A Montana Bound Christmas – by Linda Bradley

Introducing Linda:

I’m Linda Bradley, author of the Montana Bound Series.  After receiving reader requests for A Montana Bound Christmas, this merry band of misfits is together once again. Like warm cocoa and your favorite pair of slippers, I hope ho, ho, home for the holidays! warms your heart.

A little about myself…When I’m not writing or plotting my next Women’s Fiction book, you can find me teaching second grade, reading, dabbling with my art supplies, baking, walking my beautiful rescue dog, Maisey or traveling.

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Linda’s Books:


 

A Montana Bound Christmas:

 

Blurb: 

Chloe and John McIntyre await Maggie Abernathy’s arrival at the 617 Ranch, but snowfall has halted flights from Michigan to Montana. While Maggie and her mother prepare for a delayed departure, eight-year-old Chloe prepares for disappointment by inviting her Hollywood mother to the ranch in hopes of filling the void. Brook’s unexpected acceptance raises the stakes for John who longs for the perfect Christmas. This cast of misfits bands together in true Montana Bound style when unexpected guests arrive and a curious dog goes missing.

 

Buy Linkhttp://amzn.to/2bakz7T  

 

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

John

“DAD, WHEN’S MAGGIE going to get here?” Chloe’s breath fogged up the picture window. Her gaze scanned the snowy Montana mountains. “I hope she makes it in time for Christmas.”
Ruffling Chloe’s dishwater-blond mane, I prayed like hell Maggie and her mother, Glad, would get here soon. Traveling had come to a halt across the country thanks to the winter storm, but at least Maggie and Glad were safe at home and not sleeping on some airport floor like the many interviewed on the news.

Feeling anxious, I massaged my temples. Wrapping my arms around Maggie and kissing her lips were the only Christmas presents I needed.

“Not sure, Pumpkin. Depends on the flights.”

Crossing paths with Maggie the summer before last was like finding a rose bush on top of a mountain while searching for gold. As much as she resisted, her heart finally won. We all won. Acquiring Glad in the deal was a bonus. Without hesitation, she’d taken a special liking to Chloe. They’d bonded instantly through their love of mischief. Glad was like the grandmother Chloe never had, and her sense of humor cut to the quick. Glad wore her heart on her sleeve and was the only one capable of giving Maggie a run for her money when Maggie needed a challenge. Glad was Maggie’s mother first and foremost, but their relationship—built on sarcastic wit, middle-naming, and genuine love—was most unique.

“Maggie has to get here.” Chloe drew a heart in the moisture on the frosty glass pane. She wrote her initials above Maggie’s, then she added a plus sign. “The snow is so thick you can barely see through it.” Chloe hummed a holiday tune between thoughts. “Just think, Dad, next year at this time, I’ll be nine and Maggie will have been here a whole year.”

Nudging the hat back from my brow, I thought about the woman who’d stolen my heart. I never dreamed in a million years I’d fall head over heels for my Michigan neighbor lady, Maggie Abernathy. Living in Grosse Pointe hadn’t been on my agenda originally, but the picture was crystal clear why I’d established residency in the Great Lake State before coming back to Montana. If I didn’t believe in fate before, I did now, and I wanted Maggie to get here as much as Chloe. We had big plans of starting a life together and this was only the beginning.

“Why couldn’t Maggie and Glad come earlier?” When Chloe spoke, deep lines appeared along the bridge of her nose.

“I told you, Chloe, Maggie’s settling things with her house. Remember when we sold our house in Grosse Pointe? It takes time. Papers have to be signed, things need to be packed, and besides Maggie wanted to spend some extra time with her momma. You can understand that, right? When Christmas is over, Glad’ll fly home. I don’t think Maggie has ever really been apart from her momma.”

I lifted Chloe’s chin with my index finger. My daughter’s soul shimmered behind her green stare. Hope should’ve been Chloe’s middle name because my girl never gave up when the chips were down.
“Glad’s house is where Maggie grew up. Maggie’s saying her last goodbye.”

Chloe’s expression tugged at my heart like the snap of a lasso when wrangling a wild pony.

“I know what you mean. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten used to being apart from my momma, but maybe that’ll change someday. Hollywood sure is a far way away.”

