Friday, July 07, 2017

It's a Book Party!

The other night, I did something kind of amazing - I published my seventieth book (they're in all different lengths and genres and under lots of different pen names). I think that calls for a celebration, yes? And you get prizes at celebrations!

To that end, I'm giving you ... 

A New Beginning, book one of the Kansas Crossroads series by my biggest pen name, Amelia C. AdamsClick here to claim. 

A Free Heart, book two of Kansas Crossroads. This book is free from July 8th to 10th. Click here to claim. 

Sea of Strangers, book one of the Nurses of New York series, also by Amelia C. Adams. Click here to claim. 


And it just occurred to me that I should post the list of all seventy books. I can do that. I'm a little overwhelmed at the thought of making each title a clickable link, so I won't do that, but they're all highly searchable on Amazon.  :)

1.       Nothing to Regret (written as Tristi Pinkston) (WWII LDS historical fiction)
2.       Strength to Endure (written as Tristi Pinkston) (WWII LDS historical fiction)
3.       Season of Sacrifice (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS fictionalized memoir)
4.       Agent in Old Lace (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS romantic suspense)
5.       Secret Sisters (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS cozy mystery)
6.       Dearly Departed (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS cozy mystery)
7.       Bless Your Heart (written as Tristi Pinkston) (cookbook)
8.       Hang ‘Em High (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS cozy mystery)
9.       Targets in Ties (written as Tristi Pinkston) ((LDS cozy mystery)
10.   Women of Strength (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS inspirational nonfiction)
11.   Million Dollar Diva (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
12.   Virtual Book Tours (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/marketing/DIY)
13.   Taking Out the Trash (written as Tristi Pinkston) (national cozy mystery)
14.   Turning Pages (written as Tristi Pinkston) (national young adult)
15.   My Name is Frankie (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/memoir)
16.   Be Mine (writing as Sandra Norton Flynn) (national suspense)
17.   Till Death Do Us Part (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS cozy mystery)
18.   Taking Care of Business (written as Tristi Pinkston) (national cozy mystery)
19.   Dialogue Dynamics (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
20.   Creating Characters (written as Tristi Pinkston) ((nonfiction/self-help)
21.   Point-of-view Primer (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
22.   Journey through Genre (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
23.   Basic Blogging with Blogger (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
24.   Punctuation Principles (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
25.   Tulips and Treason (written as Tristi Pinkston) (LDS cozy mystery)
26.   Taking the Floor (written as Tristi Pinkston) (national cozy mystery)
27.   And Something Blue (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
28.   For Love or Money (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
29.   Five Golden Rings (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
30.   Just Desserts (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
31.   Between the Lines (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
32.   Taking the Reins (written as Tristi Pinkston) (national cozy mystery)
33.   A New Beginning (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
34.   A Free Heart (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
35.   The Dark and the Dawn (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
36.   A Clean Slate (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
37.    A Clear Hope (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
38.   The Whisper of Morning (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
39.   Sea of Strangers (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
40.   Take My Advice (written as Tristi Pinkston) (young adult romance)
41.   In the Stars (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
42.   Taking the Cake (written as Tristi Pinkston) (national cozy mystery)
43.   A Careless Wind (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
44.   Hope: Bride of New Jersey (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Victorian romance)
45.   Tabitha: Bride of Missouri (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
46.   A Narrow Road (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
47.   Cause of Conflict (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Victorian romance)
48.   The Bitter and the Sweet (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
49.   Setting, Punctuation, and Setting (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
50.   Pitch Perfect (written as Tristi Pinkston) (nonfiction/self-help)
51.   Whiskey and Women (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)
52.   The Calm of Night (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
53.   Mail Order Molly (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
54.   Touch of Tenderness (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Victorian romance)
55.   A Broken Wing (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
56.   Heart of Hearts (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
57.   A Begrudging Bride (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
58.   Accidental Agent (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)
59.   Rugged Rockclimber (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)
60.   Meredith’s Mistake (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
61.   Test of Time (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Victorian romance)
62.   The Echo of Music (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
63.   Welcome Wagon (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)
64.   A Twisted Fate (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
65.   Sugar and Spice (writing as Paige Timothy) (national romance)
66.   Sweet Georgia Peach (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary romance)
67.   An Unspoken Dream (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (Western romance)
68.   Santa’s Shopkeeper (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)
69.   Record and Rebels (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)
70.   Ashley’s Hope (writing as Amelia C. Adams) (contemporary Western romance)

·         The Amelia Adams books are Kindle only except for A New Beginning and Sea of Strangers.
·         Short stories The Best of Me and The Ghost of Dunlow Manor written as Paige Timothy aren’t included in the numbered count.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Connecting the Dots

It's been a while since I've written a writing-related post ... or posted much at all, really ... so bear with me as I become particularly long-winded.

It seems that certain stories make their way around the Church, and everyone has to share them in their talks or lessons. In the eighties, the story of choice went something as follows:

A man went to a job fair to look for a young man to hire to work on his farm. He went down the line of applicants and asked each of them for their qualifications. One boy said, "I can sleep when the wind blows." This perplexed the man, and he passed the boy over.

Well, the worker he chose didn't fit, so he came back the following week to see who else was available. The same unusual young man was there, and responded, "I can sleep when the wind blows." That didn't make any sense to the farmer, so again, he hired someone else, and that someone else also didn't do well at the job.

The third time (ever notice how these stories always go in threes?), upon hearing the strange answer, the man decided to go ahead and give the boy a try. He took him back to the farm, showed him his tasks, and showed him his bedroom in the loft.

