Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Proposal Advice - From You!

I'm working on a new proposal for Harlequin American Romance, which will be the lucky seventh book in the Brody's Crossing series. This may be the last book because I'm running out of young, single characters! Of course, there are always more ranches and people move into town all the time, right?

I'd love your advice on one aspect of this new story: children. Specifically, I'm thinking of twin boys about age four. Here's the setup.

Colby Yates (older brother of Charlie Yates, the hero in book six, The Texan and the Cowgirl) has dated a single mom from Graham, TX, but they discovered they were better friends than lovers. She has twin boys and is estranged from both her disapproving family and the boy's father. She worries about her boys, so she lists responsible rancher Colby as their guardian in case something happens to her. Which, unfortunately, it does.

Colby is running his ranch and really cares for the boys, but he needs help fast.

Darla Maxwell (who has been in all of the Brody's Crossing books) has been the nanny for Cal and Christie Crawford's two children since the oldest was a baby. Before becoming the Crawford nanny, she was a kindergarten teacher. After her roommate Debbie McMann (introduced in A Texan Returns and the heroine of The Texan and the Cowgirl) marries Charlie Yates, and other friends are also married with children, Darla decides to get a life for herself. She wants freedom from caring for other people's children (even though she loves the Crawfords) so she can eventually have a family of her own.

Darla and Colby were a couple in high school (first love) but broke up when she went away to college, then married and divorced. Colby is hesitant to ask her because of their history, but he really needs help and can't think of anyone more qualified than Darla to care for the two boys. After she meets them, she reluctantly agrees to help until he can find someone permanent. She still intends to leave town and pursue her dreams. Of course, she gets drawn into their lives and grows to love them all.

I have one daughter, one step-daughter, and two granddaughters. Needless to say, I haven't been around boys very much! I would love your input on twin boys, four year boys, or any type of advice on fostering or guardianship. What is the most fun thing about twins? What type of trouble do four year old boys get into? If anyone has been in a guardian role, what was the most rewarding aspect for you?

Also, tell me what you think of the story. I'd love to discuss this new proposal! Thanks in advance for all your help.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Spirit of the (Halloween) Season

If you haven't noticed the rows and rows of Halloween costumes, candy and decorations in the stores, you haven't been out of the house in the past two weeks.  Next to Christmas, Halloween is the biggest holiday of the year in our family.  It isn't because of the five grandkids, but because of my own four daughters who still haven't given up planning and wearing costumes.  Me?  I live on a quiet street where no one trick or treats, so I content myself with watching favorite Halloween-y movies.  This year it will be Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic

Halloween--or All Hallow's Eve or All Saint's Eve--is celebrated in many parts of the world.  Its origin is linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), when ancient Celts believed the curtain between this world and the spirit world thinned to allow spirits to pass through.  Have you been thinking of having a seance?  Halloween would be the perfect time!  Even today the holiday is celebrated in much the same way by Pagans and others.  In case you're curious, has lots of interesting information about the history and traditions of Halloween.

This year my youngest daughter and I went on a walking tour of one of the haunted areas of our city.  The fact that I grew up half a mile from the area made it even more interesting!  I blogged about our experience at my blog, Diary of a Mad Romance Writer.  We had a great time!

Also this month, the writing group I belong to is blogging about Halloween and other scary things.  We love having visitors, so stop by Bits & Bytes: Romance...the Writer's Way and join in the discussion!

And last but not least, the lastest book in my series set in Desperation, Oklahoma, is available this month.  Unfortunately The Reluctant Wrangler doesn't have a Halloween theme, but that's definitely an idea for the future!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The awful truth about great reviews

My third Harlequin American Romance, FAMILY MATTERS—out right now—has received a few reviews. And they’re awesome!

You can check them out at my “Buzz”/links page on my website, if you’re so inclined.

At the moment, I’m on deadline, so this blog post is going to be quick and—

You thought I was going to say dirty, right? Sorry to disappoint you. ;-)

This post is meant to be quick and honest.

The awful truth about great reviews is that each review is only one person’s opinion.

On the other hand, the wonderful thing about great reviews is that each review is only one person’s opinion—and reviews are most often written by people who are not our mothers, fathers, siblings, critique partners, friends, coworkers, workout partners, or grammar school lunch buddies.

I’ll confess, I used to think the opposite was usually the case. I’m ecstatic to report that it’s not! :-)

And now, a question for you: what stirs your interest in a book? A glowing review? A negative one? Or the content of the review itself—that is, the details of the book?

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille