Saturday was a tough day. We said goodbye to a good friend, author Joyce Ward, who also wrote as Linnea Alexis. This was the message I shared on Saturday, and I wanted to share with all of you:
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Many of you know what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t, as writers, plotters are those who plan out their books in detail, and they know where the story is going long before they actually start to write. Pantsers, are those who take it as it comes, writing by the seat of their pants. And then there are I suspect many of us who are somewhere in the middle. We do some planning and some pantsing as we write. There’s no right or wrong way, it’s just the process that works best for us as authors to get the story on the page.
In life it’s much the same. Many are plotters, planning their life in detail. Where do you want to be in 5 years? In 10? What’s the best path to reach those goals. Others are pantsers, living life as it comes, waiting for the surprise plot twist. And most of us fall somewhere in the middle, because in life, a plot twist isn’t always something that we plan. Again, there’s no right or wrong.
Joyce Ward and I met when we were at similar places in our lives. Our kids were grown and we were both reaching for a dream we’d long waited to attain, being authors. We were new members of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America, and in a little bit of a plot twist, the first time we met we were sharing a hotel room for an author event. There were three of us sharing the hotel room that weekend, Joyce, Erin Pryor and me. All of us unpublished authors.
We were instant friends, talking about story plots, the speakers and what we hoped to learn and achieve in our new endeavors. After that weekend, Joyce and I roomed together at many writers events. It worked out well. We both snored, we coordinated our workshop schedules, and at night we would talk for hours about writing, but also about our families…she loved hers very much, about our pasts about our lives.
There were many times that Joyce called me and told me she was quitting, that she was a terrible writer and she was done. She wasn’t going to write another word, and I would remind her this was her dream, she couldn’t give up, and she had way too many ideas that needed to be put on paper.
The next time we spoke I’d be the one ready to walk away, stay home and bake cookies, and Joyce would be the friend at the other end of the line telling me I couldn’t give up.
In fact, Joyce was the reason that my first book was published. She had submitted to a boxed set publisher, and called me up to tell me I needed to submit as well. Her support, her belief in me pushed me to do what I wanted to do, but sometimes wasn’t sure that I could
Joyce worked tirelessly for our RWA chapter, chairing the Book Buyers Best Contest for many years. The contest is a lot of work, and at the time that Joyce started doing it, she had to collect piles of print books, store them in her home, sort them and mail them out to people, as well as recruiting all of the judges and collecting ballots. She was good at recruiting judges. I could never say ‘no’ to her!
My best memories of Joyce are of the conferences and events that we attended together. We shared a passion, we shared many of the same hopes and dreams. We could talk about our families, especially our children. I know how much Joyce appreciated that her children supported her dreams, and believed in her. We called each other with good news, or to commiserate. We were friends.
And then another plot twist, and here we are today. Saying goodbye for now.
I miss Joyce. I miss calling her when I want to throw in the towel. I miss her voice telling me not that I can’t stop writing. I miss planning our writing trips.
But Joyce will always be in our hearts, her books will keep her alive to everyone who reads them, and memories will keep her story going for all of us who loved her.
I’m sure that Joyce is in heaven right now, plotting and planning stories to share when we meet her again.
I love romance novels, Hallmark movies, candlelight dinners and flowers from my husband, and this is of course the week to pull out all of the stops, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.
My 2nd book #SilverBracelets, a romantic comedy that starts the day after Valentine’s and ends on St. Patrick’s Day, releases on Valentine’s Day. I’m so excited for the release that I’ll be having a two day party in my facebook reader group, Tari Lynn & Friends.
The story is set in my version of Hermosa Beach, and is about a school teacher who finds herself in a social media nightmare when a picture of her crashing a bicycle into a trash can goes viral. Benny Lopez, a cute police officer, seems to be behind the posts that are making her life miserable, and she wants nothing to do with him.
All Benny wants is a date with the cute school teacher, but she won’t talk to him. Until, he gets some great advice from his grandmother, and snaps on the handcuffs.
Between the bicycle accident and the handcuffs are a series of mishaps, false starts and incidents that bring friends… and maybe a guy and a girl together.
I’m having so much fun writing this series, I hope you’ll check it out. And stop by the party in Tari Lynn & Friends , Thursday, February 13th and Friday February 14th. I’ll have games, prizes and books. Did I mention chocolate?
The Amazon preorder price for #SilverBracelets is 99 cents. Get it at this special price for a limited time. Hope to see you at the party!
