Monday, April 24, 2017

Life Experiences Create Emotional Stories

Psst …Want to know a secret?

Does it come as a surprise to know authors put things from their lives into their work? It isn’t done to be silly or self-centered. I do this because it fits my story. Here’s my secret: my fictional town of Sommerville is patterned on the neighborhood I live in. In many ways, it’s almost like living in a small town.

For example: my heroine from “Raving Beauty,” Kelly, is struggling home in the pouring rain with a cast on her leg. If she takes the short cut through the flowers, she’ll be out of her misery quicker. It’s easy to say “she cut through the flower bed.”

Rounding the corner, I took the shortcut and struggled through the flower bed of Indian hawthorn and Knock Out rose bushes into my apartment's parking lot.

And an apartment complex I once lived in had flower beds filled with Indian Hawthorne shrubs and Knock-out red roses. Made sense to put these plants in the story, and for the reader, these things paint a picture which makes the storytelling more realistic.

So back to the girl in the cast…

I once had a cast on my leg. I stepped into an unfilled hole and ripped my ankle. The doctor surprised me and said I would be having one. It wasn’t the first time I’d injured that joint. The first was during half-time at a football game while performing a high kick routine. My leg came down, my foot slipped on the damp grass. Crumpling, I heard a pop-pop-pop and then giant pain. (I soldiered on and limped off the field with the rest of the dance team.)

I needed an injury for my heroine. It’s no surprise when her high heel slips into a divot in the hardwood floor, and she sails off the stage with torn ligaments.

As my heel caught another divot, grace abandoned me. With a pop-pop-pop, my ankle bowed cockeye, and this time, my worst nightmare came true. I tumbled over the edge of the stage.

My friend stepped on an unlevel manhole cover and messed her ankle up so badly, she required an operation. She became my expert on all things to repair it—surgery, recovery, pain, etc.

          He elevated my foot by the heel and slanted his head, examining. "Possibly torn tibiofibular ligaments."
          Again. I sighed.
          "Same injury you had on the football field when doing the high kick at half-time during our senior year—right, Kel?" Maggie asked. “Your foot slipped on the damp grass, slid, and you collapsed on top of it.”

I’m certainly not an expert in all topics. However, my experiences worked well for this story, and in them comes feelings, feelings I can put in the work and make it better. Make it realistic. Full of emotion. And a satisfying read.

A nice blurb: What if the love of your life was in front of you all along?
It began innocently with a few margaritas… Kelly Stinson is persuaded to represent Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse in the Chamber of Commerce’s beauty contest. After an unexpected swan dive off stage, her heart goes pitter patter over the orthopedic surgeon who repaired her ripped up ankle.

Daniel Ackerman has always had the hots for his twin sister’s best friend. Much to his dismay, her doctor has taken notice of the dark-haired beauty and invaded his territory. That’s about to change when he moves in to help Kelly recover physically and open her eyes to what’s been in front of her all along.

Preorder “Raving Beauty” in the Just You and Me boxed set for only $0.99 at:
iBooks

Find Vicki at:

Did I mention I’d been a beauty contestant—twice?? Lol. What do you prefer-small towns or big cities?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Free National Park Entrance

Grand Teton National Park
During 2017 ten days have been set aside as free admission days into all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee. Two have already past, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16) and Presidents' Day (February 20), but there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy our National Parks for free. National Park week is April 15 to 23, 2017 and to celebrate, the weekends are free, so get out to a Park April 22-23 and explore. Other free days to watch for include:

  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm

Big Bend National Park

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Three Kindle Adventures for the Price of One

Experience epic adventures in the great outdoors with Marked In Mexico, Big Horn Storm, and Deadly Exodus, all for one low price with a Kindle Boxed Set. Whether Mayan ruins and jungle adventures, daring horseback escapes in the stunning and rugged mountains of Wyoming, or a run for the border through the desert southwest to leave a dystopian America behind peek your interest, you’ll find what you’re looking for in these romantic adventure novels. Oh, and did I mention hunky heroes? Meet ex-Army Ranger Jack, the future’s male perfection, Ethan, and one smoking- hot cowboy named Deuce.

The Kindle boxed set is only $3.99 and can be found on Amazon at http://amzn.to/1cX2bho

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I just finished an adventure novel from one of my favorite best-selling authors. It had a cavern cave-in scene that kind of reminded me of one I wrote in Shrouded in Secrets. There’s nothing more terrifying than being trapped underground, unless as in Cash’s case, being drug out of the crumbling cavern by a terrified mule. Here’s a scene from Shrouded in Secrets.
Cash yanked the closest timber and caught the bundle as it fell. The ceiling groaned and rocks dislodged in a hail storm as he ran toward the first pit. He cleared the hole with room to spare, landed on his feet and kept running, hunched over. The sound of gunfire grew louder as he neared the sharp turn in the tunnel.
As soon as he rounded the corner, he was forced to lie down and shimmy forward. He pulled himself along the ground with one arm while holding his prize tight to his side with the other. He scooted past the second pit and slowed as he reached the exit. He set the bundle down, planning to retrieve it once he neutralized the threat. At the moment, he needed his hand on his gun more than the rotted leather wrap.
He was in a vulnerable position. If he just stuck his head out, it could very well get shot off, but he had to do something. Inching closer to the mouth of the cavern, the gunfire stopped, leaving an eerie quiet. He strained to hear sounds to clue him in on the situation, but silence ruled.
Suddenly the slack went out of the forgotten rope tied around his waist, tightening, forcing all the air out of his lungs, propelling him into motion. The momentum yanked him out into the daylight in a blur, dislodging his gun somewhere in the process. The speed in which he was being drug up the steep hill, across the rocks, brush, and cacti on his belly grew with each painful moment. Cash struggled to retrieve the knife from its sheath at his side, but found accomplishing the task impossible as his body bounced over the rough terrain with the rope cutting into his skin.
He abandoned all attempts to reach his blade and covered his head with his arms as he sped toward a sturdy shrub. Branches snapped and flew through the air as he scraped over the bush. Blood ran down his hands and forearms, but at least he successfully protected his skull. Fumbling, Cash finally managed to free his knife. He sawed frantically at the taut rope, realizing the mule pulling him was running full out for the lip of another steep gorge.

The ultra-strong high-tech filament line gave way, and his body skidded to an abrupt halt. He glanced up in time to see the mule disappear over the ledge, dust and rocks flying up behind frantic hooves as the terrified animal fled the danger.

Origin of Easter

With all the commercial hype surrounding the Easter Bunny, chocolates galore, and hunting brightly colored eggs it’s easy to forget the true origins of Easter. Easter is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to Christians it is the most revered day of the year. Though the birth of Christ is extremely important, to Christians, the resurrection offers the hope of everlasting life.

Most people will celebrate this spring holiday with a combination of religious and commercial traditions. However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful and meaningful Easter surrounded by family and friends

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Adventure Inspirations – Break From the Routine

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”

- Wildred Peterson- 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Adventure Scapbook - Wooden Boats in Bamberg Germany

Maybe I have a thing for wooden boats. A couple posts back I posted a photograph of a ladja (local wooden boat) that I saw while exploring the wetlands of the Neretva River delta about an hour from Dubrovnik, Croatia. So, keeping with the wooden boat theme, here’s a picture I took in Bamberg, Germany.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Days to Remember



Do April showers really bring May flowers? We’ll have to wait and see. So far this spring has been pretty darned dry. But, what we can count on are a few recognized dates including:
April 9 – Palm Sunday
April 10 - Passover (begins and sundown and lasts eight days)
April 14 - Good Friday
April 15 – Income Taxes are due
April 16 – Easter
April 17 – Patriot’s Day
April 22 – Earth Day in the U.S.

April 28 – Arbor Day

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why I love #Fiction

The Merriam Webster definition of fiction is, “something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically: an invented story.” To me this means that fiction is limited only by the author’s imagination. As long as the story conveys its intended message or in the case of my romantic suspense and adventure novels, entertains the reader, almost anything goes. One of my favorite movies is, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This story is riddled with implausible and unrealistic scenes, but to me it doesn’t matter—it makes me laugh, it makes me smile, it reminds me to live life, just don’t sit around and dream about. This is why I love fiction. So the next time you pick up a novel go all in. Don’t worry about if something can really happen, just relax your mind and let yourself be entertained.