Christina Cole Romance

Discover the power of love


Leave a comment

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.


2 Comments

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.

 


2 Comments

Getting in the Groove Again

Now, there’s an old-fashioned expression.  “In the groove”. “Groovy”.  For those who weren’t around back in the day, the expressions were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Yes, those were my days. It’s almost painful to think I ever used the word “groovy”, I did. Funny how we can look back on our mis-spent youth and cringe at times. Oh, yes. Life was groovy back then, or so it seemed.

Groovy

In case you’re wondering, “groovy” was synonymous with cool, excellent, fashionable, amazing, at least, according to Wikipedia.  Groovy – Wikipedia. The article explains:

The word originated in the jazz culture of the 1920s, in which it referred to the “groove” of a piece of music (its rhythm and “feel”), plus the response felt by its listeners. It can also reference the physical groove of a record in which the pick-up needle runs. Recorded use of the word in its slang context has been found dating back to September 30, 1941, on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, when band leader Billy Mills used it to describe his summer vacation. In the 1941 song “Let me off Uptown” by Gene Krupa, Anita O’Day invites Roy Eldridge to “… come here Roy and get groovy”. The 1942 film Miss Annie Rooney features a teenage Shirley Temple using the term as she impresses Dickie Moore with her jitterbug moves and knowledge of jive. In the 1945 film A Thousand and One Nights, Phil Silvers uses the term to describe an ostentatiously bejeweled turban.

The word has now disappeared from the language in its colloquial form, except for times and places — like here and now — when somebody uses it to poke a bit of fun at the past. Yeah, it really was groovy, man.

Actually, I’m using the word in a slightly different context today. To get “in the groove” means to “get with it” again, to “start spinning”, and I’m just making matters worse here, aren’t I? What I’m trying to say is that after being off-line for several days while dealing with REAL LIFE, I’m now back at work here in MLWR (My Little Writing Room) and back to my online connections, too.

I probably won’t be spending a great deal of time online though. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be putting the finishing touches on No Regrets, the fourth book of my “Sunset Series”.  I guess I could say I’m getting back “in the groove” there, too. As I near the end of each writing project, my mind and my muse kick over into what I call “get it done” mentality. Instead of playing around, I focus. Instead of jumping around in the story, I concentrate on pulling it together into a coherent timeline. Instead of putting aside “problem spots” with an “I-can-fix-it-later” approach, I go through those spots and resolve each one. I sometimes think of it as similar to a major construction project where the inspector has gone through the building and created a “punch list” of things to be done, re-done, or otherwise fixed up.

So, you might not see me online as much as usual over the next few weeks. When I do emerge, it will be with a completed story sent off to the publisher. Then comes the fun of waiting for cover art, planning the launch party, and sharing the story with western historical romance readers.

And then comes even more fun as I set to work on Book 5. A sheriff wearing skirts? Yep, that’s what’s coming up for the little town of Sunset.  The Sheriff Wore Skirts is currently slated for release in January, 2016. It’s going to be a fun story.

Groovy, huh?

To keep you entertained while you’re waiting for No Regrets, come along with me now for a “blast from the past” and enjoy a few groovy tunes!

Groovy Kind of Love – Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders

Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon – Young Rascals

Feelin’ Groovy – Simon and Garfunkel

 


Leave a comment

This and That

this-n-thatI’ve got lots on my cluttered little mind this morning. First and foremost on the agenda is wishing my friends a very happy spring holiday. Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or the return of nature’s growing season, may you and your family be blessed.

We’re having a simple holiday, combining a bit of remodeling work with an easy cook-out — hot dogs on buns, coleslaw, chips, and dip. Probably some lemonade, too.

Next on the agenda is a little excitement. It’s always fun to log-on and find a new review. I loved the comments this reviewer made on her Amazon review:

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not has so much for a reader…mystery, love, amateur sleuthing, and twists and turns within the pages. I will definitely be reading the first two novels in this series…its just that good.

