Christina Cole Romance

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Endings and Beginnings

On Monday I spoke of synchronicity. I wrote that the universe seemed to be leading me in exciting new directions.  Later that day, I sat down in MLWR (my little writing room) and wrote a the set-up for a scene from The Sheriff Wore Skirts. In that scene, the main character, Caleb Bryant, ponders a fact of life:

Willow TreeCaleb leaned against the old willow tree and watched the waters of the nearby creek gurgling past. Not really much of a creek these days, although it had once been deep enough to swim in. Now it would barely come to the top of his boots if he stepped in.

Funny how things in life changed that way.

He shifted his gaze westward toward the glittering peaks of the Rockies, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the late afternoon sunlight. Some folks said even the mighty mountains would one day be gone, eroded away by the ravages of weather and time.

Caleb couldn’t imagine it. He’d once attended a fancy lecture in Denver and had heard some esteemed scholar with a string of letters attached to his name provide a scientific explanation. Water, the professor said, seeped into the cracks, froze, expanded, and broke the rocks down. Gravity then took over to carry the pieces down the slope.

When the spring rains came, more rocks were swept away. Some were even dissolved by the steady forces of nature.

The human eye might not see the changes happening, but they were going on all the same.

Changes were always going on in life, too. No matter how a man might wish things could stay the same once he got himself to a comfortable place, life didn’t work that way.

 

Caleb’s got it right. Changes are always happening in life.

Yesterday, I learned that my publisher — Secret Cravings — will be closing. What this means is that all  Secret Cravings and Sweet Cravings titles are coming down from Amazon and other booksellers, and rights to my stories — including those under contract for 2016 publication — will revert to me.  I can choose whether or not to re-publish the current titles and whether or not to release the upcoming additions to “The Sunset Series”.

In many ways, I think I was prepared for this. The writing/publishing industry has changed drastically in the last few years.  Although I was quite comfortable as an SCP author and hoped to publish many more stories through their imprint, I often found myself exhausted by efforts to keep up with marketing and promotional events and maintain a rigorous writing schedule in order to meet all deadlines.

At times, over the past year, I’ve considered other possibilities for my writing. Times are changing, and authors have to change, too. Accordingly, I choose to view this ending as a fortuitous beginning for my future.

What happens now?

My immediate plans are to take care of the business at hand — purchasing my cover art, putting files in order for possible re-publication, and making sure all legal issues are addressed.

I have many decisions to make involving not only the question of re-publishing my books but also questions involving this blog, my author page on Facebook, and my newly-formed “street team”.

What I don’t have yet is a definite plan…only a vague idea of where I want to go and how I’ll choose to get there. With a lot going on in my personal life, I’m choosing now to take a break from writing and publishing.  I will continue to post to this blog but not on a daily basis. I will also maintain my official author page at Facebook — Christina Cole’s Love Notes — and I will most like make daily posts there.

Of course, I will be keeping up with my friends and readers, although I will be “disbanding” Christina’s Corner. I want to thank each street team member for the love and kindness you’ve shown in the short time the group has been together.

At this time, I’m also choosing to set aside The Sheriff Wore Skirts. The book was scheduled for January release with Secret Cravings. That, of course, won’t happen now.  Instead of completing and publishing the book now, I will be exploring other avenues in my life.

I’m adopting the willow tree now as my symbol for the future. Willows bend; they don’t break. Endings bring opportunities to begin anew, and I’m looking forward to seeing where life leads me now.

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Secret Cravings Publishing Fall Party

Please join me and eleven other Secret Cravings authors today for the our Fall Party Event. The fun begins at 10:00 AM. Each guest author will be answering questions, serving up virtual treats, playing games, and giving away ebooks and other prizes.

Participating authors include Kathleen Tighe Ball, Vikki Vaught-McCombie, Shannon O’Connor, V. L. Locey, Susan Fisher Davis, Jean Joachim, Mageela Troche, Iryna Coombs, M. S. Spencer, Cindy McDonald, L. Marie…and me! I’ll be guest-hosting from 3:00 to 4:00 PM (Central Time), and I hope to see you there!

Secret Cravings Fall Party

LPartyI’ll be giving away an ebook copy of “No Regrets”, the latest release in my “Sunset” series of western historical romances. Plus…I’ve got another special prize I’ll be announcing at the party. Anyone who joins Christina’s Corner between now and the end of the party event will be entered into a drawing, but I’m not telling you what the prize is yet. Drop by the party today– from 3:00 to 4:00 PM — to find out!

Before the party begins, check out the trailer for No Regrets.

You can also read the opening chapter FREE at Snippets!

No Regrets – Chapter One

See you at the party!


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Don’t Forget!

