But one thing I do try to keep an eye on is that every scene, especially dialogue, plays a role in forwarding the story. Characters chit chat, because real people do, but the chit chat must be sifted very carefully, not to let in any idle lines. And I always make sure that even the most explicit sex scenes contribute to the character’s building, tell us something about their personality and their journey. That is not necessary in Erotica, but in Erotic Romance I believe it is.

  1. What are some of the most important things you have learned as an author? 

However well you write, you cannot please everyone. A book that has ten rave reviews will still get slammed by someone. It’s something you have to live with, even if it smarts.

You should not judge a book by its cover, but in fact we all do. A good cover makes a difference. Learn to work with your cover artist.

An editor’s job is to be a polite sort of asshole. Learn to take the criticism constructively, because that’s  what your editor is for. (Love this one!)

Good reviews don’t necessarily mean good sales. Good sales don’t necessarily mean literary quality. You have to be philosophic about it all, or you will go insane.

  1. Writing vs social networking. How do you find the perfect balance? How do you find time to write?

I am not a terribly prolific writer. Once I am in a story it really takes me over, and I will make time for it come hell or high water. The garden goes wild, I stop reading, I forget to eat and drink, and I become mildly (?) crazed. I do set myself a daily word count goal, not so much to “crank out” a given number of words, but to make sure I focus and sit down and write every day, whatever chores might get in the way. But when a story is finished, I need a break before diving into the next one (because a story is very much a love affair with my characters, and I don’t want the next guy to be just the bounce-back guy). That is a good time to be more active on social media. If I were trying to publish a book a month it would not work, but it’s a good balance for me.

14. What is the most important thing you’ve learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?

Don’t leave your day-job yet! It’s very difficult to “make it” as an author.

  1. Any wise words to everyone out there?

Write from your deepest core. Write what you know. Write without filters or reserve. Pour yourself in it.

About Your Current  Release:

  1. What inspired you to write Spice & Vanilla? Spice-vanilla-editor review

It is really a spill-over from my previous release, Woman as a Foreign Language. I really wanted to write about a gender-fluid character because gender-variance is something I can relate to personally and because despite the stigma society puts on it, it has in fact a heartbreaking beauty to it. I am enchanted by anyone who can be gracefully and convincingly gender-fluid, and I wanted to put this wonder into words, but also explore the emotional challenges that go with it.

2. Have you always been interested in transgender romance? If not, what piqued your interest enough to write this novel?

Yes and no. There was a transgender character in my debut novel, Helenay. But she was not really central to the story. However, the curiosity was certainly there. What sparked a more specific interest on the topic was seeing Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl, and discovering some beautiful androgynous models who made me immediately want to write a character with that mixture of male and female traits. Spice & Vanilla in particular was inspired by something that a friend of mine said (about himself), “an angel with a bit of a devil inside”. It made me want to write a story about a character that is constantly on the fence of… anything really. S/he is gender-fluid, bisexual, a truly sweet, kind person with a few dark sides, and a switch to boot!

  1. How long did it take to write?

Beginning to publication, it was almost exactly six months.

  1. What was your inspiration when writing this story? 

The main character’s stunning androgynous looks were inspired by a gorgeous German model and actor, Paul Boche. He has a history of gender-queer roles, so I am not the only one who sees that in him! Other aspects of the story, especially in the personality of the other two characters, Di, and Hugh, are partly autobiographical.

  1. What was the greatest challenge when you wrote this novel?

This might sound weird, but, the weather, lol. I live off-grid and the weather last winter was so grey that I often struggled to have enough power to work on my laptop. It was awfully frustrating. From a more writerly point of view, I certainly had a problem keeping Raphael, the main character of the novel, apart from Julian, the main character in my previous release. The first idea for Spice was for it to be a prequel to that book, and when I decided to make it a story about a different character, I had some trouble making him indeed a different person. But finally Raphael took a life of his own, and brought me to unexpected places!

  1. What are you working on right now?

A very difficult story called A Muse to Live For. Difficult because it keeps changing characters’ genders, POV, tense… it’s like trying to nail jelly to a wall! It is a spin-off from Spice & Vanilla, but it’s set in Victorian London, rather than contemporary. It’s the story of a painter who lost his will to live and paint, and the woman (?) who becomes his muse and unleashes his creativity again.

  1. What is it about these characters and their story that appeals to you?

I can relate to the painter’s predicament, because I have been in the doldrums, creatively for a long time since 2013 or so … and then something happened that made it all come back again … a muse’s power is both exhilarating and terrifying. I want to write about that, because there is an immense well of dark, passionate emotion in it.

  1. What can your fans expect to see from you in the near future? More of the same or an entirely different type of story?

Who knows? A Muse to Live For is part of the same loose series as Woman as a Foreign Language and Spice & Vanilla, and at its core it pivots on the same topic. After that, I have no idea. Indeed the muse is all-powerful, but unpredictable!

Thank you so much for the interview, Lorraine, it was wonderful to talk to you! 🙂

Thank you, Katherine, for such a wonderful interview. 🙂

*********************************************************************************

Purchase Links:

Find Spice & Vanilla at Evernight (blurb and spicy excerpt): https://www.evernightpublishing.com/spice-vanilla-by-katherine-wyvern/

Or on Amazon (blurb and very spicy free sample!): https://www.amazon.com/Spice-Vanilla-Katherine-Wyvern-ebook/dp/B07CWFZYFS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525683799&sr=8-1&keywords=spice+Vanilla+Katherine+wyvern

You can also find an exclusive (relatively vanilla) excerpt on my website, here:

http://meetingivory.wixsite.com/katherinewyvern/spice-and-vanilla-excerpt

 

See what Katherine is up to on:

Katherine’s Blog: https://katherinewyvern.blogspot.fr/

Katherine’s Website: http://meetingivory.wixsite.com/katherinewyvern

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherinewyvern

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatherineWyvern

Or follow her on Instagram @katherinewyvern

Bio:

I have entered that age when looking at beautiful male models in their prime probably makes me a cougar, ahem. IMG_1234
Almost all my heroines are short: that’s because I look at the world from hobbit level. Being so small I am three times more concentrated (read: obsessive) than anybody I know. I am exhaustingly creative in writing, arts, crafts… Sometimes my brain gets friction burns from hurtling at such speed from one universe to the next.
I love animals, plants, and occasionally even people.
Like Highlander, I come from a lot of different places. I was born in Italy but lived here and there and consider myself simply and deeply European. I love Europe passionately, its antiquity, its diversity, its quirkiness. All my books are set in Europe, or alternate versions of it!
I have been writing since I can remember. The first word I ever wrote was not my name but “lupi”, that is the Italian for “wolves”.

I hope you have enjoyed Katherine’s story. Stay tuned for more of the same as I introduce other authors in future. In the meantime…Happy Writing!

How is Your Writing Journey going?

Published May 11, 2018 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

Hello, my friends!!! During the past few years I’ve met so many wonderful people online…authors, readers, critique partners, reviewers…you know who you are. Many of you subscribe to this blog. Each of you have made an impression on me and have helped me grow as an author. Remember my trouble with POV? 🙂 With staying in 3rd person? And my marketing skills were non-existent when I began this journey and some of you have been there every step of the way. I want to let you know that I appreciate you, yes, every one of you, who has helped me in any way.

As many of you know, my writing has stalled for quite some time now. A story I started two years ago is languishing at just under 20 thousand words. I opened it today for the first time in months. Have I added to it? Not yet, but I fully intend to do so. Maybe not today, although the temptation is there. But I thought I’d start by blogging again. I know I’ve let you down by not being here for you, but please, contact me if there’s anything I can help you with.

Now, the story I am currently working on (and I use those words loosely lol) is temporarily titled Abby’s Intent. It’s book 9 in my Thunder Creek Ranch series with Evernight Publishing. It will be followed by book 10, A Thunder Creek Christmas, which will end the series.

I’ve become so immersed in the lives and loves of the people in this series, it’ll be quite difficult to see them go. They’ve been with me since 2009! Many have asked me to do a “Next Generation” series featuring the children all grown up. What do you think? Is that stretching things too far?

I do have a couple of other series that I’ve started…Loving in Lostwood where the inhabitants moving in are rebuilding the ‘ghost town’; and Crosswinds Ranch, which, believe it or not, is turning out to be a YA series. That wasn’t the intention when I first started out, but I read an article somewhere about troubled teens and I decided to give them a place to go, a safe place where they could feel loved and appreciated, a place where they could learn life skills, finish school, learn responsibility and so much more, while at the same time building their self-esteem.

The first book, Hiding Out With Billy, is already written, but I want to get a couple more under my belt before I release them. Same with Loving in Lostwood, the first book is written and the second is well under way.

My second series is The Hudson Ranch wherein three estranged brothers come together to rebuild their father’s ranch while watching over their two-year-old brother, orphaned due to his parents’ death.

I love writing a series! I also love spreadsheets, which I use to keep track of characters’ likes and dislikes, hair and eye color, etc. There’s nothing I hate more than to find in the second or third book in the series that the heroine’s friend is listed as a green-eyed blonde where in the first book she was a brown-eyed brunette. Get the picture?

Is there anything you’d like to see me write about/post here? I don’t consider myself an expert or anything, but I do have 35 titles out and I’ve learned a thing or two since I started. 🙂

Anyway, what are you working on? Where are you at in your writing journey? I’d really like to see your remarks in the comments. If you have a website or blog, send me the links. I’d really like to see them. Author pages? Where? Don’t be shy. 🙂 If you would rather contact me privately, please email me. If you’d like to guest blog here or strut your stuff in a Spotlight post, send me your info. lornel@xplornet.ca I’d be honored to have a look and see what you’ve accomplished. Your writing dreams are welcome here. Hugs to all.

In the meantime, Happy Writing!!!

Book Banner 2018

 

99 Cent Sale!

Published February 26, 2016 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

Hi! I can’t believe February is almost gone. I’ve been hoping for any early spring. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get one. 🙂 (Shhh, don’t tell anybody, but we don’t have any snow.) Of course, that could change overnight, and often does, but January and February are usually our worst months of winter. We’ve only had four storms bad enough to need the driveway plowed, so that’s good.

LN_finding baby J_200x300

Starting today thru Sunday one of my favorite stories, Finding Baby J, goes on sale for only 99 cents. Why? Because I can.  And if the weather is cold where you are, this story is guaranteed to warm your hearts. It does mine every time I read it.

Blurb:

One lonely woman, a doctor afraid of commitment… Will finding Baby J help them find each other?

Shana Davis knows what it’s like to be unloved and unwanted. Her childhood involved being shuffled from one foster home to the next. One night, as her shift at Mercy hospital comes to an end, she hears a forlorn, mewling sound and finds a newborn baby boy left in a dumpster. The abandoned baby appeals to her soft heart and her immediate attachment to the child—dubbed Baby J—leads to her spending a lot of time in the Maternity Ward in the company of the handsome Dr. Daniels.
Dr. Kagan Daniels is heart-sore and commitment-shy due to his failed marriage and past experiences with selfish, cold-hearted women. But he sees a gentle, caring soul in Shana and is drawn to her. Despite his reservations, he realizes he wants to get to know her better and finds excuses to spend time in her company.
Having always wanted to be a daddy, Kagan adopts Baby J. As he and Shana grow closer, Shana feels she’s found her own private heaven. She has Baby J and the man of her dreams. What more could a woman want?
But a conniving woman, a manipulative mother, and a man from Shana’s past threaten to come between them. Will the lies spewed by others separate them forever? Or can their love win out over all?

Excerpt:

