“Your Every Move” is coming soon.

your every move 500x750.72dpi

Nothing is working out like she planned. 
Amanda Cook doesn’t know who is following her or why. She is just a simple college student planning out her future, working at the neighborhood taco shop and living with her great aunt. 
When her best friend’s cousin, Mitch, arrives in town he immediately steals her heart, but someone else wants it more. Her paranoia grows when she spots the same car at odd places around town and starts getting strange letters in the mail. 
One night after class, a man tackles Amanda and wrestles her to the ground. As she fights for her life, she has the heartbreaking realization that her stalker could possibly be someone she knows.

2017 – What will you bring?

Last year was challenging for many, but there were lots of good parts, too. Family. Friends. Good Memories. Good conversations. Good books. Good food. See, it’s not all been bad.

We have a new year upon us. How is it going so far?

With ignited enthusiasm, I’m writing and editing like crazy. Hopefully, that will translate to a new book out soon. I tried the agent search method the past six months with nibbles but no bites. So, again I will adjust my path back to the smaller, independent publishers out there. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m going through “Every Move You Make” and doing what I hope are final edits, after sharing it with my critique group and other writing buddies, whose opinions I respect.

For those of you readers who are looking for another book in the feisty family series, I will resume working on it next. I have a good start beginning five years after “Patchwork Family” ends. The kids are growing up, Peggy has her own cafe business with Tom in the kitchen and Tillie supplying the desserts. Tad is in college and Megan is in high school and thinking college might not be what she wants. But we all know she is the most book-smart of the kids and Peggy is concerned her little sister is going on the wrong track. Oh, and did I mention Megan may be in the midst of her first crush?

That is all for later.

Let me tell you a little about “Every Move You Make, I’ll Be Watching.” Just like the song Sting sang in the 80’s, someone is watching Amanda Cook – at work, at home, at school, everywhere she goes. At eighteen she’s a bit oblivious since she has her own inner struggles with the departure of her parents, the relationships with her best friends Sarah and Andrew, as well as her first love, Mitch Roman. Even though Amanda has the adorable Great Aunt Faye to live with she feels lonely and afraid of the future. I’d better stop before I spoil the surprises in store for readers and Amanda in this New/Young Adult novel.

Sorry, I haven’t blogged much the past year. (I’ve been really busy editing and looking for an agent.) You can find writers advice from me and other talented authors on Author Expressions blog. I post there once a month. It’s a good place for writers to hang out and find support.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed the two feisty family novels I’ve published so far and will be patient while I make my next stories even better.

Good luck to us all in 2017.

November where are you?

Okay, what happened to November? It was here and now it’s gone.surprise

I looked back at the calendar to see just why and it appears to have been inordinately busy, with family visiting, holidays, and birthdays. All good things. Is it my imagination or does time go faster as you mature? I suppose scientifically it does not – but it appears to, none the less.

There’s always something that needs to be done – but do we make good choices? I confess I don’t always. Do we make time for the things that truly matter? I hope so. Some things can wait another day, like dusting and laundry. But sharing a conversation or coffee with friends are important. Make time for them.

Our children grow up, move away and have families of their own. Soon the grandchildren are grown as well. Time does not stop or slow down for any of us, no matter how much we want it to. Some days I am amazed how much time has passed in my life then I think of all things I’ve experienced and realize it’s been not only productive but incredible.

Will things slow down in December? Doubtful. Will I enjoy it? Absolutely. I’d like to repeat myself – make time for the things that matter and have a healthy, happy December.

Santa reading

Summer colds & the magic of storytelling

mature_womanI hate summer colds. When it’s raining and icy outside I anticipate I’ll get the flu or a virus, but not when it’s hot out. I don’t know why. This past weekend my hubby and I spent it sleeping, reading, eating soup, and binge watching House of Cards (Netflix). We saw a couple other great movies on HBO, too.

The book I just finished was one of JD Robb’s Death mysteries and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s something amazing about an author who can write so many stories about the same characters and keep bringing something new and inventive into the story. Certainly, there are always new characters and murder situations, but the main characters keep evolving and that makes the story even better. It’s set in the not so distant future, say forty years from now and much of life is the same. But getting real coffee and real meat is a challenge and only reserved for the wealthy. Pepsi comes in a tube. And while cars can elevate and fly, they don’t often so we don’t have to worry about suspending disbelief – it could happen.

