Travel Inspires Romance Novels

Between my old “day job” and my inherited wanderlust feet, I’ve done a great deal of traveling–and can’t wait to get out and do some more! Travel gives me a broader perspective and helps me come up with new ideas for plots and characters for my romance novels.

Inspiration for a romance  novel on the Bitterroot River.Travel doesn’t have to be far. My husband and I took a walk a few weeks ago and I snapped this photo on the Bitterroot River. A romance novel could evolve from this picture. Or a romantic suspense. What if the fisherman found a dead body? Or a woman crying by the river? What happens then?

Or maybe he’s the villain in the piece?  Let your imagination run wild. I know I will. Once I’m done with my California Romance series, I know I’m thinking about a series set in my home state of Montana.  I’m just not sure where exactly to place it.

Inspiration for romantic suspense

A traveler could break down near this hardscrabble ranch on Montana’s Eastern Front. Will she find welcome or danger? Maybe she could help the son bring the ranch back to life and discover love in the process.

Grizzly bear paw print inspires romantic suspense

A grizzly bear paw print definitely leads to romantic suspense.  For the man or woman? What if its a woman and her child and the rescuer is a forest ranger?  Or a nerdy scientist from the University of Montana? So many possibilities…

Make sure you always have a good book when you travel, as well as lots of paper to make notes and a camera. Take some time to stop and see, really see, the amazing world around us.

As writers, we hope to evoke the world around us or invent worlds of our own for you to visit for a while.

Fishercap Lake, Glacier National ParkOne of my favorite places is Glacier National Park. Sooner or later I know I’ll have a story that takes place in that craggy country.  There are plenty of animals to invite into my stories, including the bull moose in the lake to the left.

California Romance beach

In the meantime stop by and visit the land I’ve created in the California Romance series (California Sunset and California Wine). Costanoa is quite beautiful this time of year.

Meet Lady in Red: Laura Simcox

See my smiling face? That’s because I’m thrilled to be here introducing myself as a Crimson Romance author. My debut novel is ‘Summer Promises’. It’s the story of a young woman (Carly Foster) who has promised herself that her upcoming summer theater job will be a working vacation. No romance allowed. That is…until Asher Day walks into her world with a wink that melts her heart. It releases on September 17.

My name is Laura Simcox (my real name and I’m sticking to it…well…actually, I couldn’t decide on a pen name. Maybe someday? Who knows what the future holds.)

I write contemporary romance with a lot of humor thrown into the mix. I can’t resist making my heroes and heroines flirt outrageously. While I’d rather talk about them, I’m supposed to be telling you about me. (Focus, Laura.) So here we go! I picked 13 questions because I’m feeling lucky. 😉

 

1. Single, married, divorced, widowed?

I am married…twelve years ago last week, in fact. It was 99 degrees Fahrenheit on my wedding day and I ditched my stockings with glee and marched up the aisle bare-legged. Haven’t looked back and am incredibly lucky to be married to a patient, sweet man. He’s smarter than me and that’s irritating…but I get over it.

2. Parent?

Yes! Our son turned three a couple of months ago. He’s frolicking in preschool right now which is why I’m even in front of my computer.

Living where?

We live in North Carolina.

3. Doing what, other than writing?

Sigh. Potty training. But you don’t want to hear about that. At the moment, writing and walking up the steep curve of learning about social media is taking most of my time. In a former life, I was a professional costume designer for theater. I also taught college theater.

4. One—just one—physical characteristic

Tiny size 6 feet. I’d trade that size for my dress size but….well. I’d look awfully funny. 🙂

5. What’s your secret passion?

Oooh. Pirates!

6. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

My education. I was fortunate to go to an excellent public high school in Kansas and a great small college in Missouri. Grad school was the icing on the cake. I know I’m lucky.

7. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

I’d live in St. Louis. It’s my favorite city…not too big, not too small. Great people, food and baseball.

8. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

I write about places I’ve been. Places I’ve stayed long enough to soak up the local culture.

9. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?

When I was a little kid, I wrote and illustrated stories while sitting in the backseat of the family car. We took epic vacations to national parks once a year and I had a lot of car time. I remember that one was about a pack of bluejays that stole all of our hot dogs.