      Chapter One
Shana pushed the trash cart through the back door of the cafeteria kitchen, her final chore as she finished her shift. In the normally quiet alley behind the hospital, she heard a pathetic mewling. The sound seemed to be coming from somewhere near the Dumpster. “Here, kitty, kitty!” she called softly in response, continuing to slowly push the cart closer so as not to scare the stray.
Okay, how do I stretch my budget to include adding another feline to my menagerie of injured and abandoned animals? But Shana knew she couldn’t pass up any opportunity to help the less fortunate. And since she herself was at the bottom of the economic food chain, animals were the chosen beneficiaries.
Why do I want to be a physical therapist? I might as well be a vet. She smiled at the humorous thought. As she came to a stop beside the Dumpster, the mewling continued.
“Poor baby, got yourself stuck in the Dumpster and can’t get out, can you?” Shana stood on tiptoes to peer over the lip of the huge can, and in the fading light of early evening, what she found rendered her motionless. She clutched her chest with a shock so deep it took her breath away. There, lying in the filth, was a precious baby boy.
“Dear God! Who would do such a thing?”
She hurriedly scaled the side of the Dumpster and reached in to lift the naked infant into her arms. The night wasn’t overly cold, but he needed to get warm fast. There was no telling how long the baby had been lying there. She cuddled him close to share her body heat and climbed back down to the ground, scanning the surrounding area to see if the mother was skulking nearby. Not wanting to waste any more time, she turned to go back inside, needing to get him fed and checked out. He was rooting around her breast, instinctively seeking nourishment.
“I’ve got nothing but love for you, sweetheart, but I bet one of the nurses in maternity will have just what you need.” She left the trash cart where it was—no one in their right mind would steal it—and rushed in through the kitchen door, straight to the towel cupboard.
“Shana! Is that one of your strays?” The cook waved a large, wooden spoon at her as Shana raced across the kitchen. She didn’t pause in her headlong dash to answer, “Yes, but—”
“Well, get it out of my kitchen!”
Shana swiped a large towel from the shelf and said, “Yes, ma’am.”
Wrapping her bundle as best she could on the move, she ran across the lobby and up the stairs to the second floor where she’d seen Dr. Kagan Daniels only moments before. The baby’s body was icy cold and the little mite seemed to be having trouble breathing, not making any sound at all. Dr. Daniels would know what to do.
She’d gathered quite an entourage by the time she reached labor and delivery, where the neonatal unit was located. Cook, as she found out later, had notified security of Shana’s “germ-infested stray,” and they were waiting for her at the top of the staircase.
“Miss Davis, pass over your stray. You know we don’t allow animals in the hospital,” said a big, burly guard as he reached for the baby.
“Dr. Daniels! I need Dr. Daniels,” she hollered, clutching the infant to her chest, panicked at being surrounded by so many people.
Dr. Daniels broke through the crowd. “What’s going on here?”
Shana spoke fast and loud to be heard above the din. “I found a baby crying in the Dumpster outside the kitchen. He’s cold and barely breathing.”
“Bring him in here.” He motioned toward the nearest delivery room. Shana wasn’t going to let the infant out of her sight until she was sure he was all right. She already felt attached to the little guy somehow.
“It’s a boy,” she said as she laid her precious bundle down in a bassinet. The doctor checked vitals and grabbed a newborn bulbous syringe to suction the mouth and nose. The baby cried out, and his color started to return to normal.
“Nurse, grab a bottle of formula and fit it with a newborn-sized nipple. We have to get some nourishment into this child.”
“Is he going to be okay?” Shana asked as the minutes ticked by and no one spoke to her.
“Yes, I’d say he’s only an hour or two old at most. He’ll be fine once he’s fed.” Dr. Daniels fitted a diaper over the littlest bum she’d ever seen and swaddled him in a blanket.
The nurse arrived with the bottle of formula, started to hand it to the doctor, then looked questioningly toward Shana’s outstretched hand.
“May I feed him?” Shana asked.
The nurse and Kagan exchanged a glance and nodded in agreement. Shana gently lifted the baby and held him close while she placed the nipple in his mouth. He latched on greedily and began sucking right away. Shana smiled down into his beautiful face as she gravitated toward a rocking chair, her heart overwhelmed by the emotions this tiny human being brought out in her.
***
Kagan ordered blood work and routine tests for the baby. Once the nurse had gone, he stood and silently observed the girl as she fed him. A biological mother wouldn’t be any more attentive or careful than this girl was. Certainly not his own mother, who’d promptly handed him off to a nanny right after his birth, then traveled to Paris to recover…where she’d stayed for three years.
The woman, dressed in a drab cafeteria uniform, her hair tucked under an ugly blue food-services cap, concentrated on the infant to the exclusion of all else. Kagan found he didn’t much like her ignoring him for the child. There was something unique and appealing about her. At first he’d felt suspicion toward the lovely woman. Was she the child’s mother? But no, the child’s olive skin tone and black hair put that theory to rest.
She was quite pretty in a simple way, slim and blonde. Her eyebrows and lashes were a pale blond, highlighting the flashing violet eyes he’d caught a glimpse of earlier. She filled out the uniform in all the right places, and her face, while serenely focused on the child, reminded him of a painting of the Madonna and child done by Raphael. Still, she looked vaguely familiar, and not because he bought his morning coffee from her.
“Where do I know you from?” he asked.
“Well, it could be the cafeteria, but more likely the baby-massage classes I started after taking my Physio courses last semester. I helped out the nurse who normally runs them as part of my internship.”
“Yes, I remember now. Miss Davis, right?”
“Yes, but I prefer Shana.”
“You demonstrated how to use the massage for babies with intestinal issues. It was very informative. We used the technique on a preemie that had undergone stomach surgery. It helped relieve gas without damaging the work the doctors had done.” Admiration for this girl with the miracle hands filled him.
***
She nodded. “You had a patient whose mom was learning how to do the infant massage to relieve gas. You’d performed a tummy operation on her little girl, so we showed her other places on the child’s body she could massage to help with gas relief.”
“Mrs. Hodges and little Tina. The therapy was great. It did wonders for the baby and the mother,” he added with a smile that made his eyes twinkle.
“Thanks.” Shana could feel herself blush. Compliments were such a foreign occurrence in her life, she stored each and every one so she could treasure it later. To make matters worse, he was unbelievably handsome, one of the sexiest-looking men she’d ever come across in her life and a nice guy to boot. When does that ever happen? She knew he was only talking to her to kill time until he could examine the baby more thoroughly, but to have his full attention felt exciting, making her insides warm in reaction to his soft-voiced comments.
Of course, she’d heard the talk going around the hospital. Several of the female staff would love to attract his attention, but he was always professional—to the eternal frustration of the ladies.
“Detectives Grayson and Farrier. We understand a girl brought an abandoned baby to this department. We need to talk to the attending physician and the girl who found the child,” announced a gruff voice from out in the hall.
“Of course. Right this way,” said a female voice followed by hasty footsteps in the corridor.
Shana swiveled the rocking chair on its base to face the door as the head nurse escorted two police officers into the room.
“Dr. Daniels, these officers are here to speak to you about the baby Miss Davis found.”
“Thank you, nurse,” Dr. Daniels said, excusing her from the exam room with a nod.   “I’m Dr. Kagan Daniels. How can I help you?”
“I’m Detective Grayson, and this is Detective Farrier. We’ll be investigating the abandoned baby case. Can you fill us in on the child and its condition?”
“The baby is a full-term, male infant of uncertain descent, born approximately two hours ago. I detected a slight heart arrhythmia, so I’ll need to keep him under observation. He is slightly underweight, dehydrated, and malnourished. Miss Davis is feeding him a bottle of formula as we speak. He seems content and otherwise healthy, but I’ll know more after we run a few tests.”
The detective, busy writing in a notebook, paused to ask another question. “Do you think the child’s medical condition is severe enough to cause a parent to abandon the child?”
“The parent would have no way of knowing the health of the baby at birth. And he wasn’t born here, that I can assure you.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Our last birth was just after midnight last night, a girl. This child was still sporting evidence of recent delivery and naked when Miss Davis found him.”
