New Year, New Ideas, New Story Inspiration Pages to Share

NewYearNewIdeas-PurpleOh…my…has it really been an entire month since I posted on my blog? And that last blog was about routines and resistance?

Well, it’s a new year and time to make a renewed effort to get back into my routines and overcome resistance in all areas including writing.

 

A NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW IDEAS

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using Vellum (an ebook and print book formatting package that I bought on January 1st). It’s only available for Macs, so I’m very lucky I chose to buy a MacBook in September to replace my old (and extremely slow and noisy) PC laptop that I’ll soon be retiring completely (along with my PC copy of Scrivener that I previously used to format my eBooks).

BeCreativeWriting

Yes! Vellum is making my life easier now that I’ve invested time in learning the program (which was quite easy) and time transferring and re-jigging the pages of my books (which is not easy if you’re obsessive, like me, about details to the point where you want to give yourself a shake). Still, I’m happy to say that Choosing Bravery and The Calling Birds print books will be available soon.

Interestingly as I was going through the book reformatting process, I noticed I’d missed something. In a couple of books, I’d added a Story Inspiration page to the back. I decided to spend time creating a similar page for all of my books. And now I’m happy once again to say that I’ll be sharing these pages here on my blog (so you don’t have to go anywhere or buy anything to read this new content).

I’ll share one Story Inspiration page a week. Here’s the first…

CHOOSING BRAVERY – STORY INSPIRATION PAGE 

JacquiNelson_ChoosingBravery_800While writing Following Faith and watching six-year-old Élodie Rousseau become such a fundamental part (even while mostly off screen), I knew my next story had to be her grown-up adventure. I also knew she needed a larger-than-life man to match her big personality.

A decade or more before, I’d met someone with the surname Bravery and tucked it away for future use. The right story hero never appeared to claim the name. After writing Following Faith and watching The Revenant, I knew Élodie’s match would be a legendary almost mythical mountain man. A man who’d been brought low by a bear, but could be lifted high by Élodie and her mountain home. A man named Bravery.

When my research led me to Oregon’s Cascade Volcanic Arc, Newberry Volcano, and lava tubes, I knew the majority of their story would be underground—a challenging place to describe. When travel isn’t an option, a writer relies on pictures. I created a Pinterest board to help me visualize the story. For links to Choosing Bravery’s picture board and boards created for my other stories, visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com

~ Jacqui

MORE INSPIRATION TO COME

Click HERE if you’d like to read the opening of Choosing Bravery on my website.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about what inspired me to write Élodie and Lachlan Bravery’s story (which you can read for free – see how below). I also hope you’ll join me for the next several Mondays as I share the new (and old) Story Inspiration pages for all of my books. ❤

Jacqui


Have you downloaded your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is a currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order.

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition almost ready!

FB.Header-Angel

Wishing you happy reading.

Advertisements

The 3 Rs of Writing: Routine, Resistance, Return #MondayBlogs

WritingRoutine-TimeAndWillpowerFor me as a writer, one of my biggest challenges is sticking to my writing routine.

When I have the time and willpower to write regularly, the words flow, ideas show up, plot problems get solved, story hooks appear and keep me hooked on writing not only the next sentence but the next chapter. I’m eager to sit down each day and to see how the story can change from a spark of imagination to several thousands of words that I’ve revised dozens of times.

ROUTINE: Looking at YESTERDAY & TODAY

Sunday writing & coffee get togethers

Sunday writing & coffee get togethers

Part of my routine is writing at a coffee shop every Sunday morning with my friend Marion Ann. This blog was written yesterday during our get-together.

More and more, I find myself pondering the power of routine. But I’m also thinking about the importance of acknowledging that sooner or later life gets complicated – and inevitably my routine will be interrupted.

My writing will be set aside. Temporarily, I tell myself. Then it will stay aside a day too long and my momentum is lost. The longer I’m away from my routine, the harder it is to get back to it. If a writer isn’t writing consistently, it’s hard to finish a book.

RESISTANCE: Looking BACK at LAST YEAR

Part of the challenge is Resistance (with a capital R). Steven Pressfield writes about Resistance in his book The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Last December, I read this book to my mom when she was in the hospital for several weeks. I’d always wanted to read it and my mom enjoyed it so much she read it on her own when she got home.

A New Years Day walk with my mom

A New Years Day walk with my mom – even our shadows were fun.

This November my mom passed away so I won’t be reading to her, or talking about my writing with her, or sharing my finished stories with her, or spending my Christmas and New Years with her. But I will think of her every day and remember her advice that as long as you try to do your best, that’s all that matters.

RETURN: Looking FORWARD to NEXT YEAR

So, I continue trying – to write, to read, to make time to spend with family and friends, to make plans to return to my writing routine – after it is inevitably put on hold. I have many stories I still want to write. Each story is a work in progress and so is life. They are both full of complications.

