Thursday, July 2, 2020

Research on Memory Loss for The Oblivious Billionaire

Get Your Copy Here

I remember when I'd been feeling a bit stymied with my work in progress, The Oblivious Billionaire. In part, because it's a fluffy rom-com, and until that Sunday, I didn't think it would have much depth.

It's the story of a rich man who loses seven years of his memory, and, of course, meets and falls in love with a woman who--although she doesn't suffer from memory loss--also needs to wake up to reality.
I was about fifty pages in and despite the great scenes I had planned, I was having trouble putting words on the page.
But during a Sunday church service, a cute girl shared a story of a woman that she met while serving a mission. This woman had lost seven years of her memory and didn't remember her conversion to the gospel or the friends she'd made since her baptism.
Because of the coincidence of the circumstances and the similar lapse of years, I felt as if heaven was urging me to write my story.
I reached out to the woman, and she was gracious and kind. Her words are golden and suddenly my story didn't seem as fluffy or shallow as I had thought. Here's a summary of her message. I hope you'll find it as touching as I do.

Some surprises that I faced were not knowing or recognizing people I had known or met in the past 6 years when I lost  my memory. I went back and I acted the age I thought I was. It was hard with my friends because we had to be reintroduced and they had to try to explain our friendship and all the times we had spent together. It was also hard with my family because I had no recollection of where we now lived or how my siblings had grown and changed. I had no memory of my 4 yr old cousin.
I would want people to know that is is a hard experience to go through but the only way for things to get back to normal is I have to be treated like normal. No one could expect me to be the person I used to be. Traumatic brain injuries permanently alter your personality. Even if you get your  memory back, you'll never really be the same. A few lessons I have learned from this experience are savor every moment and treat everyone as if that is the last time you'll ever see them. After this experience, I came to see that every day is special and everything can change in an instant. Take chances because you may not get another one. Tell people how you feel. After my accident, I came to find that my fear of rejection was smaller than my fear of missing out on something amazing. I have also come much closer to God and have been strengthening my relationship with Him because I know today is the only day we are promised, and I want to do all I can to serve him every day. 
The Oblivious Billionaire is the second book in my Misbehaving Billionaire's series. It's free today. You can get your copy HERE

Thursday, June 25, 2020

What Blessings Have You Found in the Great Covid-19 Detour?

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” – Garrison Keillor

It’s June. Shouldn’t the flu season be over by now? Why are people still getting sick? Why are the numbers rising instead of falling? Where is the end? What lies at the end of this road?
This isn’t the year I had planned. I know that almost everyone on the planet is feeling the same, but that knowledge doesn’t help.
In some ways, I feel like it’s the analogy of planning a trip to Italy, buying guide books, maps, reading up on the Renaissance, practicing Italian, buying a wardrobe of summery clothes, plus sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Now that you’re all packed with a passport in your hand, you board the plane, settle in for a long flight with your novel, The Florence Affair, the pilot suddenly announces there’s been a change of plans. You’re not going to Italy, after all. You’re heading to the Scottish Highlands.
You really don’t know anything about Scotland. Maybe twenty years ago you may have read Outlander, but that wasn’t much of an introduction. Plus, your suitcase has a pair of sandals, not hiking boots. You’re dumped off the plane. The people are lovely and kind, and supposedly they’re speaking English, but it’s a dialect you can barely understand. You ditch your clothes and stock up on sweaters, wool socks. Eventually, as the shock wears off, you discover castles, wide skies, you explore fairy ponds and go in search of the Loch Ness Monster.
You find yourself in a life you never could have supposed. Unplanned and yet, beautiful. The scriptures tell us in Proverbs, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
What blessings have you found in the great covid 19 detour? What beyond your imagination things have come your way in the past three months?
If you’re not seeing them, here are a few inspirational quotes to help you look a little closer.
“There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. “
– Washington Irving
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” – Bob Goff
“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.” – Bradley Whitford
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Free Historical Romance

Reviews from Stealing Mercy:

Verity and the Villain is a revamped version of Stealing Mercy. Although it's been tweaked and twisted, a few readers may recognize the original story. Here's what some readers had to say about Stealing Mercy:

A spunky heroine and a confident, cocky hero, who could want more? The story was fast paced, and flowed easily. The storyline was excellent and in it was woven a second story of today, looking back. A fun read.
I thoroughly enjoyed STEALING MERCY, a fast-paced novel with an intrepid heroine, richly developed characters, and a plot which grabbed me immediately. It begins with a villain holding a knife in her NY bake shop apartment and goes to Seattle in the 1880s where Mercy takes on the worst sort of predators. I loved the relationship between Trent and Mercy: the initial spark and its evolution. I especially liked the baking tips topping each chapter. I look forward to Kristy Tate's next novel as this one was a treasure.

