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Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Starting Over ~ Fingers on the Keyboard

Celebrate?  Why, yes. I think I will!  Celebrate_BoxedSet

In earlier blogs I’ve written about my excitement as part of the Celebrate! anthology with four other authors. One of my goals is introducing myself to new readers in the hope they will become new Linda Barrett readers. Of course, each author has the same goal. We all agree that a little story buffet might be a wonderful method of introduction. So, here’s the news that will go viral next week:

The price for Celebrate! is now 99 cents!!  And it will remain so. Here’s a peek at the stories themselves:

CELEBRATE! Five heartwarming stories celebrating the sweet gift of romance on Mother’s and Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas.
Man of the House by Linda Barrett  
Bobby’s been the man of the house since his father died, but now his mom is spending time with Steve. Steve makes his mom happy, but no one can take Bobby’s dad’s place. Can Bobby have a change of heart and accept a new man of the house?
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One Star Spangled Night by Rogenna Brewer
Navy Chaplain Lieutenant Lindsey Alexander is not as naive as world-weary Aircraft Carrier Captain Doug Reese believes. When the Top Gun is ordered into counseling, the junior officer is the only thing standing between him and his losing command of his ship.
Love With All the Trimmings by Barbara McMahon
An unexpected reunion at Thanksgiving changes a growing relationship when an old flame shows up just when Juliana has hopes for a future with Matt.
The Eighth Gift by Karen Sandler
When widow Sarah Meyer’s house is broken into and her son’s Hanukkah gifts stolen, her late husband’s best friend comes to her rescue. But as the friendship between Sarah and Jake Goldman blossoms into something more, it takes a Hanukkah miracle to lead to a new and lasting love.
My Christmas Angel by Debra Salonen
“Little Dickie Daniels is a Christmas angel.” So, 8-year old Abigail believes…until she meets the scruffy child her mother brings home on Christmas Eve. But looks can be deceiving Abigail learns, and some encounters leave an indelible mark. Thirty years later, Abby–author of the children’s book “My Christmas Angel”–receives a call that proves holiday miracles really do happen.
I do hope you’ll pick up a copy and enjoy these multi-holiday stories. Celebrate! is available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and at iTunes. I also hope that if you do enjoy them, you would post an honest review at any of the these sites. Reviews help spread the word. So, thank you.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you’ll join me for the next edition of Starting Over.
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CONTEST this month is for books written by the authors of Celebrate!   Winner will choose two!
BluebellsBlowout
ARe DEBRA SALONEN 7-1
Available October 3rd

Available October 3rd

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bn Love Be a Lady

Starting Over ~ Fingers on the Keyboard

RESEARCH?  WHO, ME?                   hands on keyboard    

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, you depend on the author to provide an accurate setting for her story. Whether it’s England in 1215 at the signing of the Magna Carta or American soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy over seven hundred years later, an enthusiastic reader will slam the book shut if mistakes in geography, dress, cultural mannerisms, scientific inventions are found. Readers expect to be drawn into the story completely. They want to be a part of that distant time, and they can be — within the pages of a well written book.  Historical fiction devotees often have favorite time periods they enjoy reading about. Regency England comes to mind. Or the Viking period. Or Colonial America. Or the settling of the American West. Authors are expected to have expertise in showcasing the attitudes and conventions of the times as well as the physical setting.

This is not a novel but a reference book about everything Regency – clothing, clubs, royalty titles, entertainment, food…etc.

What about authors of contemporary stories? The general perception is that they–myself included–get away easy.  We don’t have to bother with research because we live during the time period we write about, and therefore, we know it through osmosis and observation. The things we take for granted — television, computers, airplanes, rocket ships, supermarkets–are obvious. Who needs to research? Well, let’s see…

Try writing a police procedural and getting the crime scene wrong. Readers will condemn you forever, as well they should.

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Try writing about a health condition without getting your facts straight, and you’ll hear about it. Try writing about a career…let’s say air traffic controller, hospital administrator, or bakery owner…and not understanding what goes on behind the scenes…fugeddaboutit! You’ll have lost your readers forever. They simply won’t trust you to tell a story they can believe in. So, authors of contemporary fiction do a lot of research before writing the first paragraph of a new work.

A few years ago, I wrote a four book series set in the fictional town of Pilgrim Cove, MA. The town was modeled on a real town south of Boston along the Atlantic coast. I spent hours figuring out the tides and weather patterns in all seasons. I discovered the existence of a commuter ferry service to Boston. I researched the businesses a town that size could support. And then began the particular research regarding each main character’s background including their careers.

Moffitt Walk for the cure & Pilgrim Cove 007

In the first book, The House on the Beach, the heroine was a voice-over announcer doing radio commercials. What does a recording studio look like? Who would be with her? Does she have an agent to help get assignments? Her background in speech and linguistics helps her connect with the hero’s young son, a boy who stutters. My research included the causes and types of stuttering and how those around the child should react to him. The hero of the third book, Reluctant Housemates, was a marine biologist. I have a fat folder on that topic! And when trouble on the ocean came calling, I discovered how a Fresnel lens works, the kind used in lighthouses.

Recently, I had the idea to return to Pilgrim Cove and catch up on what’s happening. There’s a veterinarian, a single dad, who wants nothing to do with romance. If I proceed, I see tons of research ahead regarding veterinary clinics, common illnesses of dogs and cats. How about birds and bunnies? This vet happens to be part of the local greyhound rescue association. So, now we’re getting specific, from dogs in general to greyhounds and the characteristics of that breed as well as the effects of living the life of a top notch canine athlete. I started browsing this material and was blown away at the tough adjustment these wonderful dogs have when adopted by a forever family.  Of course, a romance is also brewing despite what our hero thinks. So more research awaits on the background of the heroine.

Almost all authors find the research part fun! It challenges us to learn about stuff we never knew before. And it’s interesting. But here’s the bonus:  good research might provide plot points for the story, plot points that the author wouldn’t have thought about on her own. You know how you want to look up something on Google? And how that one search can lead to ten more searches?  Well, that’s what it’s like for a writer to throw herself into her job. I love it!

So now, as part of my research, I need a favor:  can you comment on whether you’d be interested in visiting Pilgrim Cove with me? I’m thinking about setting several new romances in that town. Each romance would stand alone, but the townspeople and the town remain constant. You could jump right in, and it wouldn’t matter if you hadn’t read the first four books. Would readers believe that?

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting Over.

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NEW CONTEST FOR NOVEMBER:  I’m celebrating my co-authors of our Celebrate! anthology which was released last month. The winner of the November contest gets to choose two books from the list below. All are other works written by Rogenna Brewer, Barbara McMahon, Deb Salonen, Karen Sandler and moi.

Available October 3rd

ARe DEBRA SALONEN 7-1

BluebellsBlowout

51VJ6qyXifL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

bn Love Be a Lady

Starting Over ~Fingers on the Keyboard

Hitting the Pause Button….  hands on keyboard

Every so often in a writer’s career, she’s reminded of why she’s writing in the first place. Last night was such a time for me. So I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled post today to share the email that brought me to tears and then turned my tears to sobs:

Review: HOPEFULLY EVER AFTER by Linda Barrett

“This book is non-fiction. A courageous true story…”

HOPEFULLY EVER AFTER is a book that must be read by everyone.  It is a story of encouragement for all cancer patients, it a story of  affirmation for families and friends of someone with cancer and it is a story of celebration for cancer survivors.  But it is more than that, it is Linda’s story, a story of surviving breast cancer not once but twice in ten years.  Through her ups and downs, life continued for Linda and she faced it all in a very human, “let’s do this” kind of way.

Battling cancer is a team effort that is made bearable with support.  Ms. Barrett allows her readers a glimpse into her journey and all the twists and turns and bumps along the way.  Her Knight in Shiny Tinfoil, aka her husband, played an indispensable part as did her team of doctors, surgeons, oncologist, radiologist, and nurses.  Although fighting cancer does take a huge chunk of time and effort, Linda Barrett did not let it rule her life.  She continued to teach adult literacy classes, write novels and fulfill her roles as mother and wife while preparing to move from Texas to Florida.

HOPEFULLY EVER AFTER contains information about breast cancer and especially about the BRCA1 gene mutation of which Linda Barrett is a carrier.  But it also describes a life being lived to the fullest with love, persistence and encouragement.  Talented Linda Barrett has always been a favorite author, I have followed her career from her first published romance novel, but HOPEFULLY EVER AFTER is her greatest love story to date.  Thank you Linda, for telling your story, one that is all too familiar to a number of people, and for putting a face to this frightening disease.

Donna Zapf,  Reviewer — CataNetwork/Single Titles  Star Rating:  5 Stars
Not only do I want to thank Donna Zapf for her thoughtful and well-written review, but more important, I want her to know that I cried because she “got me.” She understood what my journey was really about.
Communication from the heart is what every author hopes to do with every single reader. That is why we write.

My very best to each of you. As always, thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting Over when the pause button will be released, my regularly scheduled blogging will resume and the winners of the October contest will be announced 🙂

OCTOBER CONTEST:  Two winners in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Post a comment and your name will be entered in this month’s drawing for two of the books shown below and a $25 gift card to either Amazon or BN. Your choice!

Texas Danger, Brashear

 

 

 

 

 

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ARe DEBRA SALONEN 7-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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