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Showing posts from 2012

The Carpenter's Inheritance by Laurie Alice Eakes

A couple of weeks ago, I was overjoyed to find the November selection of Heartsong Presents at my local Walmart. If you're not familiar with these books, they're romance novels, both contemporary and historical, that can be compared to the Love Inspired line. So today, for your reading pleasure, I'm featuring the first chapter of The Carpenter's Inheritance, a November release from Laurie Alice Eakes. If you're not familiar with Laurie Alice's work, you're in for a real treat!
The Carpenter's Inheritance by Laurie Alice Eakes
Loveland, Massachusetts October 1893 Miss Trudy Perry, Attorney at Law, would not, after all, be joining Miss Lucinda Bell, Attorney at Law, in practice in Loveland, Massachusetts. She had decided to follow her brother to San Francisco and practice law out on the West Coast. "Follow her brother indeed." Lucinda folded the flimsy yellow telegram and glanced around her office. "Follow her heart is more like it." A…

What does an Editor Mean by 'the Same but Different?'

If you’ve ever been to a writing conference and talked to an editor from any of the publishing houses, you’ve probably heard them say that they want ‘the same yet different.’
At first, this whole idea of ‘same but different’ sounded like an oxymoron. How in the world would I ever going to get published it I didn’t have a clear understanding of what it was editors wanted. So being the researcher I am, I began my own investigation.
The same Easy enough. Just needed to look at my bookcase. The time period varied--Civil War, American West, World War II, Regency England. Plot, not so much--boy meets girl, boy and girl face conflict, boy and girl live happily ever after. These become the same factor--the ‘comfort zone’ that readers (and writers) have some entanglable connection to or knowledge of. It has a feel of familiarity to it.
To confirm my hypothesis, I didn’t have to look any further than one of favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory. If you haven't ever seen this show, it's abo…

The Greatest Solider of All

This is a story I wrote many years ago after meeting this gentleman in our local Wal-Mart. It was later published in a collection called, God Allows U-Turns; American Moments. It seems fitting for today.

He was a simple man. Sprigs of snowy white hair peeking out from beneath a dirty ball cap, framing a wrinkled face that had weathered a lifetime of storms. Wearing worn blue jeans and a button-up shirt that had seen better days, he was probably someone’s father or grandfather, stopping by the magazine aisle for the newest puzzle books. But at the moment, he was staring at what I held in my hands. A photo essay on Pearl Harbor.
Being a child of the ’60’s and ’70’s, the surprise attack that had drawn the United States into World War II was just another history lesson to me. But in this man’s eyes, I saw memories of a time and place so real, I could have reach out and touched them.
    I had to talk to him. “Nice book, isn’t it?”
   The muscles in his throat moved, and for one brief moment, …

Books that Change Your Life!

On Thursdays, I review books that make me grow as a writer and as a person.

The Stars for a Light by Gilbert and Lynn Morris
No Medical School Ever Could Have prepared Cheney for Her First Position

Graduating from the Woman's Medical College of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania as a full-fledged, documented, accredited physician, young and energetic Cheney Duvall assumed that she would immediately find a suitable position. But after two months of applying and interviewing for several different openings, then being summarily rejected because she was a woman, she had almost given up hope. When Cheney hears that a man named Asa Mercer is looking for a doctor to care for the two hundred women he is transporting on an extended sea voyage from New York to Washington Territory, she grabs the position. Mercer is actually delighted that Cheney is a female doctor who can also help chaperone these potential brides-to-be for the frontiersmen in the West. But even before the journey begins…

Pantser verses Plotter--the Pros and Cons

This election season is mercifully drawing to a close after one of the most contentious campaign in history which made me think about another battle, one that has  been waged for years among the writing community. Pantser verse Plotter. I feel that as a combination of the two, I can give pros and cons of both.

The Pantser These writers are affectionally known as the seat of the pants writer because (you guessed it!) they write by the seat of their pants! No outlines or synopsis for them. Instead, they follow their characters, letting them write their own story. Great in writing a character-driven story plus this sort of writing gives you the sense of adventure and excitement. It’s this kind of excitement that drives a person to the computer, anxious to discover that evasive answer to the question: what happens next?
But it’s also that uncertainty that is the greatest con of being a pantser. Without a road map to tell you where your story is going, you might find yourself falling down the…

Making the Grade--A Writer's Book Review

Hi, I’m Patty and I’m a bookaholic.

Does that really surprise anyone? I read anywhere from 4 to 6 books a week aside from writing my own. But I’m always a bit reluctant to write book reviews. But there are those occasions when a book just slides inside and takes up residence in my heart that I HAVE to share.
You won’t find any negative book reviews on this website because opinions are subjective. What I might love, someone else might judge differently. But being a writer, I respect the process each writer goes through to produce their best work. The books I review are the ones that not only entertain, but teach me how to be a better writer.
To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leav…

The Road to Becoming a Productive Writer!

By the time I boarded the plane for Minneapolis and the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers Conference, I had been writing for eight frustrating years. My writing came in spurts--I’d start my novel, the words pouring out of me and I’d think, ‘this is wonderful. I’m going to do this!’ Then I hit a brick wall. The words would dry up faster than a mud puddle on a summer day. I was within days giving up on my dreams of getting published.

    And then I learned about daily word counts.
    I know, I know--how could I have been writing for THAT long and not known something as simple as daily word counts. Well, maybe I did. What writer hasn’t heard the whole ‘put your backside in a chair and write’ speak at one time or another? And isn’t that what NaNoWrites is all about, putting your story down on paper? 
     But setting a daily word count not only gave me a goal(which is HUGE for a goal-oriented person like me,) it also held me accountable. 
     First, decide what publishing house you’re…

10 Things You May Not Know. . .

As I've mentioned in my post Monday, I'm focusing on the relationships in my life this year and part of that process is getting to know each other. A lot of folks have problems with that--anytime you have to reveal yourself to someone, you run the risk of being rejected. Not that I've ever worried about that--I figure if you like me, great! And if you don't--well, there's just not that much I can do to change your mind.
So in an effort to reveal the 'real' me, I borrowed an idea I saw in a weekly magazine where you share twenty-five things most people probably wouldn't know about you. But I'll only stick you with ten for right now. So without further delay. . .
1) Math has never been my strong suit. Whoever thought up the idea for the calculator must have had me in mind.
2) In high school, the librarian accused me to stealing a copy of Louisa May Alcott's 'Rose in Bloom' because a) she knew Alcott was …