Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Legend of La Llorona

Yesterday I discussed my search for La Llorona, the legendary weeping woman who is supposed to seek out and drown children in the night.  When I began to research La Llorona, back in the 70s, what surprised me was how widespread the story was, even though I couldn’t find a definitive tale provided anywhere. It was all part of legend, or stories people had been told. Her legend had been passed down from generation to generation. There were a few old books that told about her, but again, it was all supposition and legend. No one had any actual record of who the woman might have been in real life or if such a woman ever existed. That is true even today. I can find a variety of references online about the legend, but whether or not she was a true historic figure cannot be determined.

The oldest story of La Llorona appears to go back to the days of the Aztecs in Mexico. In those stories, she was said to be a  beautiful  young woman who fell in love with a handsome warrior of great wealth.  She was supposedly very vain and he had to pursue her for a long time to win her love. Eventually they married and she gave birth to two children.  But after a few years he decided he didn’t want her anymore and he went looking for another wife.  In anger she drowned the two sons he loved.  
In other versions the story is much the same but the man is a Spanish Conquistador who eventually spurns her for someone else. In fact there is also a story that La Llorana was originally the woman who was interpreter for Herman Cortez, the Spanish conqueror who defeated the Aztecs.  In one version she didn’t drown her children but was so sad about losing her husband that she didn’t pay attention and the children accidentally drowned.

In later versions, the man became a rich rancher who owned many cattle and much land in the Southwest. But they all have the same tragic ending. He leaves her and her children die. Whether they were drowned by her or just fell in the river by accident differs in various stories. In some versions she must search for the children before she can enter heaven. In others she has realized what she has done and she tries to find them. But she is still a cruel woman, because the belief in many of the stories is that she drowns the real children she finds because they are not hers.
What has amazed me so much about this story is that it is so similar in so many ways in so many areas. And to think it has been spread for years, long before the days when everything was written down. It has been passed down through the years mainly by people telling their children and passing it on. Yes, it is on the internet now and was in books, but it was originally passed down by word of mouth. It was told in Mexico and yet it was also in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. But it was always a Mexican or Hispanic woman.   

The story was well known to both my mother and father, told to them as children, even though they grew up separately.  Both lived in the same general part of southern Colorado. However, even some of my friends in California had heard of her and the legend.
And some people have sworn that they have seen her or heard her near rivers – much like the woman who told my college friends and me the story.  She is said to moan and weep as she prowls the river banks, and that is what people say they hear or they claim to have seen a tall long haired woman in a flowing white gown.

Many people hadn’t heard of it until it became one of the “monsters of the week” on the NBC television show Grimm several years ago. In that story, the creature was a woman who was killing children at the forks of rivers, three at a time. She was eventually vanquished.
La Llorna has also appeared in movies in various forms, so the legend lives on.  

One more personal note – our family seems to have only humorous  encounters.  When my sister read yesterday’s blog, she reminded me that her own experience with the weeping woman was just as frightening  and just as silly. We lived near the Arkansas River while I was growing up and then moved to a point where the Arkansas actually meets the Purgatory River or the River of the Lost Souls.
We were living near farm land and the first week we were there she began to hear crying in the night. It was downright scary, and it wouldn’t stop. Her immediate thought, of course, was La Llorna. Our dad didn’t seem to notice or pay any attention even though he worked late at night. She was scared for a week, until he finally took her for a drive and showed her the peacock farm located down the road. To this day she hates the sound of those birds. I remember that sound and if La Llorna cried in the night, it would have resembled the call of the peacock.

So be careful near water… especially if you’re in the southwest.
I hope you’ll check out the other blogs on the Snarkology Halloween blog hop. You could win a prize!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hunting La Llorona

The first time I heard the story of La Llorna I was ten years old. If you are Hispanic American and live in the Southwest I’m not sure you can grow up without hearing the story from someone in your family.  I’m told the legend exists so parents can frighten their children with the threat of the ghostly figure to keep them from staying out at night, and I believe that part of the story.

