Write Your Heart Out

I had the pleasure of reading a young writer’s manuscript recently, and though it wasn’t perfect, every line held a breath of excitement and anticipation. I could feel the enthusiasm for the story. She was writing her heart out.

Sometimes, we get in a rut–as writers–and we forget to write our hearts out. We’re too concerned about right and wrong, political correctness, diversity, or any of a number of thrill killers. We forget the most important element–the story. Without the story, none of those worries matter–even a little.

Don’t you think, sometimes…it would be nice if an editor had a problem with one of your characters. Wouldn’t it be nice if my publisher hated my hero because he was a complete a$$hole, I think to myself.

Because that would mean you had an editor! And a publisher!

We start stories in excitement for the characters, the turning points, the idea of this amazing [or funny or quirky or sad] story, and we have to hold on to that excitement or never get to the end. How do we do this?

  1. Ignore everyone: that simple. Get off social media, find the voice inside of you, and write.
  2. Make time everyday: an hour to sit and just write, to be in the story and get excited.
  3. Talk about your story: tell a friend, writer, spouse…someone! Talking about your project nurtures that excitement and gives you the courage to keep going!
  4. Acknowledge the joy in the process of writing: Whether you love the creativity of imagination or the science of putting words together, enjoy the process, sink into it with all of your author instincts…

and write the book. 

And don’t miss the release of book five, Counter Strike, coming in July!! Sign up for my newsletter to get all the updates!

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

5 Summer Date Ideas For Any Couple

Whether you’ve been together almost 25 years, as with my husband and me, or this is your summer of love after all the losers, there’s always room to add some fun and sparks to your relationship. Here are some date ideas to take advantage of the beautiful weather summer offers.

  • Go see an outdoor concert – Even in the most rural of rural areas, we do have summer concerts at fairs and events that go on all summer long. If there’s at least one close to me, there’s one close to you. Go enjoy some great music, an easy-going atmosphere, and a balmy summer evening. (Don’t forget the bug spray though–mosquitos don’t play.)
  • Go to the drive-in – When my husband and I first started dating, our first official date was at the local drive-in movies. That place is gone now, but there are some still within driving distance. There’s nothing like rolling down your window a bit and listening to the crickets chirp as ambient noise, a breeze move over you, while you and your love take in a summer flick.
  • Get out early for an outdoor brunch – Several weeks ago, my husband and I took a trip to Charlotte, NC, just to get away. While there, we had the most delightful meal out on the patio. It was just the two of us, the food was delicious, and we were very connected. Sometimes a single meal in a pretty locale can reconnect you in this busy world.
  • Watch the sunset – Get in your mode of transportation (I’m hoping you have a car since buses don’t really go to quiet, deserted areas) and go somewhere that you can be all alone. Put a blanket out, maybe turn on some tunes from the radio, and just be for a bit. Watch the sun go down over a mountain, the ocean, or just the horizon. It’ll be a beautiful moment for you both.
  • Daytrip somewhere new – There are lots of small but interesting communities within a fair distance from us. Pick somewhere you haven’t been or even one of your favorite places and go. You’ll talk in the car (because what else is there to do–put your phone down), you’ll see somewhere charming or artsy or fun, have a meal, and then discuss your day as you head home. It’ll be something special.

These are my suggestions and I intend to try every one of them. Except maybe the concert one–my husband would love it, but that sounds awfully peopley.

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Harleys or Horses?

Hi everyone – hope you’re all enjoying the summer.

I have a new book releasing at the end of this month. HANDLE WITH CARE is a single title contemporary romance and as you can probably guess from the title of this blog, it’s got Harleys and horses in it.

Tanner my bad boy hero, has a lifelong love affair with Harleys, whereas Emily, my good girl heroine, loves horses. They do have one thing in common though—they’ve been fantasizing about each other for years. Of course nothing would have come of it, if it hadn’t been for Emily’s meddling grandmother who decides to buy herself a Harley…

So if you had to choose one as a means of transport (say you’re being chased by an army of flesh-eating zombies and your only hope of escape is a bike or a horse) which would you choose? – Harley or horse

Let me know for a chance to win an ARC copy of HANDLE WITH CARE.

And here’s a picture of Fin, my baby – guess you know which I would choose.

 

 

 

 

 

HANDLE WITH CARE

What if all you want is the one thing you can’t have?

First grade teacher Emily Towson always does the right thing. The sensible thing. But in her dreams, she does bad, bad things with the town’s baddest boy: Tanner O’Connor. But when he sells her grandmother a Harley, fantasy is about to meet a dose of reality.

And then he goes and calls her “sensible”…

Tanner can’t believe sweet Emily is standing in his shop. Yelling and waving her hands and looking so god damn sexy he’s having trouble focusing. He’d spent two hard years in prison, with only the thought of this “good girl” to keep him sane.

He really should send her away…

Before either one thinks though, they’re naked and making memories on his tool bench with apparently the oldest condom in history. Now Tanner’s managed to knock-up the town’s “good girl” and she’s going to lose her job over some stupid “morality clause” if he doesn’t step up.

But can this bad boy teach his good girl they’re perfect for each other in time?

Available for Pre-order now:

Amazon

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Looking to the Future

I have a time travel. It’s a YA–so far. It’s set between now and World War Two. I only mention this because I titled my blog post, “Looking to the Future.” Which I’m doing, in a way. Back in January I registered for Thriller Fest XIII, the big convention every year in New York City. Did you know International Thriller Writers is free to join? I joined back in 2015 after meeting another member and being convinced it was worth it! It has been worth it. Even more worth it, though, was the friendship I made which lead me there. And that makes me think of all the connections I’ve made in this industry.

Here at Through Heart-Shaped Glasses. In my critique group, Passionate Critters. Through Romance Writer chapters, writing groups online, and social media Promotions. It’s a huge big world. And I find myself loving the connections. Friends all over the world…

Writing is a solitary struggle about 80 percent of the time. The other 20, it’s the connections. There is nothing like the camaraderie of the writing industry. From writing to publishing to marketing–there is a place for you! Someone will side with you and then commiserate with you when your career turns south for a time and then cheer you on as you kick-ass back on track.

There’s this hope that someday, I’ll get to meet all my writing friends and associates face-to-face. For now, COME ON, JULY! HURRY UP AND GET HERE!! You’re just weeks away, and I have plans…

Tell me, what are you looking forward to this summer? Do you have any conferences or workshops on your schedule? What kind of connection will you make with ‘the industry’? Will you pitch to an agent? Garner interest from an editor? Buy a drink for that coveted marketing professional?

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Summertime Blues

Greetings HSG Readers!

As I type this we’re still in June. Of course the post will be live the end of July, maybe by then I’ll be a bit perkier.

In childhood, summertime is filled with the month’s each kid dreams about. From lounging around the house, sleeping in, library reading programs, vacation bible school, summer camp, and also those outdoor activities I can’t remember a summer I wasn’t ready to dive in to.

At least until adulthood came. I don’t get three months off work any more. In retrospect, this makes me wonder if I should have been a teacher.

Now the summers are filled with being stuck indoors, slaving in front of the computer, and I’ll admit the whole thing has turned me a little blue.

To perk things up, I’m creating the ultimate summer playlist. This is a list of the oldies, the newbies, and those unforgettable songs you grew up jamming out to during the summer.

So far, I’ve come up with a few that get me excited. Like, John Fogerty’s Centerfield, it’s the perfect summer anthem to the All-American sport, baseball.

Bryan Adam’s has his own summer ballad, Summer of ’69, that reminds me of youthful exploits.

And of course, the musical lover that I am, can never ever leave out Grease. Summer Lovin’ is the epitome of the high school experience. Those meet ups with someone new over the summer only to cut things short and return to regular life come the fall.

What am I missing? I know there’s some new stuff, like Will Smith’s Miami or LFO’s Summer Girls. Tell me your favorite summer-themed music and help me cure these blues. 

 

About Landra Graf

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Not quite Three Weeks Left

School. School is what’s on my mind. The Rhodes family has spent the entire summer in upheaval. We are finally in our new home, and the kids are looking at me and complaining they are bored. BORED! After all we’ve done!

I want a little bit to knock some heads together and say, just sit and do nothing! See how nice that is? But, it doesn’t quite work that way, does it?

Luckily for my kids, school starts in 2.5 weeks. August 8th.

But really, it will be a very long two and a half weeks. Too late to sign them up for stuff… And me, the queen of content while sitting at home. Ack!

So, tell me what you do when you’re at the end of your rope. Do you give in and spend money where you wouldn’t normally? Do you add one last visit to a friends or family’s home?

But, this is just a quick break for me… now I’m off to do some grocery shopping for our dinners for the week!! 😀

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New Office Space!! It’s so filled with light. 😀 I’m happy and looking forward to lots of time in here while I edit and write this fall.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

  • Our LATEST Buzz!

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