“Thank you, doctor. If we have any further questions, we’ll be in touch.”
“I’m here most days and staff has my number if it’s after hours.”
“Thank you.” Turning away from the doctor, Detective Grayson asked, “Are you Shana Davis?”
“Yes.”
“Can you tell us what happened?”
“Sure,” Shana said. “I went outside after my shift to take out the cafeteria trash for Jacob, who’s not feeling well, and I heard a mewling sound. I followed the sound to the Dumpster outside the kitchen, thinking it was a kitten stuck somewhere and couldn’t get free. Instead, I found this precious baby boy lying there, stark naked and whining pitifully. I gathered him up and held him close, rubbing his arms and legs and trying to get him warmed up some, but he’d stopped making any noise at all and seemed to be barely breathing. So I ran back inside for help.”
“What time did you find him?”
“Six fifteen.” She held the baby up to her shoulder, rubbing circles on his little back to help bring up any gas. Once he burped, she resumed feeding him.
“Why did you come all the way up here when the emergency unit is fully equipped to deal with this kind of thing?”
Shana felt her face warm and avoided looking at the doctor as she answered. “I’d just been up here to pick up dinner trays, and I’d seen Dr. Daniels. He’s the head of neonatal, you know?”
“No, I didn’t know. Thank you for that information.” He jotted the information in his notebook. “Continue.”
“Well, who better to check the baby? I never even thought of going to emerg, just stopped in the kitchen long enough to grab a towel to cover the babe and rushed straight here.” She held the baby up to her shoulder again. He’d finished his bottle, and she needed to get another burp out of him before settling him in the bassinet the nurse had ready.
“Would you show us where you found the baby?”
A loud burp had everyone smiling pleasantly at the little guy.
“Sure.” She rose with the baby in her arms and walked over to the bassinet in the corner. Ever so gently, like a piece of fine china, she laid him down to sleep. “Sleep well, precious baby. You’re in good hands now.”
Shana straightened and realized the doctor had silently moved behind her. He’d heard her whispered words. Embarrassed, she strode to the door and said, “Good-bye, Dr. Daniels.” To the officers, she said, “Follow me.”
But before she could make her escape, the doctor called her name. “Miss Davis.”
She spun around, her heart hammering. Had she done something wrong? “Yes, Doctor?”
“You have my permission to visit the baby whenever you can.”
She could’ve hugged him she felt so happy. “Thank you, Doctor. I’ll do that.”
“Miss Davis, would you mind going with Detective Farrier and showing him where you found the child? I’ll join you downstairs shortly. I just have a couple more questions for the doctor.”
“Sure, but I have to leave for home soon or I’ll miss my bus.”
“Then let’s get going, Miss Davis. This won’t take long,” said Detective Farrier as he ushered her from the room.
***
Detective Grayson closed the door and turned toward him.
“No,” said Kagan.
“I don’t believe I’ve asked the question yet. What, exactly are you saying no to?”
“At first, I wondered if the child was hers, but a quick check while she was feeding the baby confirmed that her shift started at eight o’clock this morning. There’s no way.”
“Could she be helping a friend?”
“Maybe, but I doubt it. Apparently she’s known for finding strays.”
“Well, I’d say this time she found more than she bargained for.”
“So it would seem. Lucky for the little guy that she cared enough to search.”
“Very lucky. Thank you, Doctor. I’ll be in touch.”
Kagan watched the detective leave, then crossed to the bassinet. “You are one very lucky boy. Who tossed you away? And why? If it’s a medical condition they thought you inherited, I’ll find out. Rest assured, little one. As Shana said, you are in good hands.”
He stood there a few minutes longer, watching the baby sleep. His breathing seemed fine, but he’d have the staff keep a close eye on him, just in case. Kagan thought of the pretty cafeteria worker who’d found him. Was she really as honest and caring as she seemed? Time would tell.
***
The police had finished with her for the moment, so Shana ventured back to the maternity ward. Dr. Daniels sat at the nurses’ station, filling out a chart, but she interrupted to ask the one question that had been worrying her.
“Dr. Daniels, what you said to the police about the baby’s heart, is he going to be okay?”
He looked up from his notes to where she stood, wringing her hands nervously. He smiled. “The child is fine, and we’ll keep a close watch on him.”
“I need to catch my bus, but if it’s okay, I’d like to see Baby J one more time.”
“Baby J? Why do you think he’s a J?” Kagan asked.
“I figured they’d tag him with John Doe, but it seems too grown up for an infant, so I shortened it to J.”
“You’re taking this a little personally, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, well, it’s one of my bad habits. I can’t let anything or anyone defenseless go unprotected.” She smiled in embarrassment, feeling overexposed. She’d shared a weakness with someone who wouldn’t know how much she hated showing weakness to anyone.
Shuffled as she was between different foster homes during her childhood made her guard every part of herself, except with her adoptive, animal family. Baby J, however, made her feel courageous, ready to do battle on his behalf. The tiny child had no one to protect him or fight for him, and she felt the desire to do both welling up inside her.
Dr. Daniels nodded his assent and went back to his chart. Shana let herself into the nursery, smiled at the nurse on duty, and found the bassinet where Baby J was sleeping. She felt her heart lodge in her throat as she watched over the little bundle wrapped snug in a blanket sleeping peacefully. She leaned over and touched her fingers to her lips with a kiss, then placed it on the baby’s soft cheek. “I’ll be back to see you tomorrow, Baby J. Sleep, precious boy.”
***
He’d been right; she was quite beautiful in an earthy kind of way. Her blonde hair glimmered with golden streaks under the glare of the fluorescent lighting. Kagan watched from the doorway as the woman treated the baby in such a loving manner. He felt his chest tighten in response. She was one of those rare people who were real nurturers, unlike his own mother or even his ex-wife.
Shana left the nursery, and he went back to his desk. Never again would he be the victim of some selfish woman’s plotting for a wealthy husband or his mother’s evil matchmaking. He’d be better off staying single forever than to experience the pain of knowing his wife aborted his child to get even for not giving her something she wanted.
He shook his head in disgust. Enough self-pity. Time to get back to work. He had a cesarean section scheduled later in the evening and needed to stop mooning over the kind of woman he thought he should have had in his life. The face of the little cafeteria worker popped into his head and he admitted not all woman were manipulative.
The elevator door swooshed open, and a new arrival caused his thoughts to focus on the medical needs of the maternity ward during a full moon.
***
She was late getting back to her apartment because she’d missed her usual bus, and Shana’s hungry pets greeted her when she opened the door.
“Okay, guys. I’m on it. Dinner will be ready in a minute.” Both cats wrapped themselves around her legs, making it difficult to walk. As she dropped her purse and book bag on the couch on her way to the kitchen, she saw her cats had started shredding the side of the sofa again.
“You guys need to act like you’re house-trained.” The scolding fell on deaf ears as the cats continued to trail her all the way to the kitchen. They promptly jumped up on the counter as if to rush her in serving their food. She had to hide the bag of cat food in the cupboard above the sink to keep them out of it after having come home to a mess all over her kitchen floor one day. They’d been used to rummaging for food before she took them in.
She’d found Shalimar, an overweight tabby, in the alley behind the bus stop. She’d gotten her paw caught in a mousetrap while foraging for food. Once she freed the cat’s paw, Shay had followed her home. A car had hit Rex, a large orange tom. She’d taken him to the vet, brought him home to nurse him back to health, and he’d never left.
After feeding the cats and making a sandwich for herself, Shana went into the living room to grab her books. Tomorrow she had a test to take at school, followed by a double shift at the cafeteria doing patient-tray delivery and running the cash register. She hoped to have a chance to visit Baby J and maybe see Dr. Daniels again.
Even though he was way out of her league, she still couldn’t seem to get thoughts of him out of her head, especially the gentle way he handled Baby J. Shana’s greatest wish was to be a wife and mother, to have her own family, to be loved. That she would never have those things was also her greatest fear.
After she finished studying, she got ready for bed and crawled between the sheets, sleep claiming her almost immediately.
