It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!


It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!

Several Amarillo area authors have teamed up to offer you the chance to win this basket of books and goodies. All of the stories are set in the Texas Panhandle and written by Amarillo authors Linda Broday, Marcy McKay, Vicki Shoen, and by Canyon author, