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  1. Weekend Edition
  2. Questions as a Starting Point
  3. Ten Ways To Succeed at Writing Without Really Trying
  4. What Does Valentine's Day Mean to You?
  5. Storyworld Begins Here!
  6. More Recent Articles

Weekend Edition

 
   If you are not familiar with our giveaway rules, take a minute to read them here. It keeps us all happy! All winners should send their name, address, and phone number to claim prizes.  Note our new email address and please send your emails to Seekerville2@gmail.com
Monday: The winners of a copy of Missy Tippens's new novella release, Back to You, are JeanneT and Amy Anguish!

Tuesday: Audra Harders talked about Storyworld and eggs...if you're curious, pop back and check it out, LOL. Winners of a signed copy of the 2in1 collection feat. Rocky Mountain Hero: Connie, Nicki Chapelway, Sandy Smith.

Wednesday: Megan Besing posed the question "What Does Valentine's Day Mean To You?" The winner of The Mail-Order Brides Collection is Amy Anguish!

Thursday:  Ruthy (Ruth Logan Herne) cleaned a closet and found THREE COPIES of "Swept Away" her newest Guideposts mystery... so the lucky winners from her Thursday post "Ten Tips to Succeed at Writing Without Really Trying" are Crystal, Tammie Eddington Shaw (great name!) and Linda Matchett. Congratulations! 


Monday:  Jan Drexler will be Redeeming Darth Vader. Can this be done? Stop in and see!

Tuesday:  Author DiAnn Mills will be bringing a fantastic post on "Proactive Marketing and Promotion" geared for the busy writer. You don't want to miss her excellent example!

Wednesday:  Debby Giusti hosts Villager Walt Mussell. Walt will share his experience with Kindle Scout in a blog post titled, "The Opportunity of Kindle Scout." Stop by to learn more about the program that benefits writers and readers. Walt will be giving away four copies of his historical romance, The Samurai’s Heart.

Thursday:  Stop by and check out "The Newest In Writing Tools" with Cara Grandle. Cara is offering a craft book giveaway as she explores some great tools of the trade!

Friday: MYSTERY FRIDAY!!! Who knows what Friday the 23rd will bring? Whatever it brings, it will be fun, informative and certainly worth a drive-by... and maybe a sit-down lunch! Come by and see!













Don't Forget .. Pam Hillman's Claiming Mariah

is Available for 99cents during the month of February!

Click here to purchase Claiming Mariah from your favorite online Retailer!





This giveaway from BookSweeps ends soon! If you haven’t already entered, don’t miss your chance to win 35 inspirational contemporary romances, plus a brand new eReader AND a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering. Audra Harders, Candee Fick, Pepper Basham are just a few of the authors participating. 
Enjoy, and good luck!


Enter here: http://bit.ly/inspyrom-feb2018


WISHING BRIDGE IS ON SALE ON AMAZON!!!

Ruthy's beautiful story of three friends, keeping a twelve-year-old promise to come running as needed has soared to #1 on the Amazon Christian charts... and Amazon is offering the Kindle edition of this beautiful story at $2.00... TWO DOLLARS!!! Aye Caramba, that's a deal! Grab it while it's on sale, and if you love Mayberry-type small towns... if you love friendship that stands the test of time, even when slightly neglected, if you love a romance that shouldn't be possible... but is... and throw in a newborn baby, just for fun... and heart-grabbing town characters that draw you in... then this book is for you. Give it a try and tell us what you think. $2.00... Here's the link:  WISHING BRIDGE ON SALE AT AMAZON















Inside Look At A Launch Team from The Ambitious Author

Cohesion and Resonance from Helping Writers Become Authors, K.M. Weiland

Using Third Person vs First Person Novel Narratives from Writers In The Storm


Thanks for the link love!
      

Questions as a Starting Point


Photo Credit: ©Elaina Burdo    

Questions are always a good place to start a writing project, and to keep it going.

When I first started writing, my questions lined up with the five standard “W” questions (and one “H”). Who is the main character of the story? What is the conflict? Where does the story take place? When does it take place? Why is this story different? How am I going to structure the story? Many stories start with a simple “What if . . . ?” question. See if you can identify these stories:

What if a man was accidentally marooned on Mars?
What if a boy and girl from feuding families fell in love?
What if a girl fell down a rabbit hole and ended up in a strange world?
What if books were outlawed and firemen started fires rather than putting them out?
What if the captain of a whaler becomes obsessed with hunting down and killing one specific whale?

