The Magic of Creativity

by Kathryn Jane

The creative process is different for all of us. But I’ve recently realized that mine is magically the same whether I’m writing fiction, or painting a picture.

When I’m writing a story be it short or a novel, it begins with a vague image of an opening scene, and the story grows one word at a time. Some people find this hard to fathom and describing it adequately has been difficult. The closest I get is to say the story unfolds for me, just as it does for the reader…like magic.

Painting works the same way for me…mostly. The exception being when I do commissions of people’s pets. But even then, I can’t think about the finished product. Instead I concentrate on one stroke at a time and somehow in the end, I have a remarkable likeness that amazes me.

But recently, after seeing a friend’s photo of a famous door set between two large trees, I was itching to create it in a painting. I grabbed a small canvas board and set to work. And…minute by minute I got farther away from the original inspiration of this:.

The final result was a fairy door at the base of a tree.

And then I knew I needed to paint what was behind that door.

I imagined it would be something like the adorable little scene always at the end of the Friendly Giant TV show. Yes, now you have an idea what generation I belong to!

For the fun of it I posted a photo at the end of each evening to show the progress I was making, while not sure what I would add the next night…just like when I’m writing, and proof that for me, the creative process is always by the seat of my pants.

The final product took almost 2 weeks and every day I looked forward to sitting down with my brushes and setting my imagination free.

  

Want to see more of my creativity?  Pop on over to my website to check out my books and art.

Cheers!  And Happy Holidays to all.

Kathryn

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic SEX #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic SEX

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


She was wearing exactly the same clothes as he was, but it made her look sexy as hell. What was it about a dead serious-looking woman wearing a shoulder holster that was so damned hot?

Kathryn Jane


He said it was part of their sex game. Like that book that came out last year on bondage.”

Marian Lanouette


A couple of women she knew in Fort Worth had a fireplace in the bathroom. They’d told her it did a lot for their sex lives; not an idea she needed right now.

Marsha West


Sarah hadn’t been lying when she’d told him it’d been a long time since she’d had sex. But, honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered when the last time was because no man had ever made love to her like Nate had.

Sharon Wray


Since high school days, I underwent an overhaul and improved. No longer did I wear all black, except for the occasional sexy Little Black Dress.

Vicki Batman


She’d moved out of their bedroom only months after the wedding, the night he came home smelling of sex and cheap perfume.

Jacquie Biggar


That undercurrent he’d felt around her since he’d hit puberty had intensified from a vague tingle along his nerve endings to full-on waves of sexual attraction. Animalistic and powerful.

Jeannie Hall
Old Friends, New Lovers (work-in-progress)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving

I know our Canadian SOS sisters and our Canadian readers celebrated this wonderful holiday on October 14 this year, but this is the week for those of us in the US. I love this holiday so much I may start celebrating with y’all in Canada. A week is not long enough. 😊

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Some of the reason I love it is because y’all, it falls in the FALL! And I love Fall. If you follow me on Facebook, or my newsletter or blog, you’ve seen plenty of pictures of beautiful leaves. Most years, I have to share pictures I’ve taken in New England because generally, Texas leaves are okay, but not spectacular. What a difference that early freeze made. Late in October we experienced two hard freezes: 24 and 27 degrees. I know not much compared to where some of you live and it was only for two days, again, not what many of you experience. But for us in North Texas this was record breaking early.

What a blessing this turned out to be. We’ve had one of our best seasons ever for colorful leaves.

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The other thing I love about Thanksgiving is well, it’s about being thankful. Along with “Kindness,” “Gratitude,” as we know from our Sister, Kathryn Jane, is really important, and we should practice it every single day and not just once or twice a year. Below  is where we walk Charley every morning.IMG_2268

No gifts are involved, just wonderful food, and time with friends and family. It is my favorite time of the year.