Chloe’s momma was nothing like Maggie, and I wondered if I’d ever shed the guilt from our failed marriage that had left my daughter living with her old man. Chloe longed for a normal household, whatever that was in this day and age. Smiling at Chloe, I wished she’d see the well of hope I carried myself.

“I guess so, but I want Maggie to be here. It’s almost Christmas. We have so much to do.”

“I want Maggie here, too, Peanut, but it is what it is.” Resting my hands on Chloe’s thin shoulders, I prayed for the skies to clear so our Maggie’s arrival was sooner than later.

“Maggie promised she’d make cookies with me. Christmas will be here before you know it. This is our first Montana Christmas, and I want it to be perfect.” Chloe leaned her forehead against the window, closed her eyes then whispered in the sweetest of voices, “Please Lord, it’s me, Chloe. I know I can be kind of a pain, but can you please help Maggie and Glad get here, and fast?”

“Come here, Peanut.” Opening my arms, I scooped my little girl up. My cheek grazed hers. Nothing compared to her soft touch when pangs of disappointment bristled.

On the outside, my daughter was as tough as they come, but on the inside, she was soft and cuddly. Chloe rested her head against my shoulder, her warm breath like butterfly kisses upon my neck.
“Are you going to marry Maggie?”

“Without a doubt.” My heart pounded as I imagined sharing life with the woman I loved. “Don’t you worry.”

“Good,” Chloe whispered. “I can feel your heartbeat against mine. I think we both love her.”

“This is where Maggie needs to be, Peanut.” Holding my daughter tight, I breathed her in. She was a wee one, but something told me the years would pass in a blink of an eye if I wasn’t careful.

“I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, too, Munchkin.”
Outside, heaping mounds of snow grew deeper
with each passing hour. If Maggie and Glad couldn’t get to the 617 Ranch before Christmas morning this was going to be some Montana-bound holiday.

 

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2bakz7T  

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Trying To Write In Another Genre

A good friend of mine reminded me of something that happened a while ago.

He told me that life had given him some challenges currently and sometimes his head is full of thoughts about how to accomplish his tasks. At the moment he does have difficulties to write. He sits down, waiting for creativity to kick in and nothing happens.

Is this writer’s block? I don’t know, and since I’m not a too experienced writer, I would never presume to ‘diagnose’ such an excellent and gifted writer as he is. Much smarter heads and experienced writers have dealt with writer’s block before. I even published a post about it in February 2015 “Kiss Your Muse Hello.”

But what he said reminded me of something that happened a while back and made me laugh. And yes, I told him about it.

A while back when I realized my fantasy ran dry, I tried to tickle it by writing something I normally do not write.

As many of you know, I’m a writer of Paranormal Romance and Fantasy. But at this moment I decided, I would try to write a hot, steamy, and romantic, erotic scene. Occasionally I do read a sexy novel, and I was curious how I would do.

When I had finished the scene, I was quite proud of myself. I found it turned out to describe what I just saw going on in my head.

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

 

I set the few pages aside and went on to ‘daily business,’ whatever that was at this time.
I have to mention here: my idea did work. Writing in this unknown genre, in fact, awakened my ideas and fantasy, and I was able to continue with my new story.

I had nearly forgotten about my short trip into the erotic genre until I one day got the few papers in my hand while searching for some documents.

Sitting down and leaning back I re-read them…

… and started laughing so hard, I nearly choked. I screamed and howled with laughter. Earlier in this post, I said, after writing it, I was proud, I had considered I exactly described as the scene was in my head, right?

Re-reading these pages now showed me that I was completely wrong.

In my head, the scenery and what happened was perfect, yes. Including the smells, the sounds, the whispers… but on the paper, the entire erotic, sexy, steamy scene was about as erotic as the mating of gummy bears.

 

Picture courtesy of http://www.google.com

 

I figured, and I still do, that there must be a reason, why I picked ‘Paranormal Romance’ and ‘Fantasy’ my genres. Apparently ‘steamy hot’ is not for me to describe. I deeply admire every writer who can do it.

Now there are two questions at this point: Are the current stories I write that far off from my imagination as well? This would suck; even though my editor said no (which calms me a little bit).