10. What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

My heroine, Carly, is fed UP with her lifestyle driving from theater to theater and not having a home or a man to call home. She’s unlucky in love…but that will change! It did for me, too. 🙂

11. Do you identify closely with one particular character? How?

Yes, I identify with Ross, Carly’s best friend. He lives in the moment but is also pragmatic.

12. The best part about my writing life is:

I’m a good boss. I let myself drink iced tea all day long and avoid laundry.

13. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

OK! I’m working on another contemporary, but with a twist. Here’s a little blurb:

In 1780, a thief snatched one of the world’s rarest documents…a previously undiscovered Shakespeare manuscript. The thief jumped on a ship and sailed for America with privateers and pirates hot on the trail. Just before reaching the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a hurricane swept them all into oblivion. Or did it? Treasure hunter Horatio Alexander doesn’t think so, because he’s discovered a portal to a mysterious island and all signs point toward this place as the location of the fabled manuscript. But he can’t go there alone. Two people are needed to operate the portal. So what’s a daredevil to do? Put a help wanted ad on the internet, of course. Budding archeologist Miranda Perry is looking for adventure and her long lost parents. What better place to search than the place where her parents went missing? The job she runs across online for a ‘research assistant’ is the perfect fit. Packing her bags takes no time! But what she discovers when she arrives at the dig site is beyond her wildest fantasies…

I’m excited about this one because it combines adventure and the opportunity to create some wacky characters. I love me some wacky.

Thanks, readers for stopping by to read my post. For more info, check out ‘Summer Promises’ on Amazon. Here’s a pic of the cover, too!

I love visitors. Here are some links:

Laura’s website

Laura on Facebook

Laura on Twitter

Meet the Lady in Red–Shay Lacy

My name is Shay Lacy. I feel a bit decadent being called a Lady in Red. Shay is my pen name, chosen after a long, arduous Internet search. It’s amazing how many cool names are already taken by strippers. I eliminated my first twenty choices for that reason. I chose a pen name because my first novels were erotic romance and I wanted to misdirect any stalkers my novels might attract. I write erotic shapeshifter romance, futuristic romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense.

I’ve been married to the same man for 31 years. I chose him instead of the Army, thinking he’d be the bigger challenge. After I put my two cats to sleep last year, he demanded a fur-free home. Since that hadn’t been in our marriage contract, I was rethinking that Army decision. Alas, I had passed the maximum age for enlistment. When I see a cat commercial on TV my heart goes pitter pat. He says I’ll outlive him and then I can have cats once more. I’m not sure he realizes I write romantic suspense and can think of lots of ways to hasten a man’s demise. And if somebody offered me a free Maine Coon…

I’m a secretary by day. If you work outside the home, you know that dictatorial bosses and irritating co-workers are excellent fodder for novels. I like to make them victims and villains in my stories. And some of what goes on in the working world you just can’t pay to imagine. Truth can be stranger than fiction. Although not in some of my short stories.

Beyond writing I’m an amateur photographer. I bake fairly well. Cooking—in truth, I collect recipes and attempt them. My husband thinks I’m trying to poison him. I wouldn’t have to try—I own a textbook on poisons. I collect rocks and glass paperweights and unusual names. And, of course, I love to read.

My secret passion is glass. I love the way it looks, the way it refracts light. I love its many forms and variations. I love watching glass artisans at work. I love old glass dishes and glass goblets. I have to be careful not to become a hoarder with my passion.

If I didn’t live in northern Ohio, I’d live someplace slightly warmer where there were hills. Not too warm, though, because I love the fall, the changing colors of the leaves. But I could skip winter. I’d like to live on a lake where no gas-powered boats could roar up and down. Recently I attended a party at a lakefront condo. The side of the house facing the lake was nearly all glass. The wife had a second-floor office that looked out over the lake. I could write lots of novels from an office like that.

I write romance because I need the happily ever after. My first love is fantasy, but not every character in those books survives. If I take a journey with a character, and grow to care for them, I want to know they survived and thrived, and that they had someone to love along the way.

After vacationing in Watkins Glen, New York, the setting of my novel, Hero Needed, which Crimson will release on October 22nd, I knew I had to write a story set in that town with that crazy, unprotected train track. I included photography in the story, which my husband does as a professional, and I’m an amateur.

