Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas Teaser. . .Who Doesn't Love a Holiday Romance? By Connie Vines #RR #RoundRobin

Welcome to my Blog!

Today is our December Round Robin Blog Hop. 

 Todays Topic: A story excerpt, flash fiction, or short story.

I have chosen an excerpt from my contemporary romantic suspense novel, "Brede" Book 2, Rodeo Romance Series.

Setting: Northern New Mexico, USA

Brede tried to focus on the things Kate did that reminded him of other city women, but he couldn't. Though he hated to admit it, He liked the way she made his coffee, and he liked the way she waited up for him. If he stayed out late in the lambing pens. He also liked the way she smiled at him. She had one of the most dazzling smiles he'd ever seen.

She poured two cups of coffee.

He reached for his cup at the same moment she reached for it. His fingers grazed the top of her hand.

She glanced up at him through her lashes, but she didn't move.

He studied her for a moment, taking in the serious set of her mouth. Touching wasn't such a good idea right now. 

"If you change your mind about going to town into the morning, I'll understand."

"I know. But I think it's for the best."

He inhaled the scent of her hair, floral and womanly.

She sighed when his arms went around her. She snuggled closer, coffee forgotten, telling herself that this was nothing more than a comfort hug between friends. She knew this wasn't the case. What she was feeling for Brede went far beyond the boundaries of friendship. She had no right to harbor those feelings, but she couldn't deny them either.

"You're welcome to stay at the ranch.--"

She placed her fingertips over his lips. "If someone is trying to kill me, I'm putting you and everyone else on this ranch in danger."

"That's the very reason you should stay."

She shook her head. The sweetness of his words, his generous offer of help, brought tears to her eyes. It would be so easy to stay, but that didn't make it right.

"If you're worried about the kiss..."

"No." she denied, too quickly. She was worried about how much she'd enjoyed his kiss, and how easy it would be to kiss him again.

He gave her one of his rare, heart-stopping smiles, and Kate wanted to clutch his shoulder for support. Instead, she pulled back to get a good look at him. "I'm a grown man," he reminded her. I can take care of myself and so can my men. No one is going to show up on this ranch and harm anyone."

He did look big, strong, and invincible. Still, fear clung to the edges of her mind. Whoever had hurt her didn't play by the rules. Brede might not like to admit it but the remoteness of this ranch would work in her attacker's favor. He had stalked her. That meant he could be outside watching them now. Waiting for an opportunity to strike again.


Trouble is something hard-edged rancher, Brede Kristensen, knows all about. A widower with rambunctious young daughter, a ranch to run and an ornery cook who has just run off, Brede doesn't need another problem. 

Beaten and left for dead, Amberlynn Maddox has no memory of her past.  Accepting Brede's offer as temporary ranch cook, the woman, now called Kate, discovers the sexy rancher with his protective nature and sizzling kisses has claimed her heart. 

When a madman discovers Amberlynn's hiding place, no one is safe from harm; not Brede, his young daughter--or Amberlynn herself!

Please stop by and visit the other wonderful authors participating in this month's Blog Hop:

Margaret Fieland

Skye Taylor

Victoria Chatham

Diane Bator

Helena Fairfax

Anne Stenhouse

Fiona McGier

Dr. Bob Rich

Beverley Bateman

Rhobin L Courtright

 Wishing all of my readers and visitors a blessed holiday season.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

My Favorite Blog Posts (Sharing is Caring) by Connie Vines #RR90

 This month’s topic: Review or recommend a book, a short story, or post on someone’s blog.

Wow! This is a difficult topic.  There are sooo many excellent books, short stories, online articles, and blog posts.

One of the blogs I follow is “The Eclectic Writer” by Janet Lane Walters.  Her blog is about writing and the things that effect a writer. About her books and those of others.

While I follow many other blog sites (everyone who is a member of our happy band of RR writers, of course), and fellow BWL author, Janet Lane Walters. Janet is always writing.  I don’t know if, or when, she sleeps. She posted 31 blog posts in October. That is a blog post EVERY day.  324 blog posts as of yesterday.  Wow!  Janet, like Diane Bator, are always interviewing authors and posting book reviews.  When I grow-up, I want to be just like them!

