Take a Peek Tuesday~Who wouldn’t want a hot cowboy best friend?

Welcome back to Take a Peek Tuesday.  This week I would like to introduce Caleb, Annie’s best friend. Who wouldn’t want a cowboy for a best friend? But is a friend all Caleb thinks Annie is?

Remember this is still rough and hasn’t been edited.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  Copyright 2016

Annie

Seeing Caleb was quite a surprise. Several evenings a week we take out the horses. I’ll cook dinner, or he will take me out. No, we aren’t dating. He is my best friend in the world. Well, him and Vicki.  The three of us spend most weekends together after finishing our morning chores.

I told him the boys would be arriving today, and we wouldn’t be able to ride or go out tonight. I guess he is going to spend some alone time with Loverboy.

He greets me with our usual embrace. His rigid muscles alert me to the fact that he isn’t happy. I was expecting a confrontation with him. Just not today.

“Hey, Caleb.” I pull back from his hug. “Bad day at work?” I ask. Knowing the reason he is upset.

“Not a great one Annie. You know how I feel about you taking on these men. It’s not right for a single woman to have six single, young men in her home.”

‘What do you mean not right? We went over and over this when I decided to become a hostess.” I can’t understand why he is so against it. I appreciate how much he looks out for me, but sometimes he seems to forget we are only friends. Plus, capable of making my own decisions. His controlling nature is one reason we could never be more than friends.

“Not only does it look bad for you to be out here alone with six strange young men but it may not be safe. You know nothing about them.”

“Caleb, they are not ex-cons on parole. For that matter, they are only kids. Most of them the same age as David or Christopher. They are college boys trying to better themselves, on baseball scholarships and hoping to get picked in drafts. Having a home nearby is necessary for them. I also need some help out here. The place is starting to fall apart, and I can’t do some of the things.”

“I told you I would hire some construction people and get your house and barn fixed for you.”

Here we go again. Caleb is smothering me with his help.  I can’t seem to get it through his thick skull that I need to do this on my own.  He isn’t my husband. My husband is no longer here.

“ I told you I don’t want that. I can’t pay you back.” Sometimes I wonder if I should break our friendship so that he might move on with his life. I’m too selfish for that. I need Caleb. Only not the way he wants me to need him.

“I never said anything about payback. I promised Steve I would take care of you and the boys.” The sadness in his voice almost makes me change my mind. Almost.I look towards the barn. The thought of the young man inside makes me wonder if he is right. Maybe this is a big mistake. I can feel the change in the air.

“I am not a kid Caleb. I need to take care of this myself. This arrangement is a win-win for the boys and me. What are you doing here this early anyhow?” As if I had to ask.

“I always come out on Friday for our ride. And date.” He added. The seductive smile on his handsome face could melt steel off a locomotive. That must mean I’m stronger than a train engine.

“Caleb we aren’t dating. And I told you I couldn’t ride tonight.” I contemplate grabbing my egg basket I sat on his truck and making a run for it.

 

“I don’t see why not. These men are old enough to take care of themselves.” He leans back against his shiny, navy blue pickup, long, slim legs encased in tight designer jeans cross over his boots.

I am not a train engine. I give in. Partially.

“Perhaps it would be good for you to join us and meet the boys tonight. I’m planning a get to know each other session.”

“They are not boys Annie; They are not your sons or foster kids. They’re grown men. You need to get that through that thick, cute skull of yours.”

Exhaling in exasperation, he pushes himself upright. “Fine, I will join you.” Clenching his jaw and rubbing the back of his neck he concedes.

“I’m on my way in to clean up and put dinner on the table. It will be half an hour or so if you want to visit Loverboy.” Then I realize my mistake. TJ is in the barn, and with Caleb’s death glare when they met I can see issues already.

~~

What do ya think?  Do you think Caleb may be trouble?

 

~Held Hostage by the Muse

Hi Y’all! I have a special friend visiting tomorrow so I thought I would do my Writerly Wednesday a day early. I had a post set to write-up, but I had a muse attack me the other night. Next week we may be Drafted. This week  I am talking about ideas and how they can come. The post may be short since I am having some respiratory issues and feel like crap.

This week  I am talking about ideas and how they can come from left field. I was watching TV with my husband and the Farmers Only .com commercial came on.  One of my muses whispered in my ear a secret title. I think this new idea could be a lot of fun. After talking to my friend Misty, I came up with a couple of names for a contemporary story. There will be cowboys!  While brainstorming my MM muse whispered in my other ear, wanting the story for himself. After a little more brainstorming I took my title and turned it into a world and may do two books.  There will be cowboys in both two entirely different stories.

I need my muses to help me with these rewrites and edits instead of bringing me new ideas so often. I can’t wait to write a fresh story. It has been a while. I still plan to finish Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats and Simon Plus Two first.  After that, I think I will begin one of these.  I wrote the ideas down and can work on it on the weekends after my blog work is all done.