When I write, I find my personal traits in at least one of my characters, sometimes the hero, sometimes the heroine. Often the emotional trials in my life find their way into my writing. I didn’t have to cut anything from Hero Needed, but another novel I’m editing will have to have huge tracts severed from it. I’ve delayed because these tracts are very dear to me. The hero’s grandmother, who raised him, has dementia and is failing. I wrote this novel when my mother-in-law had to be confined to a nursing home with dementia. I know it will hurt a lot to lose any part of this story.

The best part of my writing life is being able to ask people the craziest, most outlandish, most off-limits questions for my books. People who aren’t writers or reporters have boundaries. But writers are nosy. I HAVE to know things. Even if it’s not for a work-in-progress, I know I’ll use it in a future book. The worst part of my writing life, besides having to work nights and weekends, is having so many story ideas and not enough time to write all of them. While five ideas wait their turn, five more ideas take root in my brain.

So I have a lot of stories in the works. I don’t know which I’ll work on next. It will probably be romantic suspense because I love a hunky hero helping a smart heroine figure out who done it.

You can see more of Shay Lacy at my website, http://www.shaylacy.com/.

Check in on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/welcomeback/requests/#!/shay.lacy.7

Catch me on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ShayLacy1

Meet the Ladies in Red ~ Beth Yarnall

Introduce yourself, please. Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?

Hello! I’m Beth Yarnall, the author of Rush, a romantic suspense that will be released August 13th. I am actually an Elizabeth, but I’ve been called Beth for so long that I don’t think I could answer to anything else. Especially Liz, please don’t ever call me Liz. Yarnall has been my married last name for almost twenty years (Where did the time go?) and is actually pronounced ‘Yarnell’. It never occurred to me to use a pen name, but if I did I’d pick something like Writie McAuthorly or Diva McWriterson.

Tell us about your family and where you live.

I was born in Orange County, California not far from where I live now. My parents went through a gypsy phase in which we moved every one to two years so I’ve lived up and down the state of California- Lompoc, Salinas, San Jose, and Fresno. We finally settled back in Orange County when I was in fifth grade, then moved one more time to Huntington Beach where we stayed long enough for me to graduate high school. I still live in Orange County with my husband, Mr. Y, and my two sons- #1 Son and Monkey Boy. I love living in Southern California and like to joke that we pay extra for the good weather… it’s worth every penny!

What have you done other than writing?

I have a license in Cosmetology and have worked as a hairstylist, makeup artist, and esthetician. At one time I co-owned a salon with my very best friend. For three years I worked as a beauty consultant for Esteè Lauder, which fed my cosmetics obsession. In addition to writing I now do the billing for the company my husband and I own. Thank goodness for the writing because billing is bor-ing.

The best part about my writing life is:

The best part of my writing life is the friends I’ve made. No wait! It’s getting to travel to conferences. No, that’s not it either. Hmm… I know! The best part of writing is that I’ve finally found an outlet for all of the voices in my head.

The worst part about my writing life is:

A flat butt. Seriously, if I ever get an office of my own, I’m going to have a set up with a chair and a set up where I can stand while I write.

Tell us about one—just one—physical characteristic and one secret passion.

One I like or don’t like? I’m going to go with one I like because I’d rather be positive. I’d have to say my smile. Not because there’s anything particularly exceptional about it, but because when I smile people smile back. A smile is the simplest gift you can give and receive. And it’s free! Pass one on and see for yourself.

My One Secret Passion? Writing was/is it for me. I’ve tried everything else and I’m either not very good at it (like gardening) or I grow bored with it (like knitting). Wow, I’m going to have to find a new secret passion. Any suggestions?

Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

My ability to be happy wherever I am. Whether it’s an open field, the DMV or a burned out building I manage to find a way to enjoy myself.

If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

Maybe the central coast of California? This is difficult for me. I love living in Southern California close to my family and the beach. And you can’t beat the weather.

Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

I set my stories where they need to be set. I had originally set Rush in Alabama, but had to change the location because of the law there banning adult toys. I thought about a couple of other Southern states, but I also wanted a big city feel. Texas had a law banning adult toys that was repealed so it seemed like the perfect place to set Rush. I can’t remember exactly why I settled on Dallas maybe because I’ve been there several times and loved how clean and shiny the city is.

What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?