It was a warm summer night and we all wanted to stay outside late. One of my  12-year-old brother’s friends was visiting, or perhaps he had run away from home. Being without a mother and having only a busy working father, he used to do that every so often.

So my mother decided it was time we all learned about the legend of the Weeping Woman. She told us La Llorona was a female ghost who roamed the banks of rivers or sometimes the banks of ponds, looking for children who were alone or away from their parents. The story she told was that the woman had drowned her own two kids and could not rest until she found them or replaced them. And sometimes if La Llorona found children who were alone and they weren’t hers, she would throw them into the river in anger. And that was why kids shouldn’t be out alone at night.
As a ten year old living near a pond and with the Arkansas River less than a mile away, I decided I was no longer wandering around in the dark anymore. That story sure kept me close to home.  In time I decided that was just a crazy legend my mother made up.
Fast forward ten years to life in college in the small southern Colorado town of Trinidad, that sits along the Purgatory River. My friends (who were from cities back East or Denver) and I spent a Saturday afternoon with one of our Hispanic friends and we got to talking to his mother about ghosts. She began to tell us about La LLorona.  The story was much the same as my mother had told, but this woman said she had actually heard her. I’m not sure if I believed her, but the fact that the Weeping Woman might roam the banks of the Purgatory (or River of Lost Souls) made perfect sense.  Unlike that ten year old who chose to stay inside at night, this college freshman decided – along with my friends—that  we needed to check out her ghost story and go down to the banks of the  Purgatory, looking for The Weeping Woman or any other lost souls.

 We drove along  the roads east of Trinidad, where she said she’d seen the ghost, in the valley of the Purgatory. The prairie land there is very dark at night.  And very silent. It’s ranching land. The only light comes from the moon and the only sounds are the winds blowing through the trees. And those trees are none too friendly looking. They are short, squat pinon and junipers that are shaped like the monsters of your dreams.  For two nights we wandered, feeling only a little spooked.  The third night we heard something rustling behind a tree and then we heard a distinct footstep.
Well, that settled it. The only sound we heard then was not weeping but all of us running like hell toward the car, which seemed to be parked a lot farther than we remembered. When we got to the car we turned to look behind us.  A big hulking shadow came around the tree.  And then we heard its cowbell.  We were probably trespassing on some rancher’s cattle grazing territory.
Since then I’ve never gone searching for La Llorna again. But when I’ve camped near rivers or streams in the Southwest, I’m always careful to stay inside after dark. And listen closely at night. No weeping and no cow bells so far.

 I’ve used some of that Southwest experience in my Dead Man series  -- the first book is Dead Man’s Rules, now available on Amazon and at The Wild Rose Press.
Tomorrow I’ll have more on the various legends about La Llorona. Don’t forget to visit the other blogs on our Halloween Blog Tour, and leave a comment to be entered in the Rafflecopter giveaway.

 

1.

The Snarkology

2.

Sheryl R. Hayes

3.

de Hart's List

4.

Wild About Romance Naomi Bellina

5.

Dena Garson Real...Hot...Romance

6.

Musings from the Keyboard

7.

Romance on the Edge - Anita Kidesu

8.

Kathryn Knight books

9.

Elizabeth Rose Novels

10.

Tricia Schneider

11.

Brandy Nacole's Books

12.

Author Zoe Forward

13.

Diane Burton - Adventure and Romance

14.

Believing is Seeing (Sandra Sookoo)

15.

Daryl Devore

16.

Dylan Newton...Romancing the Paranormal

17.

Quill or Pill

18.

Margo Bond Collins ~ Words, Words, Words

19.

Mia Downing

20.

Melanie Karsak ~ Chasing Steampunk

21.

Read, Write, Repeat

22.

Janice Seagraves, Author

23.

Brenda's Blog

24.

Romance by Beverly

25.

Sarah Bella

26.

My Writing Corner

27.

Bad Girls Need Love Too...

28.

Rose Anderson's Calliope's Writing Tablet

29.

JoAnne's Postings

30.

Patricia Preston

31.

ShapeShifter Seductions

32.

Beth Caudill - Author

33.

Journeys With Jana

34.

Shauna Aura Knight

35.

JM Stewart

36.

Author Sydney Katt - The Home of Sarcastic Sexy Suspense

37.

Karen McCullough

38.

The Bestiary Parlor

39.

Sexy Is As Sexy Does

40.

Things that thrill

41.

Romance That's 'Out Of This World'

42.

Lisa Rayns

43.

The Fantastic Imagination of Jax

44.

Do You believe in Demons?

45.

Cheryel Hutton - Dragon Whisperer

46.

Sydney St. Claire

47.

Melissa Fox

48.

Reading, Writing & Romance

49.

Maureen L. Bonatch

50.

Abigail Owen

51.

Sophia Kimble

52.

Karyn Good

53.

Barbara Edwards Comments

54.

Castle of Spirits - DW Adler

55.

My Writing Corner

56.

Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics

57.

Janice Seagraves, Author

58.

Author Amanda Young


a Rafflecopter giveaway 
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Halloween Blog Hop Has Started

This week My Writing Corner is part of  the 60-author Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop. Join us all week for some spooky stories and a chance to win in the special Rafflecopter posted below. I hope you'll visit the various blogs. I've been hopping around and reading the postings and they are great fun.

Snarkology

And tomorrow watch for my special Halloween blog on La Llorna, a ghostly legend that has been scaring people in the West and South West for many, many years.  She was even featured on an episode of the NBC television program, Grimm, last year.  For now, be sure to check out these other great blogs! For the latest list, visit The Snarkology.




1.

The Snarkology

2.

Sheryl R. Hayes

3.

de Hart's List

4.

Wild About Romance Naomi Bellina

5.

Dena Garson Real...Hot...Romance

6.

Musings from the Keyboard

7.

Romance on the Edge - Anita Kidesu

8.

Kathryn Knight books

9.

Elizabeth Rose Novels

10.

Tricia Schneider

11.

Brandy Nacole's Books

12.

Author Zoe Forward

13.

Diane Burton - Adventure and Romance

14.

Believing is Seeing (Sandra Sookoo)

15.

Daryl Devore

16.

Dylan Newton...Romancing the Paranormal

17.

Quill or Pill

18.

Margo Bond Collins ~ Words, Words, Words

19.

Mia Downing

20.

Melanie Karsak ~ Chasing Steampunk

21.

Read, Write, Repeat

22.

Janice Seagraves, Author

23.

Brenda's Blog

24.

Romance by Beverly

25.

Sarah Bella

26.

My Writing Corner

27.

Bad Girls Need Love Too...

28.

Rose Anderson's Calliope's Writing Tablet

29.

JoAnne's Postings

30.

Patricia Preston

31.

ShapeShifter Seductions

32.

Beth Caudill - Author

33.

Journeys With Jana

34.

Shauna Aura Knight

35.

JM Stewart

36.

Author Sydney Katt - The Home of Sarcastic Sexy Suspense

37.

Karen McCullough

38.

The Bestiary Parlor

39.

Sexy Is As Sexy Does

40.

Things that thrill

41.

Romance That's 'Out Of This World'

42.

Lisa Rayns

43.

The Fantastic Imagination of Jax

44.

Do You believe in Demons?

45.

Cheryel Hutton - Dragon Whisperer

46.

Sydney St. Claire

47.

Melissa Fox

48.

Reading, Writing & Romance

49.

Maureen L. Bonatch

50.

Abigail Owen

51.

Sophia Kimble

52.

Karyn Good

53.

Barbara Edwards Comments

54.

Castle of Spirits - DW Adler

55.

My Writing Corner

56.

Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics

57.

Janice Seagraves, Author

58.