I’m not crazy, and I know muses are not real entities. Some authors don’t believe in muses at all wanting all the credit for themselves. Some authors have real muses like artists have. These can be friends husbands pets or whatever. Others, like myself like the imaginative muse that keeps us company finds us ideas and pushes us forward. I don’t think it matters what muse we use as long as we create fun, imaginative stories I think it’s all good!

Do you like cowboy stories? Which genre do you prefer M/F or M/M or both?  Do you have a muse?  I have many.

Take a Peek Tuesday~Boy Meets Girl #amwriting #romance #sports

Hi Y’all! Would you like to take a peek at what I’m working on now?  This week I’m sharing a snippet from my current work in progress Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats, a M/F contemporary sport/cowboy romance. I have just started rereading self-editing and making notes so I can start the next draft. That one I plan to finish by April to get to my Beta reader if not sooner. I have posted bits of this before, so I will be skipping around. Don’t forget this hasn’t been edited yet, but should be a little better than the last draft. LOL

I am doing this a bit different. I will post a paragraph or so in each view since I write in first person split views.

Baseball Bats and Cowboy Hats  copyright2016

Chapter One

Annie

Then the last one bounded from behind the vehicle with two duffles and a  bag of sports equipment.  His strong biceps are bulging under the weight, yet he trotted over to us, a bundle of energy packed into a tight pair of jeans a shirt stretch tight around his muscular frame and a cowboy hat on his head. He dropped the bags with the others; bounds back over to us shakes Rick’s hand then takes mine into both of his holding them securely.  (Work in the pink here  with the blue having Simon trailing behind him shyly?)

“It sure is kind of you to let us stay here in your lovely home. Coach didn’t tell us our hostess is such a beauty” He( who is he?) lifts my hands up to his full lips and lightly brushes them with a kiss. “Oh, I’m TJ.”

“Down Casanova. Get your butt over there with the others. You’re here to play baseball not charm all the women you meet!”  Rick rolls his eyes as he playfully punches TJ on the arm.I stood there mesmerized by the cutest boy–young man I’ve ever seen in years. Broad shoulders, big brown eyes and wild curly hair that’s a little too long. His handsome face in need of a shave. He would be my dream man–if he were 20 years older.

TJ

I helped Simon gather our stuff then jogged up to Coach and the hostess.Why did the heck Simon park so far from the house? Then I saw the others tossing the ball and figured he didn’t want to chance one through his window or a dent. The way we pitch a ball can do some damage.

Excitement overtook me as I took her small, fragile looking hand in mine.

Hot damn no ring! How on earth could a woman this gorgeous be single? I guess she could have a boyfriend, but all is fair in love and war.

“TJ join the others while we finish our business.” Coach glares at me.

He turns his head back and begins talking with Annie.  A sweet name for a lovely woman.  The coach focuses his attention back to her, lightly touching her arm as he speaks gently. I wonder if they are an item?

What do you think? Do you like the first person split view? What about Annie and TJ?

 

Writerly Wednesday~Decisions Decisions #amwriting #genres #newwip

Five years ago I decided writing would be fun. Just pick up a pen and start writing that story brewing in my head.  That is a good thought. It is also a good start. In reality, it isn’t that easy at all.

Having an idea for a story is a good beginning, but who are all the characters? What’s the plot? Subplots? Trope?  Genre? Are you going to plot it out? If so how much detail? A basic beginning middle and end or details by chapter? Or are you going to pants it? Even If you do that, you still need to know your characters to a point and the basic plot. How long is the story? Is it a short story, novella or novel? These are just basic questions for the writing of the story.  Now say you figured this all out. Sat down and got your first draft now the next barrage of decisions.

How many times will you reread it? How many rewrites will you do? Do you have your beta readers picked out? How many do you need?  Should you send it to them before the editor? Do you need one editor or three? Are you going to have a proofreader?  While you contemplate this, you also need to figure out who will be designing the cover.  Who will format? Will you hire it out or attempt it yourself and that brings you to–are you using CreateSpace, Smashwords or something else?  Are you self-publishing or submitting to a house. If you choose the latter, then you need to look up their submissions. What do you need? How many pitches? Are you writing them or having them professionally written? how do you write a summary? What’s the difference between a summary and a blurb? A blurb and an excerpt? Do you need all of this?

It took me years to come up with something that worked for me as I kept redoing and redoing and now I have a stack of unfinished books in files. I felt I never could get them right enough.  Now I am writing the rough draft, rewriting it once going through Grammarly as I do and then sending to my Beta(or Alpha) I’ll correct what she finds then send it to an editor. After that, a beta and proofreader and hopefully I will be ready to get it formatted.

Now that these decisions are made, you have more. You need your social media campaign set up. You need marketing plans. How many social media sites do you need?  How much time do you need to spend on them? Do you need a newsletter?  A blog? A website? What’s the difference? Do you need all three? How do you get people to sign up for it? All of this is up to an individual, but you do need to get out there.  I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest , Goodreads and I blog. I will have a website to showcase my books and a newsletter once I get my first release out.