New author Kristy Tate brings a wicked sense of humor and a fast-paced storyline to her tale of a feisty 1880s piemaker who flees an enemy in New York and finds happiness--along with danger--in Seattle. You can't help rooting for Mercy Faye, who flaunts convention and flings herself into peril, determined to save young women forced to work in a brothel. Her secrets form a barrier between her and the appealing Trent Michaels, but love has a way of breaching the gap. A charming debut!
Well portrayed leads, Mercy and Trent, interact in a historically rich but still real setting. They are swept together in adventure, romance, and intrigue. Great combination. Easy and enjoyable read. Nice to get sucked in and spend some time in the northwest with such likable characters.
What does a fireplace poker, pies & chocolates, a brothel, a ship and expensive jewels have in common? Oh, wait--I almost forgot the Chinese throwing stars! I really enjoyed this story, great movement to the plot and interesting situations throughout. It was easy to buy into the character's struggle. I'll read the next book from Tate as well.

When I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I was hooked on it! Every page drew me deeper into Mercy's world. I wanted to know what she was thinking and what she was going to do next. Each turn in the story made my heart race. Also, being from Seattle myself I loved having the story set there. I would recommend this to anyone!
This was a fantastic book! I loved the character development in this book and the richness of the descriptions of their feelings. Every emotion was painted very vividly by Kristy Tate. The plot is very intriguing and keeps you interested to the finale at the end.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Using Canva to Make Promotional Images

I recently read professional marketers suggest having 5-10 promotional images per book. That means I have a ton of work to do! Since my first published novel, Verity and the Villain (formerly known as Stealing Mercy) will be free starting tomorrow for a few days, I decided to get to work.

I use Canva to make my graphics, but I believe there are many online sites that do the same thing. I like Canva, and it's free.

Which one do you like best? Why? Which do you think will be the most effective?
You can get your FREE copy of Verity and the Villain here. (It's always free in Kindle Unlimited, and free for everyone else June 24-28th)

Monday, June 22, 2020

When You Fall Out of Love

Falling in love is a real thing. It plays all sorts of tricks on your hormones. Those cliches of thumping hearts, racing blood, and tingling touch persist because they're true. Most of us will fall in love at least once or twice in a lifetime.
If we're lucky, once we've found someone who makes our heart thump, our blood race, and skin tingle, we'll stay with them for life. But what happens when you realize you've made a mistake? And like a thirsty gazelle that's galloped to a watering hole, we find that all that physical attraction has led us to a murky pond full of alligators?
Like most of life's equation, time is usually the answer. Just like a career, a talent, a sport--and many other disciplines--relationships take time, attention, and nurturing. Like the Bible tells us, we will reap what we sow. What we get out of a relationship is pretty much equal to what we put into it.
The trick is to find someone who is willing to invest and worthy of your investment. And to know that takes time.

My book The Tick Tock Between You and Me tells the story of two people who are already in relationships when they meet and fall in love. It would be nice if we could sail through life without ever making a mistake, but then we'd never learn. Also, then we'd never have any great stories.

Darby thought she had love all figured out until she heard the tick-tock of a clock.

Darby Elliott thinks she’s in love with her long-distance boyfriend until he arrives on her doorstep. Now, she’s not so sure about him or how to get her car and money back. Which is embarrassing, because she’s a hot-shot accountant and money isn’t supposed to slip through her fingers... or into her boyfriend’s wallet.

Chad George and his girlfriend, Jessica have been together since they were kids. The trouble is, Jessica thinks Chad should convert his grandfather’s dying horse ranch into a cosmetic surgery recovery spa, and Chad thinks his grandfather should maintain the ranch as he wishes.