The first book I wrote after becoming a Christian was Redeeming Love, and it didn’t come from a question. It came from the life of a prophet, Hosea, and how God used him to show how deep God’s love for His people is. I had been writing steamy historical romances set in California between the 1840s and the 1880s. God’s love for each of us was so different from the love I had been writing about. His love is patient, passionate, persistent. He pursues us. I wanted readers who had followed my career to know what real love is. The book of Hosea laid out the entire story, but a question could have started it. What does real love look like?

I thought Redeeming Love would be the last novel I ever wrote, but questions kept coming up about what it means to walk by faith. And the best way I could think to answer them was by studying Scripture daily and writing a story with a cast of characters who play out all the possible answers—with one person clinging to the teachings of Jesus.



How do I share my faith when people don’t want to read the Bible or hear the name of Jesus? This question launched A Voice in the Wind. Hadassah, a Jewish-Christian girl with weak faith, finds herself the sole survivor of her family after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The cast of characters live out their ideas of hedonism, tradition, paganism, idol worship, and self-reliance. Hadassah is tested on every front, and her trust in God deepens. What I learned in the months of writing this story is God is always faithful and people notice those who follow Him. A life of faith brings persecution, but persecution builds strength of character. People watch how we live, and eventually ask why we live the way we do. And when that question comes, God gives us the words to speak.

Here are questions that started a few of my stories:
An Echo in the Darkness—How many times can you forgive someone who hates you and wants to destroy you?
The Atonement Child—Is there forgiveness and restoration for someone who has had an abortion?
The Scarlet Thread—What does sovereignty mean?
The Last Sin Eater—What is the difference between guilt and conviction?
And the Shofar Blew—What is a church? How do you build one?



My newest book, The Masterpiece,started with how early childhood trauma shapes the way a person thinks as they grow up. How can survivors be turned into victors? How does God use the worst things that happen in life to good purpose? Both Roman Velasco and Grace Moore are impacted by traumatic childhood experiences. How do they handle temptation? Each is a survivor, but what trials will it take to make them victors? The Masterpiece is a love story about two people with opposing points of view about life and eternity, and how God works behind the scenes so that they will be equally yoked.

Questions are a good starting place for Bible study. Right now, I have mentors on my mind. What does it take to be a good mentor? How many examples of mentors can I find in Scripture? What do these mentor-mentee relationships teach me? I’m beginning to see an older woman in my mind, one who has made many mistakes. She meets a young woman just starting adult life, and she’s falling into the same problems and making the same (bad) decisions that destroyed the older woman’s relationships. I imagine grown children for the older woman, children with major problems. I see her wishing she had lived life differently and hurting when she sees what’s happening in the younger woman’s life. Should she step up, step in, or mind her own business? How does a baby boomer relate to a millennial?

And so it happens. One question starts me thinking and presses me into God’s Word for answers. Can we redo life? Can the past be untangled? How would that look? The quest begins.



New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.


Read the first chapter here.

More information here.



New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers has published numerous novels—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for many honors, and in 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for inspirational fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Francine’s novels have been translated into over 30 different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries. She and her husband, Rick, enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.



      

Ten Ways To Succeed at Writing Without Really Trying

That title is an example of click-bait.  Click bait is a title or blurb that tempts you to click on the story... and then you often find out that the bait wasn't as it seemed.

That's true here. In my opinion there is no way to succeed at writing without really trying, but if you want to try... if you want to succeed... read on, my friends! Because there are tried-and-trued ways to do this thing!


Everyone wants to be an overnight success. Everyone wants to be The Next Big Thing... but no one knows what that is.  Unless it's really Bitcoin!!!!

BITCOIN LINK

Who expected those spinner-things to take the world by storm? And how many parents and teachers have thrown the things away because they're a mind-draining annoyance?

Who expected a great story about a forlorn, magical boy that lived beneath a staircase to become an international sensation and catapult the author to amazing heights?

Who thought in a country that claims to be 75% Christian (according to a poll asking questions of self-definition) that  a book about sexual bondage would sell over 50 million in the USA alone and hit 100 million by 2014 worldwide?

Why am I tossing these facts out there?

Because there is no sure thing. There is no baseline predictor that would have put Harry Potter, Sweet Valley High, Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and James Bond in the same exclusive high sales categories...

So do you have to copy one of these formats to ensure success?

No. No, because by comparison you've already lost. And to be yourself, to be your best writing self, you need to produce the best possible work that makes you happy. 

So where do you focus? How do you choose?

1. What do you like to read? This is the first step toward what you write because you should start with something you'd like to read. If you love romance, write romance. If you're big into fantasy, then create your own netherworlds. If you love fearing for your life in the dark of a storm-filled night, write suspense or thrillers. WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE, FIRST. This doesn't mean you're locked in, darlings. It means you've begun. And if you never begin, well... no one goes anywhere without starting somewhere.

2. Prepare for disappointment. It is sure to come. My first book was a brilliant SAGA that went on forever. The first chapter was all telling. No dialogue. No action. Just emotion, how the hero was feeling. DEAD IN THE WATER. That's how bad it was... because I didn't know better. I knew I could write. I didn't know how to naturally just tell a story... Now I do.

3. Is this a hobby? Or a job?  If it's a hobby, that's fine. You can write when you want, as you're able, but if it's a job... if this is your career path, your career change, then you need to shake things up a little. Think of the first four years as a college course load in creative writing. You don't have to spend a lot of money. You do have to invest time. You have to write. So set a goal. A reachable goal. 500 words/day for 5 days of the week. 

4. Plan your work time. If you were selling Avon or going to a job or free-lancing for someone's firm, you would SET A WORK TIME. That's what we do when we have a job. So set a work time. Before work is what I do... I get up early, I write when no one's around or awake, even the resident mice are generally asleep (although not always) and I write. That way no matter what happens, that job's done.

5. If you're a night owl, then disappear for an hour or ninety minutes when others are watching television or doing puzzles or yelling at the football game, baseball game, basketball game, Olympics, Stock Market exchange, etc., etc., etc. 

6. Don't make excuses. Just don't. I pull my hair out (luckily I have really thick hair, birds have been known to make nests in my hair) when people list the reasons they couldn't write. No pencils. No pencil sharpener. The house was too hot. The house was too cold.  The stool's too high. The chair's too low. Standing to type hurts my back/side/leg/heel/fill in the blank... If you don't have the burn to do it, that's okay... Trust me, not everyone is meant to do this. And there's nothing wrong with letting it go, retiring, moving on, whatever you need to do to stay sane... If you can quit writing, do it. If you can't... then you're a writer. (R. A. Salvatore) although I've heard this in multiple places... but he's a clever Star Wars writer and I love Star Wars so we'll give R.A. the nod!

7. BUT IF YOU LOVE IT... if there is that dag-blasted burning desire inside you to make up stories, to weave tales, to invest in characters and fix their sorry existences, the existences you created for the poor slobs.... then keep going. 

8. Develop self-discipline. THIS MAY BE THE HARDEST PART. If you're a self-disciplined person, then this won't make or break you. But if you aren't... Ouch. This is where we separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls because if you don't push yourself... no one else is going to do it for you! That's the difference between this and that college course load. No one's grading you. You are self-motivated. You're not even guilt-ridden because you are paying big bucks to a liberal arts university to get five people's ideas of what makes a good writer...  Without the self-discipline this is Not A Fun Job... if you have to drag yourself to the laptop daily.... and make every excuse not to sit down.... then this is Not A Fun Job.... 

9. Can you teach yourself self-discipline?  DUH! Of course you can. With practice. Sit down. Write. Sit down. Write. Sit down. Write. Remember that anything you make yourself do for THIRTY DAYS becomes a habit. Make writing your habit!!!

10. Love yourself. Love yourself, the amazingly wonderful creature God created you to be no matter if you succeed at writing or not. No matter if you never get that first book done, or you write five and they all stink (Ruthy raises hand on that one). Love yourself because you are special. You are a child of God. You are one of the siblings of the Most High. Wonderful. Counselor. The Prince of Peace. The Everlasting Father.  You have it in you to do anything... but it does not have to be this.

And that's it. After publishing 44 novels and novellas with six more on the way in the next eighteen months... and almost 2,000,000 copies sold.... trust me. I know whereof I speak. 


My 45th book and my second mystery with Guideposts... Thank you, Susan Downs for thinking of me with this crazy fun series!

But even saying that, there is no one right way to do this. There are plenty of wrong ways, and most of us learn from the school of hard knocks, but there are many correct ways... because if you get results, then you're doing all right! 

So are you a writer? And what's your stumbling block?  Let's chat, just us... :) And maybe a few dozen others, chiming in!

I've got a copy of my newest Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard book "SWEPT AWAY" looking for a home today, but you have to tell me you want it, darlings.... 

And a quick shout out to Amazon/Waterfall Press whose current $2.00 promotion drove "Welcome to Wishing Bridge" to #1 in three Christian genre categories! And #144 overall out of millions of books. To say I'm excited and thrilled is a gross understatement... What a fun thing to celebrate today!




And there's fresh coffee, tea, hot chocolate and a big ol' pitcher of sweet tea for youse!

Come on in. Visit with The Yank... and we'll talk writing. Just like it should be.


Bestselling, Award-winning inspirational author Ruthy Logan Herne loves to write and eat chocolate, a disparate conundrum of lifestyle factors that make her welcome the coming of spring and farm work, garden work, donkey detail and lawn work... because a short gal who likes to eat and write, well... we all know how that one goes! She lives on a pumpkin farm in Western New York, she's got 6 kids, an extra one thrown in, and 14 grandchildren, with a couple of Ruths and Logans in the mix... that makes her smile, of course! Friend Ruthy on facebook, follow her on Twitter, add her to your BookBub faves or your Amazon favorites... all of this makes her editors very happy, and Ruthy loves happy editors! And that picture is nearly five years old, but of course, Ruthy hasn't changed one bit! :)






      

What Does Valentine's Day Mean to You?

If I say the words Valentine’s Day.
What are the first things that pop into your head?


Is it:
Hearts?
Roses?
The color red?
Yummy chocolate?
All the money that’s spent?
Love….?
The first thing that always comes to my mind is actually NONE of those things. It’s an incident that happened exactly thirteen years ago today.

My husband and I hadn’t been married quite two months yet. Weirdly enough, at the time, we weren’t even living in the same house. (Not by our choice mind you.) He was living on post with all the other soldiers going through advanced military training. And I had dragged his middle sister seventeen hours away from our hometown so I wouldn’t have to live in a huge city by myself. But it was worth it to be able to see my husband a few hours a week. (Did I mention we grew up in a town of under 500 people, which was ever so slightly smaller than the 2 million population we moved to. As you can imagine, traffic on the interstates weren’t quite the same as our gravel roads…)

During those months of his training, I was thrilled anytime I was able to see him, and when he received clearance to have a few hours off for Valentine’s day…well, I was excited.

We had to spend the evening in “double date” style, because of the “battle buddy” requirement. (In training they always had to have another soldier with them.) But that was okay, it didn’t dampen our very limited time together. We all went to a pizza buffet, got separate tables from the other soldier and his wife, but I noticed that the other soldier’s wife kept peering over at my husband and me…which felt…. odd.
However, it soon made sense.

In the midst of our first Valentine’s day as a wedded couple.
Right in a crowded restaurant.
Before I had finished my pizza.
My husband told me that he was soon going to be deployed.


Did you know that restaurant napkins aren’t ideal tissues? Well, they are so not, and crying in public is never on my top to-do list. Let’s just say our first married Valentine’s Day went anything than how I expected or planned or wanted.

Later, I learned that my husband had known the bad news for a few days, that no other soldier in his group received the same orders, and he had carried the burden all by himself because he hadn’t wanted to tell me over the phone, wanting to share it with me in person. And the next in-person time just so happened to be February 14th…which is sort of sweet in theory….at least a little. But I asked him to in the future, to please go ahead and share any bad news asap. Unfortunately, he would have the chance to do just what I asked, but that’s a story for another day.


In my debut, Perfect for the Preacher, which is included in The Mail-Order Bride Novella Collection, things also don’t go as everyone had pictured nor planned either. The hero, Amos, orders himself a mail-order bride to appease his potential church congregation. But when his bride, Sophie, arrives and the burden she carries are revealed…it isn’t a day the members of Hilltop Chapel will be forgetting anytime soon.

Both life and stories are full of surprises, containing good and bad. A lot of the times not turning out how we hoped or pictured. (Kind of like this post, huh. You probably expected a happier theme?) But amongst our dreams and plans for tomorrow, the reality that becomes our today often is a beautiful mess. One that doesn’t have to stop us from cherishing all we’ve been given.