Russell Books' Books on View location's staircase

Russell Books’ Books on View location’s staircase

This week’s complication is signing up to work 6 days straight at my usually part-time job at Russell Books. It’s the busy retail season and people love books. So, I want to help them get those books and also do a bit extra so my awesome full-time co-workers can take time off to visit their out-of-town friends and family. I’ve been very lucky to have had the time and opportunity to spend every Christmas with my mom (except for last year when I had a cold so bad, I eventually couldn’t visit her in the hospital – but we were blessed with time to celebrate later on in January).

TIME is the BEST GIFT

I hope you have lots of time to do whatever and see whoever makes you happy this holiday season. And if you are missing someone like I am, then know that you are not alone. I’m thinking of you ❤

Jacqui


Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is a currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order.

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition coming in January.

FB.Header-Angel

Wishing you happy reading and holidays 🎄🎁⛄

How can 2 Men and 1 Bride equal the Perfect Match? #MondayBlogs

Gus-LovableTroublemakerTWO MEN. ONE BRIDE. 

It’s the perfect match because the two men are Jack Peregrine and his grandpa, Gus. And Grandpa Gus is on a mission to see his grandson wed!

Whenever anyone asks, “Do you have a favorite story that you’ve written?” The answer is always, “Yes, it’s the story I’m currently writing or tweaking.” And right now I’m putting the final polish on The Calling Birds (The Fourth Day in The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series) – so it’s my favorite!

I’m in love not only with my hero and heroine (and the town of Noelle) but with Grandpa Gus. It was great fun hearing what he wanted to say (and do) and then seeing how his grandson and his new granddaughter would respond.

The excerpt I’m sharing today is from the fourth scene in my story, but it was the first scene I wrote. Grandpa Gus was eager to tell me his plan. I’m very happy he started speaking to me and insisted that he join this story and be a big part of it.

Exerpt2-HelloGG-THE CALLING BIRDS – EXCERPT

The 1st day of Christmas

December 25, 1876

“What the blazes happened here?” The door connecting Jack’s carpentry shop to the back of the freight office slammed behind him with a bang that echoed his bellow of disbelief.

Bright rolls of fabric, heaps of ribbon, lace, and partially made dresses lay strewn over every stack in the storage area. The confusion of colors made his head hurt. Heavenly Father, please tell me I’m dreaming.

The early hour shed no light on the situation. The office harbored as many shadows as the pair of windows on the opposite wall. He lifted his lantern higher, rubbed his eyes, and took a second look.

Nope. His luck still hadn’t changed for the better.

Another task had been heaped on his already mountain-high workload—and Grumpy Gus had to be the culprit. Why had his grandfather removed Miss Bell’s belongings from their transport sacks? The cantankerous side of the old man had been appearing more often than his cooperative counterpart.

“Hellfire!” A fist of panic punched his heart. Had Gus wandered off again? If he reached the snowpack beyond the tree line, he might trigger an avalanche and plummet to—

“Is cursing how you say hello?”

The question came from the other side of the hills of rainbow shrouded freight where he now glimpsed the faint glow of another lantern.

“I know yer mother—God rest her sweet-as-sarsaparilla soul—taught you better ’n that.”

His worry turned to relief, then frustration and finally acceptance. “Good morning.” He aimed for a cheerful tone but he doubted if he’d have fooled a stranger, let alone someone who knew him as well as Gus.

“That’s better but not great. I’m adding brushing up on yer manners to my list.”

That Gus had a task list was nothing new. Jack had one as well. Lately, Gus might’ve slowed down, but the drive to work hard ran deep in the Peregrine family.

The smell of brewing coffee wafted from the other side of the stacks where Gus remained hidden from view. As long as the old man was somewhere in the building, it was a better day than most. And today was no different than any other. Put family and their shipping business first. Ignore his compulsion to barricade his life against heartache.

Instead, he must lay his soul bare and do whatever was necessary—including getting married again.

A vision rose in his mind. His tiny bride standing below him with her chin held high, questioning him with eyes that hid as much as they revealed.

Wary but curious. Watchful. Like a colly bird.

No, smaller than a blackbird and full of contrasts. Black hair. Pale skin.

A tiny chickadee perched on the tip of his open palm. One false move and she’d take flight and never be seen again. He’d be left with only memories. Her unwavering regard had entranced him, but her smile had rocked his dreams.

“Bet Madame Bonheur is chomping at the bit to get those brides out of her girls’ rooms.”

Jack nodded. Miss Bell would be much safer and extremely more appreciated in his bed upstairs. He couldn’t shake that thought in particular from his mind. He needed a wife and now that he’d seen his bride he desired her as well.

A future full of misery loomed large. Miss Bell had agreed to be his wife, but now that she’d seen the town and him, could he convince her to actually marry him?

“First thing you gotta do,” Gus said as if sensing his worry, or maybe sharing it, “is impress her with yer manners ’n sugar talk. Women like that stuff.”

TheCallingBirds_FBAd

THE CALLING BIRDS – releases Dec. 4th!

Want to read an excerpt where Jack and Birdie first meet?  Click HERE.

Interested in seeing the pictures that inspired my characters and storyline? Click HERE.

Can a dress save the world? To read about the inspiration for Birdie Bell (a dressmaker on the run from a troubled past), click HERE.

THE CALLING BIRDS – BLURB

Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

THE CALLING BIRDS is the 4th book in The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series.

12Days_FBBanner

SERIES BLURB

Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.

Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.

Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms. Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle?

For all twelve authors’ bios, click HERE.

For more details about The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series (and The Brides of Noelle series), visit the Facebook Page www.facebook.com/groups/1625057007540555


Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order. And my heroine from The Calling Birds (Bernadette Bellamy / Birdie Bell) is mentioned in Choosing Bravery

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition coming later.

Choosing Bravery - Download for Free


Wishing you many days full of happy reading ❤

Jacqui 

New Book, New Pinterest Obsession #MondayBlogs

I love having visual references for my characters and setting. For The Calling Birds (my 7th book, releasing Dec 4th) pictures of English actor Charlie Hunnam and French actress Emmanuelle Béart were my references for my hero and heroine, Jack and Birdie. But my story also includes Jack’s grandpa Gus, and I was super excited when I found a picture on Pinterest that almost perfectly portrays Jack’s absentminded but very feisty and loveable grandpa….

Inspiration for the Calling Birds

If you’re on Pinterest and want to see more pictures that inspired the creation of The Calling Birds, I’ve created a dedicated Pinterest board for the story.

The Calling Birdshttps://www.pinterest.ca/Jacqu…/the-calling-birds-a-novella/
My author page: https://www.pinterest.ca/JacquiAuthor/

Noelle, Colorado – Christmas, 1876. A wanted woman’s flight, a man in pursuit of honesty not stolen gold…and only nine days left to save the town * Releasing Dec 4, 2017 *

The Calling Birds is the 4th book in The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series.

The 12 days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides

Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.

Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.

Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.

Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown starts on Christmas Day.

For more details about The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series, visit the Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1625057007540555/

 


Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order. And my heroine from The Calling Birds (Bernadette Bellamy / Birdie Bell) is mentioned in Choosing Bravery

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition coming later.

Download for free, Choosing Bravery


Wishing you many days full of happy reading ❤

Jacqui 

The Calling Birds: the 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series #MondayBlogs

Noelle, Colorado – Christmas, 1876. A wanted woman’s flight, a man in pursuit of honesty, not stolen gold…and only nine days left to save the town. Available on Amazon. 

Day04-TheCallingBirds-JacquiNelson-SmallerSize

BOOK BLURB:

Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

TheCallingBirds_FBAd

BOOK EXCERPT:

A crowd of women filled La Maison’s front hall. One of them was Jack’s bride, Birdie Bell. A hard-working woman who’d started her own dressmaking business in Denver. A mature woman of thirty. A strong woman who wouldn’t break under life’s hardships.

Maybe his luck would change today. With time Miss Bell might come to respect or maybe even enjoy his company. He needed this marriage to last.

He should’ve looked for his grandfather first, but he couldn’t stop his gaze from scanning the women in search of his bride. Even wild-swept from the storm and huddled together shivering from the cold, the women were a fine-looking bunch. How had Mrs. Walters managed that?

A raven-haired, pale-skinned woman standing slightly apart from the rest snared his attention. Her beauty would’ve been enough to hold any man spellbound but her tiny size turned him rigid with concern. A woman so small wouldn’t last long in a town like Noelle.

His worry turned to anger. Whoever had asked her to come here should be horsewhipped!

A faint smile curved her mouth as if she was amused by the prospect of being housed in a location as scandalous as La Maison. He must be dreaming. She shouldn’t be here and she couldn’t be amused.

She surveyed the room, studying everything and everyone—until she saw him. Then she stared at him the way he felt he must be staring at her, as if mesmerized.

“I’ve come for a bride,” a voice proclaimed loudly, a familiar voice that made him cringe. “Which one of you is the future Mrs. Peregrine?”

The woman spun to face the speaker—his Grandpa Gus.

A wave of gasps and tittering laughter swept the crowd. Several of the women glanced at the tiny woman who’d captivated him. She was now staring at Gus with wide eyes.

Her gaze darted to him. When she caught him still staring at her, her expression turned blank and devoid of emotion. She straightened her shoulders, strode straight up to Gus, and said in a lyrical voice with a seductively foreign accent, “I am the bride you seek, Mr. Peregrine. My name is Birdie Bell.”

A surge of euphoria followed quickly by alarm made him stagger and lean heavily against the nearest wall. This tiny Frenchwoman couldn’t be Miss Bell. He’d asked for a strong woman. This one wouldn’t be able to hold up under his workload, the rough town, or the surrounding wilderness. She’d abandon Noelle and him.

Could he blame her if she did?

If she didn’t, she might die here.

“No!” His voice shot out louder than Gus’ a moment ago.

Complete silence descended around him. The chance to make a good impression was long gone.

12Days_FBBanner

The Calling Birds is the 4th book in the 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series.

SERIES BLURB: 

Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.

Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.

Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.

Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown starts on Christmas Day.

SERIES AUTHORS:

The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides, written by twelve bestselling authors, put a new twist on an old song in this heartwarming historical romance series with stories ranging from sweet to sensual.

The Partridge by Kit Morgan – A clever man’s plan becomes a matchmaking disaster…and the countdown begins to save the town of Noelle. Releasing Dec 1.

The Dove by Shanna Hatfield – A bewitching gypsy and a beguiled blacksmith tangle over a hidden treasure…with only eleven days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 2.

The Hens by Merry Farmer – A wandering woman finds exactly who she was looking for, but not who she was expecting…with only ten days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 3.

The Calling Birds by Jacqui Nelson – A wanted woman’s flight, a man in pursuit of honesty not stolen gold…and only nine days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 4.

The Gold Ring by Caroline Lee – A dangerous masquerade and a twist of fate put Noelle’s future at risk…with only eight days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 5.

The Goose by Peggy L. Henderson – A woman on the run, a man who doesn’t want to be caught—it’s one wild goose chase…with only seven days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 6.

The Swan by Piper Huguley – A beautiful woman with secrets comes to Noelle to confront a powerful person with the truth…and only six days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 7.

The Maid by Rachel Wesson – A convicted murderer, a young maid on the run…and five days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 8.

The Dancing Lady by Mimi Milan – A desirous diner owner and a disguised dancer waltz their way to love… with only four days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 9.

The Lord by Danica Favorite – An assayer and a ladies maid, each living a lie. Will the truth ruin everything…with only three days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 10.

The Piper by Amanda McIntyre – A determined matchmaker, a stubborn mountain man…and only two days left to save the town. Releasing Dec 11.

The Drum by E.E. Burke – A bad luck bride, an exploding disaster…can Noelle be saved in just one day? Releasing Dec 12.

For all twelve authors’ bios, click HERE.

For more details about the 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series (and The Brides of Noelle series), visit the Facebook Page www.facebook.com/groups/1625057007540555

Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order. And my heroine from The Calling Birds (Bernadette Bellamy / Birdie Bell) is mentioned in Choosing Bravery

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition coming later.

Landscape4


Wishing you many days full of happy reading ❤

Jacqui 

What’s a Marvelous Mystery Project? #MondayBlogs #MarvelousMystery

Pixabay-SecretI have a secret. It’s been hard to keep because it involves an exciting writing adventure.

I’m one of twelve authors working on a Marvelous Mystery Project that will release this December!

WHAT CAN I TELL YOU?

So far, not much!

  • I was asked to join the project in April
  • The genre is historical romance
  • There are 12 interlinked books
  • And these are the 12 authors…

12 AUTHORS GETTING READY TO REVEAL A MARVELOUS MYSTERY PROJECT!


Amanda McIntyre

Amanda McIntyre

Amanda McIntyre’s storytelling is a natural offshoot of her artistic creativity. A visual writer, living in the rich tapestry of the American heartland, her passion is telling character-driven stories with a penchant (okay, some call it a wicked obsession) for placing ordinary people in extraordinary situations to see how they overcome the obstacles to their HEA. A bestselling author, her work is published internationally in Print, eBook, and Audio. She writes steamy contemporary and sizzling historical romance and truly believes, no matter what, love will always find a way.

Find out more about Amanda on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazon ~ Goodreads


Caroline Lee

Caroline Lee

USA Today Bestseller Caroline Lee has been reading romance for so long that her fourth-grade teacher used to make her cover her books with paper jackets. But it wasn’t until she (mostly) grew up that she realized she could WRITE it too. So she did. Caroline is living her own little Happily Ever After in NC with her husband, sons, and brand-new daughter, Princess Wiggles. And while she doesn’t so much “suffer” from Pittakionophobia as think all you people who enjoy touching Band-Aids and stickers are the real weirdos, she does adore rodents, and never met a wine she didn’t like. Caroline was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2006 and is really quite funny in person. Promise.

Find out more about Caroline on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazonGoodreads


Danica Favorite

Danica Favorite

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado. Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.

Find out more about Danica on  Facebook ~ TwitterAmazonGoodreads  

 


E.E. (Elisabeth) Burke

E.E. (Elisabeth) Burke

E.E. Burke is a bestselling author of emotionally powerful historical and contemporary romances that combine her unique blend of wit and warmth. Her books have been nominated for numerous national and regional awards, including Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice and Kindle Best Book. She was also a finalist in the RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a journalist and an advertising executive, before finally getting around to living the dream–writing stories readers can get lost in.

Find out more about Elisabeth on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazonGoodreads


Jacqui Nelson

Jacqui Nelson

Fall in love with a new Old West…where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. You’ll find Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, and trick-riding superstars in Jacqui Nelson‘s stories. Those are her heroines. Wait till you meet her heroes! Her love for historical romance adventures with grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in northern Canada. She’s been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® & the Laramie® — but her best reward is hearing from readers who have enjoyed her stories.

