Party Time!

RT1 Next week I’ll be packing up and moving into the Hyatt Regency for a week of FUN!  The party of the year for readers, authors, publishing industry folks, librarians and book sellers is coming to town and I can’t wait!

On Tuesday, Deeanne Gist and I will join Kathryn Falk (the owner of RT) and together we’ll host a bus load of readers on a tour out to Southfork Ranch, the filming location for the popular television series DALLAS. I thought it’d be fun to give y’all a preview:

100_2155 This is the iconic entrance to the Southfork Ranch. Do you remember seeing J.R. Ewing drive through that gate?

100_2156 This is the ranch house. I thought it was so strange that all the Ewings lived in that single house, especially given that they all seemed to hate one another. Besides, they were rich and could afford to build multiple houses, couldn’t they?

100_2133 This is Jock and Ellie Ewing’s bedroom.

100_2132 And, this is Bobby Ewing’s bedroom. Remember when he was run over and killed, then appeared alive in the shower at the beginning of the next season?  (that dream sequence was highly criticized!)

100_2151 The most famous scene was when J.R. was shot. So fun to see the actual prop used.

RT Conference Shareable graphic_pdf_001 Excited to join fellow Baker Publishing Group authors for a hosted Chocolate Festival for our readers. Hope to see you there!

RT2 On Saturday, nearly 750 authors will be signing books!  The event is open to the public, whether or not you attend the entire convention, so I hope you’ll plan to spend the day with us!

During the RT Booklover’s Convention, I’ll be tweeting and posting photos on Instagram and Facebook, so be watching!  That way, even if you can’t travel to Dallas, you can still be part of the big party!

(P.S. – Take a peek over at my CONTEST tab for a chance to win a complimentary one year digital subscription to RT Book Review magazine!)

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Relax!

relax_massage I am writing to meet a deadline these days, which means I often spend ten to twelve hours parked in front of my computer with my fingers on the keyboard. I’m not complaining. I adore my writing career and nothing is more fun than watching a story form and take off.

That said, the physical act of all those hours can wreak havoc on my body. Often, I have to ice my wrists and hands. My feet swell. My back aches. And that’s on a good day.

I’ve learned a trick though. When I’m in the thick of the manuscript, when my entire being begins to feel like a sack of mashed spuds (can you tell I grew up in Idaho?) I head for a massage. While expensive, the money is well spent. After a massage, I just feel better. The tension in my muscles is gone and I no longer hurt.

So . . . yesterday was one of those days. I’d hit my limit and decided to drag my poor muscles and joints off to get worked on.  But never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined what would happen over the next hours.

My regular massage therapist was unexpectedly out, with no replacement available. Upon recommendation, I went to a little shop nearby–one that smelled like a lotus flower as you walked in, where the proprietors smiled widely and waved you inside without speaking much English.  They answered my questions by nodding a lot.

Well, I have to say . . . the little woman who sat me in a reclining chair and soaked my feet in a tub of warm, fragrant water knew her stuff. In next to no time, I felt stress leave my body.

Soon, she moved me into a tiny room curtained off for the table portion of the session. Now, I’m a very private person . . . never remove my clothes.  I just don’t feel comfortable. Thankfully, she seemed absolutely fine with that.

Once settled, face down, I again came to appreciate the woman’s talents. And then . . . 

Relaxing_Massage_at_caring_hands_massages Is she climbing up on the table?

What is she doing?

Oh, my goodness . . . she can’t be. She isn’t!

Yup . . . I had a tiny Asian woman standing on my back!

Couldn’t help it. I giggled. And try as I might, I couldn’t stop. She nearly slipped off.

She stopped taking tiny steps and said, “Aye, aye, aye–no laughing!”

And of course, I couldn’t stop.

So, there you have it folks!  If you find a similar scene in some upcoming book, you’ll know where the idea came from. I hope you RELAX and ENJOY it!

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A Fresh Start

New-year-image I love new beginnings! And there’s no better time to turn the page and start new than at the first of the year.

In 2014, I primarily blogged with several fellow authors over at Southern Belle View. It was so fun to get to know some of the best authors in the business and to connect with the readers there. But frankly, I often found myself missing posting here. So  going forward, this is where you’ll find me.

With a busy publishing year ahead, I elected to focus on some NEW things. We’ll be releasing two books this year:  WHERE RIVERS PART in February and A REASON TO STAY in October. I’ll be appearing at PULPWOOD QUEENS on an author panel later this month and co-hosting a special tour out to Southfork Ranch (film site of the Dallas television show) in conjunction with the big RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION in May.

ENTER TO WIN!

ENTER TO WIN!

On top of that, we’ve started something new and really fun . . . MONTHLY CONTESTS!  We wanted to do something that would get the word out about these books in a way that would include my readers and provide an opportunity for you to win some really neat prizes. I hope you enjoy this . . . and I think you do, because in the first week of the January contest, nearly 300 of you entered!  You can find out all about the SPA PACKAGE GIVE-AWAY by going to the CONTEST tab on this website.

I’m also going to be blogging here every Monday, often featuring other popular authors or people who I find interesting. I hope you’ll check back often. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletters (to the left of this post) because there will be some big announcements coming soon!

Thank you to each one of you who have purchased and read my books. Each time you do so, you send the message to my publisher that you want them to sign me for another book. I appreciate that, and all the supportive emails and Facebook messages you send, more than I can possibly express.

Here’s to 2015 and beyond!

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Pioneer Storytellers

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”       ~Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

images Don’t you love that quote?

It’s true, isn’t it . . . that well-told stories define us? Much of who we are is formed by the stories we’ve read in books, watched on the big screen, or the ones we’ve listened to while sitting around a campfire.

When I was young, I read A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE by Barbara Bradford Taylor and decided I wanted my own life to matter. I read GO ASK ALICE and determined I would not entertain myself with drugs. I turned the pages of MR. AND MRS. BO JO JONES and learned that a few minutes of reckless pleasure could change your lifetime. These stories shaped me.

Stories matter.

So do storytellers.

Today, I want to highlight a few brave-spirited storytellers who made decisions to tell their stories on their own terms. These are “indy authors.”

In this volatile and ever-changing publishing environment, these brave authors released the tight grip on traditional publishing, instead stepping into that role and bringing their stories to readers solo. And, they are succeeding.

These authors have my admiration for their business acumen and pioneer spirits. I’m delighted to introduce each of these talented writing friends by sharing their answers to one single question:

WHY DO YOU LOVE BEING A NOVELIST?

Harris Barbara Harris, writing under the pen name Leann Harris (her website):

“I love being a novelist because I can tell stories I love, never put on make-up or drive any where, and do I job I know I was supposed to do.”

 

 

 

Deese Nicole Deese (her website):

“I love being a novelist because it gives me an outlet for all the crazy voices talking in my head.”

 

 

 

 

Buffaloe Lisa Buffaloe (her website):

“I love being a novelist because fiction opens doors beyond traditional non-fiction writing. Novels allow the reader to go on a journey. Readers are given opportunities to laugh, cry, and walk alongside characters, hopefully leaving with a good read and a story that touches their hearts.”

 

 

Matayo Amy Matayo (her website):

“The thing I love most about being a novelist is that I can wear yoga pants daily, shower only occasionally, remain make-up free if I wish, and readers will never know. I rarely do this, but it’s nice to know the option is always there.”

 

 

 

Stimpson Michelle Stimpson (her website):

“The thing I most love about being a novelist is that what I have to do and what I want to do are the same thing.”

 

 

 

 

Carroll Patricia “PacJac” Carroll (her website):

“The thing I most love about being a novelist is the joy of discovering story. The surprise twists and hidden secrets of the characters and how it comes together to entertain and encourage readers.  And me.”

 

 

Castle Jackie Castle (her website):

“The thing I most love about being a novelist is: I’ve never been much of a public speaker, or even outspoken. Writing offers me the chance to put a voice to my thoughts and beliefs.”

 

 

 

I hope you’ll check out these authors and their books! You can follow them on social media (follow links on their websites) and sign up for their newsletters.

Don’t forget to check out my recent release, A WOMAN OF FORTUNE (Baker/Revell)!

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW BOOK VIDEO FOR A WOMAN OF FORTUNE

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW BOOK VIDEO FOR A WOMAN OF FORTUNE

 

A Blog Hop!

A blog hop is like a giant game of tag to help readers discover authors who are new to them. For this hop, authors are answering 10 questions about what we’re working on now. This week, I’m it.

I was tagged by Christa Allen. Visit her blog to see who else she tagged. At the end of this post, I’ll tag more authors who will be joining the hop next week. Follow the hop long enough and you’re bound to find books you’ll love!

Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

I just signed a four-book contract with Baker Publishing Group and am in the middle of writing the first manuscript.  A little boring, but the working title is Book One. (smiles)

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who worked on many high profile cases, including the Jack-in-the-Box e-coli litigation in the mid-nineties and the largest cattle fraud case in the United States.  People are often at their most vulnerable in these tense situations where much is at stake, giving me a unique perspective on the human psyche.  Early in my legal career, I recognized there could be value in telling stories about women facing relationship fractures, betrayal, and loss and how we often exhibit strength and dignity in these journeys.

Each of the four books I’ve just contracted with have elements of these cases.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Women’s fiction.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Before I start writing a word on a new story, I create a notebook with photos of my characters, houses, cities etc featured in my book. For my current manuscript, a photo of Sandra Bullock is the main character. I also included photos of Reece Witherspoon, Joan Rivers, and Ben Affleck.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I can’t disclose details yet, but let’s just say readers who watch the popular television show DALLAS will love this story!

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

Revell/Baker Publishing Group is the publisher. I’m represented by MacGregor Literary.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m writing now.  Last night at about midnight, I closed the screen down, thinking “I love this story!”

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Any reader who loves Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, Elin Hilderbrand will be drawn to my stories. I write poignant and emotionally-compelling stories about women in life changing circumstances.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I worked a court case for a couple of years that involved the largest cattle fraud in the nation, at that time. Certain elements from that case will serve as a backdrop to this next story.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Readers often say my debut novel, MOTHER OF PEARL, had them glued to the pages, not able to put the story down. I think readers will find this next story will keep them reading non-stop as well!

Below you will find the authors who will be joining the blog hop next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark them and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading!

Lisa Wingate

Lynne Gentry