Archive Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Blurb Queen – A Review

This post is a tad on the embarrassing side. 

Why? Well, I can write my blurbs – sure. No problem. Seriously, it’s not hard.

What is hard, is an amazing blurb.

Okay, the why’s are getting annoying. Just kidding. A lot of authors feel this way. We’re too close to the story. We just put hours, days, weeks, months, years into writing down this story in 20,000 to 150,000 words (or MORE!). How the heck are we supposed to sum all that up in 300 or less?

Should be simple – pick the most important parts and that’s what you focus on. Right?

Wrong. All the words are important to me! All the plot points and characters are important to me! 

Sigh. 

Authors with particular skill sets have been offering their services to other authors. A friend of mine opened up a company offering blurb help.

I’m always leery of hiring people, even my friends. I have no idea why. I think it stems from coming from a family that is more about DIY than most people I know. I think I can save myself money because I can do that, or learn to do that. 

But I’ll tell you what. I know blurbs are my kryptonite. I’m not stupid. And when I need help with something, I acknowledge it. I don’t have time not to.

So my friend opened up The Blurb Queen and I asked her to redo a blurb to see how she would do.

The Blurb Queen Review

Here is the blurb I had for Broken Trails, Book #1 of the Montana Trails series, Clearwater County Collection. 

How broken does a cowboy have to be to accept the healing bands of love?
Nathan Rourke has lost almost everything he holds dear. What he has left, he’ll do anything to keep.
Emma Benson’s health is a burden on her loved ones and reins in her independence. She desperately wants to prove she’s more than her sickness, even if she loses her family.
Almost dying, Emma turns to Nate – even though she desperately doesn’t want to rely on anyone again. Can Nate love Emma enough to give up everything he’s ever needed? Will Emma let him?

Now, stroke my ego just a little bit. It’s not HORRIBLE, right?

Well, here is The Blurb Queen‘s redo:

A lonely cowboy … a woman searching for hope. Can love bring enough healing to carry them through?
Nathan Rourke lost almost everything he holds dear. What he still has, he’ll do anything to keep. His Montana ranch is not just a place, it’s his home and what’s left of his family.  He’s holding his own, making it work.
But then high-school sweetheart Emma reappears … and suddenly this cowboy’s life is as rough as a ride on an untamed bronc.
Emma Benson left high school without a word to Nate, rather than admit she was too ill to go on. Now she’s desperate to prove that she’s more than the disease that keeps her dependent on her family and friends. And she craves just one more chance at love.
Nate embodies the promise of a life free from the confines of her small world. But will loving her mean he must give up his own freedom?
No matter which path they choose, this young couple will be battling the odds.
Saddle up for a ride along Montana trails you’ll never forget—lasso your copy of Broken Trails today!

Um, yeah. I don’t think I need to say anymore than to add – I sent her over the Lonely Lace series blurbs which she redid amazingly and next will be the Worth of Souls series and then the Redemption series. 

Yeah. I can’t afford NOT to use her. 

She has great prices, too.

Here’s her contact info!

The Blurb Queen

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Broken Trails – ONE WEEK!

Broken Trails, Book #1 of The Montana Trails series, Clearwater County Collection RELEASES in ONE WEEK!

1weekBTreleasegraphic

I can barely breathe, I’m so excited. Okay, that’s not true. I can breathe, but I am excited. I loved this first book so much and the series I have planned is amazingly breathtaking and emotional… and…

ALL THE FEELS!

To be clear, my romances are sweet – some times there are cuss words, or even a suggestion of intimacy, but the door closes. That’s it. I’m more interested in the lives and stories of my characters rather than that moment that’s between them. They deserve some privacy. 

And I love them enough to give them it. 

Sweet Romance

Broken Trails

Broken Trails

A lonely cowboy … a woman searching for hope. Can love bring enough healing to carry them through?