Just a quick reminder to all my readers who are on Facebook. I’ll be one of the guest hosts Saturday at the Secret Cravings Publishing Fall Event.

Dontforget

Secret Cravings Fall Party

I’ll be hosting from 3:00 to 4:00 PM (Central Time).  You can see the complete line-up of authors below.

10:00 – Kathleen Tighe Ball
11:00 – Vikki Vaught-mccombie
12:00- Shannon O’Connor
1:00 – Vicki Locey
2:00- Susan Fisher Davis
3:00 – Christina Cole
4:00- Jean Joachim
5:00- Mageela Troche
6:00- Iryna Coombs
6:30- M S Spencer Author
7:00- Cindy McDonald
8:00- Author LM Writes – L. Marie

Each author will be answering any questions you might have, and in addition, we’ll each be giving away one or more prizes.

I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of “No Regrets”, the latest release in my “Sunset” series of western historical romances. Plus…I’ve got another special prize I’ll be announcing at the party. Anyone who joins Christina’s Corner between now and the end of the party event will be entered into a drawing, but I’m not telling you what the prize is yet. Drop by the party on Saturday — from 3:00 to 4:00 PM — to find out!

Before the party begins, check out the trailer for No Regrets.

You can also read the opening chapter FREE at Snippets!

No Regrets – Chapter One

See you at the party…and don’t forget to bring a friend!

bring-a-friend-green


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Exciting News!

Not the Marrying Kind by Christina ColeDo you have “Kindle Unlimited“? If so, you can now download and read Not the Marrying Kind for free. It’s the first book in my “Sunset Series” — stories of life and love in the old west.

The minister threw a sharp look over his shoulder and jerked his head toward Joshua Barron. “That man could be dangerous. You know nothing about him. He shows up in Sunset, worms his way into a job at the ranch, and he’s putting on quite a show of righteousness. It’s all an act, Katherine.”

From – Not the Marrying Kind

Please share the news and let others know that they can now download Not the Marrying Kind with their Kindle Unlimited membership.

Use Sunset Series
Meet the men and women of Sunset, Colorado
Coming in January 2016
The Sheriff Wore Skirts


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Tweet, Tweet

Are you on Twitter? I am, although I don’t actively keep up with tweets going by. I don’t see how anyone could. All the same, it’s almost a matter of pride with me to say that I was on Twitter before most folks — my children included — had even heard of it.

Yes, I post regularly to Twitter, but only because my account is connected to my Facebook page. Anything I post on my Facebook timeline goes out into the twitter-sphere as well. I’m also “following” a lot of folks on Twitter, but seriously, folks, who’s got time to sit and read hundreds of messages as they scroll by?

All the same, I must confess I’ve had a lot of fun on Twitter. I remember the “duck” game. Oh, how I laughed. It’s the simple game of taking a famous quote and replacing a word with “duck”.  Imagine, for example, Teddy Roosevelt proclaiming, “Walk softly, and carry a big duck.” Or, for laughs, former president Bill Clinton informing the world that he did not “have sex with that duck.”  I remember contributing Richard Nixon’s immortal words: “I am not a duck.”

We kept the game going on Twitter for days. It was great fun.

NietoAnother Twitter-fest that kept me hanging on was the time Mexico’s presidential hopeful — and now president — Enrique Pena Nieto — fumbled on a television program when asked to name a few of the books that had influenced him in his life. He couldn’t think of any other than the Bible, and he managed to confuse a few authors’ names.

But that was only the beginning of his problems.

His teen daughter Paulina turned to her Twitter account and using very offensive slang terms and racial slurs, attempted to defend her father. Her tweet went viral then spun off into thousands of hilarious tweets, such as the game of “Books Pena Nieto Should Read.” My favorite? “How to ruin your father in 140 characters or less.”

The daughter’s boyfriend also jumped into the fray, Paulina made her apologies, and her Twitter account quickly disappeared. You can read about it here.

LA Times – Reporting from Mexico City.

And then, of course, there’s Alec Baldwin. I stopped “following” him long ago after yet another of his Twitter rants. He’s still at it, I see.

Alec Baldwin Arrested In New York – Turns to Twitter

So, why am I posting about Twitter? It’s because of today’s question in my little Q & A a Day” book.

In 140 characters, or fewer, summarize your day.

Yes, technology today is everywhere, and the Internet Culture now influences virtually (no pun intended) all we do.

My day is just beginning, but I suppose I could tweet my plans…in fact, I just did. If you follow me, you’ll find my little post:

th

Thanks for visiting today.

Follow me on Twitter @KCChristinaCole

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Playing by the Rules

I’ve been browsing through The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, written by pyschologist Linda Edelstein. It’s an interesting book, and I’ve enjoyed reading about various adult personality types.

