Once Upon A Time…

By Patricia Bradley

There was a princess. Now this was not an ordinary princess. No, this was a very princess-2modern and savvy young lady who knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to be a writer…a published writer, indeed.

She learned the craft and honed her skills, even joined My Book Therapy…She was taught by the best. She entered contests, and paid attention to the critiques, learned what worked and what didn’t.

She queried and went to conferences, made appointments and smiled and nodded, gave editors one-sheets and elevator pitches. She even fetched water and coffee and carried their boxes and boxes of books.

Whew!

All to no avail.

Years passed. She fretted and frayed because no one wanted her book, her precious baby. They sent it back with words like Sorry this does not meet our editorial needs at this time…or loved the hero but your heroine simply didn’t do it for me.

They said her baby was ugly. But she continued to write and learn, made her heroine vulnerable and sassy and her hero noble and true.

After all her appointments and letters had failed, she had all but decided her writing ‘twas not meant to be. And low and behold a note dropped from the sky. ‘Twas from an editor she knew not from Adam, and certainly not an editor she’d queried.

Dear Princess,

Your story I must see for recommendation has come from on high….

She danced and frolicked, then quickly bundled her story and winged it the editor’s way. Oh joy, oh joy, the editor loved her hero…and heroine, too. Soon the princess held her book in her very own hands…

And the moral of this story is…

“Cease striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 NASB

Learn the craft, hone your skills, write the best story you know how for an audience of One. And pray. God did not give you a dream to snatch it away. Remember, it’s always in His timing. All we have to do is be ready.

Habakkuk 2:3- “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.” TLB

Leave a comment and let me know what dream you have. As for dreams, my 5th book from Revell released January 31!

Check it out…img_0084

It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

Available at: AmazonB&N, CBD

 

 

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10 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever

 

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Photo by Chiru

For as many amazing Valentine’s Day gifts you could give your significant other, there are some things that send the wrong message.

No one gets it right all of the time and there is that little thing called grace for the one we love’s imperfections, but then there is the list below.

Searching the internet I found a crazy lot of horrible Valentine’s Day gifts. The list below is a compilation of some of the worst.

10 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever:

  1. “Diamond Ring” Keychain in a Ring Box – Prank, or not, this gift lacks style. To the girl whose always wanted a diamond ring, you’ve just cheapened the moment when she does receive one.
  2. Spanx – For the man who gave this to his sweetheart. . . let me just say, “You have a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day?”
  3. Novelty Toilet Paper – Where do these people come up with these things?
  4. Naming A CockRoach at the Bronx Zoo – Apparently they did this one year. . . Why??
  5. Pink Game Console – Unless your sweetheart is a big gamer, this just says, “I went to the store and while I was there I found this really cool gift for you. . . for me.”
  6. Duct Tape Roses – Trust me, your girl is going to want the real thing! (Although, a survey said that 40% of women don’t want roses for Valentine’s Day)
  7. Gym Membership – No one wants to remember that they have some pounds to lose. Skip this gift and your relationship might last to see another Valentine’s Day.
  8. A Pickle Recipe Book – 1001 ways to make pickles. Nothing says love like something green that takes hours to can.
  9. Toilet Seat – This screams that someone was at the hardware store and didn’t want to go down a different isle, much less a store that would have what a sweetheart might want.
  10. “Cop Out” – I would rather my hubby say he forgot than to try to spin his forgetfulness with the whole “I love you all year round, so. . .” line.

What is the worst Valentine’s Day Gift You’ve Ever Received?

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Yesterday’s Super Sleuth Challenge Answer:

D. Drone Finger Printer is Not Real. For information about some of the latest crime fighting technology click here.

Romance is in the Air Along With Murder

owls in loveToday is Thursday and so it’s about ROMANCE. But first, here is the answer to last week’s Stupid Criminal story.(because I forgot to post it last Wednesday.) First of all, let’s recap:

Mr. Garcia had just been processed at the police station for drinking beer inside a grocery store. He had no ride home. If you were Mr. Garcia, how would you get home? Would you:

  1. Call your brother, who is wanted by the police and gets arrested when he picks you up?
  2. Steal an ambulance right outside the police station?
  3. Call your parole officer, who reports your conviction to the prison and you get sent back to jail?
  4. Call your mother, who comes to the Police Station and promptly starts whacking you over the head and she gets arrested for disorderly conduct?

It is…drumroll…#2. Here’s the rest of the story:

Mr. Garcia had just been processed at the police station for drinking beer inside a grocery store. He had no ride home and promptly decided to steal an ambulance. Where did he do that? Right outside the police station. The police met him at his home and arrested him again before he got into his house.

Now for Thursday’s Romance Post.

I’m starting a new book, a cozy where romance won’t be the big thing it is in my romantic suspense books. And since I’m hoping it will be a series, the romance will have to be slow in developing. I already have two suspects love interests. One is an assistant chef who has to endure CJ’s — Callie Jane — clumsy attempts in the kitchen. He can’t complain because CJ’s uncle is the top chef. The other is a US Coast Guard Intelligence Officer. He is investigating the murder–and CJ is his main suspect. Of course, she has to prove she’s not the murderer, so that give lots of room for conflict.

At this point, I’m not sure who will end up being the main love interest. Any thoughts on the subject? If so, please share in the comments block. I can use all the help I can get!

 

What’s Your Love Song? – Heartwarming Thursday with Author Michelle Lim

Photo by Sonja Mildner

Photo by Sonja Mildner

Most of the great romance movies have a moment when a love song is played at a poignant moment. That song becomes the special theme song for that couple. Then every time the audience or couple hears it, they are reminded of the couple’s love.

When I hear these songs and the scenes they are in I just sigh. It is the awe moment in a movie.

Here are a couple that I love from the movies:

Armageddon – “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” Aerosmith

 

Top Gun – “Take My Breath Away” Berlin

Titanic – “My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dion

The Body Guard – “I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston

When my husband and I first fell in love we had a special song, too. Over the years we added another one. Every time I hear it, I get all doe-eyed and look at my husband. I remember the sweet roses in my mailbox, notes on my dashboard, and good-nights at the doorway.

At our wedding I sang this song. Crazy on such a nerve-wracking day to sing, right? But it was something I wanted to do and I don’t regret it. Although I admit, wedding dresses are not made for their breathe-ability. It may have been the most breathy rendition of the song ever.

Love makes us do crazy things. After all, any epic adventure requires a theme song and nothing is more adventurous than romance. We experience roller coaster emotions and do things we would have never considered before. A song is absolutely required.

No matter how many years pass, our song takes me back. Cheesy, or not, I love it. Here is our song:

“Valentine” – Martina McBride

What is your love song?

The Lift: Heartwarming Thursday

In movies and books, some moments send us romantics over the edge. It’s the “I can’t even!” moments where our hearts turn to mush and our stomachs knot like ooey gooey pretzels fresh from the oven.

A few weeks ago, I had to talk about romantic conflict during an author panel and I used the movie Dirty Dancing. So many great scenes, but “The Lift” is one of those I can’t even moments!

Johnny can’t be with Baby because fraternizing with guests will get him fired and he needs this job. It’s basically his year’s salary. At first he thinks she’s a spoiled brat anyway. That first dance with her is really just a taunt. A “teach this naive snot a lesson” which I love. And then she steps up to help him when his dance partner can’t do her part at another hotel. Baby can’t dance. At all. And it frustrates the mess out of him. So he takes her to the woods because this girl just won’t give up! She’s going to learn this. And really, deep down, he admires that. She’s really everything he wants to be.

Here in this scene, we get all the feels! He motions for her to come out on the limb. Which is great symbolism and we can layer our writing with things like this. “Come out on this limb with me. Trust me.” She’s afraid. Says no. But then she does and she realizes it’s actually pretty fun. And here is this amazing attractive man dancing and she cackles! I can relate. Such an unattractive laugh. She feels unattractive. everyone has smooth straight hair and hers is frizzy and curly. She can’t really dance. And yet she’s here with him and they’re dancing out on a limb.

Then they move to the field to learn the lift. She’s jumping into his arms and he says to her, “You’ll hurt me if you don’t trust me.” Oh, my heart! Because there’s so much more there than dancing. Isn’t that the real truth in any relationship? She jumps until they fall to the ground and laugh. There’s all this physical contact and yet the emotional connection is building. She’s becoming more than some means to an end–a bratty rich girl who started out helping him. They’re becoming friends. Partners.

