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Writing What You Like

November 6, 2017

Common sense, right?

Write something that you’d like to read. It sounds easy, but what do you do when you are writing a novel and you start reading back over your story, and you don’t like it? Throw it out and start again? We’re talking 80,000 words, so, no. Throwing it out is not an option.

Step back and analize what you don’t like about it.

I don’t like the main character. Wow, that is a big one. Kind of intimidating. So I read some of my book reviews. Quite a few of the books that I rated five stars also had comments like, “I loved the characters in this book!” or “The characters seemed like old friends by the end of this book”. These authors must know something I don’t. So I decided to go back and reread the books and see how the authors developed their characters.

I’d recently read Taking A Chance by Maggie McGinnis. I loved Jasper and Emma, but I really loved Jasper’s Dad in a supporting role.

Visualize the people

In my mind I picture Jasper’s dad to look like Paul Newman in  Message In A Bottle so of course Jasper looks like Kevin Costner. Those two exchange zingers with each other throughout the whole movie. I loved the witty banter.

Jasper and his dad exchange zingers through out the whole book. Not only do they share witty conversation but so do Jasper and Emma.

I never knew I liked witty conversation.

How to encorporate that into my  novel

I knew what my character wanted, I knew what lie he told himself, I knew what trials he would face along the way, and I knew how he would be forever changed in the end. I just needed to make him more interesting, someone the readers would be routing for.

The mission

You thought I was going to give you the miracle answer, didn’t you?

Sorry, I am rereading some books to see how it’s done. I’ll get back with you when I figure it out.

Hey, it’s a journey.


Cherished Mercy

October 30, 2017
Cherished Mercy Book Cover Cherished Mercy
Heart of the Frontier - Book 3
Trace Peterson
Historical Christian Fiction
Bethany House Publishers
September 5, 2017
Bethany House Publishers

Description of Cherished Mercy

Mercy Flanagan survived the Whitman Massacre as a child, and now her heart’s cry is for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers inhabiting Oregon Territory. Unfortunately, most of the settlers would rather the tribes were removed from the land completely, one way or the other, and tensions are rising. Mercy has grown tired of Oregon City and feels that she has a larger purpose in life, so when she learns that family friend Eletta Browning is pregnant, she travels south to the Rogue River Valley to help.

At the Rogue River Mission, Mercy meets Eletta’s brother-in-law, Adam, who has suffered a broken engagement. Mercy finds him attractive, but Adam seems determined to focus on ministering to the local tribes and keeps Mercy at arm’s length.

When tragedy strikes and tensions in the territory reach the boiling point, Mercy is pushed to the limit of her strength. She and Adam must rely on their firm faith in God in order to make it out alive.

My review of Cherished Mercy

This last book in the series is fantastic!

If you didn’t know that this book was part of a series, you could read it and not feel like you’ve missed a thing. The backstory is beautifully done and sufficient to give added meaning to the choices Mercy has to make.

That being said, reading the first two books before this one gives the reader so much more insight into the hardships these sisters have faced and the obstacles they had overcome. It makes the faith we see evident in their lives now so much more beautiful knowing how hard the journey was for them up to this point.

Mercy is the youngest of the three Flanagan sisters. She has always seemed very mature and insightful  for her age. She leaves her two sisters and their families in Oregon City to help a friend in need in Rogue River Valley.

The atmospherein the Rogue River Valley is tumultuous. Her sisters do not want her to go but Mercy feels this is what God would have her do.

I thought this book was a wonderful conclusion to this series. We got to see just enough of Faith and Hope to get their full story while we got to see the Lord’s plan for Mercy’s life. It was a lovely conclusion.

I live in Texas and we’ve had our first cool front of the year, a cool 41 this morning. Perfect weather to curl up with a good book.


About the author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Visit Tracie’s web site at:




Taking A Chance

October 23, 2017
Taking A Chance Book Cover Taking A Chance
Whisper Creek Series
Maggie McGinnis
Contemporary Romance
Random House LLC
November 7, 2017
Net Galley

Description of Taking A Chance

A rising star in the corporate world, Emma Winthrop enjoys the view from her cubicle in sunny Florida. But when she’s dispatched to a nursing home in Whisper Creek for three months of field experience, she discovers a slice of heaven made of mountains and mayhem—mostly in the form of rugged, drop-dead gorgeous Jasper Stone, who grinds his specialty beans at the town’s best coffee shop in between organizing dodge-ball games and wheelchair races in Emma’s hallways.

When Jasper walks in on this beautiful angel in silky purple underwear trying to rinse out her blouse, it’s a breathtaking view—even for a Montana native. Wreaking havoc here at Shady Acres keeps his dad in good spirits, but getting under Emma’s skin is proving to be even more fun. Jasper knows that he’s falling faster than a man with his past has any right to, but his body and his heart have a mind of their own. And Emma appears to be claiming both.

My review of Taking A Chance

I’ve found a new author to follow!

I’ve never read any Maggie McGinnis books before. I read the description of the book and it sounded interesting to me, so I requested it from Net Galley. You never know what you’re going to get when the genre is contemporary romance. It encompasses such a broad spectrum of possibilities. I was very pleased with this one.

The setting is perfect, a small town in the foothills of the Rockies. Definitely put the protagonist, Emma, in a place completely out of her element. The dialog between her and Jasper is witty and humorous.

The sexual tension is just right throughout the whole book. The sex is not graphic.

I love Jasper’s father and Bette. Both play minor parts in the story, but I love them.

I liked this book so well that I have purshased the first two books in the series and have already started reading them. (Ahead of the free books I have in my to be read pile that I have committed to reading and reviewing.) Yeah, I liked this book that much….

Each book is a stand alone, but some characters from previous novels are included in each book. In my opinion, it would be best to read them in order.

The book won’t be available until Nov. 7th, but is available for pre-order now.If you pick up a copy, please let me know how you liked it.


About the author

Maggie McGinnis is a USA Today bestselling author and Golden Heart Finalist who lives in New England, vastly outnumbered by both children and cats. She used to be an English teacher, a certified black belt, and a cool-car driver. Then … twins. Now she swills caffeine while driving the one vehicle she swore she’d never own: a minivan.

She’s a sucker for romantic comedies, popcorn, and the perfect green pen, and if she wasn’t an author, she’d totally be rocking a Nashville club in her pink cowgirl boots. It’s probably good that she embraced the author thing, because her singing skills are better suited to the shower, and really? Pink cowgirl boots?

Her Whisper Creek series features modern-day Montana cowboys and the women who can’t help but fall for them, and her Echo Lake series is set in small-town Vermont, where everybody knows your business, but most of them also love a good happily-ever-after.

You can find Maggie at





Blue Ridge Sunrise

October 16, 2017
Blue Ridge Sunrise Book Cover Blue Ridge Sunrise
Blue Ridge Romance
Denise Hunter
Christian Romance
Thomas Nelson
November 7, 2017
Net Galley

Description of Blue Ridge Sunrise

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

My review of Blue Ridge Sunrise

Another great romance by Denise Hunter!

Zoe and Cruz’s story isn’t a smooth path to their happily ever after. Zoe is her own worst enemy. She is full of doubts and fears. Cruz is the perfect hero for her. Someone to help her believe in herself again.

The story is fantastic, but the characters are even better.

Looking for a good clean romance? Give this one a try, you won’t be sorry.


About the author

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 books, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride” which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest.

You can learn more about Denise through her website or by visiting her FaceBook page at




Christmas At Carnton

October 9, 2017
Christmas At Carnton : A novella Book Cover Christmas At Carnton : A novella
Tamera Alexander
Historical Christian Fiction
Thomas Nelson
October 3, 2017
Net Galley

Description of Christmas At Carnton

A Christmas story to launch a brand new three-book series . . . The Carnton Novels

Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas – and of sacrificial love.
Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. With the bank threatening to evict, she discovers an advertisement for the Women’s Relief Society auction and applies for a position – only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity – and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?
Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women’s Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies – one, in particular – is far more than he bargained for.
Set against the backdrop and history of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.

My review of Christmas At Carnton

I love Tamera Alexander books. I was thrilled to read her new Christmas novella which is an introduction to her new series, The Carnton Novels.

This is the perfect book to get you in the Christmas mood.

I love this time period in history. So many changes are taking place. It is a fantastic portrayal of what it might have been like to live in those harrowing times. This story tells of a woman, Aletta Prescott whose husband was killed in action. We get to see a glimpse of what life was like for the women left behind. Women were not considered accceptable for many jobs yet they were expected to provide for their families. There were not very many options available to them.

Tamera Alexander is known for her diligent research into not only the location but the people from that time period. She creates characters inspired by journals of people who actually lived during that time. The characters she has developed for this novella are are like friends we hope to meet again soon.

If you like historical fiction, you need to pick up a copy of this book. It is set in 1846. The Civil War is still going on, and the women of Franklin, Tennessee are organizing an auction to help the southern troops. The Christmas season is just added bonus in  this book. The history, the setting and the characters are the main focus.

Christmas, history, romance and a wonderful story, this book has it all. If you pick up a copy as always please let me know what you thought of it.


About the author

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers in the historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels. For more about Tamera’s books, visit

(Photo credit: Mandy Whitley Photography)