Actual writing? That would be in Jr. High. I was on the yearbook and newspaper staff. I wrote a serialized soap opera for the school newspaper called ‘Bleach’ (clever, right?). I still have a few of the papers and they’re not bad.

Why do you write romance novels?

For me, romance is about the journey two people take to their happily ever after. The struggles, the misunderstandings, the kissing, the groping, the blinding hot sex… what was I saying? Oh yeah, romance. Every couple has a unique story of how they met. What draws and binds people to each other is as near to magic as we mortals get and it fascinates me. In Rush, Mi and Lucas are a very physical couple. I constantly had to hose them down and tell them to wait. They have chemistry enough to start a laboratory.

What else do you write?

I also write mysteries (think Stephanie Plum in a hair salon) and am currently writing a paranormal romantic suspense. For some reason I feel the need to kill people… on paper. Not in real life.

What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

The hot sex.

Psht… hahahaha. Okay, seriously. I can’t think of one thing in this book that is like any experience I’ve had. I’ve never been stalked, sold adult toys on TV or fallen in love with an ex-Navy SEAL. But if I had to pick something it would be Mi’s devotion to her family. She’d do anything for her friends and family.

What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part?

Fortunately nothing. I really respect that about Crimson Romance. I felt like they took my story and made it better. They didn’t try to make it like X book that sold a bizillion copies, wanting to flood the market with almost-like-but-not-quites.

Do you identify closely with one particular character? How?

Lucas. He’s trying to find a profession that will fulfill him. I was like that until I started writing seriously. It’s really difficult to figure out what you want to be when you grow up!

Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

Titled Lush, the second book in my Pleasure at Home series is going to be about Cal and Lucy. I haven’t worked out the entire plot yet, but the opening line is-

Lucy Monroe stood outside the thick door with the gleaming brass nameplate, preparing to beg someone she couldn’t stand for something she didn’t want.

As you can see, Cal and Lucy have a rather complicated history and an even more complicated present. I can’t wait to dive into their story!

Now I have a question for you! If you could live any where else in the world, where would you live and why?

Rush~Book One in the Pleasure at Home Series

Someone is stalking Miyuki Price-Jones.

As the host of a very successful home shopping TV show that sells adult toys, Mi has become the object of an ex-con’s obsession, requiring the services of ex-Navy SEAL turned bodyguard, Lucas Vega. As the attraction between Lucas and Mi grows, Lucas has a difficult time keeping his feelings for Mi separate from his mission to keep her safe. A mission that is more challenging than anyone could have predicted.

Damaged by their pasts, Lucas and Mi find more in common then they could have imagined and secrets they thought would tear them apart could be the ties that bind them together forever. But with the stalker growing bolder, Lucas and Mi must learn to trust each other or risk losing more than their hearts.

One of them could lose their life.

Beth Yarnall writes romantic suspense, mysteries and the occasional hilarious blog post. Beth lives deep in the heart of `The O.C.’ California with her husband, two sons, and their dog where she is hard at work on her next novel. For more information about Beth and her stories please visit her website- www.bethyarnall.com

Meet the Lady in Red – Interview with Galen Rose

 

Aloha! Monday is one of those days few people appreciate but yesterday, a Monday, my new book, A Place to Rest My Heart went live! I now appreciate Mondays a lot more than I used to!

Introduce yourself, please. Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?

I write under the pen name Galen Rose. Even in this day of dwindling privacy, I felt it best to keep certain aspect of my life and my family’s life somewhat private. To be honest under my real name, I can be political, quite sarcastic and on occasion, jump up on my soap box. I thought that side of me might be a bit much for folks to take.

Let’s get the details out of the way:

Married?: I have been married for 17 years as of this June. I credit my husband with a huge amount of patience and he has been very supportive of my writing.

Children?: We have a 15 (going on 20) year old son, who is the light of my life. (even if he gives me grey hair! Ask about the two broken arms at the same time!)

Living where?: I was born in West Virginia, lived in Virginia for a few years, then off to California. I have lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the past ten years and I love it here among the towering redwoods.

Doing what other than writing?: I have had many jobs over the years, McDonalds, telephone solicitor, bike repairperson in the early years, an engraver for ten years, then on to run my own business selling Celtic Jewelry and gifts on the Internet and at Renaissance & Celtic Faires. I really enjoyed this business but the down turn in the economy was showing itself so I closed the business and then said, “Now what?” That’s when I started writing.