When Chad’s grandfather hires Darby, she discovers the ranch is full of untapped potential and hidden treasures including a clock that only seems to tick when she and Chad are together. Does the clock have a hidden message? Can Darby and Chad save the ranch before time runs out?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Short List of Books Featuring Main Characters Over Fifty

Today is the release of my very first (but not last) Better Late Romance. Because finding clean romance--especially with fifty-something characters--is hard to find. I made a short list of books I've read and loved. They all share three criteria:
They're clean
They're fun
They're not for the young and naive.

It’s double- chocolate donuts meets kefir. Can two people from separate grocery store aisles overcome their differences? BUY NOW

After a series of near-misses, Kelly’s surprised when romance blossoms from the unlikeliest of sources – Marty Brower, her trash man.

In this fast-paced romantic comedy, Sandra Baak’s twin brother is missing and her handler has a secret mission for her. It involves mistaken identities, corporate spies, and a second chance with the man she’s secretly loved for decades

In Loretta Nyhan’s warm and witty Amazon Charts bestselling novel, a widow discovers an unexpected chance to start over—right in her own backyard.

Buy Now

This seasoned romance will remind you that love endures at any age, and it's never too late to find a happily-ever-after!

A beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Do You Believe in Love at First Sight?

I have a couple of friends who met and married at a break-neck speed. One friend heard her husband speak in church and immediately knew he was the man she would marry. They were engaged within a week. Another met her future husband at a dance, where after a night of dancing, they sat in the car all night talking and decided to marry by dawn. In both cases, this took place in the eighties. Nearly forty years later, they are both still married.

Of course, these stories were more common in the days of the Second World War. My dad's best friend came home on a two week leave and married a woman he'd known for but had never actually dated. They both died a few years ago after being happily married (to each other for decades.)

So, what creates the spark? Can it all be chalked up to hormones? Is it simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time?

 Match’s chief scientific advisor and biological anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher, said in a press release. “Romantic love runs along certain electrical and chemical pathways through the brain which can be triggered instantly…“It's a basic drive, like thirst and hunger,” Fisher said. “Food and water keep you alive today; romantic love leads to bonding, mating and sending your DNA into tomorrow. In fact, poetry around the world talks about love at first sight. Even other creatures experience instant attraction to one another. But cultural factors always play a role as well.” Meaning, if you’re ready and open to fall in love, “Then, boom — it’s natural.” Read more here
If it’s so natural, why is it so rare? And why did these marriages last for decades when other relationships that went the requisite hoops of establishing a balancing act of give and take fail?
I don't know. I wish I did. I wish there was a secret sauce that could be bottled up and shook over couples like a perseverative salt so they'd never have to face the pain of divorce.
The very best answers, of course, are Biblical:
Do unto others as you'd have done unto you.
Love one another as I have loved you.
A soft answer turns away wrath.
I wanted a closer look into what I consider a phenomenon. Because, I’m sure if I were to pry, my friends who experienced this insta-love would tell me, even though they knew they’d met their match, that didn’t mean they didn’t have to learn the marital dance steps like all the rest of us.
In my romantic comedy, The Florence Affair, Zane falls immediately in love with Flora, but of course, their plans for elopement are met with parental resistance. Seven years later, they meet again. And sparks fly.
Even though only the lucky few will ever experience love at first, anyone can read about it. You can get your copy of The Florence Affair here. Free for a limited time.

Free for a limited time

Love at first sight? Ha! In his head, Zane knew there was no such thing, but his heart sang a different tune the moment he spotted Florence Hill. Their attraction was immediate, heady, and world-changing for both of them. Their summer fling sizzled, until their meddlesome parents intervened, and their plans to elope fizzled with the arrival of fall.
Even after a seven-year separation, Flora still has the power to bring Zane to his knees. But how can he trust the woman who shattered his world? And Flora will never again give her heart to the man who had left her tied in knots.
Still, love at first sight has a way of doing a double-take. Blend in the Tuscan countryside, Italian legends and lore—as well as the promise of a happily ever after—and you have A Florence Affair.