Saturday, April 29, 2017

On Being a Grandparent...




Everyone said it would be the best thing in the world.

And it is!

Off to write. My weeks are taken up with cuddling with grandbaby, walking her when she's fussy, taking her on buggy walks with her mama, and taking pictures, while trying to get my word count in.

You see--this is the culmination of romance!

Have a great one!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears http://www.celticbears

Friday, April 28, 2017

Kim Redford Travels to Baja Texas for Inspiration

Inspiration comes in a lot of ways from a lot of directions. I like to take advantage of research opportunities—particularly when they come on gilded wings.

When I started writing my Smokin’ Hot Cowboys series, I had horses and cattle and country on my mind. Out of the blue, or maybe because I’d been whining about my lack of inspiration, the cowboys and cowgirls of the Gee Cattle Companyand a local forestry firefighter who knew all the backroads volunteered to take me deep into the mountains of Southeast Oklahoma. Okay, I admit when Texans call Oklahoma Baja Texas, they hear Texas is Baja Oklahoma in return. If it weren’t for the Red River separating us, then . . . anyway, back to my point, the cowboys believed Gilbert Jones’ famous mustang ranch located near Medicine Spring would inspire me.

  And so we loaded into two big pickups and headed out on a main highway. Pretty soon we turned down a smaller road, crossed a dry creek bed, drove between two houses on somebody’s ranch, splashed across a stream, and . . . are you getting the idea? I’d never have found Medicine Spring by myself. Fortunately, I was on a guided tour, complete with snacks, kids, and country music under a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

We turned onto a narrow lane, all red dirt shaded by a canopy of green pines and huge oaks. We drove under a tall rusted metal pipe ranch sign that announced “Pure Spanish mustangs and Catoosa Champions.” As we eased down the road, we didn’t see mustangs or anybody. I quickly realized I’d probably missed this ranch in its prime by about fifty years, but even that idea was inspirational.

We parked on a gravel drive near Medicine Spring across from Gilbert Jones’ now empty, former white house with a tall red-brick chimney. As the truck engines cooled, pinging now and again, the only other sound came from the wind in the trees and the trill of birds in the distance. Even on a hot summer day, the air was cool due to the forest. I looked for the famous mustangs, but I didn’t see any, so I tried not to be disappointed since there was so much else to see.

I turned my attention to the spring, since I wanted to feature one in my series. Medicine Spring was an obvious WPA Project. A beautiful round structure of native rock dated 1929 had been built around the ancient spring known for its medicinal qualities. Inside, water tinted orange due to high iron content constantly gurgled into a wide and deep basin before overflowing onto one side of the stone floor and into a stream outside.


We followed the stream to an area of collapsed buildings made of wood and corrugated tin nestled in the shadow of tall trees with insects buzzing here and there. I saw an overturned table with an orange Formica top and metal edge that spoke of a bygone era. Folks had obviously once come here to dine and sleep when they raced horses in the nearby arena. I wished I could’ve been standing on the raised platform to watch the equestrian events back in the day. Of course, at this point I’d have been happy to see a single mustang.

We finally agreed we wouldn’t see horses that day, but we’d had a grand adventure and I’d gotten lots of inspiration. We headed out, taking it easy on the narrow red road. Suddenly, the forestry firefighter beside me slammed on his breaks and pointed across the road. I looked in that direction. Two beautiful mustangs ambled over, eyeing us curiously just as we eyed them. I couldn’t have been happier. My day was complete.



Kim Redford is an acclaimed, bestselling author of Western romance novels. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos for inspiration. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard. Visit her at http://www.kimredford.com.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Writing Spaces

As the weather (finally) warms up in my neck of the woods, I find myself beginning my annual #writingview journey. For all of my writing life, I've had an active and easily bored child by my side. When she was little, this meant I spent a lot of time at mall playgrounds with my laptop in hand. Now that she's older, the mall playgrounds don't cut it, but the need to get out of the house is still very much there.

Which is why, a few years ago, I started documenting all the beautiful, boring, and flat-out bizarre places I get my writing done. Roller skating rinks, trampoline parks, the area in the YMCA overlooking the pool, squashed up in the car during volleyball practice...you name it, I've been there furiously trying to get my word count in for the day.

Sunny days are pool days.

Rainy days are pool days, too.
It's turned into a kind of joke in my family...where has Tamara dragged her computer today? It's like one of those cute garden gnome journeys, but instead of going cool places like France or Australia, I'm staring at a brick wall outside a coffeeshop.

Even though it's not always glamorous, this process works really well for my productivity. Ideally, I'd like to someday have a freestanding summer house in the backyard that's secluded and sunny and dedicated 100 percent to writing, but until that day arrives, I make do with what I have: an active, busy life that requires me to squeeze in the writing wherever I can. 

Plus, this lets you follow along. Check out the #writingview hashtag on my Instagram feed, and you, too, can enjoy poolside writing days and frustrated attempts to find the perfect shady spot.

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STEALING MR. RIGHT is on sale right now for $1.99 at all ebook retailers!


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Reviews: The good, the bad, and the ugly

In the land of writing, learning to accept criticism from our peers and editors is something we expect from the get go. We know criticism is for the greater good, that at the end of the road we ultimately become better writers. They are akin to kindly guardians guiding us gently through that good night, only wanting the best for us and our precious book babies. But what about book reviews? Do they serve a purpose, or are they little more than a proverbial thorn in our side, destined solely to either make or break us?  

