Edit me this…

Several years ago, I wrote up a booklet of self-editing tips for my local writer’s group. Yesterday, while at a party with same group, one of the members came up to me and asked me if I remembered that booklet. I told her I did, and then she told me she still used it every time she wrote and that it has been a huge help for her.

That completely floored me, until a couple of others – overhearing our conversation – said the same thing. And then they asked  if I was ever going to publish it. There I was, floored again. In the ensuing discussion, I realized that with today’s self-publishing options, it was something I could actually do (when I originally wrote it, those options weren’t available, and yes, it’s been that long). So last night, I opened the file. It needs some serious updating, but the long and short of it is, I’m going to go for it.

So what does all this mean to you? Keep writing. All it takes is one person to read your work and think it’s worth talking about. Perhaps they tell someone… who tells another someone… who tells another. And so on. People will listen so you’d better keep writing.

Good luck!

Vicky

Special Days

Today is my mom’s 90th birthday. Wow. That alone is amazing after the year we’ve had. But in looking back on her life, I see so many amazing things that have happened in our world. Yes, some truly awful things too, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.

We’ve seen horrific wars with weapons that defy logic and humanity. But that, unfortunately, seems to be the way of the world. I don’t know that there’s ever been a time in history that was without strife of some sort.

But we’ve also seen advancements in medicine – some of which came about *because* of those wars.

We’ve made huge strides in transportation and technology. I can’t even keep up with some of the things coming to us these days – there are just too many.

We’ve become more global. No longer are we as insulated as we once were. Now, you can see what the weather is going to be halfway around the world – and talk to the people there instantly.

We’ve reached the moon, and the stars, and strive for more.

And that is what we should always do – strive for better. Note – I said “better” not “more” – two different things. I want better for my children and grandchildren and the generations to come.

Today is a special day for my mom – so for her birthday, I am wishing you better. May you have an amazing day and look for the good things in your life.

Peace

Guest host: Misty Simon

I know, I know, Thanksgiving comes first and I hate to push the Big Turkey aside but my very special Christmas novel is out today and I couldn’t be happier! Christmas in Kissinger says goodbye to the people in my series Kissinger Kisses with a big, glorious THE END and happy trails to all. We wave farewell to Claudia and Nate, Chelsea and Jack, Zoe and Dex with a compilation of stories about their friends falling in luuuuurve. I hope you will love reading this as much as I loved writing it!

christmasinkissinger_w10952_750

I absolutely adore this cover, by the way🙂

Kissinger Kisses, Book Four

Absolutely No Returns or Exchanges
Years ago Jocelyn Moreland fled to Kissinger with a broken heart. When she’s asked to choreograph a surprise dance for an upcoming wedding, she has no idea it will lead to Sam Locke turning her life upside down.

Designs on a Dame
Logan West’s had his eye on Adele Dame but fears it’ll cause issues if he pursues her. When they catch the garter and the bouquet, respectively, at a wedding, he starts reconsidering. Now if he could only find the right time to ask her out.

Maybe This Time
A set of unfortunate events led to Mason Nottingham missing the “Christmas” he’d hoped would get his life back on track. He wants to see his son and have another chance with his ex, Paige Barton, but he’s messed up a lot. First, he has to convince her to at least give him a chance to start making amends.

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4657-christmas-in-kissinger.html

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M14LIQW?tag=thewildrosepr-20

NaNoWriMo

This is November – the start of the annual NaNoWriMo – the month when authors put all sanity aside and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It’s not something I’ve ever thought of doing. Mostly because I do have a life outside of writing – like a full time job and a family.

Okay, technically, it’s only 1667 words a day – every day. And that’s only seven pages – totally doable. I know writers who do double that in a day. But I’m not one of them. Okay, I’ve had days where I did 10,000 in a day. But it’s insane. That was an intense day that I paid for physically for a week afterward.

For those of you who are doing this – I applaud you and I will cheer you on. I wish you all good luck. And maybe… just maybe… I’ll attempt to join you, but not officially. Officially, I’m still in the background. But I can do a few pages a day. Anyone can do that. Right?