That night (what a coincidence!) a horrible storm came up. The farmer leaped out of bed and ran around the barn to check all the doors and windows and latches, and found that they were secure. His worker was still asleep in his bed, and the farmer finally understood what he meant and was glad that he'd hired him.

So, that's how I heard the story told all through my childhood, and it never made sense. Why was the farmer so impressed that the boy was still asleep? It sounded downright lazy to me. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I finally heard the story told in a way that made sense, and you know what? It only took one clarifying sentence, which went as follows:

Because the young man had made sure that the barn was secure before he went to bed, when the storm arose, he didn't need to run around in a panic because the work had already been done, and he could sleep peacefully.

Whoa! Did you see that? One little sentence clarified that whole story for me. Now I understood why everyone nodded and agreed with how wise it was when they heard it. Now I could apply it to my own life and really get the lesson I was being taught.

One of the biggest questions I ask my clients when I edit their books is, "Why?" Why did the character pull that face? Why did she react that way? Why did she sigh? Why did she start digging through her purse? Why, why, why?

It might be totally obvious to the author why the character is doing that thing or saying that thing, but if it's not obvious to the reader, the entire point will be lost. I have come up with a saying to help us all remember this principle, and you may quote me, but it's so awesome that if you do quote me, be sure to use my name:

If you don't understand how she feels, you'll never understand what she does. - Tristi Pinkston

See? Cool, huh? If you don't understand that your character is angry, you won't understand why he's suddenly speaking through his teeth. A quick flash of thought will go a long way there. 

It's all about connecting the dots. You give the reader this plot point and this character and this setting, and then you connect them together to make a complete image. You throw in those clarifying sentences (like, the kid had already locked everything, so he was at peace) and you show why that other character from the other example is angry (her words reminded him of what she'd said the night she left, and all those hurt feelings came rushing back, blinding him). That's how you create a whole picture, a whole experience for the reader so they can be immersed in your world and want to come back again and again - which is the whole goal. Take a reader and make them a repeat reader, do that over and over again, and you will have a career.

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Dating Experiment by Elodia Strain

I was so excited when I heard that Elodia Strain was releasing a new book. She's one of those authors who captured my imagination from the first with her unique storytelling voice, and there should be lots more Elodia books in the universe, in my opinion.

Book Description: After losing her job, her house, and her long-term boyfriend, Gabby’s roommate signs her up to be in a dating experiment. Little does she know, however, that her ex is in the experiment too! In an attempt to escape the chaos of her life, Gabby visits home and accidentally reunites with her childhood friend (and secret crush), Ian O’Connell. As she participates in the study and its hilariously awkward dates, Gabby finds her heart torn between the man she’s comfortable with and the man who’s had her heart from the beginning.

About the Author:  Elodia Strain was born in Alaska and grew up in the middle of California. She spent her childhood exploring Yosemite National Park, skiing—badly—at Lake Tahoe, and enjoying the beaches along California’s famed central coast. Elodia graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with a degree in marketing communications. She is the author of three previous books from Cedar Fort. Her debut novel, The Icing on the Cake, was well received by readers of all ages, and earned Elodia the Best New Fiction Author award from CFI. Her second book, Previously Engaged, was a Whitney Award finalist. Elodia also wrote My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, the novelization of the widely successful eponymous major motion picture, starring Alyssa Milano. In addition to her creative writing pursuits, Elodia has spoken at writers’ conferences, had the privilege of signing books at national events such as her alma mater’s Women’s Conference and Education Week, and is also one of the founders of Ink Ladies Plus (formerly the Ink Ladies blog), a group of CFI and independent authors who work together to strengthen and promote each other’s work. When not writing or marketing, Elodia spends her time bargain shopping, enjoying staycations with her husband, and spoiling her nieces and nephews.

Purchase the book by clicking here.

Learn more about Elodia here.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Book Review: Dear Jane by Rachel Ward

I've been busy enough as of late that I haven't done a lot of book reviews, but I've known Rachel Ward for years through the blogging community, and when she asked if I'd review Dear Jane, of course I said yes. Always a pleasure to share a friend's good news with the world. Or with a portion of the world. Okay, I have readers in a couple of countries that aren't the US. That counts, right?

Dear Jane is an LDS romance that follows Quinn Matthews on her mission and then home again, and all that happens afterwards. She and her best friend's brother fell in love right before she left to serve in Florida, but rather than staying home, she decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a missionary and went anyway, trusting him when he said he'd wait for her. Well, we all know how dangerous that is ... and the book's title will give it away that he did not, in fact, wait for her. She's devastated when she receives his "Dear Jane" letter, but she finishes out her mission with renewed focus, determined that she won't let it ruin her service.

I think it was this initial decision that propelled her through the rest of the book. She has a lot of stuff hit her when she gets home, but she digs in and focuses on the most important things, and that's part of what makes her a likeable character. She goes through her valleys, just as we all do, but then she gets back up again and keeps trudging forward.

I'm not going to give away too much of the plot because obviously, the goal here is for you to read the book for yourself, but I'll give a few hints.  Love sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. When those closest to us betray us, we have to look inside - and up - to keep moving forward. And what I appreciated best of all? Being righteous is not a "get out of trials free" card like some people say it is. Righteous people will have problems, but keeping the commandments helps us know where to look for comfort when those problems hit.

There are several editing issues throughout, but I'm nitpicky and those things stick out to me, so I won't do more than give a brief mention of that. I found this book really enjoyable, and I hope you get the chance to check it out for yourself. 

Purchase link: Amazon
Author's blog: Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug
Author's Facebook: Rachel Ward

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.  Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.

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