Whew! Now you’re done, right? Nope. Whether you self-publish or submit to a house, you have to market your books. Social media is just to get you out there. to get people interested. the easiest way to lose them is to only post buy my book stuff. so how do you market?  I haven’t figured out all of that since I haven’t gotten that far, but I do have marketing experience since that was my day job for 19 years. If I could sell diamonds I should be able to sell books. I hope. There are a few ways to market I haven’t mentioned. One is tours. Not as many people read blogs as they use to so be sure to make these fun, offer prizes but what? Do people want a cup with just your name on it? Most likely not.  Books are good. If they are in your party they probably read. Gift cards are also good.  Look into your book and what it’s about. are there some fun scenes in it that you could come up with a prize from?  Early in the year, things like planners and calendars are good mid-year and later unless you have next years these probably aren’t good.  Does your character cook? find easy to ship cooking relating items like aprons, cookbooks, special utensils and you can ship direct from Amazon which makes it easy. Pick items related to the season as well.   Another fun way to get readers are Facebook parties. I love these.  and do as above have a few fun prizes, some books maybe one grand prize. One thing I dislike about these parties is if you have to preorder the book for the prize. it may be ok to have one post for those that do but don’t make it the only prize or grand prize. I also don’t like the prizes on the follow me posts. The prizes should be for fun and not to force people to sign up to your pages or like you.  more than likely they will leave shortly after. You want to win people over and get them to stay so be fun.

There is one more thing. Reviewers.  Reviews are important in so many ways. not only does it help other readers choose to buy or not, but it helps you move up the ladder in Amazon, get on lists, etc.  Reviews do not have to be professional or extensive.  Just pick your stars and a few words like it was good,  it was ok, I loved it. Or even if you felt there was something missing. Reviews should be honest. These should never be bought.

So as you see there are lots of decisions in writing. It isn’t just sitting down on your computer and popping out a story. A lot of work goes into it. Don’t get me wrong it is a fun occupation, but it can get overwhelming and expensive as well. Not all books will come out of the red. It is something you have to want to do and work hard at.

I am sure I left something out, especially in the putting the book up on Amazon. I haven’t gotten there yet so I don’t know what all choices are there. I have seen several, such as Kindle unlimited or KDP select. I see new things now like Kindle Worlds and Kindle Scout I will have to research.  And there is research.

Do you attend Facebook parties or follow blog tours? What kind of prizes do you like to see offered? Do you buy books based on covers and titles or by only authors you already know?

Writers work hard to entertain you so go out and let some of your favorites know how much you appreciate them. Life would be dull without books, since most movies once began as a story.

Thats’s Not Trash!~Thats Crafts! #MFRWauthor #hobbies #crafts

Welcome to week 6 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  Each week we have a topic.

This week’s prompt is…My hobby is … When I’m not writing.

I nearly shouted in joy when I saw this topic! Hobbies? Boy, do I have hobbies!* Looks int the nearly bursting craft room.*

I  am not a hoarder.. nope I’m  sticking to it… I am a recycler and crafter. I see beauty in all things trash… well not all things but most. I use to throw it all in trash bags in a closet in my hall until I had the perfect project or time to make something with it.  Of course, then I could never find what I was looking for.

When we remodeled, a craft room was on my wish list. My husband took the old back porch we never used, enlarged it and made me a combo craft/ exercise room.  He also made me the perfect work table as well.  The table is big enough for my sewing machine, serger and cameo to sit out all the time and still have room to work. It is also big enough to cut out fabric on.

I use the kitty litter in the big yellow buckets leaving me buckets I can’t seem to toss as well.  When I had to unpack that closet, we tore out for the remodel I came up with a way to reduce my hoarding and organize as well. It also uses up those buckets. ( I knew they would come in handy and save me money on tubs!) I marked each one with the items I collect such as plastic creamer bottles, Jars, you get the Idea. When each bucket is stuffed full, I can’t keep more of that item until I use some out of the bucket. The buckets stack neatly behind my exercise equipment.

I also have my craft supplies. I have those plastic drawers I keep those in.

Sewing and Crochet are my favorite hobbies. I collect dolls of all sorts and like to sew for them,  I am starting a craft page and website to sell my goodies on in the next couple of months.

I can’t throw away old clothes since I see projects. I have tubs of jeans, t-shirts, assorted sweaters. Same rules apply. These tubs get full I have to let go the others. I have plenty things planned. I have a set of placements cut out already.

I have tons of fabric as well and yarn.  I finally got that all sorted and organized as well.

So as you see I have lots of hobbies besides writing.  Do you have any hobbies?

Don’t forget this is a blog hop. Anyone can join at any point in the MFRW 52 week challenge…  Click here.

Let’s go check out the other authors and see what their hobbies are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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