Well, I’m grown-up. . .and so far, I don’t seem been following their example. While Janet writes about “Meandering on Mondays” I really am meandering on Mondays—the garden, the pups training sessions, menu planning, taking photos of the red-tailed squirrel who steals my avocados.  

I’ve tried the early-to-bed-and-early-to-rise bit.   At 5:00 a.m. all I can manage to do is clutch my mug of coffee and wonder why it’s still dark outside.  So, I’ve decided that I am a nocturnal person. I do my best writing between 8:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.  (Yes, it’s dark outside during that time, too.)  I’m up by 7:30 a.m. and functional after a cup of coffee and 30 minutes of the morning news report.  

As for my favorite book, “The Author’s Checklist” by Elizabeth K. Kracht is my current recommended read.

Since I like to multi-task, I follow a video Story Time hour on Facebook by Lisa Salvary via the group: “Romance in Her Prime”.  Lisa reads (with character voices) or the author reads from a novel featuring heroines 34 years +.  If you miss the live broadcast, you can logon later to watch and listen.  This is free, fun, and new books are featured throughout the week. You just have to request to become a member.

I hope you enjoyed my blog post.

Remember to visit all the other members of our Round Robin Group to see what they are sharing!

Connie Vines

Margaret Fieland

Skye Taylor

Diane Bator

Anne Stenhouse

Fiona McGier

Dr. Bob Rich

Beverley Bateman

Rhobin L Courtright

Saturday, October 17, 2020

What is your favorite book(s) of all time in your favorite genre(s)? By Connie Vines RR# 89

This month's Round Robin Topic:  What is your favorite book(s) of all time in your favorite genre(s)

This was a difficult topic for many books, so many enjoyable reads.

Right now I seem to be reaching for cozy mysteries and fantasy fiction.  

It understandable that I would enjoy cozy fiction (no dead bodies or murder-in-progress).  My fantasy/paranormal fiction is also the non-violent type. 

That said, my favorite Romance/Paranormal novel is "Dracula" by Braun Stoker.

The tension, plot-twists, sense of time and place, and development and internal conflict of each character never seems dated.  The book is also a love story.  Which may do not realize during the first read of the novel.

My post is also late (sorry) because for some reason I thought today was Friday.  I have found the Pandemic and 'stay-safe' life style clusters the days together.

Now, cozy mysteries often have a romantic interest, the mystery with it's twists and turns is the focus of the story.

Favorite mysteries?  

The "Nancy Drew" series as a child. 

Nancy Drew Quotes

"Do act mysterious. It always keeps them coming back for more."

"Romance and detective work won't mix tonight!"

"I just know that any time I undertake a case, I'm apt to run into some kind of a trap."

"Read, read, read. That's all I can say."

"I promise to be as careful as a pussycat walking up a slippery roof."

"I don't promise to forget the mystery, but I know I'll have a marvelous time."

" I just can't help it!"

As an adult, the Tony Hillerman novels. Having traveled throughout the southwest and being involved in Native American education in the urban areas, I found the stories true to life.

Hillerman's writing style is not flash, but he can paint a landscape or thunderstorm. His use of the four corners geographic and cultural backdrop, is woven into the characters and the plot of each of his stories.

“Like all dry-country people, Leaphorn enjoyed rain—that rare, longed for, refreshing blessing that made the desert bloom and life possible.”

― Tony Hillerman, A Thief of Time

“The sky lightened now. Far ahead, they could see where the Pacific half of the blizzard had reached the Chuska range. Its cold, wet air met the dry, warmer air on the New Mexico side at the ridgeline. The collision produced a towering wall of white fog, which poured down the slopes like a silent slow-motion Niagara.”

― Tony Hillerman, The Fallen Man

What genre calls to you?

Do you have a favorite author?

A favorite, setting?

I believe as we experience life, out search for answers/truths will lead us along new path ways.

So, pick up a new genre novel or a find an author whose voice you haven't heard--yet.

Enjoy life and enjoy a new novel, too!

Happy Autumn!


Visit the authors in our blog fest:

Participant's List:

Anne Stenhouse

Skye Taylor

Diane Bator

Connie Vines

Dr. Bob Rich

Fiona McGier

Victoria Chatham

Helena Fairfax

Beverley Bateman

Rhobin L Courtright

Monday, September 28, 2020

I'm At BWL Insider Author's Blog Today!