If you like to enter contests and like chances to win Gift Cards, I encourage you to stop by N. N. Light’s blog. Two of my books are spotlighted. VERMONT ESCAPE, especially good for this season because so much of it takes place in that beautiful state and during the fall. https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/single-post/2019/11/07/Vermont-Escape-SUR

Vermont Escape 300dpi (1)

Amazon Print   http://amzn.to/2fMDt8H Amazon http://amzn.to/2fmayrf

Barnes & Noble https://bit.ly/2k340mD  KOBO https://bit.ly/2DYkgdx

iTunes https://apple.co/2Muy5W0

SECOND ACT, Book 1 The Second Chances Series is the second one. Starting the first book in a series is always fun. https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/single-post/2019/11/15/SECOND-ACT-SUR

Second Act 200x300(1)

Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/19TAB4B Amazon Print http://amzn.to/1NiKvcb

KOBO http://bit.ly/1FWzZH8  B & N http://bit.ly/1YKCq8S

iTunes https://apple.co/2umRBiy

I am very thankful for this group, for the friendship with people who for the most part I’ve not met in person, for your support, and for the knowledge and inspiration you share.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, whenever you celebrate.

Please sign up for my Newsletter on my website & blog at https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ Contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow me on my social media sites.

https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn

https://www.twitter.com/Marsharwest  @Marsharwest

https://www.pinterest.com/marsharwest/

https://sisterhoodofsuspense.com/blog

https://www.instagram.com/marsharwest

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic FAMILY #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic FAMILY

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Never in a million years, did I think we would reconnect in these circumstances with my family in tow.

Joanne Guidoccio


Two steps inside and the warmth of walls with a long history of family wrapped around her.

Kathryn Jane


The pallbearers wheeled the casket into the church through the double doors. Jake and the honor guards moved aside for the priest to greet the family and perform the introductory rites.

Marian Lanouette


Given everything her family had experienced, she was amazed how safe she felt in this little town. Everyone seemed to watch out for each other. Comforting.

Marsha West


Sarah stood on her toes and kissed her husband. Surrounded by their friends, and a garden filled with laughter and music, she’d finally started her own family.

Sharon Wray


“Er, Lauren.” He straightened and jammed his hand in his jeans pocket. “Let’s get this show on the road. Places to go. Friends and family to visit.”

Vicki Batman


Gus looked around the bare-bones cell. “Your family and friends are worried about you.

Jacquie Biggar


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Praise of Series Bibles

I never intended to write a series.

Fifteen years ago, I couldn’t imagine anything beyond a novella, possibly a novel, about the following What-If scenario that had invaded my daily thoughts:

What if a teacher-turned-lottery winner returns to her hometown, only to find herself the primary suspect in the murders of four blondes? Can she prove her innocence and solve this case before it’s too late?

I even had a title—A Season for Killing Blondes—for what I thought would be my one and only foray into the world of publishing.

All that changed once the book was accepted and published by The Wild Rose Press. My editor, writer friends, and readers asked about the next book in the series.

Their questions and observations about the protagonist (Gilda Greco), love interest (Carlo Fantin), and several of the minor characters challenged me to come up with more What-If scenarios. I also needed a title for my series.

After toying with several possibilities, I settled on the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. I intended to keep Gilda as the protagonist and vary the secondary characters in subsequent books.

I assumed it would be easy to write the second book. I had a title—Too Many Women in the Room—and a rough scenario about a Greek restaurant, a charismatic chef, two murders, and eight women who didn’t always get along.

A linear pantser, I can start writing with even a “micro germ” of an idea. But partway through Chapter 3, I found myself at a standstill. I couldn’t recall the eye colors of two characters from A Season for Killing Blondes, an essential fact that would later identify the murderer. I had also forgotten several details about the ReCareering office, the yoga instructor’s early family life, and the victim’s past peccadilloes. I had to reread most of A Season for Killing Blondes, searching for the answers to these questions.

When I shared my frustrations about interrupting the creative flow of ideas, I discovered that many of my writer friends had series bibles.

What is a series bible?

A compilation of all the background information—character sketches, settings, plots, subplots, important dates, maps—that can be organized into a collection of handwritten notes, a three-ring binder, or electronic files.

I was impressed and a bit overwhelmed by some of the series bibles that other authors were using.