And we come to the water scene. Her tank top slips off her shoulder and she goes to fix it and he reaches out to help her, pauses and drops his hand. That “I want to touch her, but I shouldn’t. I’m helping and yet feel awkward because I’m falling for this girl!” No kissing. Just all the feels we love in romances. It’s a falling in love, heartwarming moment. Ah sigh!

What scene in a movie or book gives you all the feels and warms your heart? 

photocredit: freedigitalphotos/gubgib

5 Things You Must Know About Someone Before You Date – Courting Danger

Photo by agastechag

Photo by agastechag

Love is one of the most amazing emotions. When all things are as they seem it can be a delightful blend of romance, heart-pounding chemistry, and friendship.

When falling in love it is easy to move too quickly, excuse too much, and overlook flaws that are warning signs. In the magic of that moment it is essential to recognize 5 Things You Must Know About Someone Before You Date. Ignore them and you could be courting danger.

5 Things You Must Know About Someone Before You Date:

*How important is control to your new love interest?

The need for control is a danger sign. Anyone who pressures you to speed up the relationship’s progression, or attempts to exert control over your emotions, time, friendships, finances, or even spirituality is waving a red flag.

Watch this individual’s other relationships and see how control comes into play. Do they always want their own way? Are they manipulative or demanding of other’s time? Do they get jealous easily?

Time is one of the true measures to observing this behavior. Don’t rush into any committed relationship without the benefit of time to truly get to know the other person.

*How have their past relationships evolved and ended? Do they have a troublesome past?

Relationships often follow similar patterns. If your current love interest has had difficulty in a particular area of

Photo by R.D.O.

Photo by R.D.O.

a previous relationship, chances of that issue resurfacing are common. Unfaithfulness, jealousy, anger issues, or neediness present in previous relationships may show up in yours.

Talk to previous girlfriends/boyfriends. Don’t just take someone’s word for it. He/she is only sharing his/her side of the story and the wrong kind of person will know how to spin it.

Research for troublesome details in their past or present. Use outside sources, including those online.

*What are their friends like?

You can tell a lot about a person by who they hang out with. If you don’t like to spend time with someone’s friends, chances are your relationship will frustrate you both.

It will be obvious if your values or faith perspectives are shared. People are attracted to others who share their outlook on life. This will vary some, but their closest friends should reflect similar values.

*What do others of the same gender think of them?

Photo by Katinka Kober

Photo by Katinka Kober

A guy may be able to put on a show for the girl he is interested in, but chances are there are chinks in his armor that show more easily when he is not around you or your friends. The same is true of a girl. Knowing what those of the same gender think of your new heartthrob is a great way to identify dangerous or undesirable traits.

*Do they exhibit any dangerous behaviors or personality patterns?

Notice any risk-taking behaviors your new interest exhibits. Watch for personality traits consistent with predators, violent men, the chemically dependent, and other types that don’t manage well in a relationship. 

What do you think someone MUST know about someone before they date?

 

All About Love: Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”

by Jill Kemerer

I’ve always been a fan of love songs. When I was in high school, I used to listen to a light rock radio station that had a nightly block of love songs. I miss that station. 🙂

It’s hard to find good, new love songs these days, but one I’ve been enjoying is Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph.” The lyrics, “You can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans…” make me blubber up every time I listen to it! The video is below if you’d like to check it out.

 

 

The song is about how we can freeze a moment in a photograph or other memento. Seeing a photo rushes you back to the love, the happy times, the special feelings only you two shared. And we can conveniently forget the bad stuff, the fights, the disappointments when we hold onto the good.

I have some really random keepsakes from my husband. I kept this little plastic German guy in lederhosen from a dinner when we were first dating. All I have to do is look at it, and I’m there–the laughter, the love, the bittersweet knowledge I’d be leaving for college soon and the desperate need to cling to each moment until I left. Yes, we can lock a moment in a keepsake.

I enjoy going back down memory lane sometimes. It’s sweet to remember something more fun than paying the bills! Maybe I should get that box out of the closet and find my little German guy soon. Hmm… 🙂

Do you have favorite photos that flood you with romantic memories? Have you kept something strange like a plastic German guy?

Have a wonderful day!