Your characters are not your children

Your characters are not your children

Thunder StormAs I approach the completion of my third novel (Thunder Storm), I spend my free time (my what?) reading books that will help sharpen my writing skills. From identifying superfluous words to breathing more reality into my characters, I like to spend snippets of time studying my craft. On one recent adventure, I read a sentence that I have thought of at least a dozen times. “Your characters are not your children, it’s okay to throw them in front of a bus.”

Unfortunately, I don’t remember which tome I found that in, but it opened a new range of possibilities for me. I don’t have to spend so much time taking care of them and their feelings like I do my children, I need to put them in uncomfortable situations that make for a more interesting story, and watch them climb their way out. While I’m almost done with the Thunder on the Mountain series, I look forward to new and heightened hero/heroine challenges in future novels.

EASY Contest Win KINDLE FIRE

EASY Contest Win KINDLE FIRE

CONTEST RULES
Three easy ways to be entered to win one of two
KINDLE FIRES or a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate

 Mimi is in a contest for book sales. Towards that end, she is giving everyone an opportunity to win one of two Kindle Fires that will be given away on April 5, 2014, at 12:00 Noon MDT. Whether you choose one, two, or all three EASY chances to enter, hurry and get at least one entry in today!

  1. Win a Kindle FireLIKE my fan page (MimiFoster) (one entry)
  2. Purchase a copy of THUNDER STRUCK before Noon MDT April 5, 2014. (one entry)
  3. Write an Amazon review for THUNDER STRUCK no later than Noon MDT April 5, 2014. (one entry)
  4. Tell us that you’ve done one, two, or three things at Raffle Copter to be entered to win one of two Kindle Fires ~ drawing to be held April 5, 2014 at Noon MDT.

The finer details:

  • If you already have a copy of THUNDER STRUCK, leave a link to your review or your name in the review slot at Raffle Copter and you will get your two entries.
  • If you’ve never written a review, two-thirds of the way down on the Amazon page for THUNDER STRUCK is a grey box on the left side that says, “Write a customer review.” Click on that. Review needs to be twenty words or more.

BONUS: There is an invitation page on Facebook. The person who invites the most Invitees will win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate.

We have selected Raffle Copter so the contest can be TOTALLY unbiased. Everyone has an equal chance to win. Good luck and THANK YOU!

Recipes from Thunder Struck

Recipes from Thunder Struck

If you’ve read book 2 in the Thunder on the Mountain series, Thunder Struck, you know that Jordan runs the Madeline Manor Bed & Breakfast in the charming town of Nederland, Colorado. Two recipes are mentioned that she shares with her friend, Callie (heroine in book 1 in the series, Thunder Snow). Since they were inspired by my association with a local B & B (The Lennox House), I thought I would share the recipes that were mentioned in the scenes. My family and I have enjoyed them many times, and I hope you will too.

STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

12 Pieces Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Bread OR
Pepperidge Farm Thin-sliced Bread OR
Bread of your choice—thinly slicedstuffed french toast
1/2 block of Cream Cheese
2-3 tablespoons Strawberry Preserves OR
2-3 tablespoons Orange Marmalade OR jam of choice

EGG DIP

3-4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Splash of vanilla OR orange extract

Grease skillet. Pre-heat on medium-high temperature.

Mix cream cheese and marmalade (or jam); spread mixture on one slice of bread, then sandwich with another slice. Dip sandwich in egg mixture. Grill on greased skillet until both sides are browned. Cut in half diagonally and serve 3 halves per person, sprinkle with powder sugar. No syrup is necessary.  Serves 4.

PUMPKIN PECAN PANCAKES WITH CIDER SYRUP

HOT CIDER SYRUP

¾ cup apple cider or juice
pumpkin pancakes½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg

PANCAKES

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of ginger
Half to one cup chopped pecans
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
¾ cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons oil

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
  2. For pancakes: In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, milk, pumpkin, and oil until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; fold into batter.
  3. Pour batter by ¼ cupfuls onto a hot greased griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup. Yield: 15 pancakes (1 cup syrup)

 

 

 

How cute is this?

How cute is this?

Reading Thunder Struck

This was the first year that my girls have not all been together for Christmas. One of the reasons is that one of my daughters has a new baby, and they had to move the week before Christmas. So they sent me this picture, and it made my day. Baby Isabelle reading her Mimi’s new book.