Right.

15 Minutes

Sometimes in our lives, we have almost no time to do what we want to do – like write. So I started a new page here at my site today. It’s called “15 Minutes to Write”. Basically, the challenge is to take fifteen minutes from your day – and it doesn’t even have to be all at once, but it would be better if it is – and write. That’s approximately the time it takes to write one page. Some do more, some do less, but it’s a start.

What I will do to help you meet that goal is give you a daily challenge. Tips, tricks, jumpstarts, and more to get your writing juices flowing. Take a look at “15 Minutes to Write”. The daily challenges are in the dropdown menu. Enjoy!

Lemons and Lemonade

There’s an old saying that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

Sometimes, there isn’t enough sugar in the world to make those lemons palatable. Lately, life has handed me a bushel of lemons and I’ve been struggling to find enough sugar to sweeten them. But you know the funny thing about sweetness? It often comes in forms we don’t recognize.

Just like in the kitchen, there are many forms of sweeteners for our lives. Though I know the usual ones, I often forget about the different ones. The ones that sit there on the shelves waiting for us to notice them and pull them out and use them.

In the case of my sweeteners, these happen to be my friends. Okay, yes, I know friends are always there. They are the plain white sugar in life. But… sometimes those friends go above and beyond and turn something sour into something a lot more drinkable. Maybe even with a new twist that you like even better.

What’s interesting to me is that these friends who are there supporting me right now are ones I would have never met had I not been a new writer looking for a local group to help me learn the ins and outs of the publishing game. Because of Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers, I have a group of friends who are amazing. They are the sugar in my lemonade. They are the ones who give me a shoulder when I need it, or a kick when that is called for. It’s not the old friends I’ve known all my life, but the newer ones who have my back.

So when you have lemons, remember that sometimes sweetener comes in different forms.

Vicky

Guest Post: Margo Bond Collins

What do you get when you mix cowboys with ghosts? A collection of eight (stand-alone) amazing stories from the Old West with haunts of every variety.

Get your love of alpha cowboys on and feed your addiction for the bizarre (and sometimes spooky) world when you download The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly.

Bestselling and Award-winning authors are pleased to save you more than 75% on this fantastic boxed set! (Price if books sold separately)

* * *

Wild, Wild Ghost by Margo Bond Collins – With everyone she loves in the grave, Ruby specializes in the dead.

 Comes An Outlaw by Keta Diablo – An outlaw returns to his childhood home to find his parents and brother dead, and the lovely widow in grave danger.

 Long A Ghost, and Far Away by Andrea Downing – Ghosts are restless souls, and Lizzie Adams is one of them.  How many lives will she get to find the perfect love?

 A Ghostly Wager by Blaire Edens – Even a skeptical detective needs a little otherworldly help.

How the Ghost Was Won by Erin Hayes – There are ghost stories. And there are ghost legends.

McKee’s Ghost by Anita Philmar – The ghost living in his house might have saved him from an unhappy marriage and brought him the girl of his dreams but when his ex- fiancĂ© returns, the same spirit turns his life upside down.

A Ride Through Time by Charlene Raddon – P.S.I. Agent Burke Jameson wants to find out if Eagle Gulch, Colorado has genuine ghosts. But he found far more than he expected, including a horse ride that could change his life forever

The Ghost and the Bridegroom by Patti Sherry-Crews – She’s sent west to solve a case. What she finds will change her forever.

Buy Link:  http://mybook.to/GoodBadGhostly

 FEATURED: A Plague of Poltergeists

A Plague of Poltergeists in Wild, Wild Ghost by Margo Bond Collins

In my novella Wild, Wild Ghost, medium and spiritualist—and brand-new agent for the Tremayne PSI Agency—Ruby Silver is dispatched to Rittersburg, Texas to deal with an unusual haunting. When she meets up in town with her new partner, Trip Austin, they’re told that what they are dealing with is a poltergeist.

