Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Yes! Write!

Two years ago this June my mom challenged me to write my own book. (teaches me to complain about a couple of cheap romance novels - and no, they are not on my Goodreads shelves!)

I’m not yet published, but my first book - which is going through rewrites and revisions - I just started writing without any sort of plan at all. I had no idea what I was doing. Was it a mess? Oh yeah. Definitely, but there are a lot of great parts that I plan to use in the rewrite. My spinoffs? I have two that are nearing completion of my first draft and two more that are in the planning stages. 

View from the Lido deck of the HAL Rotterdam
My subsequent novels are a lot cleaner and much better planned. My vision for the stories is a lot better plus my writing is a lot smoother. Amazing what happens when you practice your craft.

I just turned 52 and I started writing in June 2020. June 11, 2020, to be exact.

View from the Lido deck of the HAL Rotterdam after watching Jaws

My initial idea started when I literally sketched out a town square. Then, I created a list of all sorts of characters I thought would be fun. I started giving a handful names, histories, etc, and from that my first story developed. It’s a weird process, but it’s working for me for that is the basis of all my stories set in Grant's Crossing, Ohio, a small town conveniently founded during the Grant administration. And after nearly two years of writing, asking questions, learning, rewriting, asking more questions, learning more… I’ve found my groove

I’m hoping to have at least two books ready for publication by the end of 2022. I have no specific timeline beyond that but I've discovered I absolutely love writing!

Looking to write? This is my suggestion that may or may not work for you, but it's what I did. 

  • Jot down some ideas as bullet points. Then keep adding bullet points. 
  • Done with bullet points? Add some details. Bulk them up. When you can’t think of any more details with one, go to another. 
  • Then, create your outline - move stuff around and see what works. 
  • Go from there and start creating a story. 

You can do this. I’ve never dreamed of writing which is crazy considering how much I now love it. By all means - have at it and never worry about how you have to write or even how much. Just start writing and see where it goes. You can always revise and reorganize as you go along. There’s no right or wrong way. 

Good luck to you! 

Happy Reading! 

        - Heather

P.S. I love bullet points. Can you tell? HMB

Twitter - @GrantsCrossing 

Instagram - @GrantsCrossing 

Goodreads - H.M.S. Brown - for this and all my book reviews

Monday, February 7, 2022

Review - The Dating Dilemma

I am all over books with a fake dating trope. I don't know why I love these, but I do!

OK fine - probably because it gives the characters to really get to know each other and then find out that yeah - there is more than just the person's good looks - even if they aren't a strip-o-gram!!

Nobody's perfect, I suppose.

Enter The Dating Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman. It's book 2 in her Mile High Firefighters series of romantic comedies. The Wedding Dilemma is book 1 and while I only just today bought it, not having read it in no way took away from The Dating Dilemma. The story made for a fantastic stand-alone book that I nearly read in one sitting. I really shouldn't have started it so late last night, but hey. That's on me.

This had me laughing throughout and unable to turn the pages fast enough to get to the end.

From the back cover:

Lexi’s Reminders

* Work.

* Don’t think about your birthday tomorrow. Or debt, your crappy apartment, and nonexistent social life.

* Re-stock wine and ice cream because that’s coming.

* Die in a raging blaze of humiliation when the super-hot and very delicious fireman waiting in your office is not in fact the strip-o-gram birthday present you suspected.

* Reschedule the fire safety inspection you 100 percent failed because of said humiliation.

* Figure out how you, in fact, agreed to fake dating Mr. Not a Strip-O-Gram Fireman to help him with a bet.

* Oh yeah, and do not fall for this guy. Seriously, they call him One Night O’Neil. Red flags all over the place.

* Remember, this is fake dating, even though his very talented, very real lips are doing some sexy things you definitely like.

* Realize bending one tiny rule can’t be that bad, can it?

* Except bend too far, and something breaks. Something you can’t get back.

From my review on Goodreads:

The Dating Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman - my first book by this author I discovered on instagram. It's a fun read with likable characters who work to figure themselves out all while fake dating each other thanks to a couple of bets and bad experiences with previous boyfriends and girlfriends. I enjoyed the characters of Lexi, who puts her heart and soul into a community center for kids, and Dyson, who is a local firefighter who goes out of his way to help Lexi getting her center up to code so it passes the fire inspection. When their paths crossed there are instant sparks for an attraction that only grows as the story goes on.

The story was a pleasure to read, had a great happy ending, but didn't have to deal with a lot of angst that would stress me out. I read the first few chapters last night before bed and finished the rest in one sitting today.

If you're looking for a fun read that'll make you laugh, but not cry, pick up The Dating Dilemma!

Learn more about Mariah Ankenman at her official website and be sure to follow her on Goodreads. The Dating Dilemma is available wherever you find your books. Goodreads - Barnes & Noble - Amazon

Happy Reading! 

        - Heather

Read on my nook.

Harold Addison Scribner - Radioman, Third Class, US Naval Reserve

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