– Ashley Schoen

Yes, dear readers. Nothing brings a smile to an author’s face faster than a favorable review. Knowing that you’re enjoying my stories makes all the long hours I spend alone here in MLWR (My Little Writing Room) worth it. I’m not alone in that feeling. Every author I’ve spoken to has made similar remarks. We love hearing from you.

If you read and enjoy a story, please spread the word. Tell us about it, and tell others, too. Post a short review at Amazon or Goodreads. It means so much to an author.

What if you don’t enjoy the story? When that happens, we want to hear from you! Let us know where we let you down and what we could have done better. Without you, readers, we’re nothing. We need to know what you’re looking for when you pick up a romance novel.

Moving on…item 3 on the list. Don’t forget the Petticoat Ball coming up on April 9. Shanna Hatfield is celebrating the release of her latest western historical, Thimbles and Thistles. Joining her and sharing hostessing duties will be the following authors:

Julie Lence, Kathleen Ball, Rachel Rossano, Peggy Henderson, Kristin Holt, Karen Witemeyer, Kayla Dawn Thomas, and me! My scheduled time is 11:30 AM to Noon — PDT. Here in the KCMO area, that means 1:30 to 2:00 PM. No matter which time zone you’re in, please plan on dropping by to say “Hello”. I’ll be running a little giveaway contest, and you could win an ebook copy of any of my romance novels.

Now, last, but far from least, I’m asking all my blog readers to show their support for childhood literacy. If you missed yesterday’s post celebrating International Children’s Book Day, here’s a link:

INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY – REACH OUT AND READ

I’m a “Book Buddy” with Reach Out and Read, an organization which provides free books for children. I make a regular donation each month. During the month of April, I’m asking you to show your support by leaving a comment on this blog. For each comment, I will add $1.00 to my usual monthly pledge.

THANKS IN ADVANCE TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS!

Now, I’m heading off to work on the fourth book of “The Sunset Series”. No Regrets is due to the publisher in only a few weeks. It won’t be released until July, but you can begin reading it now on my “Snippets” blog. Let me know what you think!

Have a beautiful day!


Leave a comment

Spring is Here!

I’m so happy. We’ve made it through another winter, and spring has officially arrived, at last. I’ve shared Snoopy and his little happy dance on Facebook, and I’m going to share him again here. Since this is the first full day of spring, it’s definitely time to celebrate.

Snoopy

The beginning of a new season is also a good time to do a little looking ahead. Life is a journey, so we always say, and it’s always good to know where we’re going — or at least, to have an idea of the direction we’re heading.

So, what’s on my agenda for spring?