And the second question: Have you ever tried to write in another genre, and how did this work for you? Thanks for sharing your experiences.

 

How to Embed Tweets in Your Blog Post

Sarah Brentyn of “Lemon Shark” provides us with great blogging tips. Thank you, Sarah!

Lemon Shark

lemon-shark-screen-shot-sarahb

Tweets aren’t just for Twitter anymore.

Here’s a neat thing you can do with those tweets right here on your WordPress blog. It’s wicked cool. And easy. 3 steps…done.

All of you lovely bloggers know I’m not a techie but I wanted to share this fun find with you.

I have visuals, too, which is awesome. Admittedly, I went a bit bonkers with the arrows but…you get the point. (I know. I’m hilarious.)

First we’re going old school with a “cut and paste” URL option, then we’ll embed an html code like we know what we’re doing.

No need to hurt your eyes squinting at the screenshots—you can click to enlarge them. Let’s get tweeting on our blogs.

Copy Link Option:

STEP ONE:

Choose the tweet you want. Click on the cute, little grey v-shaped thingy in the top, right corner.

Click to enlarge

STEP TWO:

You’ll see a drop-down…

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Blog Progress In Two Years

This year ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ celebrates its 2nd anniversary.

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.pinterest.com

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Within these two years the post has made huge steps forward. I’m proud to present a few numbers here:

 

– 723 posts
– almost 3,900 comments
– 722 followers!
– over 30’000 views

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All these posts, all these comments, the interviews, the Spotlights, blog tours, pictures, smiles and all the fun! None of this would have been possible without you, followers, readers, visitors and friends.

I want to take the chance at this point to say THANK YOU! Thanks so much for your visits, for the time you sacrifice to read, to comment, to share, re-blog and smile with me and all of us! It’s you who made this journey such a pleasure for me!!

Picture courtesy of: http://www.google.com

Getting the Most Out of Guest Blog Post – by Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

Yecheilyah Ysrayl wrote a very useful post about guest posts and how to get the most out I them. Thank you for this informative guest post on The Story Reading Ape’s blog.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Peace and welcome,

Today, I’d like to talk about guest blogging. After all, that is what I am here for. So, let’s chat.

Why is it worth it to Guest Post? Why is it beneficial to write articles on someone else’s blog? Can’t you just write it on your own blog? Surely, the people will flock to you, right?

Your blog home is equivalent to your real home. It is your house, your rules and you can pretty much do what you want. Well, I hope you aren’t getting crazy (we’re still on the World Wide Web) but it is your domain. Naturally, you are going to behave differently on your own blog.

On the other hand, writing articles on other blogs, preferably ones more established than yours, gives you the chance to showcase your work on a larger scale. Whether you are writing an article, an inspiring post, or…

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A 2016 – Christmas post – by A. J. Alexander

2016 has been a year full of surprises, shocks, fear, but also fantastic meetings with friends, some of whom I’ve known for years and still just met personally for the first time.

And as well it was a year of connecting to many people here online. Followers, friends, writers, supporters, readers and much more.

THANK YOU!

for making this journey a memorable one for me!

Now there’s not much more left to say, except that I wish you and your families:

 

blue-bakcground-happy-new-year-merry-christmas-wallpapers

Free online course from the grandmother of all creative writing courses – the University of Iowa

Thank you so much, Bridget Whelan, for this information!

This course is all FREE TO EVERYONE in the world who have access to a computer or mobile device with a stable internet connection…

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

The very first creative writing workshops were pioneered at the University of Iowa in the 1930s and they still have a mighty reputation today.

They are now offering a free open online course to explore Walt Whitman’s writings on the American Civil War,  looking at how writing and image can be used to examine war, conflict, trauma, and reconciliation – in Whitman’s time and today.

American civil war-80541_640

Whitman’s Civil War: Writing and Imaging Loss, Death, and Disaster is open to everyone and they mean everyone. Erxperienced writers and absolute beginners can apply, people who are already experts in Walt Whitman and those who have never heard of the 19th century American poet are welcome.

That’s not all, the International Department at Iowa promise:

Participants who are nonnative speakers of English, new to online learning, and/or new to writing are encouraged to join this new international community. Our community moderators will actively support…

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