For Ruby and Trip, this is a new term. Although the idea of troublesome ghosts was certainly not new, the word poltergeist—from the German terms poltern, to create a disturbance, and geist, or ghost—was coined right around the middle of the nineteenth century. In fact, the only reason Ruby and Trip learn the term at all is that the town being disturbed by the ghost is a new German settlement.

The fictional town of Rittersburg is set in the Texas Hill Country, and is loosely based on some of my favorite places in Texas, like New Braunfels and Fredericksburg. According to the Texas State Historical Handbook, by 1850, German settlers and their descendants made up five percent of Texas’ population, and that percentage stayed steady throughout the nineteenth century. That they would have brought their new terminology—and their ghosts!—with them is perhaps no surprise.

As it turns out, Ruby and Trip have more than just a poltergeist to deal with, and a lot of learning to do, both about the town they’re trying to save and each other—all while ducking those flying objects that poltergeists love to toss around.

Artist conception of poltergeist activity. From the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911.

french-ghosts-for-guest-promo

Wild, Wild Ghost

by Margo Bond Collins

With everyone she loves in the grave, Ruby specializes in the dead.

When Ruby Silver traded in her demon-hunting rifle for a Tremayne Agency badge, she didn’t want another partner—losing the last one was too traumatic. But when a new case in the Texas Hill Country pairs her up with the slow-talking, fast-drawing Trip Austin, it will take all their combined skills to combat a plague of poltergeists in this German-settled town.

Excerpt:

 Realizing that all the broken glass flying past him had been swept up into the whirlwind of glass around the woman, he dropped Demonio’s reigns. “Stay here,” he instructed. The stallion rolled its eyes at him, but nickered. Trip didn’t bother to tether the animal; his horse wasn’t going anywhere without him.

If exploding glass didn’t startle him, nothing would.

For that matter, neither did various ilk of ghosts and beasts. Demonio was steady, even if he had a tendency to bite strangers.

Was this woman really supposed to be his new partner?

When he’d gotten the telegram from the Tremayne headquarters back in St. Louis, he had laughed aloud. Trip knew there were lady agents—he’d even worked with one a time or two—but they had all been stationed back east. No lone woman in her right mind would want to come out here to work.

Not when there were plenty of ghosts to be exorcised in civilized places.

Safer places.

I guess maybe this one’s not in her right mind, then.

Might not be a bad idea to remember that.

He watched the glass-cyclone sweep up the dust around her, the cloud of dirt thickening until he couldn’t see the woman at all, and reconsidered.

If she can cause something like that to happen, maybe she’s plenty safe out here, after all.

As Trip made his way toward her, the glass-and-dirt devil rose into the air. He stopped to watch it ascend. Then, with a noise like a crack of thunder, it was gone. Trip had the vague impression that it had sped away toward the wilds rather than merely disappearing into nothingness, but he couldn’t have pointed to any particular evidence that made him think that.

Smoothing her hands down the sides of the painted horse’s face, the woman murmured something soothing in a tone that made Trip realize he had been hearing her voice all along, a soft alto hum rising and falling under the whipping and tinkling sound of the glass tornado, somehow more noticeable now in its absence than it had been during the strange events on the street.

The horse huffed out a breath, and the woman laughed. The sound of it sent an odd shiver up Trip’s back—not of anxiety, but of interest.

Don’t be stupid, man. You haven’t even seen her face yet.

And he couldn’t tell anything about her body under that horror of a dress.

Reaching up, she untied the bonnet from under her chin and removed it to shake off the dirt. A silken fall of blond hair cascaded out of it and down her back, and Trip stopped to stare, frozen by the glint of midday Texas sun off its golden sheen.

By the time he moved again, she had begun brushing off her skirt in sharp, efficient motions.

“Ruby Silver?” he asked when he was close enough to speak without shouting.

As she spun around, it occurred to him belatedly that it might not be a good idea to sneak up on a woman who could turn flying glass into a tornado and make it disappear.

 About the Author

margot-photo

Margo Bond Collins is addicted to coffee and SF/F television, especially Supernatural. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mystery. She lives in Texas with her daughter and several spoiled pets. Although she teaches college-level English courses online, writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and the women who love (and sometimes fight) them.