Three things I learned this Christmas

Three things I learned this Christmas

Christmas Lessons

three things I learned this Christmas

With daughters and granddaughter

Family is what matters. This was the first time in their lives that all of my girls were not home for Christmas. We are close knit, and the girls are close to each other as a group, close in varying pairs, and certainly close when facing the rest of the world when defending one of their own. We knew this Christmas was going to be difficult, but I was surprised how sad it was to not have them all together, which is the greatest joy to this mother’s heart. With the miracle of smart phones and laptops, we were able to keep Skype and Facetime going throughout the day, which was a great alternative. But we are already making plans for next year so we don’t ever have to do this again. (I adore my family.)

It’s not about the food. Having five daughters, five grandchildren, and a home that is generally the gathering place, I am used to fixing lots of food. With the advent of Pinterest, I have taken to making unique displays of food as well. Several years ago we started doing a Christmas buffet because no one ever wanted to take the time to actually sit down and eat a meal. But as I sent pounds and pounds of leftovers with departing family and friends, and I opened my refrigerator and had no place to put anything else, it finally struck me that we just don’t eat that much. So I have promised that at the next gathering there will only be a small, select group of goodies, and not the dozens of offerings that I somehow have always felt were necessary.

Amazing husbandI’m married to an amazing human. I’ve always known it, but never was it more apparent than the past few days. As I stayed up on Christmas Eve making goodies, he stood beside me until midnight, doing dishes, grating cheese, boiling eggs, helping in any way he could. When I woke at 4:00 a.m. to finish wrapping presents before the rush of arrivals, he got up with me, working to make my life easier. Not because he had to, but because he loves me so much he goes out of his way to provide physical and emotional support when he can. I am truly blessed.

I hope your holiday was a memory to cherish, and that the spirit of the season continues with you throughout the year.

Thunder on the Mountain Series

Thunder on the Mountain Series

Thunder on the Mountain

When I was in college in Boulder, Colorado, I loved to hop in my little Toyota (named ‘Cletus’) and tool around the mountains. I constantly missed the wide expanse of water of the Gulf of Mexico that I could see from my bedroom window during my high school days in St. Petersburg, FL. I loved the mountains, but my heart yearned for the sound of waves crashing on a shoreline.

Thunder on the Mountain

Nederland

During one of my forays, I came around a mountain pass and saw water – lots and lots of water, and my heart sang. Barker Reservoir in Nederland became my favorite haunt, and I would escape there at every possible opportunity – to study, to read, to just absorb. Sitting in my car one day watching angry whitecaps as the sky turned white, I had my first experience with thunder snow, a strange phenomenon of thunder reverberating in the confined space of heavy snow clouds.

Life and circumstance moved me down the front range of the Rocky Mountains, and none of the aquariums or ponds that I bought or built could satisfy my soul’s longing. On an afternoon outing with my beloved about two years ago, we drove along back trails to Boulder and found ourselves in Nederland. I felt like I had found an old friend, and we were only about an hour from home. When I decided to write a book, I pushed myself during the NaNoWriMo challenge, so I used a profession (realtor) and location (Nederland) that would not require too much research time.

At the back of Thunder Snow is the first chapter for book 2. It was finished, and I was rushing to get it to the printer, but I couldn’t think of a name I liked for the second book. I had always known it would be a three-part series, and I was anxious to hit the ‘send’ button on my manuscript. A friend and I sat in my living room tossing title ideas back and forth when my sweet husband passed by and quietly said, “How about Thunder Struck?” The Thunder on the Mountain Series was born.

If you enjoyed Thunder Snow and/or Thunder Struck, be sure to leave your name and email address on the form to the right and we will notify you as soon as Thunder Storm is released in the Spring of 2014. Thank you for your amazing support. ————>>>>>>>>

Thunder Struck Launching Thursday, December 11, 2013

Thunder Struck Launching Thursday, December 11, 2013

Thunder Struck Book Launch

We are now scheduled for a December 12, 2013, launch of the new book in the Thunder on the Mountain Series, THUNDER STRUCK. The final process is underway, and I’m very excited to share this tender tale with you.

thunder struckA Betrayed Bride . . .
New York lawyer, Jordan Whitman, decides to get the hell out of Dodge instead of facing the fallout from a cancelled wedding. A Bed and Breakfast in the tiny town of Nederland, Colorado, sounds like the perfect cure for a broken heart, but she finds that the country house of her dreams is actually a run-down Victorian mansion that hasn’t been inhabited in almost three decades.

A Confirmed Bachelor . . .
Local contractor, Brandan Webb, can do anything – except relationships. The last thing he wants is a destructive marriage like his parents. But as he works with Jordan to restore the once-magnificent Victorian, his preconceived notions of commitment are challenged. Now the hard part will be convincing the gun-shy Jordan to be more than just friends. Especially since he’s made it clear he doesn’t believe in love.

An All-Enduring Love . . . 
When they find a hidden room containing century-old secrets, they decide to trace the history of Madeline Manor. Embarking on a path to right old wrongs, they discover a love over a hundred years in the making, proving love can conquer all.

