Tag Archives: Valley of Dreams

New Books to Read – YAY!

Today I have a fun post on creative breakthroughs over at Routines for Writers. You might enjoy it for yourself, or just to see how excited I got over a colorful business plan. LOL!

Speaking of creative breakthroughs, I wanted to share some new books by a few great friends of mine. My friend Mona Hodgson has been writing children’s books since before we met (she’s one of my first writer friends!) and has published over a dozen of them. But she wanted to write adult books, too. In 2010, her dream came true. Two Brides Too Many, the first book in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series, was released by WaterBrook MultnomahToo Rich for a Bride followed in 2011, and The Bride Wore Blue came out in May of this year. On October 2, the fourth and final book, Twice a Bride, will be released.

Today Mona is celebrating the release of her very first book trailer! You get to be among the first people to see it! The trailer is beautifully put together. You’ll want to visit these four sisters yourself. Celebrate with us by picking up a copy of Two Brides Too Many, or finish where you left off if you’ve already started the series. I think you’ll enjoy it. Congratulations, Mona, on your wonderful series and the beautiful book trailer! I can’t wait to see what your next series will be!

You can visit Mona at her web site www.monahodgson.com/ and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Author.Mona.

A few weeks ago, I started my friend Lauraine Snelling’s new Wild West Wind series. Valley of Dreams is book one, about a young woman who is a trick rider and sharpshooter (like Annie Oakley!) who has to start a new life when everything suddenly falls apart. Whispers in the Wind, book two, just came out a few weeks ago.

I also started her new contemporary book, Reunion. I’m only on chapter one, but I like it. Lots of family drama and family secrets.

You can check out the rest of Lauraine’s books on her web site www.laurainesnelling.net and chat with her on Facebook at Facebook.com/lauraine.snelling.

The other series I started and for which I have been eagerly awaiting the next installment is by my friend Janice Cantore. Janice is a former police officer and she writes great books with a female police officer as the lead character. Her newest series is the Pacific Coast Justice series. I read the first book, Accused, as soon as it was released in February. I wrote a review about it here. Abducted is book two and it just came out last month. Avenged is next in the series and will be released in April of 2013.

You can learn more about Janice and her books at her web site www.janicecantore.com and see what else is new at her Facebook page Facebook.com/JaniceCantore.

I hope you found some new books to read here. If you’ve already read some of them, which ones did you like best?

Retreat to Move Forward

I had the best week!!! My friends Lauraine and Kathleen invited me to a writing retreat, just the three of us, and we had a great time!!

We brainstormed until our brains hurt. We helped Lauraine work through a new idea she came up with, adding some really cool twists to it. We helped them both finalize the storyline for the third book in The S.A.V.E. Squad series, and it’s gonna be fun! (Check out the web site! The first book, Dog Daze, came out March 1.)

We also went through my ideas for Love at the Fluff N Fold and made it into both a better book and a far better series than it had been. The series name is The Strays of Loon Lake. Every book will be a romantic comedy where a man and a dog both get rescued, and all the characters are connected. I can’t wait for the first book to come out!

When we were too tired to do any more brainstorming, we did a few fun things. Kathleen read aloud to us one night the first few chapters of Dog Daze. It’s great to hear a book read by the author with all her inflections!

Sometimes we went down to the Lazy River and walked or floated around and talked about whatever. But every time, we’d end up brainstorming again because of something that caught our attention. For instance, on our last poolside trip, we ran into two characters from The Strays of Loon Lake! 

Kathleen elbowed me and said, “Hey, isn’t that Danny standing there?” I looked over her shoulder and, sure enough, this guy was exactly Danny from Love at the Fluff N Fold!

Then as we were going around the Lazy River and waiting to get a second peek at him, we started talking to Tabitha, who will be in books 1 and 2, but will have her own story in book 3. The Tabitha in the pool is from Oregon and I’ve already forgotten her real name – because she’s Tabitha!

Another day we needed a brain break, so we went to Staples. Lauraine has this amazing notebook system from a company called arc. You can pull the pages out of one section and put them in the other section without having to unclasp any binder rings. Just pull up and push down. She loves it so much she offered to buy one for me and Kathleen, too. I LOVE IT!! I used it all week and my three books are totally organized instead of having stuff from all three books all jumbled up in one section. Here it is in a picture of my workspace at the dining room table.

We spent quite a bit of time writing in addition to brainstorming. Lauraine worked on A Place to Belong, book 3 in her Wild West Wind series. Book one of the series, Valley of Dreams, is already out. Kathleen finished the final edits on The Great Cat Caper, book 2 in The S.A.V.E. Squad series. It will be available in September. And I finished the edits on a short story called “Hero in Disguise” that’s set in my superhero world. It’ll be published in an anthology later this summer.

Brainstorming about marketing was more difficult. What works? What doesn’t? How can you tell? I know I have to do a lot more to help romantic comedy readers find Little Miss Lovesick. It’s not only hard to figure out what to do, but how to balance your time between marketing and writing. This week was a writing week, though, so I worked on the second draft of Love at the Fluff N Fold. As a writer, it feels good to write! 🙂

On the last day, we went out to The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday! It was so good. (It’s always good there!) But better than the chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, better than the complimentary hot fudge sundae with a candle and the waiters singing “Happy Birthday” for the whole restaurant to hear, the best part is hanging out with friends you love, who love you back. 🙂

It was an amazing week! God was so generous in every way, blessing us all with so much love and laughter and fun – and helping us get lots of work done!! (Thank you, God!!) I’ll let you all know when Love at the Fluff N Fold comes out. And if you’d like to read more of Lauraine’s and Kathleen’s books, you can go to Lauraine’s web site or The S.A.V.E. Squad web site where Kathleen hangs out, or follow Lauraine on Facebook or Kathleen on Facebook. You know you can click the button on the top right to follow me on Facebook. 😉

P.S. Guess what?! Lauraine’s book, Ruby, the first in her Dakotah Treasures series, is free on Kindle right now! I just downloaded it. Yay! If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app to your phone or tablet or computer. Enjoy!