Nathan Rourke lost almost everything he holds dear. What he still has, he’ll do anything to keep. His Montana ranch is not just a place, it’s his home and what’s left of his family.  He’s holding his own, making it work.

But then high-school sweetheart Emma reappears … and suddenly this cowboy’s life is as rough as a ride on an untamed bronc.

Emma Benson left high school without a word to Nate, rather than admit she was too ill to go on. Now she’s desperate to prove that she’s more than the disease that keeps her dependent on her family and friends. And she craves just one more chance at love.

Nate embodies the promise of a life free from the confines of her small world. But will loving her mean he must give up his own freedom?

No matter which path they choose, this young couple will be battling the odds.

Saddle up for a ride along Montana trails you’ll never forget—lasso your copy of Broken Trails today!

iBooks    Kindle    Nook     Kobo

The Opportunity to Live #Survival #1 – Prepared

This is a series of posts to chronicle our 5 day power outage experience.

Let me preface this with my gratitude to the hardworking Lineman of the electric/power industry.

A massive storm blew through here last Tuesday night and inflicted staggering damage across the region. In upwards of 380,000 people were without power.

As of this morning, there is still a significant number who are bearing without it. The following pictures are to show just how bad some of it was. These pictures are from the Kootenai Electric Cooperative’s Facebook page. They worked tirelessly – men and women – and I wish I could hug them for all their hard work.

And it’s cold. I mean really cold. It’s so cold, the other morning we woke up and could see our breath INSIDE our house.

Let’s talk about how we were #PREPARED for this incident.

First off, we live in the Inland Northwest and inclement weather isn’t strange around here. We’ve had 60 degrees in February and snow in July. I kid you not. So up here, we can have all four seasons in one day. Mother Nature has a PMSy attitude and I like her sass.
 

But sometimes she throws fits, and it’s those times you want to be ready for.

Here’s how we worked all summer to get prepared for something like this.

We bought our house and land in June which already cuts out the first three and a half months of late spring and early summer to get ready for winter. If you have snow in your area, you know that preparing for winter is pretty much what you do when it’s not winter. Like ants. So what did we do?

We gathered wood because we have a wood stove (more later on what makes this a necessity up here). We cleared brush to help prevent forest fires in the area for late summer. We stocked up on our food storage – I’d been dwindling this because we’d moved so many times in the course of a few months and moving food is EXHAUSTING.

An aside:

Thing about it. When you buy the food you bring it home and pack it inside. Then you get ready to move so you pack it again and move it. To unpack cause, hello you gotta eat. We then had to pack it again and move it and unpack it again.

Oy. I’m not kidding, I was growling at that food. But it took the brunt of having to shop all the time off my shoulders and I’m super grateful for it.

Okay, so we restocked our food storage. This took all summer to do because let’s be honest, food storage isn’t cheap and sales don’t come when you want them to. So I kept an eye out all summer and fall for sales to stock up.

We also had to get ready by making sure we had the right clothes and blankets, enough candles, enough tin foil (more on this later), items to play with or for entertainment.

We bought a generator and my hubs set up a transfer switch (more details on this in a later post).

I got rid of most of my non-stick cooking pans and pulled out my stainless steel pans – which I adore and haven’t had out because… reasons.

And the chickens. We got the chickens ready for winter, even though, let’s be honest, those flippin’ freeloaders… ugh. No eggs still and they crow every time I walk outside. There’s nothing more humiliating than getting catcalled by your own roosters. Sigh.

So we got prepared for a power outage, or a surge in storm weather or snow or a fire or anything that we thought might happen.

This is important to note: We got as prepared as we could think of. We aren’t perfect and not everything was able to be accounted for because we hadn’t been in this situation before in this house. Everything would be new and would be a test run on the fly.

With 6 small children.

Oh boy.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series #2 The Incident.

#1 Prepared

#2 The Incident

#3 Taking Stock

#4 Entertainment

#5 Recipes

#6 Ways to Improvise

#7 Adjusting

#8 Preparing for next time