Author Amanda Young






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Meet J. C. McKenzie

My guest today is J. C. McKenzie. Please tell us a bit about yourself, like where are you from,
what are your interests and how did you start writing? 
I grew up on a remote set of islands, called the Haida Gwaii, off the west coast of Canada. I love to play volleyball, drink coffee and make things up. I’ve been writing since I was seven, but only started writing seriously for publication about 3 or 4 years ago after I won the Inspirational Category of a flash fiction writing contest (Sands of Time ©2010).


What is the weirdest thing that has ever been said or done to you by a fan?  (Internet stalkers count)
 I’ve had a few creepy strangers on Facebook, spouting randomly inappropriate comments, but the strangest comment came from one Facebook “fan” who sent me a private message and asked me to show him my “sexy writing ways.”


What scares you the most?
Something happening to my son and being unable to prevent or fix it.
What is the hardest scene you have ever written?
That’s a toss-up. There’s a few. The break-up scene at the end of book 3 where my main character picks a guy was pretty hard. I felt like I sentences that character to a literary death, even though I didn’t. There’s a very violent scene in book 3 as well that left me very raw. I had to go down a path into the deep recesses of my imagination and put myself in my main character’s place to try and bring forth authentic feelings. There’s also a scene in book 5, which I haven’t got to yet which will rip me to shreds. I’m dreading it, which is why I think I haven’t started writing book 5!


What was the darkest moment in your life?

When I gave birth to my son he wasn’t breathing. It was the scariest minute (or two) of my life. They suctioned his airways and I heard his healthy cry shortly after, but I don’t think I breathed for the entire time. My heart stopped.


Going back to your writing, who would you say is the favorite monster/villain in your books?
 Ooooo. I find a perverse joy in writing some of my villains. Clint, from the Carus Series and George, from The Shucker’sBooktique were incredibly fun to write. They’re such jerks!


Imagine your characters are on the TV program, Survivor.  Who will they vote out of the book?
 In Shucker’s, they’d either vote off Willa’s mom or George. There’d probably be a split vote and they’d have to do a head-to-head fire-making challenge to see who had to leave.


Remember the notorious author threat?  ”I’m going to write you into my book and kill you off.”  Describe how you would kill off this person. 
I’d have a pack of wolves rip the person to shreds while they were alive and a flock of seagulls pick up the remains to smash against the rocks of a storm-ridden cove.



Tell us about your upcoming new book.

The Shucker’s Booktique is a paranormal short story romance and it released on October 15th, 2014. I really enjoyed writing this story. It’s straight up romance, and because it’s a short story, I didn’t have to put my characters in a lot of unending conflict.


Tell us about your book cover. Who did it? How did you or they come up with the concept?


Debbie Taylor, from DCA Graphics has done all my covers and I absolutely love her. She takes my warped, convoluted ideas and somehow creates something that manages to tick all the boxes of what I wanted, yet come out even better than anything I envisioned.


How did you come up with the idea for this story?
My publisher announced a new project called Lobster Cove. It's a fictional town on the East Coast of Maine where any writer can base their story. I immediately got the idea of a shifting water sprite and it wouldn't leave me alone. I stopped writing my Carus series for two months to focus on this project, and I'm glad I did!
 



Tell us about your hero and heroine and how you came up with them?
Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can take the form of a human only during severe thunderstorms. He's a trust-worthy, loyal friend. When he finds one of his only human friends missing, he immediately suspects the pretty woman who claims to be his friend's niece.
Willa Eklund is a reclusive thirty year old who has spent her entire existence under the thumb of her aunt and more recently the control of her fiancé. When her fiancé dumps her and her aunt goes missing, Willa leaves the life she knew to search for the one person who has always been loving and supportive to her. When a mysterious man shows up in the middle of the night in the middle of a thunderstorm, she thinks he has something to do with her aunt's disappearance.



Sounds like a great story! Thanks for being my guest!

 


Thanks again for having me on your blog! :-)

 

Now here's a blurb and the buy links for The Shucker's Boutique.

 

After her fiancé dumps her and her beloved Aunt Jenny goes missing, Willa Eklund travels to Lobster Cove with a broken heart to search for Jenny while running her bookstore. When a mysterious man visits the Shucker's Booktique on a stormy night drenched in rain and covered in mud, Willa's heart melts under his stormy gaze. She wants Lon and the answers he may have, but he also has a secret. Can Willa trust him?

Lon Devlin is a Tempest, a water sprite who can only take a human form during stormy nights. He rides the waves, lives by the tides, and nothing can hold him down, not even a beautiful woman. When he visits his mortal friend, he discovers she's missing and her intriguing niece has taken her place. He wants Willa, but he also wants answers. What happened to Jenny? 




Buy Links:



Contact Information:


And here's a special offer!
 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Breaking the Rules with Mel Curtis

Back with us today in My Writing Corner is Melinda Curtis, who writes in a variety of genres. She is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author.  She writes independently published, steamy Hollywood Rules series as Mel Curtis. Tell us a little about yourself and your writing day.

I juggle a writing life with a thriving consulting business, a marriage, and being a mom to 3 kids in college. It has helped my productivity tremendously to be an empty nester.  But I still work 12-15 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get up at 4:30 a.m. every day, hit the gym, eat protein, and get caffeinated.  I usually write in blocks of time (1-3 hours), adjusted by my clients’ requests.  By nine p.m., my brain is a bit fried.  I’ve been on this pace since November of 2012. I’m happy, but tired.
Tell us a little about your newest book.
Breaking the Rules is the 7th installment in the Hollywood Rules series.  What does that mean?  That I’ve produced 3 full-length, fun and sexy books in the series, one sweet new adult novella (that was published in 3 installments), and now my most popular power couple – Jack and Viv Gordon have their own stage in a steamy novella.

Give us an idea of how you develop your characters?
When I get an idea for a character, I try to understand what they want more than anything and why.  Once I know that, I can create a mirror image – someone who wants the exact opposite for just as compelling reasons. This creates great conflict and great conflict drives a story.

What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up book 5 in my sweet Harmony Valley full-length series for Harlequin Heartwarming, have a new adult series being shopped in New York, have the notes to start the next full-length Hollywood Rules story, as well as the notes to start the 2nd Bridesmaid series novella.  Time is always against me.

You’re a very prolific writer, how do you keep all your stories straight and make them sound so different?
My sexier stories have stronger h/h. They fight for what they believe in and want, and occasionally they might fight dirty. They tend to want things like fame, fortune, the bad boy, etc. My sweeter books are less alpha. Harlequin likes them to be politically correct, but real. They’re just trying to make it through life happily against the odds I stack against them.

What would you tell writers who are just starting out that you wish you had known?
Always strive to get better. Take courses, listen to lectures, ask questions. Then take what works for you. The worst thing an author can say is that they don’t need to improve or that their writing hasn’t changed over the years. We all grow and change as people. Our writing should, too.

Please give a blurb of your latest book.
To say Jack and Vivian Gordon’s marriage has been rocky would be an understatement. The Gordons have been on a roller coaster of love and lust, but can’t seem to get on the same page at the same time. This power couple needs a time-out to find their happily ever after.  And life coach to Hollywood’s rich and powerful, Cora Rule, has just the solution – have the couple sign their divorce papers in a safe room…and lock them inside.

How about an excerpt?
            Vivian Gordon had a problem.
            A six-foot-two-inch hunk of a problem.
            Sex with Jack hadn’t solved the problem.  Marrying him hadn’t solved the problem.  Leaving him hadn’t solved the problem.
            The problem was that Viv loved her husband, but Jack didn’t love her.
             It wasn’t as if Jack was incapable of love, as some of Hollywood moguls seemed to be.  No, Jack had passion aplenty, but it was for the NBA team he owned, the L.A. Flash, not for a woman.  Not for Viv.
             Viv watched Jack swim his daily laps with strong, commanding strokes.  Heaven forbid Jack didn’t get his laps in.  If he didn’t, he was the biggest shit.
              Her Gianvito Rossi black suede lace up heels clicked slowly across the white marble tile as she approached the patio doors in the house they’d once shared.  Her cadence was one of a doomed prisoner being shown the open door of the gas chamber.
              This is the end.
              And she’d chosen the execution date.