Find out more about Jacqui on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazonGoodreads


Kit Morgan

Kit Morgan

A consistent Top 100 lists bestseller, Kit Morgan, aka Geralyn Beauchamp, has been writing for fun all of her life. When writing as Geralyn Beauchamp, her books are epic, adventurous, romantic fantasy at its best. When writing as Kit Morgan they are whimsical, fun, inspirational sweet and clean stories that depict a strong sense of family and community. ‘His Prairie Princess’ is the first of the Prairie Brides books and the first in the series of a long line of stories about Clear Creek, Oregon. One of the wackiest little towns in the old west! Get to know the townsfolk in Clear Creek and come sit a spell!

Find out more about Kit on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazonGoodreads


Merry Farmer

Merry Farmer

Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Torpedo, her grumpy old man, and Justine, the bouncy new baby. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. Her books have reached the top of Amazon’s charts, and have been named finalists for several prestigious awards, including the RONE Award for indie romance.

Find out more about Merry on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazonGoodreads


Mimi Milan

Mimi Milan

Mimi Milan is an award winning, bestselling author who writes across several genres. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University. When she isn’t staring at a computer screen, she can be found in the suburbs of North Carolina, spending time with her family and imaginary friends. An activist for several causes, her books donate twenty percent of all proceeds to various organizations that help women, children, and veterans.

Find out more about Mimi on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazon ~ Goodreads


Peggy L Henderson

Peggy L Henderson

Peggy L Henderson. I was born and raised in Germany, but long before my family immigrated to the U.S., I was fascinated with the American West. I grew up on german-dubbed episodes of Little House, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza, as well as the adventure novels set in the old American West by German author, Karl May. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and together with our two sons, we make our home in Southern California. Our family also includes a Labrador Retriever, a welsh pony, a miniature horse, three cats, four bearded dragons, and a flock of laying hens. Almost every summer since my husband and I graduated from high school, we spend two weeks camping in Yellowstone National Park.

Find out more about Peggy on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazon ~ Goodreads


Piper Huguley

Piper Huguley

Piper G Huguley, named 2015 Debut Author of the Year by Romance Slam Jam and Breakout Author of the Year by AAMBC, is a two-time Golden Heart ®finalist. and is the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a three-book series of historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters, published by Samhain Publishing. Book #1 in the series, A Virtuous Ruby, won Best Historical of 2015 in the Swirl Awards. Book #3 in the series, A Treasure of Gold, was named by Romance Novels in Color as a Best Book of 2015 and received 4 ½ stars from RT Magazine.

Find out more about Piper on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazon ~ Goodreads


Rachel Wesson

Rachel Wesson

Rachel Wesson is Irish born and bred. Drawn to reading from an early age, she started writing for publication a few years back. When she is not writing, Rachel likes to spend her time reading and playing with her three kids. Living in Dublin there are plenty of things to do, although the cowboys and Indians of her books rarely make an appearance

Find out more about Rachel on Facebook ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads

 

 


Shanna Hatfield

Shanna Hatfield

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Find out more about Shanna on Facebook ~ TwitterAmazon ~ Goodreads


WHEN WILL THIS MARVELOUS MYSTERY BE REVEALED?

MMP-PinkTeaser-12Picts

At a PARTY on Thursday, NOV. 9 and you’re all invited! Join the party now and RSVP your spot to be the first to discover all of the details, including…

  • Our real project name (marvelous mystery project is just a teaser!)
  • See our marvelous book covers
  • Read our mysterious excerpts
  • And participate in loads of fun giveaways!

Click here to join the party, then mark your calendar: #MarvelousMystery Party starts Nov. 9 (4 pm PT, 6 pm CT, or 7 pm ET).

While you’re waiting for the big reveal, follow each author on their social media links where we’ll be dropping hints about the project. Don’t forget to click the “Follow” button on each author’s Amazon page to receive an email notification when their book releases.

Looking forward to seeing you at the reveal party!


NOV. 2017: updated to say…

The secret has been revealed! The Marvelous Mystery Project is The Twelve Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series. Join the series Facebook Group and see what’s happening in Noelle, Colorado today!

Click HERE to read about my book The Calling Birds, the Fourth Day in the series.


Jacqui  🎉🎈🎀❤

MMP-BookSparkle.jpg



Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order.

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition coming later.

Landscape-A


Wishing you many days full of happy reading ❤

Jacqui

 

Animation Advice for Authors #ThrowbackThursday

Time to celebrate another Throwback Thursday!

ThrowbackThurs-TweakedToday I’m flashing way back to June 2013 and (according to the guest blog) my second ever blog post.  This one was with the Romance Writers of America® 2012 Golden Heart® finalists group, The Firebirds. Sending a big thank you to Firebird, Nikki McIntosh for hosting me.

Want a FREE read? If you haven’t downloaded the free story for my newsletter subscribers, visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com 


First, I’d like to say a big thank you to the Firebirds for inviting me to be a guest! This is only my second time as a guest blogger and I’m honored to be able to join the Firebirds for the day. Okay, what does a writer talk about in her second guest blog? How about…rules?

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

As a writer, I keep hearing about rules. Write something people will want to read. Write what you love. Write every day. Write quick, edit slow. Rules are everywhere — in life, art, business and every occupation on the planet.