A sensual, easy-reading Contemporary Romance with a touch of magical realism.

Be sure to leave your name and email address so we can let you know as soon as it’s available. ——–>>>>>

The importance of reader reviews

The importance of reader reviews

Writing Amazon Reviews

When I published my first book, it was a strange sensation to think about allowing others to glimpse into the functioning of my brain. A true romantic at heart and blessed with the most incredible husband, the book is, nonetheless, a work of fiction full of made-up words and made-up scenarios. I believe we read romance novels to escape into happily-ever-afters and make new friends, if only momentarily.

writing reviewsCallie and Jack have been wonderfully received, and it has been such an encouragement to hear from so many of you who have loved them and look forward to reading more about the little town of Nederland in the soon-to-be published (early December 2013) second book, THUNDER STRUCK, about Jack’s foreman, Brandan Webb, and Jordan Whitman, a New York lawyer who inherits a run down Bed and Breakfast overlooking the water in our little hamlet just outside of Denver. But what I was naively surprised about were the personal comments, emails, and reviews of people who were looking for something other than what I’d written.

It’s all a learning process, and I definitely know I can’t please all the people all the time, so I don’t take it personally (most of the time). However, Amazon reviews are extremely important, especially for new authors. They can make or break you, because it’s the reviews that drive Amazons algorithms. If you’re on this page, hopefully it’s because you’ve enjoyed THUNDER SNOW and the adventures of Jack and Callie. If that’s the case, would you please take a moment and write a review on Amazon (and Goodreads if you’re there)?

The imp in me does enjoy, however, the less-than-stellar reviews from people who are ‘shocked’ at the sex in the book. My take on that is – if you ignored the warning that says **SEXUAL CONTENT** **INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES** and bought the book anyway, oh, well . . .

 

THUNDER STRUCK December 2013

THUNDER STRUCK December 2013

THUNDER STRUCK Cover Reveal

Few things warm my heart more than hearing from people who loved THUNDER SNOW and are awaiting the second book in the Thunder on the Mountain Series, THUNDER STRUCK. It is scheduled for publication the first week in December, 2013. In the meantime, here is the introduction of the cover for THUNDER STRUCK. If you are interested in receiving an email letting you know when it’s available, please put your email address in the box in the right column and I will be sure to notify you. —>>>

THUNDER STRUCK is the story of savvy New York lawyer, Jordan Whitman, who sees her fiancé in the arms of another woman three weeks prior to their Mimi Foster Realtorwedding. Not wanting to stick around for the fallout of calling off the wedding, Jordan decides that it’s the perfect time to check out her new inheritance, a run-down Bed and Breakfast in the hamlet of Nederland, Colorado. Getting away from the throngs of Manhattan to this tiny town of 1500 people, she finds the Victorian mansion that now belongs to her has not been inhabited for almost three decades.

Working with local contractor Brandan Webb to restore this once-magnificent structure to its original glory, Jordan embarks on tracing the ancestry that originally built Madeline Manor. In the process, Jordan and Brandan find a concealed room with a trunk that contains century-old secrets that will change their lives and set them on a path to right old wrongs and discover a love that was over a hundred years in the making. A sexy, easy-reading Contemporary Romance with a touch of magical realism.

THE Joan Wilder?

THE Joan Wilder?

romancing_the_stoneIn my ‘other life’ I have a fast paced, often intense job. When I started writing, I thought it was so much fun to sit for hours/days/weeks and get lost in my characters. When I recently finished the first edit for Book 2 in the Thunder on the Mountain Series, THUNDER STRUCK, I became conscious of my surroundings for the first time in days. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror, the first thought that came to mind was “THE Joan Wilder?!”

In the early 1980s there was a cute movie called Romancing the Stone with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. Kathleen Turner played novelist Joan Wilder who needed some real-life adventure to spice up her novels. When she finds herself in the wilds of Cartagena, Columbia, she is being pursued by cut-throat villains. In a classic line when she is about to be killed and they find out who she is, the evil ringleader says, THE Joan Wilder?  He proceeds to invite her back to his villa to discuss her romance/adventure novels.

But the scene that struck a chord was when she was writing her next novel after she returned from her adventures. She was so engrossed in her storyline that she didn’t move for days, her hair was wild, and the floor was covered with discarded tissues because she sobbed through the writing, drawing from her personal experiences in the jungle. As I passed by the mirror that morning, I realized I hadn’t had makeup on in days, I hadn’t moved much from my chair, and my body was stiff from lack of activity. I have to figure out how to keep my body moving, but I must admit I’m very much enjoying the escape!