Unlike our editors, agents and critique partners, book reviews are usually written by total strangers. There’s the difference! They will never have to sit across from us at lunch whilst we cry into our soup (or ice-cream if we’ve really lost it), nor do they particularly care if our book is a spectacular flop. They write the review either because they have to, for work etc, or because they felt moved to do so.

Sometimes reviews make us feel bad...
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The first proper review I ever received for the non-Wattpad version of Dating the Undead was a one star essay of everything they thought I’d done wrong (apart from the sex scenes. Those were good apparently. Go me). I felt absolutely broken. I could have handled it if it was my second review or my fifth or my tenth, but to work so hard to have that as my first real review on my first published book cut me to the core. I went through the various stages—shock, denial, anger, before finally accepting it is what it is. After all it was their opinion, what could I do?

Of course, if I hadn’t been such a needy McNeederson of validation, I would never have seen the review in the first place. If I’d waited, I’d have seen the nice ones that came in soon after. The ones that made me smile and feel proud. But that’s the point isn’t it? Writing is exactly like life. We care too much about what other people think of us and our work, when really we should worry more about what we think of ourselves.

Over the past few months I’ve read lots of advice on how to cope with reviews, ranging from simply, don’t read them, to my personal favourite; ‘it’s subjective. Some people even hate Harry Potter.’ GASP! But what I finally learned is that every review has its place, every review comes from a human being who has taken the time to give our work mental and emotional space, and whether it’s one or five star, that’s actually sort of special. Getting reviews may feel like eating onions at times, but in the cutthroat world of writing, those onions are someone else’s waterlilies. Somewhere out there is a writer who would sell their grandmother to be in the position of getting them.

In a way, having a one star review come first was a blessing in disguise. I’ve been to the dark side and I will not venture back. As wise Yoda once said, ‘Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.’

Yoda. Who knew a thing or two about a thing or two.

So next time you read a bad review, don’t fret. Be proud that you’re a writer who warrants them in the first place. I don’t know about you, but my dream was never about getting a great Goodreads rating anyway.


Dating the Undead releases May 2nd! Visit vdateservice.com to read the first chapter and check out the vampires on offer!





Monday, April 24, 2017

Hot Rescue Divers AND a Sale? Yes, Please!

Have you been waiting for just the right moment to dive (heh...yes, I'm a pun-ster) into the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue series? Now's the time! The first book in the series, Hold Your Breath, is only $1.99 in e-book format. Today's the last day it'll be on sale, so don't wait to grab your copy!


In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive…even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou—and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day...so?

I used to plant tons of trees, when I had a lot of acreage–I love forests. But I was so disappointed to learn the people who bought my home in Oklahoma clearcut most of the trees. Beautiful pines, helped to stop erosion on the hillside, and they provided homes for birds, beauty, solitude. There’s no prettier sound than wind blowing through a forest and hearing the rustle of branches or pine needles.
We have old forest in and around our neighborhood. Most new home developments, they just clearcut the trees, leaving barren land. But here, I have several old pines. And behind me, one of my neighbors has beautiful oaks. He wants to cut them down. Why? Because they drop leaves and twigs and he has to pick them up. Really? He has to cut the grass too!  Maybe he should dig it up?

In Texas heat, shade trees are at a premium. They’re beautiful. You see them towering a hundred feet above the homes. Why would you want to cut them down??? I had to have one of the pine trees taken down because it had died, but that’s the only reason to do so, or if the roots are getting into the foundation.

But with such a small lot, which I’m thankful for in that it’s much easier to water and maintain, I’m restricted to small shrubs and flowers and such for the most part. Though….I’d like to get some more crepe myrtles, they’re like small trees.

I have planted all of the flowers here, the zinnias from seeds which should turn into flowers soon, the marigolds and daylilies and Mexican heather, the dianthus, and much more. Many will come back next year as they’re perennials. Many will reseed and return even if they’re annuals. I started last year with the daylilies and a few salvia and coneflowers, and the builders had planted coreopsis and snapdragons. So each year, the flowerbeds should be even more beautiful. Oh, and sunflowers.


They’re coming up from the seeds dropped by the birds, but I love seeing them in the garden as they remind me of my father who used to plant them.


What I love about the flowers, besides the color and vibrancy, is that the honeybees, bumblebees, hummingbirds and butterflies love them.


So think about Earth Day, and if you can, plant something to give back to nature.

Have a lovely day!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears http://www.celticbears

Friday, April 21, 2017

Don't Miss Out on Team Sourcebooks Giveaways, News, and Exclusive Content!

Have you discovered the Team Sourcebooks Facebook page yet? If not, you should head there right away and make sure you click the "Like" button. And because we know how fickle Facebook can be about what shows up in your feed, you should visit the page every day so that you don't miss out on:

  • Exclusive content from your favorite Sourcebooks Casablanca authors. 
  • Author-specific giveaways posted almost every day.
  • New releases and other author news.
  • The monthly giveaway where you can win all the releases from that month. 
You read that right! Every month, we do a drawing for a bundle of books of all the new releases for that month. The April releases giveaway is going on right now and closes on Sunday 4/23 at 8 pm Pacific Time. Enter for your chance to win all the Sourcebooks Casablanca April releases from  Kianna Alexander, Adriana Anders, Sarah Castille, Vivien Jackson, Abbie Roads, Terry Spear, and Julie Ann Walker!