Before my creativity was consumed by writing, one of my day jobs was as an animator for TV shows and electronic games. I’ve always loved watching movies. Animated movies held particular interest because of their expressive format. For me, they were like a painting had come alive on the screen. I was captivated. I wanted to be involved in creating something that could induce that deep a reaction.

But, yes, there are rules in animation as well!

There appear to be as many rules as there are words to describe them. We call them principles, basics, tips, suggestions and (according to Captain Jack Sparrow) guidelines.

SO, AS A WRITER WHO ONCE WAS AN ANIMATOR, WHAT’S MY SUGGESTION? 

Many of my insights about writing have come from being an animator, but which one do I use the most? Visualize sections of your story until they play out like a movie in your head…then get up and act it out.

Yes, I’m suggesting you get out of your writing chair and act out your story! Play the part of your character. What do they feel? What do they decide? What do they do? Then go back to your computer, or paper and pen, and fill the blank page with your discoveries.

Acting out an animation is something an animator does often. And, yes, this can be an embarrassing thing to do in a studio full of your co-workers! But we are willing to make sacrifices for our craft, right? Hopefully wherever you write is a little more private — as is my current writing desk. If not, there is always the sanctuary of the bathroom. I’d often go to the ladies room to act out an animation in private.

HOW ABOUT SOME EXAMPLES?

If I’m sharing examples, I might as well link them to the most widely recognizable animation project I worked on — the Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire game.

Can’t think of a walk for Harry, Hermione, or Ron (or your character)? Wanting a walk that matches your character’s unique personality? A walk that sets your character apart from the others? Get up and act it out. Walk around. Is your stride confident or meek? Do you shuffle or strut or scurry or limp? Do you huff and puff as you go uphill, or do you almost tumble over as you hurry down?

Can’t think of a hand gesture for Harry, Hermione, or Ron (or your character)? Get up and act it out. Are you having a conversation with someone? People talk with their hands. How do your hands move or interact with the rest of your body as you pretend you are facing the other character and as you (gasp) speak your dialogue aloud. Your family may wonder why they hear voices coming from the bathroom whenever you’re in there. Tell them it’s an extension of singing in the shower.

Can’t think of a facial expression for Harry, Hermione, or Ron (or your character)? Get up and act it out. Well, actually you can do this one sitting down. As an animator, we always had little mirrors on our desks for this purpose. Or, once again, head to the bathroom. Look in the mirror and pretend you are your character. Are they mad or sad or happy? Remember a time when you were mad or sad or happy. Analyze what your face does.

Can’t think of an idle for Harry, Hermione, or Ron (or your character)? Meaning what does a character do when they are doing nothing at all? This is the dreaded idle cycle in electronic games. And it’s a biggie. Sometimes a character’s stillness says more about them than their biggest, boldest moves. Once again, get up and act it out. Try to think small. Are you relaxed, tired or trying to hide something? Do you feel a twitch or tremor in a certain part of your body? Do you fidget or shift your weight? Are your eyes the only part of your body that moves?

WANT TO TAKE MY SUGGESTIONS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

Why not try this for all of your characters — your hero, heroine, villain and secondary characters? You don’t have to go overboard. One unique, descriptive action can speak volumes.

Quite often I’ve found I can act out my story while sitting in my chair. But I’ve also found that the physical act of getting up puts me the mood to use my whole body (inside and out) to figure out what’s going on with my characters. It makes me dig deep.

Being a writer or an animator is a bit like playing God. We take nothing (a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen) and create something that comes alive and elicits an emotional response. Or at least that was my goal. It still is.

Thanks for taking the time to join me with the Firebirds!


AND NOW BACK TO PRESENT DAY

I loved my days (or more precisely, 7 years) as an animator, but being a writer is awesome as well. I’m in control of everything: plotting/brainstorming, character and setting design, making my characters talk and move (animation!) and all revisions and final polishes.

I’ve studied the rules of writing (and my studies never end) but sometimes I have fun breaking the rules. For me, it’s the one about not including a prologue because they’re considered backstory, and it’s better to start with the present-day action. But heck, I’m a sucker for a prologue. I can’t resist 😊

HOW ABOUT YOU? 

I’d love to hear your comments. What are your favorite rules/suggestions for writing? Writers – how do you break the rules? Readers – what rule do you believe an author broke and you loved them for it?


Wishing you happy writing & reading ❤

Jacqui

🎀 Sign up for my newsletter & receive my new release Choosing Bravery for FREE 🎀
🎀 Or buy Choosing Bravery on Amazon for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus 🎀

LightDots-Purple

Questioning History is Never Simple #MondayBlogs

town-sign-1699981_960_720The heroine in my story-in-progress has lived most of her life on the run, but in 1862 her home was a mining camp in…

Here’s where it gets complicated. What do I call British Columbia in 1876 (my heroine’s present day) when she’s thinking about an event from 1862?

It’s complicated because of a name change in 1871.

  • 1871: British Columbia became a province of Canada.
  • 1858: The Colony of British Columbia was established by the British (because of a gold rush).