Buy Links:




B&N: will go live 10/22
 
Thanks, Melinda, and here are a couple of Special Offers for readers:
Readers of this blog will be sent a FREE sweet new adult novella set within the Hollywood Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link: http://www.melindacurtis.net/join-melinda-s-mailing-list

Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda also writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the Bridesmaid series independently. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. 
 
Website: www.MelindaCurtis.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor
Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melcurtisauthor/

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Meet Melinda Curtis

My guest in My Writing Corner today is author Melinda Curtis. Tell us a little about your
writing journey.

I’ve always been an avid reader across multiple genres.  I read everything from Conan the Barbarian to The Grand Sophy.  I once read a book I loved by Susan Crosby, who had a P.O. box you could write to (in the days before Facebook).  I sent her a letter and asked her how a multi-tasking supermom could learn how to write a book.  She invited me to her chapter’s RWA meeting. I met several romance authors I knew.  Many more I’d never heard of but came to love.  A few of my author friends were writing for Paula Eykelhof at Harlequin. I became a stalker – whatever conference Paula went to, I went to. I must not have creeped her out, because she eventually bought my first book.
Tell us a little about your newest book.

The Christmas Promise is a romantic comedy set in Ecuador. It’s a cross between Runaway Bride and Romancing the Stone.  It’s released now in a boxed set: Sweet Christmas Kisses (all stories of romance without explicit sex), but will launch individually retitled The Wedding Promise on October 15.
What gave you the idea for this story?

My friend Kim went to Ecuador to research a new cocoa product (translation: she wants to create a new chocolate snack organically). Kim was in a very remote part of Ecuador and her weekly updates fascinated me.  All the things we take for granted – a bug-free home, air conditioning, internet – she didn’t have any of that. One week, she reported the humongous size of bugs that landed on her, a snake sighting, and a trip from the cocoa fields uphill in the rain with a flat tire on her wheelbarrow.  For a romantic comedy writer, it was nirvana! A fish out of water story was born! Add a wounded warrior, three matchmaking nuns, and I had myself a story.
Do you always know how your story is going to end?

Usually, I know there’s going to be a happily-ever-after (the perks of writing romance), but this story was a bit different. I can’t give away the ending, but Tiff and Jax kick off my Bridesmaids series, so they’ll be recurring characters in the next three books.
You write in two different genres. How do you handle that?

I write both sweet and steamy romances.  The advantage to this is that I know how to keep that sexy, stomach flutter of attraction going in a sweet book without mentioning body parts and mechanics.  And since I tend to ping-pong from sweet projects to steamier ones, when I write steamy, I let all that’s been contained out and have fun with it.
Please give a blurb of your latest book.

Tiffany Bonander (of Bon-Bon Chocolates) grew up in New York with a silver spoon, a heart of gold, and a lifelong supply of sweets.  But now her life is falling apart.  Recent changes in cocoa supply are threatening the quality of the family’s chocolate and sales are down.  Add to that Tiff’s penchant for falling in love quickly and breaking engagements at the last minute… Can this runaway bride turn around a cocoa plantation in South America?
Jackson Hardaway is trekking through the Andes as a tribute to a fallen comrade.  This wounded warrior didn’t expect to meet a beautiful damsel in distress and her three fairy godmothers…er, trio of meddlesome nuns…on his journey.  Everything in Ecuador is bigger – the trees, the snakes, the attraction.  Is this love?  Or just another case made to label Tiff a runaway bride?

How about an excerpt?

