Tag Archive | New Orleans

“Is the baby mine?” Could you forgive this question?

In my latest release, Annabelle’s Dilemma, Annabelle’s husband is angry when she announces that she’s pregnant. He’d seen her flirting with her cousin’s sexy husband, and he blurts out this question: “Is the baby mine?” Annabelle blows up and throws him out of their house.

AnnabellesDilemma_800x1200 http://amzn.to/1Wqu7wf

I’ll let you read the book to learn whether Annabelle forgives him. But my question to my women readers is whether this ever happened to you?

Given that most women of child-bearing age these days grew up with abortions being legal and relative access to birth control, unintended pregnancies from an affair can be avoided. A 2002 study estimates that half of married men and women indulged in at least one extra-marital affair during their marriage. It’s not something that folks are willing to admit, I expect. Therefore, the data are likely fraught with self-reporting errors. And I couldn’t begin to trust the data on the number of children born from such liaisons. When a woman is married, any children are legally treated as being fathered by her husband.

All that aside, it seems to me that when such a question is aired, there is a lot of work to be done to restore trust, if it’s even possible. When I was married to my children’s father (he’s deceased now), I discovered that he’d told his girlfriend that our third child wasn’t his. What else do you say in the circumstances? Needless to say, the marriage was over. My son learned this and never forgave him.

Writing romantic fiction gives an author the opportunity to posit different scenarios for life events. What would you do?

Aren’t We Sick of These Five Phrases? I am!

These are the overused, trite, and Im-so-sick-of-them phrases. See if this is true for you, too.

1. Win-Win Don’t know the etiology of this, but it sucks.

2. Happy Holidays What the hell is wrong with Merry Christmas? This is a politically correct solution that is insufficient.

3. What’s in Your Wallet? These commercials have outlived their usefulness. Doesn’t the company have enough funds to come up with a new one? I hate it.

4. Ground Zero I’m ready to shoot folks who apply this designation to all kinds of stuff. It demeans the losses of 9-11 and should be eliminated for good.

5. ___gate This one is the worst! Watergate was 44 years ago–1972. And we still continue — delfategate was the latest. Enough already. I bet most folks don’t even know what Watergate was. Let’s bury it.

Thanks for listening to my rant — AnnabellesDilemma_800x1200
And I have a new book out. It’s available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1paxZGH
Annabelle is a quilter and owns a fabric shop where she teaches quilting. Her best customer is an Uptown New Orleans matron who gripes and complains about everything. Among Annabelle’s many dilemmas, she’s pregnant and her husband asked “Is it mine?” Her cousin accused her of sleeping with her husband. Next, her cousin is found dead and the police suspect Annabelle. And she’s being stalked by a crazy relative of a young woman accused of drowning her newborn. What else could go wrong? You’ll have to read it to find out. (-: Isn’t this a great cover.

And here’s one more: ‘Have a nice day’

A Rose by any other name

I’m one of those old folks who start the day by reading the local paper. And we’re lucky here in New Orleans that we still have a daily paper – The Advocate. The other long time local paper, the Times Picayune, has gone like so many others to 3 printings a week, which doesn’t work for me.

So this beautiful, clear, and chilly January morning, I’m skipping through the dozens of society page pictures of smiling young women in white dresses holding flowers. This is not only Carnival season where the krewes post pictures of their Queen and her court of princesses and pages (there are a few guys in tuxedos, too), but also it’s debutant season. Don’t ya just love it?

The debs are featured with biographies, including their lineage, colleges attending, and both formal shots and casual ones, often taken under the oak trees in City Park or with their horses. The best part is one of these young women–ages 18-21–is likely chosen Queen of Carnival. The King of Carnival, however, is a white-haired old fart–a businessman, banker, lawyer, or philanthropist-type, but not politicians. Perfect, right? These guys are old enough to be these women’s grandfathers.

All the photographers happy, as well as the dressmakers, hair stylists, makeup specialists, and florists. But what struck me this morning was the variety of first names for the young women and girls–kids as young as 6 or 7 are involved.