So if in 1876 my heroine was remembering an event that happened in 1862, would she call it the Colony of British Columbia?

But if she was wondering was happening there during her present day (1876), would she call it the province of British Columbia? Depends I guess if she heard the news from 1871.

And this is why sometimes I just like to call British Columbia (and Canada in general) the Far North. So much simpler. But if we are singing Canada’s national anthem it’s the True North. So it’s never simple. Now there’s a truth.

And here’s where some people are saying, why doesn’t your heroine just say British Columbia? I should’ve come to that conclusion sooner.

And now I think it’s time to distract you with a cute picture 😊 🐤

duck-2565611_960_720


NOV. 2017: updated to say…

My story-progress (that has a backstory in British Columbia) now has a name and a release date! Hope you enjoy THE CALLING BIRDS.


Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is a currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. And it mentions the Far North! It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order.

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus


Wishing you many days full of happy reading ❤

Jacqui

 

Can a Dress Save the World? #MondayBlogs

I’m currently writing a story where the heroine is a dressmaker. It’s part of a secret project so I can’t say more—at least not for a few months * click here to read the story * But I can say my dressmaker heroine is influencing my life or maybe my life is influencing hers.

Dressmaking is my character’s salvation. And suddenly everything about sewing seems extra interesting to me.

A CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF A NEEDLE

Bugs_Bunny-WikiWhile writing my new story-in-progress, I couldn’t get these hummed words out of my head: “a stitch in time saves nine – with a needle very fine.”  I wondered where I’d first heard them and why they’d stuck in my head. Then I remembered they came from Bugs Bunny. Oh, the power of childhood memories! I couldn’t remember anything else, but a quick internet search found the Warner Bros. animated short Bunny Hugged where Bugs pokes a needle into a champion wrestler’s backside while humming the tune to Stitch in Time.

A needle can be used as a weapon to win a battle or defend yourself. So might a pair of sewing scissors. That’s going in my story-in-progress.

AN APPRECIATION FOR BEAUTIFUL THINGS

miss-fisherI may have first been influenced to write about my dressmaker who loves fabrics (and has a treasure trove of them) because I’d been watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (based on the novels by Kerry Greenwood). Miss Fisher isn’t a dressmaker or a seamstress. She’s a lady detective in 1920s Melbourne, Australia, but she wears divine things. The fabrics are gorgeous. So are the colors (no surprise that captivated me), the textures, the patterns, the amazing details.

I came away with a new (or resurrected) appreciation for what people choose to wear, but also what they can or can’t wear because of their life. Yes, that’s going in my story-in-progress as well.

AN UNIQUE WAY TO FIND STRENGTH

The_Dressmaker_film_posterThen I watched The Dressmaker (based on the novel by Rosalie Ham). Another great story also set in Australia 1920s—this time in a tiny outback town. More divine clothing but also an exploration of how dressmaking can be a way to find strength when yours has been diminished by your past.

Clothing and fashion (and the needs and emotions behind these) can not only be a way to earn a living, they can be a gift or a way toward a better future. You might have already guessed…that’s also going in my story-in-progress.

CAN A DRESS SAVE THE WORLD?

So I’m learning that my dressmaker heroine is influenced by her profession and other people’s reactions to all that encompasses. She can’t save the world by making a dress, but she can save her world by recalling a childhood memory, appreciating beautiful things, working hard to find her strength, and yes making a dress (or a whole bunch of them).

She’s a work in progress. Maybe we all are. I know for certain that I am. And I can’t wait to share everything about my story-in-progress soon. So I hope you’ll stay tuned to my blog (or signed up to receive my newsletter) to hear more about my dressmaker heroine’s story and mine.


NOV. 2017: updated to say…

My dressmaker heroine is Birdie Bell (aka Bernadette Bellamy). Read all about her in THE CALLING BIRDS.


What’s your favorite dress or item of clothing? 

Hope you’ll leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your story! ❤

sewing-room-2095752_960_720-Pixabay


Have you got your FREE copy of Choosing Bravery?

Choosing Bravery is a currently a FREE read for my newsletter subscribers. It’s book 3 in my Lonesome Hearts series, but it’s also a stand-alone novella. The stories in this series can be read in any order.

🎀 Visit my website www.JacquiNelson.com and get your free e-copy today. Both MOBI (for Kindle) and ePUB (for other e-readers) files are available.

🎀 Or buy the book on AMAZON for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus

🎀 Print edition coming later.

Landscape-A


Wishing you many days full of happy reading ❤

Jacqui

 

For the Love of Color #ThrowbackThursday

Time to get Colorful this Throwback Thursday!

ThrowbackThurs-TweakedIf you read my blog on how something as simple as a jacket sleeve can make a big impact on my story characters, then you might not be too surprised by the color obsession that comes next! 🌈

Here’s another blog I did for the Sisters of Suspense group blog.


I don’t just love color. I adore color. I’m a color junkie. I’m addicted to looking at colors, visualizing them, trying to find the perfect words to describe them.

What’s My Favorite Color? 

That depends… I often say my favorite color is the blue-green of a tropical ocean. I love red and orange in my home, but I don’t like wearing those colors. For clothing, I’m drawn to greens, blues, and purples. My favorite flower is a pink peony. I love a dappled gray horse, but a chestnut (the most common horse color, and therefore may be judged the plainest) holds a special place in my heart because my childhood horse was a chestnut. She was anything but plain to me.

Finding the Perfect Color

Two of my favorite (and most used) sections in my collection of over 50 writing books are:

  • Jean Kent & Candace Shelton’s The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book’s four-page “color” section. Those few pages pack a wallop. Forty-two words are listed under the color “brown/beige” and two of my favorites are “toffee” and “foxy.”
  • David Grambs’ The Describer’s Dictionary has eighteen pages devoted to “light and colors.” While skimming these pages today for something “brown/beige,” the words “tortoise shell” and “nutmeg” snared my attention.

So many delicious words. So many choices. So many ways to add depth to what we see and feel. I’ve spent hours day-dreaming about how to describe something as simple as my characters’ hair and eye color. But it’s not so simple if I’ve decided these features and colors are what will make a unique impression on my other characters.

Focusing My Color Addiction

There’s only so many hours in a day, and if I don’t get something accomplished, my day can become very disappointing and gray. But wait, I love the color gray! But then again for most people, gray is often viewed as dull and boring. A gray sky equals a gray day.

And once again, I’ve become distracted thinking about color. For the love of—! That’s it gray—I’m focusing on you.

For the Love of GRAY

In two of my stories, my heroes have gray eyes. Their eyes are remarkable to my heroines in two very different ways…


JacquiNelson_BetweenHeavenandHell_800His eyes stampeded her defenses, caused a surge of alarm to dash up her spine. Never before had she seen such eyes. Metal gray, hard as the cold steel of a gun. Thankfully, those eyes weren’t looking at her but instead skewered Dawson.

In Between Heaven & Hell (Lonesome Hearts, book 1), Hannah (a woman raised by Osage Indians and who is now on the run) meets Paden Callahan, an Oregon Trail wagon master who agrees to let her compete with Dawson for the opportunity to win the role of a scout on his wagon train.


JacquiNelson_AdellasEnemy_800Lifting her head, Adella stared into eyes as silver as newly minted dollars, the only difference in a face as muddy as the rest. The man’s massive frame crouched protectively over her. She was bombarded with memories of her mother’s stories, tales passed down for generations of legendary Celtic warriors.

In Adella’s Enemy,  railroad foreman Cormac McGrady saves Adella Willows from being crushed by an avalanche of iron railroad ties loosened by an unknown saboteur…minutes after Adella arrives in town with a mission of her own—to sabotage Cormac’s railroad as well.


For the Love of RED

Oh yes, I love gray. But I also mentioned I love red, and in another story I have two women with red hair…


Between Love & Lies - Book CoverMadam Garrett’s squat frame sported a massive bosom and red hair…like Timothy Sullivan’s daughter, but there was a world of differences in the color. While Miss Sullivan’s mane gleamed with gold and strawberry tones, this woman’s hair was harsh and brassy as old copper.

In Between Love & Lies (Gambling Hearts, book 1) Noah Ballantyne meets the owner of the North Star Saloon and thus the owner of Sadie Sullivan, the woman whose farm his herd trampled and destroyed—a woman who, he is starting to realize, was forced into a life of prostitution because of him.


For the Love of BROWN

For me, brown is a challenging color to describe. But I love a plain (to some) chestnut horse. I also love brown eyes. So for my book 2 in my Gambling Hearts series, I decided my heroine would be a plain-featured woman with brown eyes. But of course, to my hero, Lewis Adams, her eyes are anything but plain…


JacquiNelson_BetweenHomeAndHeartbreak_eCover_800The silhouette of a woman, framed by a sunshine halo, bent over him. “You almost had him.” Her smooth-as-honey voice held a hint of amusement. She leaned closer, revealing deep brown eyes rich as polished heartwood.

In Between Home & Heartbreak (Gambling Hearts, book 2), Lewis Adams is bucked off a horse he’s trying to train and found flat on his back in the dust by Eldorado Jane—a traveling show performer who might be Lewis’ long lost friend, Plain Jane Dority, or a charlatan determined to steal the land Lewis bought from Jane’s parents.

Oh, and I couldn’t resist. I added a chestnut mare named Delilah to this story. I knew she’d be a match for Eldorado Jane’s giant jet-black horse with long mane called Samson 🐎


And now back to present day.

What’s Your Favorite Color? And why? 

I’d love to hear your comments. The question may be simple, but I have a feeling the answers will be wonderfully complex…and colorfully captivating.


Wishing you lots of rainbow-colored reading ❤

Jacqui

🎀 Sign up for my newsletter & receive my new release Choosing Bravery for FREE 🎀
🎀 Or buy Choosing Bravery on Amazon for $0.99  US | CA | UK | Aus 🎀

RainbowUmbrella