One writer friend has a bank of 50 questions that she answers for each of the main characters and some secondary characters she plans to include in future books. She covers everything from physical and personality traits to phobias to family backgrounds to hobbies to political and religious beliefs.

Another writer, who is artistically inclined, uses Corel Draw software to create a comprehensive map of the fictional town for her series.

In my research, I also discovered that some writers use series bibles to keep track of acknowledgments, contact information, and marketing efforts for each book.

I used a combination of formats in my series bible. I collected bits and pieces of handwritten character sketches and copied and pasted information about the city of Sudbury and the ReCareering office into Word documents. I then printed and inserted these documents into a three-ring binder.

Before writing A Different Kind of Reunion (Book 3), I updated the information and added details about the new characters and a new setting (Parry Sound). Feeling confident, I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016 and completed the first draft of the novel within thirty days.

Any other thoughts about series bibles?

About the Gilda Greco Mystery Series

A cross between Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, and Cher (Moonstruck), protagonist Gilda Greco brings a unique perspective to the amateur female sleuth.

The teacher-turned-lottery winner returns to her hometown, only to find herself embroiled in a series of murder investigations. Before you start imaging thrillers with high stakes and police chases, pause and take a yoga breath. The three novels in the series—A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room,  A Different Kind of Reunion—are cozy mysteries, written in the Agatha Christie tradition. All the crimes take place “off stage” with very few graphic details provided.

While the pace may be more relaxed than that of thrillers and police procedurals, there are no steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, or purring cats in these contemporary cozies. Prepare yourself for interfering relatives who don’t always respect boundaries, adult mean girls, deserving and undeserving men, multiple suspects, and lots of Italian food.

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio…

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

Cover Reveal for IN SEARCH OF TRUTH

IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, and its cover, have been a long time in the making. The book and the cover went through tons of revisions and I think we’re finally at the end point–I hope!!! Especially since this book comes out February 24!!

IN SEARCH OF TRUTH is the third book in the Deadly Force series and follows Zack and Allison while they search for an infamous 17th Century’s pirate’s treasure while trying to save each other and all of Zack’s men.

Here’s the blurb for IN SEARCH OF TRUTH

Some treasure is hidden in plain sight…Anthropologist Allison Pinckney is stunned when she inherits the key to a seventeenth century pirate cipher that makes her the target of two brutal arms dealers. Now, to save those she loves, she must solve the cipher. With this perilous mission growing ever more dangerous, she reluctantly seeks help from ex-Green Beret Zack Tremaine, the one man she’s been avoiding. Because if she gives into her long-buried feelings for him, it could cost them their lives.

Zack Tremaine is haunted by regrets. Years ago, he betrayed his men and lost the only woman he ever loved. Now that his men are caught in a fierce rivalry between two deadly enemies, his only hope is to team up with Allison. She holds the secret to a pirate treasure, and he must take the chance to save his men and redeem his honor. Even if she breaks his heart…again.

And here’s the cover!!
Thank you all for your love and support! It means everything to me!!
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Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Amazon bestselling Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her bestselling debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife. It’s available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google | Books-a-Million | Audible

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, a passionate redemption of Othello with a HEA, is about an ex-Green Beret who must give up the woman he loves in order to redeem his honor and save the life of his men. It’s available at: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo |IndieBound | Audible

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic LOVING #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic LOVING

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Shivers racked her body with remembered terror of that night, one of many she had endured from her loving husband.

Jacquie Biggar


“Mercy, I love you. I want to make a life with you. Here. Working together. Living life together.” He lifted her hand and placed a soft kiss there. “Loving together.”

Claire Gem


“Good morning, everyone. I’m very happy to be here. I’ve been out of the classroom for almost two years and loving every minute of it.”

Joanne Guidoccio


He placed his fingers against her lips. “This isn’t about control. It’s about loving you.”

Kathryn Jane


Callie, a wonderful, loving person, who had done nothing wrong to anyone, killed because she wanted to surprise her husband.