She dreamed of Dr. Daniels. Could clearly see his handsome, tanned features, serious amber eyes and wavy brown hair with its blond highlights. His shoulders were broad, and his hands so gentle.
They were beautiful hands, resembling those of a concert pianist. They slowly undressed her, and she felt herself blush, her inexperience showing even in a dream. After waking several times during the night, embarrassed by her vivid imaginings, she almost hoped she didn’t run into the alluring doctor at the hospital later that day.
***
Kagan finished the paperwork on the C-section and went to look in on Baby J. After hearing Shana give him a name, it was hard to go back to just calling him the baby. What kind of world was it where a mother would do such a thing? She’d left a tiny human being defenseless and alone. He wanted to believe her intention was to leave the baby on hospital property to take advantage of the new law. It stated parents of any baby less than a month old left on hospital property would be free from prosecution for endangerment or abandonment. He shook his head, wondering what that said about humanity when they needed a law that helped parents to not abuse, neglect, or kill their young?
When he entered the nursery, he saw five bassinets with their bundles all swaddled in hospital receiving blankets. The third one over was Baby J, and he looked about ready to wake for another feeding. He stared at the tiny bow mouth as it yawned and trembled in the beginnings of a cry for food. He’s so sweet and innocent. Kagan felt a strong pull toward the child. This precious little boy will need a parent. Just maybe…?
No, what was he thinking? As a doctor, he worked all hours of the day and night. He couldn’t take care of an infant. He needed to shake off his dreams of becoming a father…part of a loving family. Still, he looked again at the tiny baby now cradled in a nurse’s arms taking his bottle, and he felt the old longing.
With regret, he turned his back on the child and headed for the elevator to the parking garage. Tomorrow he’d take a closer look at J and order an MRI and chest X-rays. His blood work should be back by then as well.
Once home, Kagan heated a frozen pizza and placed a mixed country CD on the stereo, turning the music down low. He poured a glass of Chardonnay, its amber color reminding him of Shana’s glorious mane of hair, and realized how much he wanted to see her again. He thought of how helpful she’d been at the baby massage seminar and reflected on her appearance in that awful uniform tonight. He would never have recognized her, except for the hair, yet he’d always been attracted to blondes.
He’d stop by the cafeteria tomorrow and give her an update on Baby J. He smiled, thinking about the pleasure he felt when talking with her, and realized he wanted to know more about her. Why did she work in the cafeteria while taking classes in physical therapy plus doing her internship? Where did she find the time?
She must not be in a serious relationship. She wouldn’t have time for it. And the thought pleased him way too much. There could be a live-in boyfriend, but that thought didn’t please him at all. He’d have to see her, talk to her, and find out. It had been a long time since a female had captured his interest. Shana seemed so different from the women he knew. He looked forward to seeing her again.
***
A loud banging on her apartment door woke Shana faster than an alarm going off. She shot out of bed with her pulse racing. She’d learned early on to pay attention to sounds and be ready for anything. It was a survival mechanism from being in the system. She stumbled to the door, picking up her Louieville Slugger from the umbrella stand on her way. Looking through the peephole, she couldn’t see anything.
“Who’s there?” Shana heard a faint whisper that sounded like Maria down the hall. She opened the door as far as the safety chain would allow, and there was Maria with baby Louie beside her on the floor. She looked a mess! Her face was battered and bleeding, a sharp contrast to the beautiful baby sleeping peacefully next to her in his car seat. Shana closed the door to remove the chain, and quickly opened it again to kneel beside her friend.
“Maria, what happened?”
“Joe came home drunk, and the baby was crying,” the woman whispered in explanation, her voice quivering. “When he passed out, I got out of there.”
“Don’t talk, just come in and let me take a look. Okay?” Shana gently helped Maria to her feet, slung the diaper bag over her arm, grabbed the infant carrier, and supported her friend as they walked the short distance to her beat-up but sturdy secondhand sofa.
“Here, I’ll put Louie on the couch so I can take a look at you.” Shana placed the baby next to Maria and put some pillows on either side of the car seat so it wouldn’t roll. Satisfied Louie was safe, she turned to look closely at her neighbor.
“I’ve got a first-aid kit in the bathroom. I’ll get it and be right back.” She pulled the kit out of the bathroom cupboard and gripped the sink, taking a deep breath. Once she’d obtained a measure of calm, she walked back to her tiny living room and started cleaning the woman’s small cuts. She activated the chemical ice pack, and Shalimar chose that moment to explore the intruders. Hopping onto the back of the couch, the cat stared in haughty disdain at the new occupants.
“Ignore Shay. She’s a little uppity,” Shana said as a way to break the tension. She didn’t want to ask any questions her friend wasn’t ready to answer.
“I’m leaving him this time, Shana. He was ready to harm my baby, and I won’t allow that. I knew in that moment it was too late to salvage our relationship.” With those words, Maria silently allowed the tears to roll down her face.
“Look, I’ll make up a bed on the couch for you and one on the chair for Louie. You can stay here until you figure out what you’re going to do, but I think you need to be checked by a doctor.”
“I don’t want a doctor. I’m always fine after a good night’s sleep. Thanks for letting us stay. I appreciate it.”
“What are friends for? Do you want anything for the pain?”
“No, thank you.”
Shana knew Maria’s pride was asserting itself, making her try to act strong, but inside she must be suffering. Joe had promised to stop drinking, but obviously, that hadn’t happened. Shana felt bad for the couple. She’d had a foster family like them. When Joe was sober, he was a great guy, but when he drank, he was as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. “You can stay here for as long as you need to. We’ll work something out.”
“Thank you, my friend.”
Shana noticed a large lump near Maria’s left temple. It wasn’t as noticeable as the other injuries, but she knew it could prove to be the most dangerous. “Maria, this bump on your head has me concerned.”
“That’s the only bump not inflicted by Joe. I got it while trying to get out of the apartment. In my haste, I tripped on the baby’s rug and fell onto a corner of the crib.”
“You may have a concussion. I’m not a medical professional, but it should be checked.”
“I can’t go to a doctor now.”
“Why not?” Shana asked, wondering how she could convince her.
“Look at me! I’m a mess! And who would watch Louie?”
“You’re a woman who’s been battered. They don’t expect you to look pretty after an episode like that. I can watch Louie while you’re being examined.”
Maria opened her mouth to say something when she started to gag.
Shana ran to her tiny kitchen and fetched the trash can.
“Maria, you have to go to the hospital!” Shana called a cab and checked Maria again, then put an ice pack on her swollen eye and lip. She grabbed the diaper bag and said, “Keep talking to me so I know you haven’t fallen asleep. I’ve heard it’s not good to go to sleep with a concussion.”
The taxi buzzed her apartment when it was waiting downstairs, and Shana picked up Louie. Bless his little soul; the baby was still sleeping soundly in his car seat. She carried him with one hand, the diaper bag slung over her shoulder so she could help Maria to the elevator and down to the waiting taxi. Maria wasn’t arguing anymore, which showed just how bad off she really was. Normally, Maria was too proud to let anyone see she needed help.
It was almost 6:00 a.m. when the taxi pulled up to the emergency entrance. The nurse on duty handed them several forms to fill out and showed them to an examination room. The doctor talked soothingly to Maria as he checked her cuts and bruises, after which an orderly collected her for X-rays and an MRI. Louie was waking up, so Shana took him into the bathroom, changed him, and warmed his bottle. As she walked back to the waiting room, she bumped into none other than Dr. Daniels.
“Excuse me.”
“Pardon me,” he said, grasping her arms to steady her and the car seat. She’d already been a little off balance carrying both the seat and the diaper bag. She saw Kagan look down at the baby with a perplexed look on his face.
“Have you started moonlighting as a stork? Don’t tell me you found this one in the hospital garage, because it’s been less than twenty-four hours since I saw you bring in Baby J.”
His teasing was the exact balm needed to calm her worried soul. As she looked into his concerned eyes, she couldn’t help wishing he could provide a steadying hand forever.

Just click this link and it’ll take you to the Amazon nearest you. myBook.to/FBJ
Warning: Sexual content

99 Cent Sale!!!

Published January 29, 2016 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

Blessed Homecoming is one of my favorite novels. Classified as an inspirational, contemporary, romantic suspense, ergo…a clean read with plenty of action. 🙂

A friend of mine, Denise Ellyson, challenged me to write a story to enter in a Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense contest. It wasn’t accepted due to a birthing scene, Blessed Homecoming_200x300but that’s okay. Even the most devout Christian knows there is nudity involved in giving birth. As it was pertinent to the story and the situation in which the main characters found themselves in, I left the scene in.

Blurb:

Wendy Danforth is preparing to be a single mom, her ex-husband in jail for spousal abuse. She returns home to Riverton, New Brunswick, only to be caught off guard by the handyman in residence. Attraction hits, swift and piercing, but she quells her unruly emotions. With one bad relationship behind her, she’s in no hurry to get involved in another. Besides, at almost nine months pregnant, she wasn’t exactly looking her best.

Jake Roberts, hired to renovate the Danforths’ house, took one look at his employer’s daughter and wanted to run far and fast. He hadn’t been around a pregnant woman in three long years, not since his wife and unborn son died in an auto accident. But when her ex-husband escapes custody, he steps up to protect Wendy and her unborn child.

Excerpt:

Jake found it hard to believe what he’d overheard, what that sweet, caring woman had endured at the hands of a man who had vowed to cherish and protect her. He’d been heading down to retrieve a package of wood screws when he heard Wendy crying and didn’t want to interrupt. He didn’t want to eavesdrop either, but her pain-wracked voice kept him an unwilling captive as she relayed events.

Broken bones, cracked ribs, dislocated shoulder and bruising over seventy-five per cent of her body. Then to heal and find out she was pregnant! Why would she be so happy about having that man’s baby? Surely, she couldn’t still love him after all that.

Hearing her speak of her faith in the midst of all that suffering struck a rusty chord inside his gut. Somehow, deep down, her quiet acceptance and determination spoke to him in ways that expensive therapy had not. She was a survivor, he’d give her that, but if her friend hadn’t found her—no, he wouldn’t go there. He couldn’t. Divine intervention, she’d called it. He called it lucky.

