Friday, January 12, 2018

The Queen of Paradise Valley

                                                          Historical Western Romance

Two strong-willed people, two opposing views—their tempestuous battles become as legendary as the land they both love and must fight together to save.





Blurb:
Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del.


Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana's ranch, back to prove he isn't the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him.







available at:




Amazon  

  
indigo    



—Cat

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Yes, No, Maybe so –

Someone asked me if, when starting a new book,  I make a detailed outline and work from that.
Well, the answer is yes, no, um maybe...

I usually start with a basic idea of the story. I don't just sit down and say to myself, time to begin my next book, then stare at the blank screen waiting for inspiration to hit. The idea will have percolated for some time, and I think of scenes I could add, or that would be necessary. When I reach the point where I had better write things down before I start forgetting, I get that outline started. At this point I  know my character's names, approximate ages, their backgrounds, what they look like.

I start a spreadsheet with the dates the main characters were born, and check to see if anything happened just before or after these dates, in case such events impact their story lives. 

Then I put down the year and month the main story starts. and a short phrase about the scene. I may then write that first scene, knowing that it's tentative at best, for I may find a better place to start, usually a few chapters down the line.

From that beginning I can proceed to the next important scenes, dates first, then a descriptive phrase, and after a few of these, I begin writing.


Friday, October 06, 2017

My book is ready!


I received notice from The Wild Rose Press  that my Historical Western Romance will  have a worldwide publication date of November 1, 2017. It's already available for preorder.

A big thank you to cover artist RJ Morris, and my editor Allison Byers.

 



And here is the blurb:

Diana Rennie, daughter of a wealthy rancher, attempts to persuade mystery man Del Russell to leave his grievances behind and forgive her father for past mistakes. Her careful plan goes awry and results in a shotgun wedding and a prison sentence for Del. 

Four years later, Del is back in her life with a vengeance—back for his rightful share of Diana's ranch, back to prove he isn't the criminal she thought he was, back to finish what the two of them started years ago in a passionate daze. And he isn’t going anywhere, no matter what beautiful, treacherous Diana does or says to try to get rid of him. 

  Amazon

The Wild Rose Press





– Cat

Monday, June 12, 2017

Books that keep you up all night.

Two books kept me up all night.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I was 14 and it was part of the school curriculum. I remember, all these years later, curling up in a chair reading and watching the sky outside become paler and paler.

I loved that book. The story, the characters remain vivid, most likely helped by the terrific Gregory Peck movie that followed.

My second all-nighter was Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I was 25, married with two children, and once again I saw the sunrise as I closed the book. GWTW had been around for years, yet I avoided it for some unknown reason. Then a friend lent me her copy and it became, "the book you can't put down."

I've read many compelling books since, many that I could have stayed up reading, but ended up putting down with a pang of regret. I've often stayed up well past midnight, but didn't have the need to keep reading through the night, desperate to find out what happened next, how the story ended.

Many books have that compelling urgency. Some have hanging-by-the-fingernails tension, dire conflict, and in romance especially, a will-they-or-won't-they-make-it darkest hour. I've been tempted to read the last page to find out, but I don't allow myself to do this. When I open a book I've made a contract with the writer, and unless it's simply terrible and I give up, I will read through to the end.

Will any of my books prove to be an all-nighter for some readers? 


– Cat

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Another overused word

I discovered another word lurking in my prose to add to the list of my overused words.

I was reading the story for the trillionth time and noticed the word most in the same paragraph as the word almost.

Got rid of the echo and did a word search.

I can't say there were thousands or even hundreds. But there were too many instances, the majority  unnecessary. I removed most [see how I use it?] of the mosts.  I found the removal made no difference to the meaning I was trying to convey. And it tightened my writing.

If the word was being used by a character in dialogue or thought, I left it, for then it became part of that character's personality and manner of speech.  Much like the words  very, some, really, actually, nearly, and similar quantifiers that are vague can be superfluous.

And I do try to limit my use of adverbs.

– – Cat


Monday, November 28, 2016

Finding the Flavor


When someone asked me what I thought of the last book I read, I said right away, "It had flavor."

Maybe she thought I ate it.

I explained it had to do with the story and the writing evoking a feeling. The characters were true to, not just themselves, but the setting and the time. The atmosphere was right.

Yes, I could've said the story was realistic, well researched, the author used the proper syntax, and made use of all the senses...

But I like the single word flavor.

And just like some books can leave a bad taste in your mouth, this one tasted just fine.

It had flavor.

--Cat



Found on the web:


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Editing problem

It was chapter 13. [Spooked by the number, maybe?]
And it wasn't working for me. 

It usually doesn't occur to me that the problem lies with the POV [point of view].

I thought I had it nailed. Seemed logical to continue using the POV from the previous chapter. As I edited, however, it was apparent some nails had been wrenched out, leaving gaping holes.

Filling those holes without interrupting the flow proved difficult.
But changing from Her POV to His saved the day. Or the chapter, to be more precise.

I didn't have to change the events. Only the manner in which the POV character sees them, how they affect him.

And as previously she had to interpret his actions, now he will interpret hers. For this chapter it works better this way.

There may be future chapters or scenes in which I'll need to do this. I need to remember my original draft was not written in stone. That's why it's called a draft.

– Cat