You can learn more about her at http://www.MargoBondCollins.net and follow her on all the usual social media outlets (listed below).

For updates about publications, free fiction, and other goodies, be sure to subscribe to her newsletter: https://madmimi.com/signups/209964/join

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net

Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

 

 

This entry was posted on September 16, 2016. 4 Comments

Vacation?

It’s summer and for kids, that means vacation. It’s also a time when a lot of adults get time off to “relax”. Often that means packing everyone up and spending a few days elsewhere – the beach, the mountains, a resort, relatives… wherever.

But is it really relaxing? When my kids were all still at home, we went on trips, but I wouldn’t call it a vacation. Pack everything you think you might need – including food. (Because of severe various food allergies, eating out isn’t always an option). Cram it all into the van, along with “entertainments” to keep the kids occupied for the hours it would take to get to our destination.

Bucking long lines of traffic snaking at a snail’s pace, detours that took us way out of our intended direction, and directions that weren’t always clear, we would make it to our intended home away from home, then unpack and get everyone settled. Then they got to run off and have fun while I… cooked. And did dishes. And washed clothes. And… where was *my* vacation? And don’t even mention the work when we got home.

But… vacations, no matter how un-relaxing – were always something to be looked forward to. Yes, I did have fun (most of the time). And even managed to read a few good books. I got to see some amazing sights and enjoy time with my family. We’ve been in every state except the southwest and Alaska. Even managed to make it to Hawaii (my favorite!) We’ve seen sunrises in Maine and sunsets in Washington. We’ve camped in rustic campgrounds and stayed at fancy hotels. I’ve dipped my toes in the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Superior. I’ve hiked mountain trails and strolled boardwalks.

Was it relaxing? Nope. But it was fun.

Hmmm… think I’ll go plan for next year’s vacation. Wonder where we’ll go this time?

How ’bout you? What are your vacations like?

It’s Cowboy Time!

My friend Melissa Keir has a great set for you! Check it out:

CowboyTimeGroupBundle_HRCowboy Time

Spend some Cowboy Time with the bestselling authors who brought you Cowboy Up 1 and 2.

A book bundle by some of the hottest Western authors around. Each story is unique… from sweet to sizzling with a story sure to please fan of Western Romance.

https://amzn.com/B01HSKJF96

Happily Ever After, Cowboy by Allison Merritt

She’s planning the wedding of her dreams with a pretend groom and a fake ceremony. What could possibly go wrong?

After her best friend’s cousin’s wedding goes bust, wedding planner Valentine Hart receives the opportunity to use the package for her own benefit. A photo shoot to advertise and bring all her former clients back. But what to do with the wedding dress? And the honeymoon package?

Todd Dayson, buckle bunny chasing cowboy, is at the end of his bull riding career. But in exchange for a blow-out retirement party, he’s agreed to help Val put together a great shindig for her wedding business–by becoming her pretend groom. Trouble is, as much as he loves the temporary convenience of a one-night stand, after a hot kiss with Val, suddenly he’s not too sure marriage is the trap he always believed.

When Val’s ex-boyfriend comes sniffing around again, Todd’s hackles go up. Either he has to make his move and get Val to believe they’re meant to be, or he might lose her to the guy who broke her heart.

 

A Cowboy’s Magic by Leslie P. Garcia

Every cowboy needs a little Magic in his life…

Alex Thornton puts aside defending his rodeo title when his stepmother Stella sends him to spy on her estranged grandmother—and the young woman about to inherit the Alabama farm Stella wants for herself.

Retired Marine Magic Holmes left California with a broken heart, determined to honor the deathbed promise she made to her grandmother: to live. She survived war—but can she survive small town intrigue?

More importantly, can she survive Alex Thornton’s seductive charms and questionable motives?

 

A Pigskin Cowboy by Melissa Keir

It’s first and ten but will they fumble or score?

Kane Warner, the favorite tight end of his college football team, had everyone turned on him for throwing a game. Rather than explain why or face the scrutiny, Kane leaves town for his summer internship to regroup and get his head on straight.

