This time of year here in South Carolina we have beautiful weather and lots and lots of Craft Fairs!
I’ve had the opportunity to sell my books at several different craft fairs this season. Today is the last one for a while. Thank you to all the people who have purchased my books. It was a pleasure to sign them and send them to a home where they will be read.
I’m more inspired than ever to finish book two of my Sons of Magnolia Meyers series. I’ll post the information here first when I have a publication date.
The last two months have been horrendous for the people of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Living on the coast in South Carolina we escaped the worst of the devastation … this time. We suffered a 100 year flood in 2015 and Matthew (Category 1 hurricane) in 2016. Neither of those events compare to this year’s catastrophic results of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
I’m sending my prayers for all the people who’ve incurred losses whether it is material possessions, friends, family, or sense of safety. As a nation we’ve once again come together to support our fellow Americans. God Bless America.
How do Trevor Montgomery and Madison Hendricks meet since they are both in the mountains for solitude?
A couple of bumbling crooks drive their get-away car off the road near Madison’s cabin. When they discover she doesn’t have transportation they take her hostage and force her to knock on a cabin door in an attempt to lure the occupant into the open so they can grab his keys and steal his car.
Being a skeptical and highly trained soldier Trevor doesn’t fall for the trick. He pulls Madison into his cabin where he then has a shoot out with the ill-fated crooks.
You’ll need to read the book to find out what happens next!
Continuing the discussion about my novella Blue Ridge Mountain Escape let me tell you how I came up with the idea to explain the reason my heroine rented a cabin for the week in the mountains.
I knew she needed to be alone, no car, no phone, no Wi-Fi, no distractions. Why? She’s a writer. Hmmm, you can guess how I decided on that, can’t you? She’s on a deadline and can’t afford to have any distractions. What better place than a cabin in the woods?
Now I need to find a hero who is also in the mountains alone, but obviously for a different reason. Enter the hero, Trevor Montgomery, an Army ranger recently returned from the Middle East. He needs time to decompress and decide whether to stay in the Army or move on to another career. My husband spent twenty years in the Army and I know several men and women who struggle with what direction to take following a deployment. Introspection is key to the right decision.
Find out what brings them together next week when I give you more insight.
Still talking about where I get my inspiration. This time I’ll tell you about what prompted my novella Blue Ridge Mountain Escape.
I love a story where the heroine is in danger and the hero plans to rescue her or keep her out of harms way in spite of the fact she is capable of doing so herself. She appreciates the assistance, but has her own ideas about taking retribution on the men who brought havoc into her life. No help needed, thank you very much!
So starts this story.
Next I needed a setting where cell service and Wi-Fi are not available. You’ll understand why in the first chapter of the book. Once again I remembered something from my past that brought the perfect location to mind. A few years ago my family rented a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains just north of Atlanta, Georgia, for a Christmas Holiday. There was satellite TV, but not much else. Perfect for the holiday and ditto for the location of my novella.
Next week I’ll provide a little more insight into the story.
What inspired me to write the book After the Reunion?
Inspiration works differently for me with each book. This time I started thinking about how students who graduated high school around 2005 would have been impacted by the economy downturn which began with the housing market decline in 2006-2009. Those young people would have just started college or training for some type of career.
Those thoughts lead me to think of a young man who joined the Army. He would most likely be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. This gave me my hero of the book, Trent Meyers.
The villain would be a person who’d been raised in an affluent family, attending college when his parents come for a visit. They would explain he’d have to return home at the end of the semester since there was no more money for his continued education. The villain became Beauregard Dillon Jackson IV who had no intention of returning to his hometown in poverty. His ego couldn’t allow this to happen. He devises a plan to create drugs and sell them.
The book takes place starting with their ten year high school reunion. How things have changed and how they’ve stayed the same.
Where do I come up with names for the characters in my books? I find this fun. My heroine in After the Reunion was southern since the book takes place in Georgetown, SC, so her name had to be indicative of the area. Shelby immediately came to my mind. When I first moved to Alabama many years ago I remember meeting several women with that first name. I had not previously known anyone with such a moniker.