Do you ever wonder why movies and television shows have exploded and there are so many channels to choose from? (Money for one, but the other is – storytelling keeps us going.) Since many channels show reruns I don’t see how they all survive, but they do, and not everyone has access to all the same stations. What makes these forms of entertainment so popular is the story. We’re captured by the actors, the scenes, the special effects, the music, the drama/comedy/adventure. We are transported into that story, maybe even flying through space on the starship Enterprise as the Romulans attack. I recently saw “Brooklyn” and I was transported to Ireland and then New York City (Brooklyn) during the 1950’s. The cars, the clothes, the music, the hairstyles, the language (love Irish accents) let me be there while I watched the story unfold.

Isn’t that the same thing we want when we read a book? We readers want to slip between the pages, into the time and place, along with the hero and antagonist, so we can experience this new world we’re reading about. I recently read “The Citadel” by Kate Mosse and I have to tell you – I wanted to be in France, but NOT during the 1940’s. The German occupation of France was horrific. Kate Mosse made the time and place come to life.

We authors want our stories to draw readers in and hold them there until the end. When it happens, it’s magical. When the moving pictures in your head get transferred accurately on the page and into the reader’s imagination – we soar with joy. We take the reader along with us and hope their experience is satisfying. Not every story will resonate with every person – but when it does – it is true magic.  One of my readers sent me a message saying she had seen my character, “Annabelle” on the street in town.  Feisty Family Values and particularly Annabelle had come to life for her. That’s what I call MAGIC. Another reader wrote me that she hated Regina in the first book but really liked her in the second. She said she was glad she wasn’t such a bitch anymore. It made me laugh and gave me a sense of pride as well. The character of Regina came to life for her.

I hope none of you out there get summer colds, but if you do – drink lots of fluids, sleep lots, read and get well soon.

Editing my fingers to the bone.

Sorry, I’ve not been posting regularly lately, but I’ve been editing, editing and editing some more. The 1970’s YA novel is now a 1980’s YA novel because the youth today know the 80’s references and so do their parents. So, the story can promote discussion….YES!

The new title is “Every Move You Make: I’ll Be Watching” and yes it has suspense, romance, betrayal, friendship, obsession and abandonment, not necessarily in that order.

tvSTAY TUNED!!

Notable Quotes

Habit is the bed of creativity. Tuck yourself in. ~Stephen King

Have a goal – die trying. ~Karl Marx

Inspiration is everywhere – carry a notebook. ~Victor Hugo

Follow your zen. ~Herman Melville

The is no ideal environment to work in. ~William Faulkner

Finish. ~James Joyce

seasonsoflife

Helen Keller quote

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.The odors of fruits waft me to my southern home, to my childhood frolics in the peach orchard. Other odors, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart to dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief. Even as I think of smells, my nose is full of scents that start awake sweet memories of summers gone and ripening fields far away.”

tulips

smell is the most distinctive memory

Patchwork Family on SALE now

A ton of entertainment for less than two bucks!

$1.99 Patchwork Family – from 2/1/16 – 2/15/16 on all ebook platforms (Amazon, Kobo, BN, Google, Apple). I love sales. Take advantage of this offer and enjoy a fun romp with a feisty bunch of ladies and their families.

patchwork_family_on_table

Interview with Vicki Hinze

I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to introduce fellow Belle Books author: Vicki Hinze. She’s an interesting person and great author. So read on, my friends…

What parts of you and your background feed your imagination?

I’ve always been a “what if” and “why” kind of person, with one foot planted in the clouds and the other firmly on the ground. My imagination is active. It seems natural to spin out scenarios—my mother and I played games like that when I was a child. My favorite part was to take the illogical and impossible and make it not only possible but believable and almost inevitable.

I guess those things, going back so far into my past, are so deeply ingrained, I’d feel naked without them.

Tell us a little about the very first story you remember writing?

It was a story about a bird who couldn’t fly because she was a tiny girl bird deemed too fragile to fly. She discovered she wasn’t fragile but strong, and that she could fly (or do anything she wanted) if she worked at learning how. At the end, she learned and soared!

Creative people are often creative in other ways, besides writing what else does the muse encourage you to do?

I used to do oil paintings. Flowers and landscapes mostly. I have a serious fondness for irises. And—don’t laugh—I love remodeling. There’s something powerful about knocking down walls. I have admittedly gotten carried away with one project after another until Hubby pled with me for a six-month moratorium. I agreed, but boy was it hard.

What genre(s) do you like to write?

I like them all, except horror, and have written in them all, except horror. My favorite is a hybrid novel with elements of suspense, mystery and romance. If a book has all three, I’m in heaven writing it—or reading it.

Tell us a little about your novel, its plot and the main character(s).

Beyond the Misty Shore is a light paranormal romance. (Romance, suspense and mystery, of course, with a light paranormal element for extra fun.) It’s about TJ MacGregor and Maggie Wright, who discover at Seascape Inn in Maine that they’re linked by an accident that caused the death of Maggie’s cousin and TJ’s fiancé. TJ doesn’t want a relationship with Maggie, and feels himself falling for her, but he’s unable to leave the inn. He’s held their by supernatural forces, though he doesn’t know why. Neither does Maggie, who doubts his being held there isn’t a trick of the mind until she witnesses TJ’s challenge firsthand. Both are wounded, broken, and struggling to find their feet. And forces conspire at the inn to offer them the chance to heal and find not just their feet but their hearts.

Many have said they found the story uplifting and inspiring. That’s how it struck me, too. I love the Seascape books.

Are any of the characters like you and if so in what way?

I’m chuckling here, wondering at the wisdom of admitting it. In their own way, they’re skeptics and stubborn, slow to be convinced and to change their minds. I think we’re alike in those things, but I honestly don’t think those things are bad. Actually, they can be amusing. I found myself amused often writing these two and then again later when reading them.

What genre(s) or author(s) do you like to read?

Suspense, romance and mystery genres. And thrillers. Love thrillers, provided they’re not gory. I don’t like gore. But the books that worm into my heart are healing books with elements of suspense, mystery and romance. Love those immensely.

Where and when do you find the best ideas or inspiration for your stories?

Ideas are everywhere! Boardrooms, bathrooms, overheard snippets of conversations overheard anywhere. My best ideas seem to come when I’m a) in the shower. Naturally, you don’t have a pen there, right? And b) grocery stores. Which proves God has a sense of humor because I don’t cook. If I’m stuck, I go to the grocery store. Ideas are all over there. And if none are the right ideas for what I’m after, I go to my kitchen table.

Growing up, my dad told me that 99% of genius was created at the kitchen table. So if I can’t see my way ahead (in writing or life), I go to the kitchen table to seek answers. They come. I’m not sure if it’s because I believe they will or because I’m so focused on finding answers when I’m there, but they always come.

If there was a message you could share with other writers what would it be?

If you can quit writing, do it. If you love it, you won’t be able to quit, and that’s the fastest way to find out if you’re a writer. Writing demands sacrifices—a lot of them—so you need to know quickly whether or not in it you’ll find and follow your bliss. This is the shortest route to doing so I’ve found.

Where can readers go to learn more about you and your work?

To my website. http://www.vickihinze.com. There you’ll find all kinds of information, chapter previews, blogs, newsletters, videos, and podcasts. More than even my mother would want to know. J

Thanks so much for your interest in me and my books. I hope you’ll enjoy all three of the Seascape novels.

After I’d written the first one, I received a number of letters from readers wanting to book a trip to Seascape Inn. I have to tell you, I’ve felt that way myself many times.

(It’s my pleasure, Vicki!)

Vicki_HinzeRaised in New Orleans, Vicki Hinze began writing before Kindergarten but her journey to writing books included a lot of corporate pitstops. Eventually, she settled in and her first novel landed an array of awards and on the bestseller list. With nearly 40 books published, she’s been back many times with awards in multiple genres and appearances on multiple bestseller lists, including USA TODAY. Vicki is recognized by Who’s Who in the World as an author and an educator and is best known for chilling suspense, trailblazing, and creating series that genre-blend. Her works include suspense, mystery and romance. Since 1994, this former VP of International Thriller Writers has written heavily about military and military families and in nearly all genres except horror. Hinze is a Floridian married to a former Hurricane Hunter/Special Operations Officer. She constantly pushes the boundaries on existing genres, opening the door for new novel blends.