I’ve always believed that understanding is a key component of good relationships — in real life and in fiction, as well. So from time to time, I’m going to share a bit of information regarding Edelstein’s basic personality types. Perhaps this knowledge will help us build stronger relationships — and for the writers among us, create realistic characters.

Today, I’m sharing a few thoughts about conformists.

Conformity2The conformist believes in following rules and regulations, going along with others, and acting in a responsible manner.

Conformists are staunch supporters of law and order in society, and generally consider themselves to hold high moral standards.

Life with a conformist can be comfortable. These folks don’t like to “rock the boat” or make a fuss about anything…unless someone goes too far afield of their traditional beliefs and values, in which case the conformist can become rigid and dogmatic. They will then insist on upholding what they perceive as “right”.  They can be extremely intolerant, demanding that others conform to their way of thinking.

There’s a bit of interesting history behind the word, Conformist.

In England, Conformists were individuals whose religious practices were in line with the requirements of The Act of Uniformity. These acts — there were several — established rites and rituals for the Church of England, specifying prayers books to be used and the order of services performed.  Those who opposed the acts were called Noncomformists.

Today the words have come to mean anyone who “goes along with the crowd” or one who “marches to a different drum”, respectively.

Our society sends very mixed messages about conformity. We place children in classrooms and teach them to behave in very specific ways. We give them rules to obey.

  • Sit at your desk.
  • Raise your hand to ask a question.
  • Walk in single file as you leave the classroom.

At the same time, we speak of individuality, the need to recognize our own uniqueness, and the importance of learning to think for oneself.  Little wonder we’re often confused about who we are…and who we’re supposed to be.

Overall, despite our efforts to teach it and instill conformist values in our children, conformity gets a bad rap throughout history.  Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke out against it.

nonconformist-quotes-2

So did President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Conformity-president-quote

 

Conformists rarely stand out in society. They’re content to follow others and can make valuable assistants, always well-versed in “company policy” and willing to do what’s asked of them.

In fiction, we find two kinds of conformists. We sometimes see a character who is intent on following all the rules — to the detriment of their own happiness. My latest release, “No Regrets“,  features a shy young woman who, in the words of the hero, is stuck being…

“…the prim and proper Miss Richards, the quiet little mouse who never disturbs anybody, has never once told a lie, and who would never think of breaking any of society’s rules.”
We see the overbearing conformist at times, too, in the guise of a well-meaning parent or a moral leader. As conformists, they often join others in their intolerance.  I’ve included these characters in my stories, too, most notably the women of the “Ladies’ Charitable Society” in my fictional town of Sunset, Colorado.  Here’s a quick look at the ladies, from “Keeping Faith“.
Not only Mrs. Gilman, but all the other women as well wore black. They reminded Tom of a bunch of crows perching in the parlor, hovering about, ready to peck the eyes out of him and his mother if they made a wrong move.
Maybe conformity is best treated as a useful tool, not as a way of life. There are times and places where perhaps it’s best to go along,  to do what’s expected, and to accept little things that aren’t really worth making a fuss about.

Yes, rules are important. So are laws.  Sometimes we do need to follow others…so long as they’re leading us in the direction we want to go.

When all is said and done, the most important thing is knowing who we are and living our life fully.
be-yourself-everyone-else-is-taken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Upcoming Events

As summer is winding down and we get ready for the glorious autumn season — colorful leaves, cool days, football season, and the start of school — I’m settling down into my regular writing routines.  I’ll be spending most of my time finishing The Sheriff Wore Skirts, the fifth book in my “Sunset Series”. It’s scheduled for release in January. Here’s a quick little “teaser” tag:

A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do…sometimes, so does a woman.

CCBookWatch for little snippets and short excerpts from the story over the coming months. Those of you who are part of my “street team” will also have opportunities to read more of the story before release date. Five team members will receive advance copies of the ebook.

For information on joining my team, visit Christina’s Corner.

 

Even as I’m working on the next book of the series, I’ll be doing promotional spots for the latest release. No Regrets was released last month from Secret Cravings Publishing.

 

No Regrets is the story of William Howard Morse, Junior. You first met him as a unlikable young bully in Book 1 of the series. In Book 3, you saw the first of him. Now, I’ve taken this “bad boy” and given him a chance at love. He’s got to work hard, though, to prove he’s worthy of Hattie Mae.

I’ll be making several guest appearances in coming weeks. You’ll find me at:

  • Get Lost in a Story
  • Handbags, Books, Whatever
  • ABC Author Book Chat
  • Devika Fernando’s Romance Blog
  • Cowboy Kisses

Links will be posted at my official author page on Facebook: Christina Cole’s Love Notes.

Now, before the morning slips away, I’d better get busy. I’ve got a story to tell, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.