If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why? I’d live in Maui. The moment I step off the plane I relax. I love the ocean and the smell of tropical flowers on the breeze, and snorkeling with sea turtles.

Why do you write romance novels?  Because unrequited love pisses me off. It really is as simple as that. I think there has to be a happily ever after.

What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part? Actually, the prologue. It was very dark and intense and all the feedback I got said it didn’t work.

The best part about my writing life is: Giving all the voices in my head a place to come out and really be heard. My imagination can be very vivid and I need an outlet for it.

The worst part about my writing life is:  Devoting enough time to the next writing project, and the one after that etc… Life has a way of really intruding and managing which ball to stop juggling is hard.

What else do you write? Right now contemporary romance, but I have outlines for a couple of paranormals.

Give us a hint about what the next book’s like. It is set in Maui. The poor heroine gets left at the alter and decides to stay in Maui to continue the ‘honeymoon’ she paid for. Insert some adventure and a hunky hero in there too.

If you want to know more about me or just want to say “Aloha”, stop by:

Website

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 

Meet the Ladies in Red – Lisa White

 

Hello Friends!  This day is huge for me because THE LAWS OF LOVE released today!!!  As my fellow Crimson Romance Authors have done in the past, I am introducing myself on our group blog by answering the standard questions posed to all our authors.  It may sound fun to most, but this shy girl from Virginia does not like to talk about herself so the task is a little daunting – but here goes:

1. Introduce yourself, please (name you write under). Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?  I write under my real name – Lisa White.  I used my real name for two reasons.  First, it is easier to market to friends and family with my real name.  They don’t have to remember anything special and can look me up and, hopefully, buy the book without doing too much research.  And since I have a very, very big family spread all over the country, they will help boost sales!  Second, for me it was important to use my real name to keep my writing true to me personally.  When writing a scene or developing a character, I have to ask myself: Would I want my name associated with this scene/character?  Is it good enough or would it embarrass me to have my name associated with it?  My grandfather Crockett always told me that all we really have in life is our good name.  By using my real name, I am making sure I am only giving my readers the best I have.

2. Let’s get the details out-of-the-way:

Single, married, divorced, widowed? Married to a wonderful man who makes me laugh every day.

Parent? We are blessed with two children who totally understand when mommy hides with her computer to “play with her characters”.

Living where? Southwest Virginia

Doing what, other than writing? Lawyer

One—just one—physical characteristic: Eyes?

3. What’s your secret passion? I would say writing but I guess the cat is out of the bag now!

4. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change. This is a tough one because I cannot think of anything.  I believe everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for each of us.  If I were to change something, I would not be the same person I am now – and I am pretty happy most of the time.  Optimism is a powerful tool.

5. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why? Another tough one.  Southwest Virginia is beautiful – mountains, rivers, lakes – and the people are fantastic.  I like to travel and experience new things, but coming home is always the best part of an adventure.

6. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live? I write about where I live.  For me, small towns have the best stories and characters.  My hope is that readers can relate to at least one of my characters – or at least see a similarity to someone they know from their own hometown.

7. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class? Writing poetry in elementary school.  One Christmas I even wrote a book of poems for my grandparents – do you know how many words rhyme with “cat”?

8. Why do you write romance novels? Because I love happy endings.  When I first joined Romance Writers of America, I remember being told that, in order to be classified as a romance, my novel had to have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending”.  For me, with all the heartache in the world, why would I want to write anything else?  I want readers to escape with my writing – to get away from everything going on around them – even if just for ten minutes or one page at a time.

9. What else do you write? So far, just poetry and romance – but I love a good suspense so if I can come up with a good storyline, I might try that.  But of course, the suspense must have a happy ending!

10. What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience? In THE LAWS OF LOVE, the protagonist, Livi Miller is a corporate attorney who has a hard time balancing her love life with her career.  I can totally relate to that aspect of Livi’s life.  Being single and trying to have a career was not easy.  Maybe that is why I did not get married until I was thirty-four years old.

11. What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part? I had what I thought was a great line: “She excelled professionally thanks to this work ethic but her personal life became collateral damage”.  I loved the “collateral damage” phrase – but my editor thought the idea had already been established and the line was unnecessary.  She was exactly right – but I still hated cutting it.

