$2 Words and Other Myths

There’s myth out there that novels should use small words. Never send the reader scurrying for the dictionary. It’s not hard. Plenty of short, accessible words are available, so a writer with a vivid mind need never feel stifled.

Recently, however, I ran across a book that soars with words writ large and sprinkled into conversation with delight. My pastor back in the 1970s called them “$2″ words. The book is called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.”…a waiter of such decrepitude…” “We must celebrate this ephemeral event.” The words are understandable, but they’re not the words that appear regularly in conversations, either. You doubt this? Think when was the last time you or your significant other described an event as ephemeral or a waiter walking decrepitly?

English is a rich and vibrant language. Embrace the wealth of words as writers and as readers. And, if you occasionally press your ebook app for definitions, celebrate! You probably learned something that will enrich your speech hereafter.


Setting as Character – Heart’s Return

I’m reading Shadow Play, by Karen L. Abrahamson, in the just-released bundle called Heart’s Return. My reaction? Wow!
I am, admittedly, early in the story, starting chapter four. What blows me away is the use of setting as a character.
The first in this collection of books, Shadow Play opens in a bar in the capital of Cambodia with two dangerous men. One we think of as a fixer. The other? Well, the verdict is still out. He seems like he once had brushes with those circles and today, is about to be sitting on top of the world…if the fixer doesn’t meddle.
Chapter two shifts to the daughter, slogging through the monsoon-washed streets of Phnom Penh and, later, the Foreign Correspondent’s Club. The deluge, the sights, smells and sounds are amazingly vivid. They set the mood, yes, but they also resonate in ways that help drive the story along at a brisk pace. Don’t believe me? Read it.
This 1,100+ page collection of eight books is available at Amazon, Kobo, and other ebook sellers.

8 Tales of Romance

5 Reasons to Break Up…With Your Phone Service

Forty-four percent of Americans are afraid of commitment…to long-term phone contracts. For personal relationships, the number is higher — 57%.

Strangely, the two have a lot in common. Complaints about phone carriers sound a lot like complaints about significant others:

#1: Expensive (25%)
#2: Unreliable (e.g. my calls drop a lot) (10%)
#3: Unpredictable (e.g. my bill changes from month to month (9%)
#4: Possessive (e.g. they locked me in a contract) (9%)
#5: I can’t trust it (e.g. they have hidden fees) (9%)

That’s something to think about when choosing a mate or, for that matter, a phone service provider.

This Valentine’s Day survey was conducted by VoIP service provider Ooma [http://www.ooma.com].

Weddings – American Style

Wedding costs are up, guests are down and June was eclipsed by autumn. That’s a summary of 2016 weddings in America, from The Knot’s just released report.
Some other tidbits:
• Average cost of wedding (not including honeymoon) $35,329
• Average number of guests: 141
• Popular Colors: Dark blue, gold and pink
• Most popular Month to get engaged: December
• Average duration of engagement: 15 months.
• Average spent on a wedding dress: $1,564
• Average age of bride: 29
• Average age of groom: 31

Flirting’s for the Birds! Really!

When it comes to romance, our feathered friends have it figured out:

Penguins give a rock to their lady love. If she accepts, they begin collecting addition stones to build their nest. Humans typically give another type of rock: diamonds. Then they begin their homes.

Peacocks flourish their tail feathers and strut their stuff. Could the human equivalent be the pool-side saunter?

Blue-footed boobies show off their feet, picking them up and putting them down hoping the right female will be impressed and join in. We’d call that dancing.

Such moves aren’t only the prerogative of males, of course. Females of many species take time to preen to ensure they’re looking their best. Flamingoes take the extra step of using oils to bring out the richness of color in their feathers during mating season.

So, in the coming year, be your flirty best. Put yourself out there. Shake your tail feathers. Look your best. Give your loved one something special. Have a wonderful year!

Christmas is Coming

…And that means it’s time for Christmas Romances. Carolers, long walks amidst the evergreens, the happy feeling nothing else describes.

For Kayla Barent, in my just-released novella Granting Christmas, it’s a time to get away from the Christmas hubbub to polish her research grant proposal.

For Austin Fox, this Christmas is his chance for the rustic holiday he craves before throwing his heart into the company he’s starting in the New Year.

But, when they both choose the Blue Spruce Lodge…well, you get the picture. Will they have they Christmas they want, or the Christmas of their dreams?

Join them at the Blue Spruce Lodge in the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, for a Christmas Romance. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Inktera and other online booksellers.

Sign up for my newsletter to learn about future new releases.depositphotos_23101580_l-2015-raw-image

On Sale: Home to Glenhoolie

Rainforest Press is pleased to announce that the modern castle romance, “Home to Glenhoolie” debuted September 30, 2016 on Amazon.

What challenges will American professor Claire Agnew find in trying to fit into Scottish castle life?

Why won’t she set a wedding date?

Who’s sabotaging the laird’s windfarm?

Is noted ecoterrorist Avery O’Connell friend or foe?

If you crave adventure, romance, and a touch of mystery, check it out at http://amzn.to/2cIS8Dg