"What Do Bats Have to Do With Halloween?" 

**Remember only WILD ANIMAL RESCUE GROUPS or Wildlife Vets are trained to 
to rehab bats, or any wild creature.

These little guys are cute.  My favorite place to observe bats is at the San Diego Zoo. 
Or, Carlsbad's Caverns.

However, I do not touch them. Or get too close.

I'm also sharing my pumpkin soup recipe, too.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Intuitive and Subtle Themes in My Novels by Connie Vines RR#88, @connievines-author

 Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader, do your stories ever have more subtle or intuitive themes? 

Thank you Robin for this month's topic.

An easily understood theme.  This statement caused to me chuckle.

When I complete my novel/short-story/article, etc. the theme is easily understood.  Not so when I first sit down at the keyboard.

Even though I write with only a very basic outline (I've evolved or devolved into a panster in my writing process).

And, this process, involves a great deal of fumbling during the process:

1. Look for Your Character’s Theme

Theme is always rooted in character. Your characters, specifically your protagonist, will tell you what your theme is about. Even if you try to tack on another theme, what your story is really about is whatever is at the heart of your character’s internal struggle.

This means you can’t just dream up some wild and unexpected thematic premise and squirt it onto your story like Dijon mustard onto a hot dog bun. You have to start with what you’ve already got. Look at your character—who she/he is and what she//he wants—and look at what she’s/he's doing in the plot.

Now look harder.

Let’s say you’re me and you’re writing a time-travel story (which, it so happens, I am). It’s novella 3 of my Sassy and Fun Fantasy Series about a professor of ancient civilizations and her not-historically-inclined fiancee. While she's the one who finds herself in ancient Egypt, he's the one tasked with bringing her home in time for their wedding.  No superpowers or cell phones in this plot-line.  

On its surface, that’s a story about good versus the unknown/evil, with true-love thrown in as a side dish. No superpowers, cell phones, or time-traveling map.  Our main characters are in huge trouble.

So we dig deeper. We look at what specific struggles this character is facing.

What does he want?

Why does he want it?

What is he willing to selflessly sacrifice to get it?

What is he willing to selfishly sacrifice?

What will he gain and what will he lose by the story’s end?

How will he have changed?

When asking yourself these questions about your character, the right answers probably won’t be immediately evident. You’ll have to think about them. You’ll have to recognize and reject most of the obvious answers. In the process, you may find your conception of the character and plot evolving into something deeper right alongside your theme. Since it's ancient Egypt, it will be an intuitive theme.

2. What’s a General Question You Feel You’re Always Asking About Life?

Don’t stop at the “little” life questions right there in front of your face. Look up and look out. What are the big questions that it seems like you’re always asking in one way or another? Obviously, a novella or short-story won't have a multi-layered plot or a wide-cast-of-characters but there's always a purpose.

3. What’s a Virtue You Feel Is Undervalued?

If you’re writing a story with a Positive Change Arc and a happy ending, then your theme will probably focus on affirming a virtue—love, courage, justice, mercy, kindness, self-sacrifice. If this so, don’t just pick the obvious one—love for romance and courage for action. Instead, choose one that is important to you and that you feel is either undervalued in the world or underrepresented in fiction.

4. I believe Universal Truths Can’t be Unique.

 It’s the way a character wrestles with truth that touches a chord of recognition in the reader. The story feels both thin and heavy-handed when the theme is obvious. Which is not to say that the theme should be deliberately obscured–but that the individual character’s struggle with the theme is what matters most.  I find I often rely on my writer's intuition resulting in a subtle secondary theme.

 5. Translating into my Stories.

"Lynx" Rodeo Romance deals with several themes, one of which is a personal one.  The same is true of "Tanayia--Whisper upon the Water". I believe this is why these novels have received awards and reviews.  Tapping into personal experiences and memories/trauma ring 'true' to others. 

The heart never lies.


On the lighter-side:

These two were banished from my office, for all of  ten minutes, for wrestling.

Chanel (background) Gavin (foreground)

Visit these talented writers to see what stories they are sharing this month: 

Judith Copek

Diane Bator

Fiona McGier

Dr. Bob Rich

Anne Stenhouse

Victoria Chatham

Helena Fairfax

Skye Taylor

Rhobin L Courtright

Happy Reading,


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