12. Do you identify closely with one particular character? How? See answer to 10 above.  This idea has already been established so this question is unnecessary (see Jennifer, I did learn something!).

13. The best part about my writing life is: Taking the stories in my head and heart and putting them to paper (or computer screen as the case may be).  I just finished my second novel, have started my third and have outlines for three more.  I can’t wait to flesh out all the scenes and see where the characters take me.

14. The worst part about my writing life is:  Not enough time to write.  My writing time typically starts after 9:00 p.m when everyone else’s day is ending.  But sitting at my computer is one of the best parts of my day.

Okay – so I answered all the questions.  But if you want to know more, or simply just want to say “Hi”, you can find me on the web as noted below.  Thanks for your time and I hope you enjoy THE LAWS OF LOVE.

Best Wishes, Lisa White

www.lisawhiteauthor.com

http://www.amazon.com/author/lisawhite

Where do I get ideas for my stories, you ask…

Elizabeth Meyette

On a recent trip to upstate New York to visit family, I was struck by my muse on the 403 in Ontario. No, I wasn’t injured (thanks for asking) but I was inspired. It was perfect, actually.  Rich sleeping, no radio, CD or audio book, just me and my wandering thoughts.  And then it crept into my mind, the first sentence of my new book. “This house held secrets.”  One by one the next sentences unraveled in my brain like a rose opening in a time-lapse video. But I had no pen or paper, and as I said, I was driving on 403. Near Hamilton.  There was nothing to do but pray that I wouldn’t lose those sentences.

Gradually throughout the rest of the trip, the outline of the story unfolded before my mind’s eye.  This is unusual for me because my process is sit down and write what the characters tell me to write.  I never outline, and I seldom know where I am going until I get there, and usually I’m the most surprised of all. One thing I clearly knew was what the house would look like that would be the setting for the story. Perhaps I shouldn’t reveal these deep, dark author secrets, but hey, it’s true.  I clasped these inspired thoughts to me all through greeting my sisters, nieces and their families and friends Friday night.  First thing Saturday morning, I wrote down the opening paragraph and synopsis.

The windows looked like sad eyes.

The plan for Saturday was to show Rich the Finger Lakes and brag a little. We both grew up on the Great Lakes, Rich was born in Michigan, so it takes a lot to impress us where lakes are concerned.  But the Finger Lakes didn’t let me down; he was impressed.   I knew by then that I would set my new novel in the Finger Lakes region because just being their I felt their magic and mystery seep into my bones.  We dined at the Steamboat Landing on the shore of Canandaigua Lake, then headed to Seneca Lake for some winery tours. Along route 5/20 I shouted to Rich, “There’s my house!”  Standing abandoned by the side of the road was a dilapidated yellow house that looked exactly like the house I had envisioned for my novel. He turned the car around and we snapped pictures from every angle imaginable. I kept repeating, “I don’t believe this. I don’t believe this.”

Seneca Lake

We resumed our journey and eventually ended up at Belhurst Castle on Seneca Lake.  Once a beautiful castle that housed an illegal speakeasy on the second floor, it is now a B&B and restaurant. A wedding was in progress on the grounds as we sipped our wine samples and chatted with our bartender. In the course of the conversation, Rich told her I was in the process of writing a book that would be set in this region.  He also told her about Love’s Destiny and she ordered it on her phone right then and there. She then told us the castle was believed to be haunted. Holy Smokes, could this day get any better?? I purchased a book about the history of Belhurst Castle and then commenced to dog waiters and other staff with questions about the ghost. Most blew me off with “I don’t believe in that stuff,” until I ran into one of the chefs. “Do you have a ghost story?” I asked.  His eyes twinkled and he said, “I have better.  I have a picture.”  He showed us a picture on his phone taken by a guest of her husband.  In the foreground there is a clear image of a woman with long hair and another seated at a table in front of the husband.  His wife said the images were not visible as she was taking the picture.  How cool is that? Needless to say, the castle will be an intricate part of my story.

This was a new one for me, all this outlining and knowing the ending before I start.  And the way all of this occurred throughout the day was amazing. I can’t get the book or the characters out of my mind and I have already begun the novel. Once again, I chalk it up to my d.a.m. inspiration– (divine attendant muse). It will be very fun to write a book and know a little bit more than my characters…for now.