Charley Ramsey works at Café French while going to college for accounting. Life in a small town has always suited her. No drama is her motto and she’ll do everything she can to avoid it.

Being financially secure is Charley’s biggest dream. Clearing his name is Kane’s. When the media comes looking for the big story, will Kane and Charley’s relationship survive the drama or will the football player run again?

 

 

Keep Calm and… Cowboy by Autumn Piper

Everyone knows his area of expertise falls squarely between the sheets, but nobody knows his best friend just asked him for a crash course in all things sex.

Keep calm and help a girl out:

Colin relishes living up to his reputation as a player, until his fooling around affects his grades. Losing his scholarship gets him booted out of college and lands him back home on the ranch with some strongly worded advice from his dad about staying away from women. Speaking of women, though… He’s barely ever noticed his childhood pal Violet is female, let alone one he’d like to get horizontal with, but now that he’s back, he can’t seem to think of anything else.

Keep calm and learn from the best:

When none of her relationships move past first base, Violet guesses she must be doing something wrong. Lucky for her, Colin the Casanova is back in town. He seems like a natural choice to tutor her, until she realizes he’s the only guy she’s ever wanted to get physical with. Too bad they agreed they’ll go back to being friends once the final exam is over….

 

 

Sadie’s Fantasy Cowboy by Sara Walter Ellwood

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; that is until the heart is involved…

Jaded romance author Sadie Martin is stuck in Vegas for her best friend’s wedding. To dodge a wedding date she can’t stand, she slips out and finds herself in a honky-tonk where she enjoys the surprise performance of her favorite singer, country superstar hunk, Chris Saint James.

When a cowboy sits down beside her after the show, she wants nothing more than to stomp on his Stetson with her six-inch stiletto, until he asks to buy her a drink. She’s utterly dumbfounded when she recognizes the younger sexy man as none other than Chris Saint James. Once she gets over her star-struck moment, he asks her to dance. The desert heat has nothing on the fire they set with just one touch.

When the incredible week is over, Sadie leaves him to go back home. But will she give up her freedom to risk a relationship with Chris when he puts his heart in a country song on national TV.

 

Lily’s Summer Cowboy by D’Ann Lindun

Friendship, passion and so much more…

Afraid to love, Lily Halderman is determined to never feel despair like when she lost her husband to cancer. Left alone to continue their custom farming business, she struggles to stay afloat, both financially and emotionally. Until Will comes along to help with the farm, impressing her with his hard work ethic, and presenting a danger to her heart because he is just the kind of man she could love.

Will Wainwright is running from the pain of the past. Feeling responsible for the death of fellow soldier—the woman he loved—Will takes a job working for Lily, hoping the dawn-to-dusk labor will help him forget his sorrow. But, Lily’s grit and determination to move forward catches him off guard.

Friendship turns to passion …but can they heal one another?

This entry was posted on July 13, 2016. 1 Comment

Coming Soon!! Lion’s Heart

The first book in my Lion’s Pride series will be out and available on Monday, June 6th, from Liquid Silver Books!!! This is a contemporary shapeshifter novella (about 50 pages).

lionsheartFacing a lonely existence after the death of her mother, Healer Selena is startled when two strangers show up on her doorstep. One is badly injured, beyond her help. It is the injured man’s companion who draws her notice. She wonders how much her mother had to do with bringing him here. After all, Selena’s mother was a witch. The ruby she enchanted before she died is glowing, telling Selena that this man is her chosen mate. But he’s a shapeshifter, a being she has learned to distrust.

Tristan had been against the journey with his godfather, Jacob, but a promise is a promise. An attack by outlaws sealed his fate. Injured and on the run, they come upon a secluded cabin and a beautiful woman. When she shows powers that go beyond the imagination, he is certain he’s been bewitched, but for some reason, he doesn’t mind as much as he thought he would. When he finds out she is actually the daughter of his mentor, he knows there are forces at work that go beyond the realm of normalcy. His lion recognizes her as his mate, it takes the man a little longer.