We have the usual collection of Marys, Susans, Emilys, and Graces. Yet, I found Carter, Stirling, Everett, Peyton, Marley, and the most amazing name for a beautiful, blonde, young lady–Kingsland!

What the hell were her parents thinking?

New Pub: The Taste of Her

December 3 marks the launch of my latest publication. It’s out on Amazon for $2.99.

The Taste of Her is a romantic suspense, set in New Orleans. It is the story of Margaret Angelo, a New Orleans homicide detective. Despite the sexism of the NOPD, she works to catch a serial killer, the Slasher, who kidnaps women, assaults them, and gets off on licking their bodies before he kills them.

Although devoted to her job, Margaret longs for a life partner. She reconnects with a high school acquaintance, Jim, whom she hires to paint her house. They begin a relationship, but Margaret is kidnapped by the Slasher and faces certain death. The other detectives manage to rescue her, but the Slasher escapes their trap. He is losing control and hunts Margaret down, determined to finish her. With Jim’s support, can she escape this mad man?

 

 

TheTasteOfHer600

 

Please let me know if you like it.

 

 

Back to Business

Great news! After three months of nursing a sore back (pinched nerve), I am finally back in business. I’ve done the first-round edits on both of my publications due out this fall. The Jury Scandal is due out in November, and The Taste of Her in December – if all goes well. Both are romantic suspense and set in New Orleans. Here are the covers:

TheJuryScandal

TheTasteOfHer600

Both are being published by Soul Mate Publishing through Amazon exclusively, and I’m proud to be one of their authors. See their authors web page:
http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

More later about these two books, and I’d love your comments on these covers.

A Black Swan Cygnet

IMG_8819 (1)

Wonderful news. The black swans in City Park have produced one cygnet this spring. I’ve watched them sitting on their nest for weeks and weeks, hoping for success, and here it is. The picture was posted on Facebook last week. Thank you to cslonero. Good Work.

I’ve been under the weather (strange phrase when you think about it) with my hips and knees. Therefore, I haven’t been riding my bike through the park to keep up. Will go look for this family tomorrow. Yippie.

Struggling with the Plot

When I’m writing, I always plot out an entire story before starting. The three-act structure advocated by Michael Hauge http://www.storymastery.com/ works well for me. I’ve got two new books coming out this year with Soul Mate Publishing. The Taste of Her, and The Jury Scandal. Stay tuned for release dates.
I’m stuck, however, with the current story, Her Faithless Lover.

For my first couple of manuscripts I scribbled out several long-hand pages on a yellow pad, and that seemed to work pretty well. Then I tried using Scrivener but gave it up. I even bought a how-to book. I couldn’t get the program to do what I wanted. So I decided to go old school for this manuscript. I wanted to create the plot in such a way that I could view the entire story. Here’s what I produced: 2014-04-21 08.51.12
It’s not as messy as it looks, but I hit a stumbling block after I’d written about 40 pages.

This story is romantic suspense, and one of the cardinal rules for any type of romance genre (I’ve been told) is to keep your main character likable. The problem I realized was that I had her committing adultery with her cousin’s husband. Bad Move. I took the advice of several fellow authors and changed it so that she’s in lust for him, but never acted. And that was fine, except I had her become pregnant and her lover was likely the father. Getting rid of her adultery changed the whole plot.

Now I was kinda stuck with less conflict, less problems for her, and no villain in the plot. Rats! The next step was to go back and create a threat to her husband, a homicide detective. That’s wasn’t too hard, but I’ve got this whole plot to do over. Rats, Rats, and double rats.

Sadly, the weather has finally turned beautiful in New Orleans, and the distractions are legion. Next weekend Jazz Fest starts, and while I don’t plan to attend, I live too close to the Fairgrounds. That means BIG traffic jams with lots of foot traffic and no place to park if should go out. My driveway saves part of that, but we have four cars for the crowd living in my house (my two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and adult grandson). Worse, people walking and talking outside has my three dogs bark at them here beside my computer. The shortage of peace and quiet almost makes writing impossible.

Enough of my bitching. If you’re a writer, tell me how you rework your plots when you hit a stumbling block. And if you’re not a writer, good for you. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather.