A Herald of Spring

It’s been very cold here in the Pacific Northwest. Unusually cold. I hope you have all managed to survive your winters. We’ve had snow off and on for the past week or so. Now, I’m seeing sunshine mixing in with the clouds. As much as I love winter (and I do love hibernating) I’m ready to turn the corner into spring.

Even with the cold, our hardy daffodils have begun to bloom.

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So I see this as a sign that spring is near. Hopefully soon. Another awesome sign of changes to come is that my story, Survival, the lead story in my Guardian Druids: The Royan Legacy series, just won the SWFRW Joyce Henderson contest fantasy and paranormal genre!

SWFRW Paranormal Winner 2017

That’s a good omen as I search for representation for this series. It makes me hopeful. I want to thank you all again for supporting my stories. I wouldn’t be on this journey without any of you. I hope you all get to bask in some sunshine soon!

Laurie Ryan

 

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New Year Happenings

As 2018  begins, I wanted to send out greetings and wishes to each of you for a year that is safe, peace-filled, and with a lot more happy than sad in it.

For me, the year means some changes to my writing. I’ve added a new genre – fantasy. The romance will stay and continue, but there’s been a fantasy  idea percolating in my head for years that I will also be working on. And it’s that genre that I have fun news about.

Laurie Ryan Fantasy

I entered the first story, Survival, (as yet unpublished) in my fantasy series, Guardian Druids: The Royan Legacy, in a contest and it’s a finalist! Winners won’t be announced until February 24th, but it feels like a good omen.

Things are going well in the romance genre, too. Healing Love, which is part of the Holiday Magic anthology with Lavada Dee, is now also a stand-alone novella. And there’s a new short story in the works…Lost, Then Found. Healing Love by Laurie Ryan

So I hope to be offering new content soon. And I wish you all a very, very Happy New Year!

by Laurie Ryan

Mt. Rushmore – Bucket List Item – CHECK!

Check out where my newest story is set…thought I’d share my blog from Over The Backyard Fence.

Over The Backyard Fence

I had the awesome privilege of visiting Mt. Rushmore in May. I have wanted to take a road trip for the longest time, and this stop was top of my list.

Late last year, I started writing a young adult fantasy series and I set it around Mt. Rushmore. My husband swears I used that setting to get him to go there with me. Personally, I thought it was a great place to set a post-apocalyptic fantasy. It had nothing to do with how much I wanted to visit and now had a reason to. Really. Well, sort of.

Hubby, who doesn’t like road trips, gave me the greatest gift this year. Nine days on the road. Different sights every day. We combined a couple things. First, he spent 3 years in the Air Force stationed in Glasgow (Northwest Montana). So we went there first and I finally got to…

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Indie Author Fringe

For any authors or writers who don’t know about Author Fringe, my friend Lavada Dee posted about it. I’ll be listening in tomorrow. Have gotten some great tips and information from past Fringes. Thanks, Lavada, for reminding me. 🙂

I know those of you who follow this blog are both writers and readers and I try to do posts that speak to both. However this one is for authors or those who might be entertaining the idea of writing.

ALLi-LogoIndie Author Fringe is an online workshop put on by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI). They are putting on the next event this coming Saturday, June 3. It starts at 10:00am Eastern time. But the good thing about Fringe is that you can view the workshop sessions anytime. And you can pick which ones you want to do. I usually try to do one session a day sometimes skipping a day.

There is a wealth of information in the Fringe sessions and on the ALLI website itself. I can’t say enough about the value to Indie authors this group provides.

I will look forward to hearing from anyone…

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Open House on Murder: a romantic suspense story & interview

My good friend Lavada Dee has re-released her book Open House on Murder (originally titled Open House on Love) and I thought I’d ask her a few questions about it because I don’t read much romantic suspense and I was curious about a few things.Open House on Murder by Lavada Dee

First, I’d like to say this book totally held my interest. In fact, I read it in a weekend, unusual for me. With a hero named Quin, I’m in from the beginning. I love that name. Add in that this is a reunion story and that the way they were torn apart feels different and innovative and I kept turning the pages. With a killer targeting people in Aimee’s line of work, she and Quin have no choice but to get up close and personal. There’s a bit of a paranormal thing in it, but since that’s not listed in the blurb, I’ll just say it felt realistic to me. I bought into the story, the romance, and the world Lavada created.

The interview:

Laurie:  I love the name Quin, and Quin and Aimee has a great ring to it. How do you name your characters? Do they name themselves or do you hunt around for the perfect choice?

Lavada:  A good question, but not a definitive answer.  With Open House On Murder I had the names in mind right from the beginning but this isn’t always the case.  A lot of times I search for a perfect name by googling baby names.  And I’ve even changed a name midway through writing the story.  Sometime the name just doesn’t fit as the character develops.

Laurie:  Googling baby names works great, doesn’t it? And I love that the characters sometimes tell you they need a different name! I’ve never written a suspense story. Do you find it difficult to pepper in just enough clues to entice, but not enough to completely give it away?

Lavada: Again, the mechanics of writing Open House was different than anything else I’ve written.  I’m what they call a ‘seat of the pants’ author.  Meaning, I just for the most part sit down and write without plotting or characterization.  And forget about work sheets!  With Open House I diligently did all the steps of plotting.  The result was that I wrote this book faster than any other I’ve ever written and… I hated it.  I didn’t even want to have a critique.  I knew it would only tell me what I already knew.  This story was boring.  So… I put it under the bed and wrote the next one which I loved.  Then, since I hate waste, I dug Open House back out and revised the heck out of  the characters as that was what was wrong.  The plot was almost perfect, but the characters were like cardboard figures.

Laurie:  Well, your revisions worked, because the story is great. Including the setting. In fact, there’s an old armoire in this story that almost felt like a character in the story. It’s richly described and I’m wondering where you came up with the vision of it?

Lavada:  Strictly my imagination on the armoire.  I love old houses and the furniture when it’s in them and not in my house.  I needed something to point to that old mansion and the armoire was the perfect thing to do it.

Laurie:  It worked. I could see that armoire so well. Okay, only a couple more questions. Reunion stories can be hard to write, showing the love and attraction, but holding out on the ultimate happy ending until the right time. You’ve managed to do that and I’m wondering if it came easily to you or if the characters had their own ideas about why they were struggling.

Lavada:  It did come easy.  Maybe too easy as I had to work so that it wouldn’t seem like a tired  and well used cliche. In this case it help endear Quin to me and from what I hear readers.

Laurie:  I already mentioned that I think the way they were torn apart seems anything but cliché, so well done. Do you have any other romantic suspense stories in the pipeline? We’d love to hear a little bit about them.

Lavada:  I think the next novel I will write will be a western historical. I do have another romantic suspense that is out of print right now and I want to get it re-released before starting something new.  It’s titled Forever Love because the publisher wanted the word ‘Love’ in the title but I’m thinking of renaming it Escape To Die for as it fits the story better.  The story is about a serial killer targeting women that are residents or associated with a safe house.  I love Mary Higgins Clark and how she puts in all the twists and turns that make it hard to know who did it.  I tried to do that with this story.  I’m hoping readers will let me know if I successfully accomplished it.

Laurie: Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m happy I had a chance to showcase another awesome story. For anyone who’d like to read more about this, here’s what the story’s about and links:

Aimee Forrester has returned to the small town of her high school dreams. When her longtime friend offered her a partnership in her real estate company Aimee leaped at the chance to restart her life in the place she left her heart nineteen years earlier. Now with a new home, and a job she loves, she pushes away memories that still fill her nights with dreams.

Working with an elite serial killer work force Detective Quin Martina finds himself in his own back yard investigating a string of murders. The killer is targeting real estate agents conducting open houses. Bad enough, but worse when an agent in the reality office Aimee Forrester owns a partnership in, is a victim.

The investigation forces Aimee and Quin together and their past attraction to each other flares to a new passionate emotion that both fight to deny. With the killer spiraling more and more out of control Aimee is drawn in and gets his attention. The violence and fear ramp already stretched emotions.

Quin knows they have to bring this killer down fast before more lives are lost and before Aimee becomes a target.

 

Show Me now available!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]I’m thrilled to announce the release of my newest story. Show Me, about a woman’s journey through the ups and downs of cancer treatment, is my first story outside of the romance genre. I began this story to help myself mourn the loss of a good friend to an aggressive form of lung cancer. However, it was a long time before I had the emotional strength to finish it and in a lot of ways, this story has been a journey for me as well as for my character. Now, I have the privilege of sharing Show Me with you.

The Story

Cancer. It’s one of the scariest words in the world and one that no one wants to hear. Show Me is one woman’s poignant journey through hope and fear, learning to cope, dealing with disappointment, and defining relationships during the most traumatic experience of her life.

The words ovarian cancer infiltrate Celia Milbourne’s brain and send chills down her spine, settling in her heart like a mound of icy stones. She must dig deep for the strength to fight this medical beast and still maintain some measure of normalcy for her young daughter.

Aided by family and friends—and an empathic ghost named Seth—Celia embarks on a path riddled with challenges, filled with anguish and joy, and bolstered by an enduring hope sustained  by love.

Available now at these etailers:

AmazonnookKoboiBooks

 

 

And coming soon in print…

For information about new releases, please consider signing up for my newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Memories

When Mom had to move out of her house, we siblings worked hard to make it a positive experience. We also got lucky, and it was. You can read more about it on the other blog I participate in at Over The Backyard Fence.

Over The Backyard Fence

Happy day after Mother’s Day! I hope all the mother’s who read this had a day full of smiles and pampering.

Most of you know that my mother moved in with us in January. It didn’t take long for us to realize it was time for her to not live on her own anymore. So, with her blessing around the first of February, we began sorting through items in her house. We were lucky because our niece wanted to move in, which meant we didn’t have to talk about selling it. Everyone in the family knows how hard that would have been for Mom.

So the process of sorting through and clearing out 40 years of accumulation began. It quickly became a reason to gather. Mom loved being in the center of things as work progressed, loved the camaraderie as we found beloved items from our childhood. This may seem…

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