How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in 30 Days by Amy Deardon is the perfect how-to book for the beginning writer as well as the advanced ones. In just under 200 pages, Amy lays out a step-by-step method to help writers complete a rough draft in 30 days.
For the beginner, Amy has included instructions for creating files in Word and for adding tables to a document to aid the writer in keeping track of daily word counts and story preparation. She includes so many tips and suggestions that even the most experienced writers can benefit from this book.
I'm a seat-of-the-pants (SOTP) writer who has morphed into a planster (combination plotter and panster) and found many great ideas I can use to improve my writing production.
As an editor specializing in the beginning writer, I plan on recommending Amy Deardon’s How to Plan, Outline, and Write Your Novel in 30 Days to all of my clients.
I received a copy of this book for review purposes and this is my honest opinion.
Our cat, Vader, is usually standoffish. She'll stay in the room with us but doesn't like to be picked up. During the past month, she has been clingy to me especially, wanting to sit on me or be held by me.
She's been doing similar things to my sister and brother-in-law too, but their dog makes her nervous, so she doesn't stay too long with them. They also get up and move a whole lot more than I do, lol.
I was beginning to get concerned that maybe she was getting ready to pass away. She's about 12 years old. But since I got back from Houston after Summer moved to heaven. I can't keep her off of me.
I realized last night she's trying to comfort me. She realizes how upset I am. Animals are much smarter than we humans give them credit for.
Rebecca Jepson’s My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado: Millie’s Resolve is an enjoyable read. I was drawn to the characters and suffered along with them through their struggles. I believe readers looking for an historical romance will enjoy the story as much as I did.
Thrown into the midst of nursing a patient with an acute case of asthma, Millie Cooper has to choose whether to accept the case and nurse the mother of the man she was in love with and believed she would wed or refuse and possibly let Katherine Drexel die.
To complicate the choice even more, Stephen Drexel has married, his wife is expecting their third child, and Millie would also be expected to attend Florence as she awaits her child’s birth.
John Drexel, the man who forbid her marriage to his brother, insists she accompany him to his home to assist his mother during a severe asthma attack. She puts the patient above her own hesitance and moves into his home. Katherine Drexel resents Millie’s interference, but Millie continues providing care for her and Florence.
As time passes, Millie and John are drawn together but the situation becomes complex when John returns to Philadelphia and Typhoid fever strikes the household.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
My review is my honest opinion.
Dana Mentink’s third book in her Gold Country Cowboys series, Cowboy Bodyguard, is another winner.
This time Jack Thorn and the rest of the Thorn family are embroiled in protecting Jack’s estranged wife, Shannon, and an infant she is caring for from being kidnapped by members of two rival motorcycle gangs—the Tide and the Aces.
The town of Gold Bar becomes the battleground for the war between the Thorns, the Tide, and the Aces. Jack and Shannon battle their personal war at the same time.
Cowboy Bodyguard draws the reader deeper into the Gold Country Cowboy series, allowing us to become more enamored with the strong cowboys that make up the Thorn family. The fourth book in the series will be published soon, and I can’t wait to read it. But, at the same time, it will be sad because the series will come to an end. The members of the Thorn family have become like friends.
Do yourself a favor and read Cowboy Christmas Guardian and Treacherous Trails, if you haven’t already, so you can get the whole picture of the Thorn family.
I received a copy of Cowboy Bodyguard for review purposes in exchange for my honest review, which I have done.
Take my word for it, don’t start reading Top Secret Target by Dana Mentink too late at night. You might end up like me, finally falling asleep at 4:30 a.m.!
I fell in love with Ethan Webb and his K-9 partner, Titus, at first contact. Kendra Bell only added to the anticipation of getting to the end of this episode in Love Inspired Suspense’s series Military K-9 Unit. And Kendra is a cat person! I loved her cat, Baby, as well.
I love Titus’s comical antics and Ethan’s tolerance and reaction to his partner sometimes falling out of his training to do things his own way. Kendra is a strong-willed private investigator hired to help track down a serial killer along with Ethan and Titus. Her past interferes with and complicates their hunt.
The remaining books in the series are written by other authors. I’ve read books by all except two of the writers, so I know the other books will be as gripping. Now to go on a search for the first two books.
I received my copy of Top Secret Target in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Kim Vogel Sawyer keeps getting better with each novel! Beneath a Prairie Moon hits the readers’ emotions on multiple levels at the same time. In this historical romance set in 1888 Kansas, Abby and Mack are searching for the same thing—love—but neither believes it can ever be found.
Abby works for Helena as an assistant to her at a matchmaking business because Helena has been unable to find a match for Abby that would stick. Helena has a large problem to solve in a small Kansas town, Spiveyville. Sixteen men have all requested brides at the same time. Helena insists that Abby accompany her to Spiveyville to teach the men lessons to ready them for their brides.
Mack runs the only hardware store in town and is adamant that the men are wasting their money sending for mail order brides. God is the one to make matches that will stick, like the marriage his parents have. When the two women arrive alone instead of bringing all the prospective brides, Mack thinks they are trying to pull a scam.
Between sunburn, merciless wind, kidnapping, and doubt can Abby and Mack ever find the love God intends them to have?
I received a preview copy of Beneath a Prairie Moon to review. This is my honest opinion.
The waiting is over! Treacherous Trails, book number two in Dana Mentink’s Gold Country Cowboys series, is ready to hit the bookstores.
Ella Cahill, a farrier, and Owen Thorn have known one another forever. When Ella is accused of murder, Owen feels duty bound to help her out of her predicament.
Make sure you start reading Treacherous Trails early in the day or you’ll be awake all night turning pages to find out if Ella and Owen can get themselves out of the mess in which they have become embroiled.
Now to tick off the minutes until book three comes off the press. Which Thorn brother will see action next?
Another new year, 2018, has arrived. With it, came freezing temperatures. Luckily, in my part of East Texas no freezing precipitation arrived with the sub-freezing temps.
Thank goodness, God was watching out for us when our furnace decided to die at 2:00 a.m. on December 29. We called the gas company, and a female technician arrived to check for a gas leak. There wasn't one, so she turned the gas off to the heater. We contacted a local AC/Heat company as soon as they opened and by 4:30 p.m. we had a new unit installed and working. Thank you, Jackie Ford and Robbie. The cats were appreciative of the heat too.
Also, the end of December saw the release of my first solo book/novella, The Bridesmaid Got Waylaid. It is one of six novellas in a collection called Trying Out For Love. I can't wait to read the other five stories in the collection.
Happy New Year, everyone!
My Bear is assisting me tonight...she's curled up on my left arm sleeping, while I try to work. Thank goodness she is mostly on the arm of the recliner because she weighs nine pounds.
Typing one-handed is a skill learned by necessity but does require more editing.
I feel like I've been writing with one hand behind my back for the past three months. I contracted to write a novella for a collection about women who attend an auction to bid on the right to be one of six bridesmaids. The idea originated with an online writing friend who had heard a news story about such a thing and thought it would be cute to see what six different writers could come up with, writing independently.
Why hold an auction? The bride-to-be decides she wants the money for her wedding. Not that she needs it, but because she wants it. She sends invitations to every person she has ever met, who she has any kind of address for at the time.
Why would her 'friends' agree to participate? She is a name in society. If they win a place their positions in the Newport Beach society would be elevated.
My writing buddy, Jayna Aspromonte, met with me in October and we plotted the 20,000 word novella. Loosely, mind you since I'm a panster--a writer who gets an idea and starts writing. No pre-planning, no character arcs, just sit down and write. A plotter lays everything out in detail.
Elaine and I traveled the same way we wrote. We had a destination in mind but how we got there depended on what we saw on our maps--the old-fashioned thingies made from paper with roads on it to guide you.
Oh, the places we would have missed and the adventures that we wouldn't have had if we plotted our course by city, date, and time. I'll have those memories for the rest of my life span and beyond because bits and pieces of all our trips end up in our writings.
Back to the discussion. All I had to do was get the invitation to Colleen (my heroine), have her go to the bridesmaids' auction, and win a spot.
Why couldn't I do that? No idea at the time. I started writing and got nowhere. November came, and I started again using the same basic story line. Nada.
The pressure built. I only had 20k to write. Easy task. After all, I had managed to write 51,000 words once in November during National Novel Writing Month. Two weeks passed and Thanksgiving was nearing along with my December 1 deadline. Panic rose.
Then I did what I should have done to start with...I started praying. At the beginning of Thanksgiving week, I got an insight. A thought from a line in version two hit me. Colleen had taken some extra time in getting to California because she drove and did some sightseeing.
What if I changed her profession from potter to photographer and sent her on that same sightseeing tour, starting the story off in the middle of her adventure?
New file, new beginning. The only thing remaining from the original outline was Colleen Decker, and that she currently lives in Dallas. She had lived in Newport Beach until she was twelve and her parents were killed. Everything else was new.
Now, Colleen found herself on Wyoming Highway 14A, scenic route through the Big Horn Mountains, having car trouble. From there, the story built. And I had fun with the writing.
I had been on Hwy 14A, and we had trouble with Elaine's van, but the problem resolved itself without human interaction. God is a better mechanic than any human.
In Colleen's case, Andrew (Drew) Thomas Murphy came along at the right time.
I got the novella finished, but not by my December 1 deadline. I emailed the publisher to let her know about the delay and continued writing. I emailed the completed file to her on December 12. So now I'm waiting to see if she accepts it, and if it will be included in the novella collection.
I'm still praying. But even if it is rejected by that publisher, I came up with ideas for two more stories. I'll write those and package all three together to submit to a different publisher.
Now, I can come out of my cave and spend more time in the living room, so Bear and the rest of the crew can join me in the recliner again.
Author, editor, quilter.
New Kindle Release
December 21, 2017
The Bridesmaid Got Waylaid
Can be purchased as a single title or in a collection,
Trying Out For Love
with 5 other novellas from Amazon.com
Murder In Maggie Valley
Book 1 of the KEPS Kozy Mystery Series from White Bird Publishing