Then for the after party, Hunky Hubby and I are planning an evening just for two. We may even end up in Hermosa Beach. I’ll tell you all about it later…well, maybe not ALL about it…
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I know that New Year’s is barely over, but I’m already looking forward to Valentine’s. I walk through craft stores, department stores…even the grocery store, and love the red and pink lined aisles. I love the paper doilies, heart shaped boxes of chocolates (especially See’s Chocolates), and sentimental cards. I love planning a romantic evening, what I’ll wear, where we’ll go. Even after thirty years of marriage, Valentine’s is an important holiday to both me and Hunky Hubby. Yes, my gearhead, construction worker, sports loving husband, is a romantic.
So, this year in The Charmed Connection, our Charmed Writers Facebook reader group, we’re having a special celebration. We’re celebrating from February 1st through 16th with romance interviews from some of our very owned Charmed Writers.
Would you like to find out what authors find to be romantic? What would an author consider a romantic Valentine’s date? What would be on the menu? Who would be sitting on the other side of the table? How would the evening end? (This is on facebook, so it’ll have to be PG, LOL)
We have some wonderful authors participating in this event, and we hope you’ll join us!
And on Valentine’s Day I have a new book releasing, #SilverBracelets is Book 2 in my #HermosafortheHoliday series. Book 1, #PleaseSayYes is a Valentine’s story. If you haven’t read it, I hope you’ll check it out (in fact, if you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I have 10 free ecopies to give away this month).
Book 2 begins the day after Valentine’s, and ends on St. Patrick’s Day. #SilverBracelets is available for preorder right now on Amazon for 99 cents. This price will go up after the book releases next month.
I hope you’ll join us in The Charmed Connection. Charmed Writers is made up of over 130 authors from NY Times and USAToday best-selling authors to new authors just beginning their journey. We work together, learn from each other, support each other…and share the results with you.
I’ve wandered down the rows of bookshelves in libraries and bookstores so many times in my life, fantasizing about what it would feel like to see my book on one of those shelves, hold a book with my name on it in my hands, sign books for readers, and maybe, just maybe get fan letters.
Last year my first book was published, and this year it was released in print. I’m still excited to see my name on the front of the book…and inside. And, I’ve signed books. Yes, it’s true! I’ve signed dozens of books this year. But a couple of weeks ago, I got my first fan letter…from an unexpected reader.
#PleaseSayYes is book 1 in the 6 book #HermosaForTheHolidays series. It’s a sweet romcom. I wrote it for adults of all ages…think Hallmark movie. Sweet, light, hopefully a heartwarming read that might even make you laugh. And adults of all ages have read it, young single women, young mothers, a few men, and grandmothers into their 80’s have read this story, but what I didn’t expect was kids reading the book after all it is a romance. I’ve had a review from a 12 year old, and my first fan letter was from a 9 year old girl. She wanted to share the book with her class.
So, of course, I’m sending her 6 books, so she can keep her copy. And what she doesn’t know, is that in the upcoming release of book 2 #SilverBracelets, she is a character in the story. I had so much fun including her, and I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed receiving her letter.
One more fantasy to fulfill, to see my books in bookstores. I’m feeling pretty good about the dreams I’ve checked off, but I think the one I’ll treasure most is this letter from my young reader.
If you love Christmas and romance, you’ll want to add author, Jina Bacarr’s latest book, Christmas Once Again, to your holiday reading list, it’s available TODAY!!
Jina has taken all that is Christmas, and woven it through this tale of love, heartbreak and breathtaking magic to take us back in time. Kate Arden, an accomplished career woman in the 1950’s has never gotten over the loss of her first love in World War II.
Defying the conventions of the 1940’s, Kate, a beautiful young typist from a warm, caring, blue collar family, and Jeffrey Rushbrooke, heir to the Rushbrooke paper mill that supports the economy in the small town of Posey Creek, fall in love, pledging to be together forever.
On the night that they plan to elope, Jeff is called to Washington on a special mission, and Kate never sees him again
By 1955, Kate is an accomplished single, career woman, living in New York. When her younger sister calls and begs her to come home for Christmas, Kate reluctantly gives in dreading the memories of her lost love. She would give anything to be able to go back in time to change history, or at least see Jeff just one more time.
But once on the train, the magic of Christmas and true love take over. Kate finds herself getting off of the train in 1943, one week before Jeff is called to Washington. Going back isn’t as easy as it seems. While she looks like the 19-year-old girl that all of the people in her life knew, inside she’s a more mature and independent young woman, and she knows what the future holds for those around her.
Can two young lovers reach across time to be together again? Is the magic of Christmas strong enough to change history?
Christmas Once Again is the perfect mix of romance and Christmas past, and a great start to the current holiday season. If you’re looking for that Norman Rockwell Christmas with a little bit of Miracle on 34th Street. Look no further. You’ll find it here!
And to watch the book trailer:
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