It was raining.  Again.
Tiffany Bonander tried humming a few bars of White Christmas.  It was, after all, December 23.  Cheer was called for.
           But the incessant beat of fat raindrops on the tangled foliage of the Ecuadorian rainforest and on her pink rain slicker, drowned out her cheer.
          Or maybe she was just drowning under the pressure of heavy responsibilities.
          Ankle-deep water rushed down the steep, muddy road toward Tiff and her precious cargo–thirty pounds of cocoa beans.  She couldn’t lose the beans.  They were the answer to all her troubles. 
         Thunder boomed.  And boomed again.  The downpour increased to a deluge.
         Tightening her grip on the wheelbarrow handles, Tiff tried to find purchase with her rain boots, tried to make it to the next rise before the road turned into a river.  Tried…and failed.   Somewhere above her the river had risen high enough to crest a bank.  Water surged toward her.
         Tiff’s father claimed they’d abandoned this cocoa plantation years ago for drainage reasons.  He should have used the F-word: flood.
          Tiff stumbled to her knees, and water rushed into her boots–cute, pink-flowered plastic ones which quickly filled with water and felt as heavy as cement shoes.  If not for her grip on the wheelbarrow, she might have been swept downhill.  Just last week, she’d heard about a woman who’d been carried away by the cresting river and smashed into a tree.  Smashed as in: to pieces.  Dead.
          That would be worse than being broke and the laughing-stock of the civilized world.
          This was karma, plain and simple.  She shouldn’t have jilted Chad at their engagement party or left Malcolm at the altar. 

Bio/Special Offers
Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, as well as the Bridesmaid series independently. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.” 

Readers of this blog will be emailed a FREE fun, sweet novella set within the Hollywood

Rules world by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter. Link: http://www.melindacurtis.net/join-melinda-s-mailing-list

Buy links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/Zd6FuJ
iTunes: http://bit.ly/1lVUtc2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/ZgZ2mZ
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-christmas-kisses-donna-fasano/1120405161?ean=2940150461093

How can readers reach you or find you online?
Website: www.MelindaCurtis.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor
Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melcurtisauthor/
 
Thank you, Melinda.  I still have more questions and Melinda will be back next week with a look at how she writes and word on her latest book. Any questions? And please everyone, be sure to sign up for Melinda's newsletter to get a free novella

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On the Road to New Ideas


Some thoughts on the first day of October…

It’s surprising to think that the year is only three months from ending.  So much has been done, so much is left to do.

Sometimes getting away from it all can refresh the writing mind. This past weekend my brother, sister and sister in law went for a drive in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to look at  the Aspen leaves turning gold and red. It is always a fun way to spend a fall afternoon, especially if you hit the season at its peak.  We were a little late this year but the views can be spectacular.  I came back from the drive energized and ready to plunge back into my writing.

Doing new things is always fun and you can always find something new to discover. I was born in Colorado and lived here most of my life but I had never taken Trail Ridge Road over the top of the Rockies or the Peak to Peak Highway with its spectacular views that leads into Estes Park and to Trail Ridge Road. 

As a writer I am always coming up with story ideas and this trip had more than a few. What about a story set in one of the many small towns we went through? Romance, murder mystery or combination of both?  Maybe even a science fiction adventure where the aliens take over the world starting in a small town. Not to mention the possibility of a haunting by ghosts of the gold rush past or an invasion of zombies…  yes..lots of possibilities there…

 
It’s always good to see a fellow writer get published. Back here in town, I got some good news. My friend and former critique partner, Darla Bartos has just independently published the book she has been working on for several years.  The story is a fast paced mystery with romantic elements set in South Africa. Darla will be my guest for an interview in a couple of weeks, but first here’s a look at her amazing cover. The book is available for sale at Amazon.com and I heartily recommend it.

Here’s a quick blurb: 

A scream pierces the South African night, ending the small Mother of Angels convent into turmoil. Annabelle Chase, a visiting crime reporter from Denver, discovers a beheaded nun, swiftly taking her and the local Detective N. F. Baloyi into a savage confrontation with machete-wielding ritual killers.

This is the first in a series of mystery books that Darla is writing set in South Africa, where she once lived and still visits frequently. I’m looking forward to the next installment. Good luck to Darla, and her new book!



And now it’s time for me to dig in and get back to writing. I need to get some of those new ideas down on the written page and I am anxious to get my writing brain cells exercised before the start of NaNoWriMo next month.