She’d come home to heal and build a new life for herself and the baby. Surrounded by family and friends, she’d never have to fear for her life again. Although he’d barely known her twenty-four hours and had a definite aversion to getting involved in her problems, he’d do what he could to help her adjust to living in a small town again. If the gossips wanted to pair them off, so be it. He’d been through worse—much worse.

He sat on the step with his head in his hands, undecided whether to let her know he’d overheard or pretend ignorance. How could he ignore the pain she’d suffered? More surprisingly, he realized he wanted to be there for her, to prove that not every man was prone to acts of violence. Although, like her father, he’d had some thoughts on what he’d like to do to her ex if he ever had the chance.

She took the matter out of his hands when she sat a couple steps below him and, placing a hand on his knee, asked, “How much did you hear?”

His head jerked up and he searched her eyes, expecting to see anger and disgust at his audacity, but there was none. “Pretty much all of it. I’m sorry, Wendy. I didn’t intend to eavesdrop, but I didn’t want to barge in on you either.”

“Are you all right?”

“You’re asking me? After all you’ve suffered, I should be asking you that question.”

“My suffering ended the day he was found guilty. All that’s left now is the sentencing in two weeks’ time and I don’t need to be there for that.”

“But you’re expecting his child. How is that not suffering, considering what he put you through?”

“Every life is a gift from God. I don’t always understand His methods, but at least I have one good thing resulting from a failed marriage.”

“Did you love him that much?”

“At first, yes, very much. He was the man I’d always dreamed about, kind, caring and it didn’t hurt that he was gorgeous to boot.” She smiled at the memory, then sobered. “The love died a slow death when the abuse started. He always made me feel like it was my fault, until the day I ended up in the hospital with a broken arm and didn’t go back. I realized then my dreams of a happy ever after were never going to happen.”

“What did you do? Where did you go?”

“A social worker at the hospital made a couple of calls and arranged a bed in a shelter for abused women. My arm being broken meant I couldn’t work for a couple weeks, but when I returned, I found out from my boss, Emma, that he’d been haunting the place, waiting for me to show up. She’d had to call the police on a couple of occasions.

She became my best friend. Emma encouraged me to lay charges and file a restraining order against him, which I did. I also filed for divorce. He didn’t show up in court, didn’t contest it, so the judge granted the petition based on the abuse.”

“I would think so,” he huffed in agreement.

“I saw Clyde around from time to time after that, and he never made any effort to approach me, for which I was thankful. But the night before the divorce became final, he showed up after I got home from work. The rest, as they say, is history.”

“Can you really put it all behind you that easily?”

“Believe me, Jake, it hasn’t been easy. Easy started yesterday when Mama met me at the bus stop with her arms wide open. Until then, I’d hoped, but wasn’t at all certain of my welcome, circumstances being what they are.”

He placed a hand over hers where it still rested on his knee. “For what it’s worth, I’m glad you’re here. You are one remarkably strong lady and I’m honored to be your friend.”

“My faith is what’s strong. I had to believe the Lord has a purpose for me in this life. That’s when I decided it was time to come home. I’d been away too long.” She gently disentangled her hand and rose to her feet, slightly wobbly at first, causing him to reach out and grab her upper arms to steady her. “Thank you.”

***

I hope you enjoyed this teaser excerpt. It always brings tears to my eyes when I read it. There is no excuse for abuse, but it takes a lot of strength to survive, even thrive, after an event so horrible.

Blessed Homecoming is on sale today and tomorrow. Well worth the read at 99 cents.

Just click the Amazon link and it’ll take you where you need to be to purchase this novel. And thank you for your support. Love to all!

myBook.to/BH

And if you prefer a print book, it costs more, but then you have a copy to hold.

myBook.to/BH-pt

P.S. This book was originally published by the now defunct Breathless Press. When they went under and I got my rights back, I lost my reviews. If you have a moment, please consider leaving a review for Blessed Homecoming on Amazon or Goodreads. Thank you so much. 🙂

Characters…Choosing names to Suit

Published January 26, 2016 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

Do you struggle with naming your characters? Believe it or not, I don’t. A name is sometimes the first thing that strikes me…as in Zakia and the Cowboy.

I worked at a call center in town until my health got the best of me. One night, while I was answering phones, a caller named Zakia came on the line. The name stuck in my head long after the call ended and I found myself jotting quick notes to go with the name.

Zakia, exotic name, needs a hero with simple name, ergo, Luke.

ZATC_SM

Now Available in Print!!!

Zakia, long blond hair, emerald green eyes, 5’8″ tall

Zakia, banker’s daughter, wealthy family, used to socializing, partying, and having attention

Zakia, interests include, cooking, baking, gardening, and charity work

Zakia and Luke, married young, divorced young

Luke, third generation rancher in Alberta

Luke, collar length blond hair, sapphire blue eyes, 6’4″

Luke, rancher, thinks Zakia left him because she got bored with ranch life, when in truth she hated competing with the ranch for his attention.

All of this I jotted down between calls that same night and Zakia and the Cowboy was born. I now had a NanoWriMo project for November.

Only I couldn’t wait. 🙂

Nano was only about a week away but the characters kept talking to me (Yep, they really did!) until I sat down and began writing their story. At first, it was just hand-written pages between calls at work, but when I sat down to type up my notes, the story kept unfolding. It was getting really good and by the time Nano officially started on November 1st, I was 13042 words into Zakia and Luke’s story, and I now knew that it would be a romantic suspense as the villain had also popped in to speak his mind. lol I really had a lot of fun writing this story.

2009 was my first Nano and I was determined to write 50,000 words, which was required to finish Nano through the Harlequin forum. (I didn’t realize there was an official Nano site at that time).

Here’s how it went:

National Novel Writing Month, 2009!

Zakia & The Cowboy: Started with 13042 Words
Nov 1 – 4791…17833
2 – 3990…21823
3 – 2995…24818
4 – 4778…29596
5 – 3523…33119
6 – 0
7 – 3060…36179
8 – 1618…37797
9 – 3217…41014
10 – 1135…42149
11 – 4340…46489
12 – 3134…49623
13 – 3693…53316
14 – 3620…56936

(NaNo words: 43894)

I finished Zakia and the Cowboy, edited it, and sent it off to my critique partners. As we were only halfway through November and I already had the outline and beginning of another story, Daydreams & Night Scenes, I decided to finish it.

