Wednesday, February 07, 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





Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fun with Words

The Washington Post's Mensa invitational once again asked readers to take 
 any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing
 one letter, and supply a new definition.   Here are the 2009 winners:                                               
                                                                           
 1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject 
 financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.                   
                                                                           
 2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.                 
                                                                           
 3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you 
 realize it was your money to start with.                                 
                                                                           
 4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.                   
                                                                           
 5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright 
 ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign
 of breaking down in the near future.                                     
                                                                           
 6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of     
 getting laid.                                                             
                                                                           
 7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.                   
                                                                           
 8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person 
 who doesn't get it.                                                       
                                                                           
 9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.   
                                                                           
 10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)   
                                                                           
 11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these     
 really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like,
 a serious bummer.                                                         
                                                                           
 12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day       
 consuming only things that are good for you.                             
                                                                           
 13. Glibido : All talk and no action.                                     
                                                                           
 14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they
 come at you rapidly.                                                     
                                                                           
 15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've 
 accidentally walked through a spider web.                                 
                                                                           
 16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your 
 bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.                   
                                                                           
 17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the
 fruit you're eating.                                                     
                                                                           
The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its    should 
 yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings   
 for common words.  And the winners are:
                                                                                                             
                                                                           
 1. Coffee , n. The person upon whom one coughs.                           
                                                                           
 2. Flabbergasted , adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has   
 gained.                                                                   
                                                                           
 3. Abdicate , v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.       
                                                                           
 4. Esplanade , v.. To attempt an explanation while drunk.                 
                                                                           
 5. Willy-nilly , adj. Impotent.                                           
                                                                           
 6. Negligent , adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a 
 nightgown.                                                               
                                                                           
 7. Lymph , v. To walk with a lisp.                                       
                                                                           
 8. Gargoyle , n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.                               
                                                                           
 9. Flatulence , n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been   
 run over by a steamroller.                                               
                                                                           
 10. Balderdash , n. A rapidly receding hairline.                         
                                                                           
 11. Testicle , n. A humorous question on an exam.                         
                                                                           
 12. Rectitude , n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
                                                                                                                                     
 13. Pokemon , n.. A Rastafarian proctologist.                             
                                                                           
 14. Oyster , n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms. 
                                                                           
 15. Frisbeetarianism , n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up 
 onto the roof and gets stuck there.                                       
                                                                           
 16. Circumvent , n. An opening in the front of jockey shorts worn by     
 Jewish men

— Cat

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