The surname didn’t come to me as easily. I decided it should be of English derivation since so many people in South Carolina had British roots. I also didn’t want to use a name from someone actually living in Georgetown, SC. I remembered a friend from grade school with the last name of Cornwell so I went with it. And there you have it, the heroine’s name is Shelby Cornwell.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to share my inspiration of my first book, After the Reunion, with a group of readers at Just Because IYQ Tea Room. I joined a fellow Romantic Suspense Author in regaling our audience with how we came up with character names, locations, and plots for our books.
I thought I would share some of those tidbits here with you over the next few weeks.
One of my favorite things is making up names for my characters. In this book I wanted my villain to have a truly southern name. One worth remembering. I quickly decided on Beauregard as his first name. Can you think of a name any more southern? After all the book takes place in Georgetown, SC.
Now what to select as his middle name? Actually, I decided on Dillon, which is a town not far from Georgetown. The last needed to be something simple yet evocative of old South. Decision made — Jackson — think General Stonewall Jackson from the Confederate Army.
So there you have it — Beauregard Dillon Jackson IV (nickname Four).
Next week I’ll explain where I came up with the name for the heroine of the book.
The final excursion for our trip was Normandy where we had the privilege of seeing four of the D-Day beaches as well as the American cemetery.
The French people in this area are very grateful to the Americans, Australians and Canadians who liberated them from Nazi occupation. It was a humbling experience to walk in the footsteps of the brave men who fought on that soil.
Bordeaux, France, is another city that evokes thoughts of wine, indulgence and romance. The Garonne River runs through the area and is a “tidal” river. The only way our cruise ship could dock was during high tide.
The view was beyond spectacular. Once again my writer’s imagination thought of the stories the centuries old buildings held within their walls. How many pairs of lovers strolled through the gardens? What promises did they make?
What could be more iconic than Flamenco dancing in Spain? My husband and I took the opportunity to visit a restaurant in Cadiz, Spain, which provided a delightful show with three fabulous dancers. The rhythm and excitement of the performers leapt off the stage and infected the audience.
Do you know what bookstore inspired J.K. Rowling for the library in the Harry Potter series? The Livraria Lello (Lello Bookstore) in Oporto, Portugal. I had the privilege of visiting that very same bookstore while on my cruise. Wow! It is spectacular. I bought several book markers and journals.
Initially the excursion I took arrived at 9:30 a.m. for a twenty minute break to stretch our legs and take pictures. However, the store didn’t open until 10:00. What? Fortunately at the end of the excursion I took the option to be dropped off about a block away and made my way back to the ship after spending an hour browsing. I took lots of pictures. I’ll share a few of them with you.
I’m often asked where I get inspiration for my novels. That answer is “anywhere, anytime”. For an example my husband and I recently returned from a two week cruise. We started in Barcelona, Spain, we traveled South to the Sun Coast, North to Portugal, further North and East to Northern Spain and continued to Northern France. We then crossed the English Channel and docked in Southampton, England.
An excursion in Bilboa, Spain, took us to the fishing village of Castro. What scenery! The rocky coastline reminded me of the “old” version of the movie Count of Monte Cristo. The scene where he finds the treasure. Those craggy rocks jutting over the swirling ocean with a cave opening up only during low tide. My mind started exploding with ideas of smugglers, narrow escapes from fishermen returning from a fruitless day at sea, women waiting for a long overdue vessel with their man on board.
Now I have to finish my current novel, After the Raid, so I can move on to one of these other ideas!
I’ve just returned from a FABULOUS vacation. A cruise leaving from Barcelona, Spain and traveling through the straight of Gibraltar up to Portugal to the top of Spain, over to France and finally to South Hampton, England.
We visited Lisbon, Bordeaux, the beaches of Normandy and several places in between. Stay tuned and I’ll post some pictures here during the next few weeks.
Happy Memorial Weekend! This is the unofficial start of summer. Enjoy the pool, ocean or lake near you. Have a grilled burger or hot dog and watch the kids frolic in the backyard.
What’s more American than a backyard BBQ? Don’t forget to decorate with miniature American flags and lots of red, white and blue. Take time to remember why we celebrate this holiday — to acknowledge the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to allow us the freedom we enjoy.
Thank you to all the men and women in uniform — those who wear it now and those who’ve worn it in years past. Salute!