Monday, June 24, 2019

"Classic Ginger" It Goes On and On and On - Rerun #multitasking

I used to consider myself successful at multi-tasking, but now I'm beginning to question my capabilities. The more I do, the more I have left to do.  How does that work?

This morning I awoke to 300 emails, even though I'm on digest.  I skim the digests, but all I see in the subject line are: excerpt, promo, contest, new release.  OMG, it seems that everyone who was a "reader" when I first started this venture is now an author.  I spent several hours yesterday on Facebook and anything I posted was lost in the avalanche of book promos.  I pictured authors everywhere huddled at their computers, vying desperately for the attention of a "reader."  Yes, I know authors read, too.  I do, but I'm looking to tap into someone who isn't competition.  Is that selfish?  I don't think so. All who have books available are hoping to find the mother lode of readers and achieve a best-selling status.  Honestly, it's more like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

When I got to my individual emails, I found the usual few word posts: Thank you, I'm sorry, I forgot, I'd like to blog, put me down, happy birthday, happy holidays, condolences, and of course, I'm blogging at ______today, please stop by.

As much as I want to support my fellow authors, if I visited every blog or attend every FB event to which I've been invited, I would never get anything else done. So how logical am I if I expect my fellow authors to visit mine?

I've already given up Farmville and most other games on Facebook, taken a leave of absence from my critique group, gone  digest on most of my yahoo loops, and tried to find a new avenue of promotion on the Amazon Communities, only to be beaten to a pulp by some of the folks there who are very territorial.  It seems there are those who don't like authors who talk about their own work.  What's up with that?  If I don't, who will?  I still crave Farmville, but I'm staying strong.  I imagine my crops have all withered and died, and I've probably been reported for cruelty to my animals.  I'm sure my farm is generally in  bad repair, but there's no way I can have a look without wanting to fix everything.  At least I kicked the habit on my own and didn't even need counseling.

Honestly, the towel is looking pretty good lately.  I've considered throwing it in a few times, or at least waving a white flag, but I'm too invested in my love of writing to quit.  I keep visiting shared links and viewing success stories written by authors who had sold hundreds if not thousands of copies on Kindle. I want to post that announcement just once.

I have several works out now, so maybe one of them will be my ticket to stardom... or at least a few sales.  :)  You can find them all on my Amazon page, and I'm always working on something new.  Coming soon, The Pendant from Books We Love, Sarah's Soul from Books we Love (as soon as I finish it), and I'm working now on Desperation's Bride.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Life Events in My Stories—Here’s the Real Scoop! By Connie Vines

This Month’s Topic: Has an event in your life, or that of someone you know, or one covered in the news ever worked its way into one of your stories?
I believe we are all influenced by our environment and, being social creatures, we are also empathetic to the people we encounter in life.

Each of my novels, short-stories, and blog posts touch on an event in my life, a factual experience in someone’s life.

When I was writing for children’s magazines my topics included historical events or modern-day mysteries.  My YA historical novel, Tanayia-Whisper upon the Water, has excerpts from newspapers of the 1800's for chapter intros. I experienced the wind and the sadness which still surrounds Wounded Knee, I’ve dance at Powwows, and made fry-bread for hungry children. 

Having been interview (unexpectedly) by a news crew, I know the irritation you feel when someone shoved a mic in your face (Lynx’s interview scene in Lynx, Rodeo Romance).  

I believe the true test of a writer is researching a subject and making the event seem real to the reader that he/she can ‘live the story’.  Obviously, writers have never been a 16th century pirate, or a vampire, however, these stories are written and are believable.  Non-fiction worlds are created, we mourn the death of our beloved fictional characters, we fall in love with a hero or two.  

Since I grew up in a military family, relocation was a way of life.  My characters are seldom stay-forever-in-one town people. I am able to share the force of a hurricane, a tornado forming on the plains, sea-salt and sand in your clam-bake meal, the smell of a swamp, and fragrance of cafΓ© au latte on a cool May morning in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana.

From Tanayia—Whisper upon the Water:

My gaze narrowed. Each day I watched Anna Thunder hide her slice of bread in her skirt pocket. I did not why. Each night I watched.  She did not bring the food from her pockets, nor were there crumbs leaving a trail among her belongings. 

“Why? Why do you ask this?”

The Comanche was thin. Her arms were like the bare branches of a sapling tree. Anna Thunder did not eat the bread she hoarded.

“Will Apache bring bread?” she hissed.

My stomach growled. Sister Enid had returned last evening and supervised the breakfast meal today. The oatmeal had been thin. There was little nourishment for my growing body. The bread Sister Kathleen gave me kept the pains of hunger from my stomach. I did not want to give my food to my enemy.

Please visit the blog sites of these wonderful writers and read the stories she/he have in store for you!

Happy Reading!



Friday, June 21, 2019


Every year employees across the country bring their dogs to work the Friday after Father’s Day. It’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day.

A celebration of the companionship between canine and human, National Take Your Dog to Work Day hopes to inspire others to adoptions from shelters and humane societies.


To find participating employers and to download a toolkit visit Pet Sitters International.  Use #NationalTakeYourDogToWorkDay or #TYDTWD to share on social media.


Take Your Dog to Work Day originated in the United Kingdom in 1996.  Then in 1999, Pet Sitters International founded the first day in the United States.

I am aware that there are companies: Amazon, Purina (and many others I'm certain) that allow you to bring your pet work.

However, I would check with your employer before bringing Rover or Boots to work  to celebrate this special day.

To help avoid coworkers’ pet peeves, here are 14 rules for bringing dogs (and cats) to work.

1. Make sure no one objects

“The problem: not everybody loves pets. Staff may suffer from allergies/ phobias/or didn't enjoy animals running around. "

2. Check the company's or your insurance

“Even the most docile of dogs could become hostile in an unfamiliar environment or around other pets, so make sure you're covered in the event that a dog [or cat] acts out."

3. Establish pet-free zones

“It's a lot more distracting to have an animal join meetings than it is to have them wandering the main floor [or parked in an office]. Set some ground rules for where pets can roam free, and where they should steer clear.”

 4.  Ensure your office is safe for pets (pet-proofed)

“Things like cables, cords and open trash bins can all be tempting for pets. Pet proof your office space to be sure it's safe.  It also helps if cats and smaller dogs wear a bell on their collar so you know when they're under foot.”

5. Pets must be supervised by its ownerImage result for poodle birthday gif

6.  The pet must be OK around other animals

7. The animal can't be super hyper

8. Come prepared

“Make sure that if you bring your dog in to work, that they have everything they will need throughout the day."

9. Clean up after your pet

10. Take a photo or two to remember the day.

Image result for take pet to work day 2019
Credit Photo: PetSitter

Happy Take Your Dog to Work Day!


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I'm blogging today at BWL Author Blog

Here's the link!

I'm blogging about Characters and Cooking.  I've included a cheesy potato casserole recipe too.

Monday, May 27, 2019

I can't wait, It's Almost National Paperclip Day!

National Paperclip Day is observed each year on May 29.  Yes, even the paperclip has its own day of honor. It is about that well-known piece of curved wire that keeps our papers together and helps keep us organized.

The Gem paperclip, which was most likely in production in Britain in the early 1870s by The Gem Manufacturing Company, was never patented.  It is the most common type of wire paper clip and is still in use today.  It was introduced to the United States around 1892 and in 1904, Cushman & Denison registered a trademark for the “Gem” name in connection with paper clips.  Paperclips are still sometimes called “Gem clips.”

Today, paperclips come in various sizes, shapes and colors and can make your paperwork look more fun and lively.

As you know, multi-colored paper clips, mini-clamps, and pens in bright-gel colors are my current favorite item(s)--along with calendars.  Yes, my love affair with calendars continue.

Remember:  There is still time to log on to RomanceGems Blog for our May Contest!

June will begin a new contest with more prizes!

Happy Reading,

Connie Vines

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Novels with a Purpose by Connie Vines

Thank you Rhobin for a timely topic for this month.

What would I like to tell my readers about my novels and their purpose?  

My stories, novels, novellas, and short stories reflect life.  My theme usually revolves around a social issue or a past the hero/heroine must overcome.

My first romance, Lynx (HOLT Medallion, Orange Rose, Award of Excellence, and Golden Chance) dealt with emotional abandonment and physical neglect.  Rachel Scott, my heroine, traveled the rodeo circuit with her parents during her childhood.  Her father, a famous bronc rider, was also an alcoholic; her mother was self-absorbed and ignored her daughter.

Everyone has challenges is life.  However, emotional abandonment is (in my opinion) is more damaging, long-term, than physical neglect.

As a teenager Rachel was left in her paternal grandmother’s care.  Living in a small rural town, Rachel had a sense of belonging.  However, after her grandmother’s death, Rachel was left, once again, on her own.  She had friends, a job, and for the first time in her life, she was happy.

Enter, the last man-on-earth, she’d ever wish to fall in love with: Lynx Maddox, champion bull-rider, self-assured, and handsome.

Rachel found comfort n the small-town clannishness of Running Springs.  It was why she’d stayed on instead of moving to Missoula, were she’d gone to college.  It seemed the most reasonable thing to do, even after her grandmother’s death the year before.  After all, the town and her small circle of friends provided the only emotional ties she’d ever known during her lifetime.  Rachel couldn’t imagine ever wanting to leave.

Charlene patted Rachel’s hand then turned and tossed her purse on a vacant section of the splintery white bench.  She tugged on Rachel’s sleeve then pointed to the arena.  “Look, honey, there’s Lynx!”

The rodeo was well underway by then and Rachel scanned the circle of cowboys by the catch pens.  She spied Lynx, off to one side away from the others. Her heart thumped against her ribs. She might as well admit it; she wanted to see Lynx again. She like looking at him.  Watching him. But from a distance where it was safe.

He moved with confidence, a sureness just this side of arrogance.  His walk was a cowboy’s deliberate, rolling gait as he headed toward the chute. In spite of her best intentions, Rachel couldn’t tear her gaze off of him.

Lynx felt a kick of surprise as he watched Rachel climb the bleachers.  She stood perfectly sill for a moment, scanning the area. He studied her, letting his gaze scrutinize her in considerable detail. Her black hair gleamed in a single braid, dangling over her shirt and the swell of her breasts. Her tight blue jeans outlined the sweet sway of her hips.

The noise of the arena faded.

Lynx swallowed past the dryness in his throat. . .

I believe for a hero and heroine to fall and love and develop a lasting relationship, they must work together to overcome challenges together.  They must also help each other become stronger and over-come past fears and insecurities.

This is how I achieve a Happy Every After ending in my stories.

Be sure and see what the other authors participating in this month’s blog have to say!

Happy Reading,


Diane Bator
Skye Taylor
Victoria Chatham
Beverley Bateman
A.J. Maguire
Fiona McGier
Dr. Bob Rich
Rhobin Courtright

Monday, May 13, 2019

I'm Blogging at Romance Gems Today!

High Tea or Afternoon Tea? Will this American Writer Abandon her Mug of Coffee? By Connie Vines

Join in the Fun!  There is a chance to win prizes, too!

Romance Gems

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Does the Season Play a Part in Your Story? By Connie Vines

This month’s Round Robin Topic: 
Does the season ever play a part in your setting? 
How do you think seasons affect setting & plot either physically or metaphorically?

Winter Despair and Hope. References to winter in literature may refer to death, old age, pain, loneliness, despair or an end. Spring Joy and Love. Themes of rebirth and renewal often use symbols from the spring season. Summer Searches and Reflection. Autumn Bounty and Changes.

These are the classic examples of seasonal symbolism.  While I often rely on seasons to affect my plot or play a major part in my novel, I try to be less…well, symbolic.

In my YA Historical novel, Tanayia—Whisper upon the Water, my prologue and chapter openings gave the readers an emotional touch-stone into the life and emotions of my main character.

Prologue, 1880, Apacheria, Season of Ripened Berries.

Isolated bands of colored clay on white limestone remained where sagebrush was stripped from Mother Earth by sudden storms and surface waters. Desolate. Bleak. A land made of barren rocks and twisted paths that reached out into the silence.

A world of hunger and hardship.  This is my world.  I am Tanayia.  I was born thirteen winters ago.  My people and I call ourselves “Nde” means “The People”. The white man calls us Apache.

The seasons were: Swimming Ducks, Gathering Corn, Red Grass. 

However, if my main character had been Anna Thunder, a member of a nomadic tribe (Comanche) the seasons would have reflected her reality.

Settings and Plot 

I find my settings and plots usually reflect the seasons because the seasonal changes are an occurrence in our life.

I have an anthology set in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is a part of the culture and my story has the season woven throughout the story line.

And, of course, my ranching/westerns have the seasons woven throughout the plot.

Brede, Rodeo Romance Book 2

Several hours later, she clung to the soothing tone of Brede’s voice as she cleared away the dishes and filled the sink with soapy water.  She trusted him to keep his promise.  Brede was the only constant in her life.  She only hoped when she discovered where she belonged it would be a world as safe as this one.

After nestling the last piece of silverware into the draining board, she reached for the saucepan and glanced out the rain-streaked window.  Thunder clapped overhead just before a jolt rattled the dishes in the cupboard.  Lightening stabbed the earth just beyond the kitchen window, bathing the room in a sharp flash of surreal brightness.

The flash of light was so unexpected, that it took her a moment to realize the electricity had gone out.
The saucepan slipped from her fingertips and clattered to the floor.

She tried to tell herself that it was only the storm and the lights would come back on in a matter of minutes. Still, terror that was icy cold and merciless grabbed her by the throat and crushed what little courage she possessed when the cloudy, moonless night turned the room to inky black.

She remembered the darkness, the terror, and the unrelenting sound of the rain.
She was alone.

Alone in the darkness.

A mindless whimper left her lips as her mind threw her back into a pit of terror.
I find the seasons a way to influence my plot-lines, and add depth to my settings and characterization.

Remember to visit the other members of Round Robin Blog.

Happy Reading,


   Skye Taylor
> Victoria Chatham
> Diane Bator
> Judith Copek
> Beverley Bateman
> Helena Fairfax
> Rhobin L Courtright
Dr. Bob Rich

Monday, March 25, 2019

Happy National Puppy Day!

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I love puppies πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸΆπŸ©

 Observed each year on March 23rd is National Puppy Day. National Puppy Day will be celebrated on the Friday or Monday closest to March 23rd if that day falls on a weekend. This day was created to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives.

Psst… In case you didn’t know, today is a very special day indeed. If you happen to be a dog owner, you should  be celebrating right about now. Why? Well, because today is actually the official National Puppy Day. That’s right. It’s the one day a year when you should pay extra attention to your pup and show them just how much they mean to you.

So, how should you celebrate this very special day?

If there’s one thing that dogs love more than anything else in the world, it’s walks. Exercise is essential for your pet, especially if you want them to be both happy and healthy. Today, why not take your pup on an extra long walk?  Or a ride in a puppy-stroller if he/she is a pint-size. Make sure that you plan out the route ahead of time. Nothing could be better than spending quality time with your dog.

Oh, and the doggy love does not have to stop there! While you’re unwinding with a book or watching your favorite Netflix series, make some room for your pet. Call your puppy up onto the sofa with you and give them all the love and attention they deserve. You honestly won’t regret it.

🐩🐩 They'll never break your heart, they'll never make you cry... πŸ•#NationalPuppyDay πŸ’–πŸ’–

There are healthy treats available online and delivered to your door.  Or you can stop off at the store on the way home and grab them something tasty.

If your pup has been extra good recently, you will want to show them how much you care. Getting them a new toy is fun for everyone!  If your puppy is still young, buy them a fun chew-toy so that you can help them with the teething process. Or, my puppy (Chanel) and I both play 'squeak-toy'  play-off.  I'll squeak 3-times on my and she will echo with her toy--they we switch :-).

Is your pet looking a little dirty? Well, never fear! There’s just one thing that you need to do. Run a warm-ish bath for your puppy and give them a wash. They might not like it at first, but they will adore the feeling of being clean and cozy afterward.

You may not realize it but dogs happen to love it when you chat to them. Many dog owners don’t bother to chit-chat with their pet, but you really should! Take the time to say encouraging, loving things to your dog. It will make them oh-so-happy. Puppies love the sound of you voice

If you don’t have time to take your dog for walk, you should still give them a little exercise. Play a game of catch in the yard with them. They will love the extra attention you give them and you will definitely have a whole load of fun too.

Finally, this day is all about love and affection. Just show your dog some extra attention today! After all, that’s what really counts. Our puppies are the cutest and sweetest things in our lives. Let’s take today to celebrate how very much they mean to us.

puppy in kitchen

Wishing you had a puppy to call your own?

Adopting, Fostering, or looking for a puppy who is available for and older dog available via re-homing is always an option.

My late greyhound, Justine, was abandoned in the hills of Alta Loma, CA.  Rescued, and re-homed with me, she was the gentlest and sweetest couch-potato I'd ever known.  She lived to be 16 years old--and I still miss her. 

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Hugs, Snuggles, and Puppy Kisses,


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Self-Editing (minus the primeval scream) by Connie Vines

This month's Round Robin Topic:  How do I self-edit my books before submitting or publishing? 

Self-editing is painful.  Every writer I  know fights the urge to 'self-edit' while creating the first draft of his/her novel.  Remember the cartoons you watched as a child (or perhaps still watch.  I'm not judgmental) where the hero has a devil sitting on one shoulder and the angel on his other?  Both were whispering in his ear.  Your hero is overcome with confusion and self-doubt, uncertain of what to do next.

Well, that is a large part of the writing process--learning to ignore the self-editing instructions that are always at the back of your mind.

When a I type THE END, I breath a sigh of relief.
For a few minutes, perhaps even several hours, I'm thinking about my next project.

Then reality sets in (hence the mention of a primeval shout) how many times did I write the word 'that'?  I read a book once where every chapter started with a description of the weather.  I didn't tie-up that loose-end.

I believe I must self-edit before sending my novel to a beta reader.

If you’re ready to self-edit your book, consider these 10 tips:

1. Rest your manuscript

When you’ve finished typing the last word of your masterpiece, set it aside for a few days.  In On Writing, Stephen King relates that he places his finished drafts in a drawer for at least six weeks before looking at them again.

Why rest your manuscript?  When you do come back to self-edit, the book almost seems as if someone else wrote it.

2. Listen to your manuscript

Hearing your words spoken makes mistakes glaringly obvious.

If you’re a Mac user, click the Apple logo at the top left of your screen, select System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Speech. Choose a System Voice and Speaking Rate you can tolerate, then select “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.”

Once you’ve enabled your preferred shortcut key, simply highlight any text (within any program) that you want to hear read aloud. Then hit your shortcut keys and follow your words on-screen as your computer reads them aloud.

For PC users, make use of Narrator, part of the system’s Ease of Access Center. Press “Windows+U” and click “Start Narrator.” Since the program is intended for blind users, it will automatically begin to read any text your mouse encounters. To turn this off, hit “Control.” To have Narrator read a paragraph, place your cursor at its beginning and type “Caps Lock + I.” To have Narrator read an entire page, press “Caps Lock + U.”

Or make use of a recording app on your iPhone.  I think in chapters of three when writing.  So, I will read my novel three chapter at a time. Often, I catch the mistakes when reading.  Pause, make a note, and then go on reading.

3. Search for troubling words

I am a fan of Grammar Girl podcasts.
To help you consider what your troubling words might be, here’s a good starting list, excerpted from the first chapter of Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing:

a lot/alot
into/in to

4. Remove or replace your crutch words

Outside of necessary articles and prepositions, you may be surprised at what words you tend to use over and over.

5. Remove all double spaces at the end of sentences

If tapping two spaces following your sentences is an age-old habit ingrained into you.

Conduct a find-and-replace search after you’re done writing. In Word, type two spaces in “find” and one space in “replace” and hit enter. Voila!

6. Run spell check or use an automated editing program

8. Purchase The Chicago Manual of Style.

 You can subscribe to the online version for $35 a year.  I prefer the the hardbound copy.

9. Set aside an hour or two to go through this list with your manuscript, but be careful about over-editing.

10.  Send it off to your beta reader/plotting partner.  Remember to reward your reader with a gift card.

Happy Reading and Writing,


Stop by and see what the other Round Robin members have to say about the "torments" of  self-editing:

Rhobin L Courtright

See my website for this giveaway

My Motto

Monday, March 4, 2019

March Contest and Giveaways!

The winter chill is in the air but I have great way for you to fill those hours until the Spring thaw!

Win great prizes with #RomanceGems LUCK O' THE IRISH March #Giveaway. COMMENT & WIN has $5.00 AMZ Gift Card up for grabs every week. FRIENDS TELL FRIENDS, new giveaway, open now. Enter for chance to win a Romance Reader's T-shirt or Audiobook. Rafflecopter, awesome prizes, opens Mar. 4. Details here:

Share the Love and follow these Participating RomanceGems Authors: Bonnie Edwards * Cheryl Bolen * Connie Vines * Author Elsa Kurt * Jan Scarbrough * Joan Reeves Writes * Karen Kelley * Kathleen Lawless * Lucinda Race * Nancy Fraser * Nora LeDuc * Peggy Jaeger, Author * Satin Russell

Congratulations to Debby from FLA who was one of the winners in our Grand Opening Contest.

I'm also a member of Charmed Writers!

We are having a Flash Fiction give-a-away.  (Remember to logon to our Charmed Connection for Readers and Writers on Facebook).

Free flash fiction by Charmed Writers.

bookfunnel link

Here is another one of my solutions for surviving the extended winter days and nights. . . you must remember I reside in the Quirky Suburbs of SoCal where winter seldom falls below 65 degrees.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Introducing Romance Gems by Connie Vines

On February 1, 2019, Friday, 23 popular authors including NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, open the doors on ROMANCE GEMS, a wonderful new group blog where the focus is on Readers. Look for conversations about Life, Love, Books, Romance, Sex, Kids, and all the other really important things in your world. Some chuckles and some good times await you so drop by and check out ROMANCE GEMS at

Be sure and enter the Rafflecopter (A Chance to Win Books, Kindle Fire, and ebook Gift Bundles/) for a Kindle Fire and ebook Gift Bundles. Every week, there will be a "Comment & Win" Random Draw for an Amazon Gift Card. Read and comment with your email address written out on the daily posts. The more comments you make; the greater your chance of winning. Enter the Rafflecopter and the "Comment & Win" Random Draw as often as you wish. The more you enter, the greater your chances of winning.

If you've been looking for a Gem of an Author and/or a Gem of a Romance, look no further. You'll find both at ROMANCE GEMS.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Character Development—Personalities and Break-Out Secondary Characters by Connie Vines #RR68

This month’s Round Robin Topic: How do you develop different personalities in your characters?  Break-out secondary characters—the making of a new story.

The ‘How’ of the writing is always interesting for me to analyze.

While I have detailed plot lines before I write a story or novel, I am instinctive when creating my characters. 

As I’ve blogged before, I begin with a sense of time and place.  When the story in bubbling in my subconscious, I heard snippets of conversations, a song playing in my head (you know that annoying song simply leave you alone), or a impulse to cook a certain regional food.

A few examples:  When writing ‘Lynx” Rodeo Romance book 1, “Amarillo by Morning” kept playing in my mind.  I located by paternal grandfather’s Tex-Mex chili recipe and made chili once a week.  And then a brassy woman speaking with a Texas-twang and popping her chewing-gum would pop into my head (ala 'Flo’ in an old TV sitcom).

We all know a novelist always falls in love with her ‘first hero’.  My first romantic hero was Lynx Maddox.  While his younger sister was only mentioned in the first book of my Rodeo Romance Series, she became by break-out character in the second book, “Brede”. Whereas Rachel Scott and Lynx Maddox were the stars of my contemporary romance; Brede Kristensen and Amberlylnn Maddox stars shine in my romantic suspense novel, “Brede” Rodeo Romance book 2.

My characters also ‘drive my story’—often in a different direct, thus destroying months of detail research. “Nooo! Not again.”  Yes, this is my first reaction.  And, of course, I rebel at the very thought of shoving my months of detailed research back into my file overflowing file cabinet.  I’ve learned I am not able to force my characters to act against his or her nature.  Painful though it may be, I listen and I shift my story-line.

When did this happen?

The first time I experienced this ‘traumatic’ writing experience, I was plotting, “Tanayia—Whisper upon the Water” my sweet historical romance. 

Tanayia was to be a member of the Paiute tribe of Native Americans.  She was being groomed for the ‘taking of the shawl” (becoming a medicine woman).  I was involved in Native American Education Programs, served on a PAC Committee (parent advisory council), and participated in powwows.  I interview tribal elders and traveled to historical sites, etc.  I’d plotted by novel down to a puppy’s freckle, so to speak.

While Tanayia allowed me to keep the historical event which formed the opening event of my 1st chapter, I learned she younger.  She was also a member of the “Nde” Apache tribe.  Tanayia was also strong-willed and determined.

My novel was not set in a different tribal area, difference climate, different customs, beliefs. . .well, you know what that meant.  Yes, more research.   I live within driving distance of Sherman Indian School in Riverside, CA.  In fact, I attended powwows where the Apache (Fire) dancers from the White Mountain Reservation danced each year. 

In the end, Tanayia was correct.  My story was her story.  It was her life, her experience—it was history, accurate, painful.  It was the personal growth of a young woman, torn between two-worlds.  I must, in the end, thank Tanayia for the awards this novel was awarded:  The Independent e-Book Award for YA Historical Fiction, The Dream Realm Award, and a National Book Award Nomination.

Are more break-out characters evolving in my novels?

Yes, there are a few nudging me now.

I also have a new hero, or two, with a foot hold in my plotting-world right now, too.

Watch for my flash fiction story in anthology available February, 12, 2019.  Cover reveal and more info will be posted soon on my blog (here) and at my website very soon.

Happy Reading and Writing,


Remember to visit the blog sites of these wonderful Round Robin authors:

Skye Taylor
> Helena Fairfax
> Beverley Bateman
> Anne Stenhouse
> A.J. Maguire
> Fiona McGier
>> Diane Bator
> Dr. Bob Rich
> Victoria Chatham
> Rhobin L Courtright 

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