Friday, March 29, 2013

Lions, Lambs and Setting the Scene

Well, the first part of the old saying for March, “In like a lion and out like a lamb,” is certainly holding true, but with the first day of Spring already past and the month nearly over I’ve only caught fleeting glimpses of the lamb. 

I admit I’m a bit of a weather junkie. I have a snow pack data and several National Weather Service sites bookmarked in my favorites which I check daily.  I find weather and climate fascinating and from a writer’s perspective weather conditions help set the scene and can ratchet up the tension. Is an approaching blizzard or tornado forcing action that normally could have waited? Did an unexpected deluge take out the only bridge for miles? Has the hurricane turned a romantic outing into the fight to stay alive? Is the situation made more terrifying by a major power outage? And, on a more subtle front, weather conditions and seasons dictate small nuances like what the characters are wearing, if the windows in the house are open,  and what kind of activities are taking place, such as chaining up a vehicle, surfing, picnicking or gardening. When setting the scene for your novel it is essential to factor in the weather. Those natural elements can help create a romantic outing or throw up a formidable obstacle to survival. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Creative Writing Process and Adventure Stories

This week I’ll be featured on Mary Lou Writes.  Mary’s website and blog are dedicated to the creative writing process and other writing-related topics. Mary is the author of Escape to Big Fork Lake, an inspirational romantic mystery. Find out more about my three most recent novels, Marked in Mexico, Desperate Dreams and Big Horn Storm and meet my gracious blog hostess at

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cheap Ebooks and Other Promotions

Daughter of the King, by Carlene Havel, is undergoing a promotion and is currently reduced to 99 cents and being featured by EReader News Today. Please check it out at

Marked in Mexico was featured last week on Ereader News Today and is still discounted to just 99 cents on Amazon, though I’m not sure for how much longer.

And lastly, Desperate Dreams is featured on the home page of, which is a new source for artists of all genres to share their talent. My profile page is located at:  Desperate Dreams and Big Horn Storm are indexed under 'Books / Fiction' on the Human Made website or can be found at:  and

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Adventure Flicks from Novels

Last weekend I watched Sahara on DVD for probably the tenth time. No matter how many times I see that movie I laugh, enjoy the exotic adventure and ask everyone in the room, “Why don’t they make more of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels into movies?”  I’ve read most of the Dirk Pitt series and each one has the potential to become a great action adventure flick.

I’m sure there are many valid reasons why the movie industry puts out so many remakes, animated features and movies based on video games and comic books, but surely there is still a market for great adventures featuring rough, rugged, yet sometimes amusing and flawed heroes like Indian Jones and Dirk Pitt and realistic, independent, strong and resourceful heroines.  

There’s plenty of fodder for such scripts in the myriad of novels available. In fact, how about a contemporary western adventure set in rugged mountain country combining a too-close-to-home military crisis spawned by a coalition of foreign enemies past, present and future, a tragic accident, a terrifying bear encounter, harrowing heart-stopping horseback escapes and an attempt to reconcile the past in an action-packed thriller? Well, I’m not holding my breath waiting for Hollywood to call, but you can find out if the rugged rancher and the sheepherder’s granddaughter can survive the wrath of determined invaders and rekindle lost love in Big Horn Storm.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Gold

This St. Patrick’s Day weekend join Prism Book Group on the Irish Gold Blog Hop where characters from your favorite Prism books answer the question: what are you wishing for at the end of your rainbow? 

To get started go to and follow the links to hop around this St. Patrick’s Day Themed bog tour. But first, make sure to comment on the Prism Blog for your chance to WIN a $10 gift certificate to Amazon and your choices of a print or eBook copy of Sarah: A Mission in Love by Gay N. Lewis.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Hop along to find out how to win more prizes, including an $85 gift card, a swag pack, books, and lots of other goodies! Visit for more information. 

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy a wonderful and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bargain Books on Ereader News Today

When paradise turns deadly, flee into the jungle and fight for your life!

Marked in Mexico is featured on Ereader News Today and available for just .99 through Amazon for two days only, Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15.  Please check out the article on Ereader NewsToday and click “like” if you like finding out about quality bargain books for your Kindle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Want to Feel Good?

Like a Lily by Victoria Pitts-Caine is a wonderfully sweet romance. The characters are well-developed and very likable. If you like sweet or inspirational romance or just want to feel good at the end of a story I highly recommend this novella.

To learn more about Victoria and Like a Lily, visit Prism Book Group.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Exciting New Release for Adventure Lovers

Check this out. This story sounds interesting and the cover and promo really drew me in.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Defining Genre in the Digital Age

Having a well-defined genre has always been important. This label shows book stores where to shelve books and readers where to find them. Most stores have limited shelf space, so unless it’s a genre-specific bookstore, the categories can be fairly broad, such as non-fiction, romance or literary fiction.  Today, with the option of online bookstores, finding that perfect book among the millions available is more daunting than ever.

But, the reasons for having a clearly-defined genre go even further.  Knowing where your book belongs is the first step in developing a marketing plan. The genre and sub-genre define who might be interested in the book and helps the author to direct information to appropriate agents, editors or readers. Sometimes defining the genre is obvious. My first novel, The Lodge, is a mystery.  Other stories may not lend themselves as well to being pigeon-holed because they contain elements of multiple genres or sub-genres. For instance, my latest novel, Big Horn Storm, is a romance, full of action, suspense and adventure. The book takes place in a mountainous ranching area and horses and cowboys play a starring role. The timing could be tomorrow or ten years from now and the catalyst for much of the action is a military crisis, but I wouldn't categorize it as military fiction. For Big Horn Storm, the bookstore shelving genre is romantic suspense. In developing promotional material I try to be more specific in order to help potential readers narrow down their search. For this purpose I define my novel as a contemporary western romantic adventure. Whether you’re presenting a manuscript to a publisher or promoting a book to a reader the genre is the most important part of the pitch—if you don’t know what your book is, no one else will. So, good luck effectively categorizing your genre-jumping masterpiece into a few well-chosen words. 

Big Horn Storm is available from your favorite online bookstore in trade paperback or ebook and for a limited time ebook downloads are available directly from the publisher, Prism Book Group,  for just .99.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Heart-Strong Review

Heart-Strong by Bonnie McCune  -  Rachel Kinsey is a hard-working single mother. She’s no glamour queen, but she has a big heart, a strong personality and a wholesome look most men find attractive. Jim Landers thinks he knows what he wants and is in no hurry to make a commitment. In the story Rachel must overcome insecurities derived from past rejection as Jim struggles to put aside his preconceived notions of the perfect woman. Heart-Strong is a touching tale about the trials of finding one’s soul mate in today’s world. I enjoyed the story very much.  The characters were realistically flawed and the storyline was contemporary and relatable. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work.