In this story, I needed a name for the heroine that could double as a man’s name. She became Miranda, Randi to her friends. The hero is a rich playboy and I decided on Alexander, a strong name that the hero has to live up to by the end of the book. 🙂

This novel is, as yet, unpublished, but I just submitted it to a publisher. If they don’t offer a contract, I’ll self-publish it as planned.

Daydreams & Night Scenes: Started with 12604 Words
15 – 0…12604
16 – 1477…14081
17 – 4968…19049
18 – 2517…21566
19 – 3581…25147
20 – 1459…26606
21 – 573…27179
22 – 5163…32342
23 – 3256…35598
24 – 4402…40000
25 – 5110…45110
26 – 3265…48375
27 – 1726…50101

(NaNo words: 37497)

Urgh! This story was finished and I still had 3 days left. I was on a roll! Went searching my files for another story not finished (I always have a few. lol) and found Once in This Lifetime.

Her Unlikely Bodyguard_200x300Jemma Leigh is the name of the heroine in this story. Why? Because it popped into my head at the right time. 🙂 It was a distinctly feminine name for a strong woman, proving that a woman could be both. Theodore, her Teddy Bear from high school, had graduated and joined the army. Years later, Jemma Leigh and Ted are both back in their hometown and second chances just might be possible as they reunite and he appoints himself her bodyguard against the stalker who’s threatened her.

I later changed the title to Her Unlikely Bodyguard as Danielle Steel, one of my favorite authors, has a book out titled Once in This Lifetime. 🙂

Once In This Lifetime: Started with 18169 Words
27 – 1433…19602
28 – 6068…25670
29 – 6374…32044
30 – 5418…37462

(NaNo words: 19293)

I’d finished two novels and got well over halfway through the 3rd in 30 days. (28 really as I had two 0 word days) My end total was 100,684 words. Needless to say, I was impressed. I never thought I had that many words in me, but my poor fingers. lol I’d really put my 30 wpm typing speed to the test.

I’ve never managed to write that much in one month since, (Marketing and Promo take its toll) but it sure gave me a jump start in the publishing world. I submitted Zakia and the Cowboy to various publishers and suffered through 14 rejections until it was picked up by Evernight Publishing. They’ve been an excellent company to work with. By then I was writing the sequel, Covert Mission: Undercover Cop. I now have 7 books in the Thunder Creek Ranch series and #8, A Cowboy’s Drive, is in the works. I hope to finish the series this year with book #10, A Manning Christmas.

I hope this post has helped you in some way. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Just post in the comment section. In the meantime, happy reading and writing to all of you. 🙂

 

Inspiration…Where does it come From?

Published January 19, 2016 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

The single most often asked question of me as an author is, “Where do you get your inspiration?” I usually just give a flippant, “Anywhere and everywhere. Life. Look around you.” But in all honesty, the first book I wrote for adults, Love on the Rocks, came about while I was doing typing tests to get the flexibility back in my hand after my thumb had been amputated. The Hopewell Rocks tourist attraction is only about a half hour drive from where I live and I’d been there many times over the years. I’d never heard of a romance being located there – and believe me, I’ve read plenty.

Love on the Rocks_hiresI ran across a typing test involving beaches and I immediately thought of The Rocks at Hopewell Cape. As I painstakingly retyped the copy with a sore hand, an idea sprang to mind and I quickly shifted gears. I can do this. I can write a novel about The Rocks. Seven weeks later, my thumb still wasn’t co-operating fully, but I had finished and edited a 63,000 word novel.

Boy, was I impressed! Up until that point, I had written poetry, short stories, and books for children, but never had I taken on a project of such magnitude. As my mom would say, “I was feeling my oats that day.” 🙂

Everybody that read that book encouraged me to submit it. So I did, and suffered through rejection after rejection. I kept reading posts about how a writer learns something new with every book they write. So, I set my ‘baby’ aside and started on another. Surely, I had another story in me.

Daydreams & Night Scenes was the next novel I wrote and, although it has not yet been published, it’s on my to-do-list for editing and publishing.

A few years ago, I studied and registered to be a foster parent. I got thinking of that one day. Quite often, foster homes are situated next to more affluent homes, as mine was, although I had a ranch style bungalow that I loved. What if a poor foster child fell in love with the neighborhood rich boy? But he never noticed her, until…they attended a business conference at a swanky hotel years later.

Yep, that was the start of my idea for the new novel. By then I’d learned about GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict) and did up a GMC sheet for my story. For me, but maybe not for all authors, a GMC Sheet includes:

Setting: Jot down the location and anything else that puts a firm picture in mind. City? Country? Ranch? Farm?

Heroine: Who is she? What does she work at? What does she drive? Where is she from? What does she look like? What is her goal? Her motivation? What conflict will arise that might keep her from getting it? Does she have any flaws? How does she need to grow or what does she need to overcome in order to reach her goal?

Hero: Same as for heroine. We need our readers to love the main characters, so give it your best shot.

Plot: What makes your story unique? Develop the plot here.

Sub-plot(s): If any, list them.

Black Moment: That point of no return when the main character(s) think all is lost.

Resolution: How will you fix it? What is going to tie it all together and give them their happy-ever-after?

Tag line or Log Line: (for marketing purposes.) Have you thought of one?

Writing is a lot of work and has a continual learning curve. It’s research, writing, more research, more writing, and when the story is finished and you think you’re done, then comes the editing. And the submissions. And the rejections. Make sure you have broad shoulders if this is the career path you’ve chosen. Remember, you can’t please everybody.

Happy Writing!

Guarding Flint now Available for Pre-order!!!

Published January 16, 2016 by Lorraine Nelson - Author

Yes, you read it right. 🙂 Guarding Flint

Guarding Flint, Book 1 in my new Wyoming Secrets western series, is releasing on January 29th, but I’m happy to announce that it is now available for pre-order.

Blurb:

Ella Delaney is a small town girl with a big heart, except when it concerns Flint Harrington. Tough as nails city cop Ella is working a case when her son’s long absent father winds up in the middle of her stakeout.

Flint reconnects with Ella during his working vacation in Thayne, Wyoming, hoping for a long overdue reconciliation. But shots fired at him coupled with his daughter’s kidnapping has Ella investigating him instead.

Can they work out their troubled past while surviving present dangers? Or the better question…after the way Flint left years ago without a word, can he count on Ella’s help?

Sound interesting? Order it by clicking here.

Thank you for your support.