  • First, I’ll be wrapping up “No Regrets” — Book 4 of “The Sunset Series”. Although the release date isn’t until later in the summer, the manuscript is due to the publisher at the end of April. I’m thoroughly enjoying this story. You’ll remember William Howard Morse, Junior, from previous books in the series. He’s been a troublemaker in the past. Now, it’s time to redeem Willie, teach him a few important lessons about life, and set him off on the path to happiness. Watching his transformation gives me a good feeling and affirms my belief that love is a powerful force in our lives. His quest to become a better man is spurred by a lovely, dark-haired young woman, Hattie Mae Richards. Readers first met Hattie in “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not“.  I’m sharing little excerpts from the story — along with the opening scene — at my “Snippets” blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
  • I’m also thinking — that’s the key word — about re-starting my newsletter. If you’re one of my subscribers, you’ve noticed that I haven’t been sending out monthly updates to “Keep Up With Christina”. I couldn’t keep up with myself, you see. Life has been busy over the last year, and dealing with too many pressures and deadlines was taking its toll on me. Something had to give, and I made the choice to put the newsletter on hold for a time. I love keeping in touch with readers, though, so I’m thinking — again, that’s the key word — about starting back up with the newsletter, not on a monthly basis, but perhaps four times a year. Again, I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you enjoy author newsletters? Would you be interested in special, subscriber-only offers on books or goodies?
  • Another idea I’ve been toying with is forming a Christina Cole “readers’ group”. For authors today, word of mouth publicity is essential. It’s important for me that I get people not only reading my romance novels, but talking about them, as well. Here’s what I’m considering. Before each new book is released from the publisher, I receive five “ARCs” — that means “Advance Review Copies”. Would you be interested in receiving a free copy of “No Regrets” shortly before publication? I’d like to get the story into the hands of five excited readers and then host an event where we can meet online and talk about the book. In exchange for the ARC, you’ll be asked to read the story, give me an honest review, and participate in the group event. Sound interesting? Right now, the idea is still in a formative stage. If this is something you might want to be involved with, please let me know. Just leave your name and email address — and any comment or suggestion you’d like to make. You’ll find a convenient contact form at the end of this post.
  • Throughout the coming months, I’ll also be taking part each week in “My Sexy Saturday” and the “Sneak Peek Sunday” blog hops. I’ll be a guest author at Shanna Hatfield’s “Petticoat Ball” next month, and I’ll probably be participating in other features and events during the spring. You can always find updates and information by visiting here or by stopping by my official author page on Facebook: Christina Cole’s Love Notes.

Yes, it’s going to be a busy spring, so along with writing and marketing, I’m also planning lots of relaxing, fun times to share with my family and friends. Once the weather is a bit warmer, I’ll be pulling my little sports car out of the garage, putting the top down, and doing a bit of cruising.  Gardening is another spring-time activity I’m going to enjoy.  I’m also going to enjoy kicking back with a tall glass of lemonade, listening to good music, and reading a few good books.

Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to visit with me.

It’s truly appreciated.

What will YOU be doing this spring?

pink-divider-no-background-hi

 


Leave a comment

Just for Fun – A Random Excerpt

Last night was the official Facebook launch party for “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”. Of course, even the best-laid plans “gang aft agley”… or, in more modern English, sometimes go astray.

Internet connectivity problems interrupted the party last night, so we’ll be picking up tonight where we left off with more hot cowboys, more great country music, more games, more prizes, and more fun for everyone.  I hope to see you there!

While I’m still celebrating the book’s release, I decided to head to “Random.org” and have a bit of random fun. I entered the number of pages in “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”, then asked the random number generator to select one.

It chose page 111.

So, just for fun, here’s an excerpt from page 111.

Glow

Thankfully, nothing was mentioned. The incident, awful as it seemed at the time, had already faded and died. Ben left the parsonage a short time later, his spirit lightened by the events of the day.

Darkness had nearly fallen by the time Ben reached the horse farm. As he rode into the yard, he noticed a strange glow coming from inside the spring house. Or maybe it was nothing more than the reflection of the setting sun.

No. The sun was too far gone, too low on the horizon.

As he tended to his horse then led the Appaloosa into the barn, he kept a watchful eye on the spring house door. The light now burned brighter. Someone was inside.

*****

I hope you’ve enjoyed this random little “snippet”.  You can find all three books from “The Sunset Series” at Amazon.com and other online book-sellers.

Book 1 – Not the Marrying Kind

“Secrets, plot twists, and a strong cast of characters kept me turning pages. 

Book 2 – Keeping Faith

A story with real people and real problems.”

Book 3 – He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not


Leave a comment

Readers Reward Sweepstakes from Christina Cole Romance

Christina Cole’s Reader Rewards Sweepstake is now open!

 

Christina Cole’s Reader Rewards Sweepstakes

This giveaway is my way of thanking readers who have purchased “Keeping Faith”.

To enter, please click the link above.

You will be asked to provide proof of purchase by entering your order number from any of the on-line booksellers where “Keeping Faith” is available.

Winner will receive a Christina Cole Romance Tote Bag.

Tote