About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

Traveling Romance

ArizonaIf you subscribe to this sort of thing, I must have been a nomad in another life. I just can’t wait to find out what’s over the next hill. Or see what the shining lights are across that stretch of plains. If I’m home too long, I get the itch to travel. I get grouchy. I feel deprived. Weird, huh?

But I never leave home without my trusty ereader loaded with my latest TBR’s. After all, there might be some down time. It would be a shame to waste it not reading.

I read my first romance at twelve. It was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I’m fairly certain it was the first thing I read that included any descriptions of England, islands, pirates, ball gowns and the way someone else might have lived that was so different from the way I lived. It truly swept me away. I’m still awed by the work she put into her novels. Although it wasn’t written for my age group, her attention to detail, her vivid and thorough descriptions were captivating. As a published author, thinking about them still makes me go, wow!

San FranciscoAnd when I travel, I try to catch those little details that will bring my work to life. The way one small town differs from another, the way one big city is so opposite another. The architecture, the landscaping, the town squares or skyscrapers, and the accents of the citizens. I look at houses or buildings and wonder who lives or works there. I want each thread carefully woven together to resonate with readers in the same manner as hers did with me.

SONY DSCBefore I could afford to travel, I went lots of places through romance novels. People can scoff as much as they want, but if all of the writers I know are any indication, you can pretty much count on the settings being based in reality, and the details being accurate. Not that we don’t have our way with a plot thread, but it is fiction after all. When I think of reading or writing, I think of big sweeping stories, and grand adventures that change lives. But with that grand adventure, I want the details that bring the setting to life.

The novels I’ve written thus far are set in America because that’s the place I’m most familiar with. I won’t say it’s easy, but it’s comfortable. And it’s a big, diverse place. Every time I travel I come up with more ideas for stories. I’m constantly taking pictures out the car window to keep for inspiration.SONY DSC

Do you have a favorite location you enjoy reading or writing about?

Don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for this month’s swag!

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

Livin’ Easy in the Summertime

Honestly, as far as weather, I’m a spring and fall kinda girl. Don’t like to sunflowersbe too hot, or too cold. I know, picky, picky, picky. BUT, there are two things that absolutely mean summer to me, and I love them both. One is cookouts and the other is auto racing. It can be any kind, I’m not picky about that.

I love cars. Even as a little girl. I think I went to my first car race at about eight, and I still remember being fascinated by the fast, shiny cars and all the noise they made. That hasn’t changed.

Although I enjoy the beach and the pool, I don’t get there much because I’m so fair, I get sun poisoning at the drop of a hat. So I tend to do activities with more clothes than less. But that’s okay. My friends don’t care what I wear, and that’s just the best.

We have several couple friends and during the summer we get together often. Almost every weekend it seems, we’re enjoying a cookout at someone’s house, or they are coming to ours. We’re all meeting at some race track somewhere or all grouping up to ride together to go watch someone, or just be spectators. Some of the couples are drag racers, some race dirt tracks, some are asphalt racers, and of course we’re all fans of F1, Rally Cars, NASCAR, and World of Outlaws, so we always have some sort of good natured rivalry going on as well.

At our homes everything is casual because we’ve all known each other for a while, and it’s just so relaxing! There’s nothing better than a hot dog, or a burger, a cold beer or a glass of wine, good conversation about every possible topic, and people that care enough to listen. And the jokes! Holy smokes, the guys can get going with them. Sometimes I laugh until I cry.

Even if we have different opinions about things, we all respect each other enough to honor someone else’s thoughts on a subject and either consider changing our viewpoint, or realize that we love each other even though we don’t agree.

It sounds like such a commercial, but to me summer really is good food, good friends, and good times.

What’s your favorite summertime activity?

Don’t forget, every comment is entered to win a GC to Amazon! + a copy of Nina Croft’s July release, Losing Control.

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

A Lovely Wedding, A Beautiful You

One of the many hats I wore before becoming a mostly full time writer was that of a licensed esthetician. I managed a full service salon and spa for about ten years. It was one of the most fun jobs I’ve had. As you can see from my hair, it still hasn’t worn off.

Wedding parties were always a challenge. Managing to do hair, make-up and nails for a group of anywhere from three to ten girls, along with the mother of the bride, and sometimes the MIL to be, in a short amount of time left one feeling frazzled. In a good way.

So I thought I’d give you some tips on how to manage those pesky details that may not be mentioned in the How to Look Your Best on the Special Day wedding guide.

—Do get the groom and groomsmen haircuts the week before the wedding. Not the week of.

For the bride:

The best thing you can do is to think about the look YOU want. Spend some time looking at brides online, in magazines, etc. Pick a few looks for hair, make-up and nails. Bring pictures to the salon with you for discussion.

If you are getting hair, make-up and nails done professionally choose a group of stylists that you trust or find a group that’s highly recommended.

Hair: If you want to change your haircut or color start six months before the wedding. You need time to make sure you’re happy with your new look and also to make corrections if you’re not.

Do schedule a trial run about four to six weeks before the wedding. Make sure when you set your appointment you tell them you want a wedding up-do. These things take extra time. Be fair to yourself and give your stylist time to give you what you want. If you will be wearing a veil or putting flowers or something in your hair, bring it with you this time so you can be sure everything works with your hair.

The day of:  Do wear a button down shirt to the salon. You won’t have to take it off later, over your hair or make-up.

Make-Up: If you’re having it professionally done, do schedule a practice run so you can be sure the look you want looks good on you. The day of, is NOT the day to make adjustments. You’ll be nervous enough.

Remember, you are the star! You’ll be having photos taken of you the entire time, from every angle. You’ll need great make-up. If you’re not comfortable wearing a lot of make-up, practice. You’re not comfortable wearing a gown and heels all day either. The last thing you want is to look washed out.

If you’re doing your own, there are tons of how-to wedding make-up vids on YouTube. Make the time and practice in advance. You’ll be glad you did.

And the very last helpful hint I have, because this happened more often than not, is this – If you’re part of the wedding party, the bride asked you to be in her wedding because she cares for you. Don’t say bad things about her to the professionals who are working hard to make you look your best for her big day.

Now go out there and be beautiful!

*And don’t forget, don’t forget all commenters this month have a chance of winning our $5 Amazon GC Giveaway!

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

The First Line

SONY DSCSince our theme this month is Firsts, I thought I’d write about first lines of books. To me, the first line of a story is like meeting you, the reader, for the very first time. More often than not you will have read the back matter, which may have been written by me, someone else, or a group of marketing professionals. You might have admired the cover, and that tempted you. Covers aren’t usually made by the author, but by a graphic artist. Whatever way it happens, the first line of the story is the first building block for your reading relationship with me, the author. It’s when things get real.

It’s essential that the first line makes you want to keep reading. It needs to spark your curiosity. With any luck, the first line will make you think, OMG! Who? What? Where? Why? I have to know! And you keep reading, turning those pages until the very end.

This holds true whether an author writes historical, inspirational, rom coms, or time travels. The first line should fit the world the author has created and capture the tone of their work.

I write contemporary romance with romantic suspense elements, and I admit to being surprised when I typed the first lines from my series together. They really do fit the tone of my books. Here they are:

Winning this might keep him alive. – Slide Job

Death lingered quietly in the dark, dressed in worn blue jeans. – Beyond the Winner’s Circle

Would he die today, or tomorrow? – Running Three Wide

I would be remiss at this point if I didn’t add the first lines from some of my favorite reads. Here they are in no particular order:

Most people don’t stare at the scars. – Burnt Offerings, Laurell K. Hamilton

Caught in the crosshairs of wind above the Bitterroots, the jump ship fought to find its stream. – Chasing Fire, Nora Roberts

They had betrayed her with a promise of the sea. – My Heart Stood Still, Lynn Kurland

Although in different genres, each first line is tempting. I can’t wait to dig in and find out the rest of the story.

What about you? Do you have a favorite first line?

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

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