Marian Lanouette


“I’ll take good care of the shop for you.” Jill understood how hard turning loose of something you loved was. “I promise you.”

Marsha West


Nate was a selfish bastard who was sure of only one thing: loving Sarah was going to ruin him.

Sharon Wray


“I like these Christmas decorations.” He stroked a vintage satin ball, hand-beaded by my grandmother and lovingly passed on to me. “I think Grammie has some. But she hasn’t used them in a while.”

Vicki Batman


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childhood Memory of Christmas

author 100 x 100When I was younger, my family’s next-door neighbor, gave my mom a Christmas gift. Instantly, I fell in love.

She was made of styrofoam, fuzzy pipe cleaners, sequins, and curly hair. A regular pipe cleaner was used to fasten her to the top of the Christmas tree which Mom did for many years. Until she found another she liked better. The littlest angel was retired.

I am a huge retro fan and begged my mom for the angel. She wouldn’t give it to me. I didn’t press her for a reason or badger her to turn it over. Every now and again, I would ask and she would say no. littlest angel

Sometime later, I frequented my favorite flea market and found my own little angel. She didn’t have hair and an eye had gone missing. But I didn’t care. I had one of my own to cherish.

Then Mom died and my sisters and I went through her things. I secretly hoped in my heart we would find her angel, and we did! So now, I have two. They sit on a bookcase shelf in my office for me to love every single day.

Often writers are asked where ideas come from for stories. I knew I needed to tell my littlest angel story. And I did in Sommerville holidays….

Sommerville Holidays Ebook Cover 1600x2400

The Littlest Angel

Two people. One ornament for the tree. Can a twosome find common ground and discover the true meaning of Christmas?

Bright and early on Saturday morning at the Sommerville fairgrounds, I slowly strolled along an aisle at my favorite flea market, pausing to look at special goodies that caught my eye. I halted when I saw a woman several booths ahead of me stoop in front of a table and drag a box to her feet. She reached inside the ragged cardboard container and pulled out something I knew deep, deep within my heart what I hoped to find for many years—a little Christmas angel.
I always hoped I would find a replacement and searched the dusty aisles of the Automobile Building, where the market set up the first weekend of every month. I dug through many a ripped carton or dirty bag and never saw anything close—until today.
Pressing my hands to my chest, I begged quietly, “Please. Please don’t take her. Please don’t.”

Find your holiday ever after at: Amazon  KU

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic BRAVE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic BRAVE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“Date Jack?” I asked ever-so-casually as if I never even considered the possibility. The bravery seed expanded and fortified me. “Where did you get the idea? I’m clueless.”

Vicki Batman


She’d been crying, her eyes red and swollen, her voice husky, and yet she stood there before his friends, unbowed, ready to grab a dragon by the tail if it meant protecting her daughter. He’d never seen anyone braver, or more compelling.

Jacquie Biggar


I held her tightly as my eyes welled with tears. I was so grateful and proud of this brave young woman.

Joanne Guidoccio


NO. She owned who she was and how she felt, and if it was too much for a big, brave guy like Broughton to handle, well then, he wasn’t the man for her anyway.

Kathryn Jane


The walnut wall panels gave the room a sober feel. His dad’s many awards and medals for bravery sat on the bookcase to the side of his large cherry desk.

Marian Lanouette


Sarah believed in him even when he didn’t believe in himself. Her strength and bravery had taught him that.

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic STUBBORN #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic STUBBORN

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Nate needed Sarah to follow his order. She was smart enough. It was her stubbornness that was the problem.

Sharon Wray


“Smart, beautiful and stubborn. You haven’t changed a bit, Gilda Greco.” He lowered his voice. “After all of this is over, I’m taking you out to dinner.”

Joanne Guidoccio


Linda was at a loss to figure out how to make him understand. The man was stubborn and locked on.

Kathryn Jane


“You’re a stubborn bastard, but you’re in no condition to dictate to me if you’ll be seen or not. I’ve taken over the scene, and as officer in charge, I say you’ll be seen by the medics. Got it?” Louie demanded, shoving down his temper.

Marian Lanouette