My husband and I don’t do much on Valentine’s Day these days, not because of our “ruined” first one, mainly because…well, flowers make my nose itch and crowded restaurants make us both a little crazy. And since I know I’m probably not alone in our lack of enthusiasm for the holiday, I thought it would be fun to share some of the smaller things in life that I do “love”. Aside from Jesus, family, and friends, here are a few items that would help ensure me an enjoyable Valentine’s Day. (Not necessarily in a particular order. 😊 )



The Beach––    There’s just something about the rhythmed roar of the water hitting and splashing across the sand. And oh, the sight of its vastness, going on and on until it reaches the sky. Beauty. Power. It’s my place where I KNOW that GOD IS AWESOME. (I know this everywhere else too, but especially here. 😊 ) I love, love the beach. Just wish we lived a bit closer!

Music––     It can brighten my mood, make me sing, and cause me to want to dance. Music everyday cannot be bad for the soul.

Taking Pictures––   I love capturing a moment, especially of my kiddos. Pictures help me remember that they grow up too fast and to treasure each and every day.

Reading––   I love to travel, but I might enjoy reading even more. Within a story, I can cover lands and dreams and years…It’s like tv, but way better. Plus, it’s cheaper than actually traveling. If I got to spend the entire Valentine’s Day reading, I would not complain one bit. 😊

Writing—    More specifically writing AND receiving a book contract. Now, that would be a Valentine’s Day I’d want to remember.

Vanilla Coke— I know water is healthy. I know my body needs water. However, my taste buds prefer this soda. #truth And my husband knows I preferred to be surprised with a Vanilla Coke instead of a bouquet of flowers. 
                
Mascara––   Though “love” here is bit strong of a word, but you guys, I ‘need’ it. Lol. Soooo it’s going in the “love” department today, right up there by the trusted Chapstick. (Got to have that too. Anyone else?) But I don’t normally spend much money on makeup, or things for myself in general, so if I would receive one of those fancier brands as a Valentine’s Day gift…I wouldn’t complain.

Cheese––    Cheese makes everything better. Need I say more?

Those items make my short list for the day. I’d love to get to know some of the smaller things in life that you “love” to be doing, or receive today. Maybe a gift that you’d like to receive that isn’t a typical Valentine’s kind. Or you can share your story about a not so picture-perfect Valentine’s day you’ve had. 



Ruthy note: Megan has graciously offered a copy of the Mail Order Brides collection to one lucky comment-maker today! So let's talk romance... Valentine's Day... what's gone right? And what's gone terribly, horribly wrong! 




Megan Besing adores reading, writing, and reviewing stories with happily-ever-afters. She’s received many awards, including being a multi-category finalist in ACFW’s Genesisand a winner of MCRW’s Melody of Love contest. Her debut Perfect for the Preacherreleased February 2018 in Barbour’s Mail-Order Brides Novella Collection.

She lives in Indiana with her husband and their children, where she dreams of the beach and drinks way too many Vanilla Cokes. Connect with Megan on Facebook and at www.meganbesing.com.



The Mail-Order Brides Collection: 9 Historical Stories of Marriage that Precedes Love
Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-sal
      

Storyworld Begins Here!

Hi Everyone! Audra here.


The idea for writing my post today on the subject of setting hit me while I was enjoying a nice long weekend writing retreat in the quaint mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado. All the sights, sounds, smells, attractions and quirky little details in my fictional Paterra Springs are inspired by Estes Park. I find working on a new series a bit intimidating. I don't really know my characters well yet, much less the town they call home. Visiting Estes Park - about 45 minutes from my home - grounds me and helps me find the character in the town.


Now, you have to understand, I may write inspirational romance novels, but I also have a day job with our county extension office working with the 4-H program. This alone gives me untold fodder for the setting and characters of my books. But, it's February and February means my team along with the local agricultural community, host over 1,000 fourth graders over a 3 day span and introduce them to agriculture. So, long story short, I've been immersed in embryology. And as I was pulling together material for this post, I realized the parts of setting mesh well with the presentation we will be giving (over and over again) on hatching eggs. 


Please humor me as my day world and the world of my imagination collide :)



Courtesy of Backyardchickencoops.com.au


·         The egg shell houses the entirety of the eggs component within it.


That would be your city limits. Think about how you’d like to portray the area where the events of your novel take place.  Think about how you would describe the town through the eyes of your characters. You don’t need to have all the details nailed down as you begin to write, but key locations should be decided and anchored so your hero doesn’t go to the bank on Main Street in Chapter 2 and then the bank moves to the mall in Chapter 7. I like to sketch out a map. It starts out simple – North, South, East, West – and fills in as I get a feel for the geography.



·         The egg has two membranes protecting against bacterial infection.


Think of this as your “Outer Limits” (remember that show?) or the edge of town. I think of this as the outsider (the bacteria) trying to find a way into the heart of the town, only in applying it to the setting, it’s good bacteria (think of beneficial bacteria found in yogurt). Do you have something going on outside the city limits? I do. The homestead that plays a big part in this 3-book series is on the edge of town since it was a ranch at one time. In the case of book 1, this is the property my heroine inherits. She’s always felt on the outside of life – inheriting this property doesn’t make her feel included in the town, either. She works her way through town (as all beneficial bacteria does) until she finds her heart’s desire.

Also, think about what the characters see when they look out the window. Are they looking out over vast fields? High rises? Coal yards? Water? This general aspect of your setting will establish the atmosphere of your story. Remember, whatever surrounds your central area will play a larger part than just a pretty picture. Your characters will work in it, travel through it, play, hide, etc. It must be a part of their lives; the reader must feel a part of it. It is a character that must be nurtured.






·         The Albumen (or egg white) is loaded with nutrients to help the chick develop.


People are the nutrients of life. Surround your character with friends, family, and yes, even foes. These characters not only help your main character on his or her journey to HEA, but they also make your character grow and keep the wheels of the town turning. What characters do for a living, enriches the town and surrounding environment.

If you have a rancher, give him a ranch to work on and describe his activities. A rancher who simply sits around all day mooning over love gone wrong is boring. Give him equipment to work on, fields to harvest, animals to care for, and all the while, he can be conjuring solutions to his problems in his mind, or with a fellow rancher.

Give your characters activities and hobbies. Are they active in the local church? Do they volunteer with the local 4-H organization? Do they nature hike and sketch? The actions and interests of your characters help establish the tone and atmosphere of your setting.

Let the nutrients of your town do their thing and do it well!



·         The Yolk is the central part of the egg, it’s the little powerhouse where all the important nutrients are stored.


Think local customs, history, legends. Think morals. What is the foundation your town or setting is built on? Who built it? How is it maintained? Charity auctions, fairs, holiday dances and other local events all add dimension to the dynamics of the setting. How about food? Is there a special restaurant that offers unique eats that your characters can’t wait to congregate around? Keep ethnic foods and customs in mind, too. No true setting is simply white bread.






·         Chalazae (pronounced: cha·la·zee) are membranes twisted together that anchor the yolk to keep it from twisting in the egg.

So, you’ve sketched up a town, now, per story, where is the anchor? Where do people go to feel connected? Is it the local school? The church? The above-mentioned eatery with to-die-for daily specials? Think about some of your favorite television shows and take note of where dilemmas are shared; problems solved; accomplishments announced or celebrated. My family watches re-runs of Frazier. Where would the characters go if they couldn’t congregate at the coffee shop?  It’s your town, make the central landing place fun and unique.

There's so much more I could say about setting. Details are only limited by your imagination. Have fun with your town or desert or coast or wherever you plan to entertain your characters and your readers. Setting is just as much a character in your story as well, your characters, LOL!


*  *  *


But wait! I have a couple of fun surprise that I’d like to share with you!!





First, I’ve teamed up with 35 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of inspirational contemporary romances to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you'll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering? ;D

You can win my novel Second Chance Ranch, plus books from authors like Candee Fick and Dan Walsh. 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: http://bit.ly/inspyrom-feb2018

Good luck and enjoy!



Second, my debut Love Inspired novel, Rocky Mountain Hero has been packaged in a 2in1 set with fellow LI author, Lois Richer. Rumor has it, this collection has been offered to the bookclub exclusively - for now.

Leave a comment and I'll put your name in the cowboy hat and draw names for 3 copies. Isn't this a great cover?



Audra Harders writes "rugged stories with heart" featuring fearless men who haven't a clue about relationships, rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers. In real life, she's married to her own patient hero, has two adult children, and is surrounded by everything conducive to writing about farming, ranching, and cowboys at her day job in the county Extension office in Boulder County, Colorado. She began writing right after her son was born and sold her first book to Love Inspired mere months before that same son graduated from high school. Surviving those years in between reminds her God does have her plan for her life...and that He has a tremendous sense of humor. You can visit Audra at
Twitter: @audraharders


      

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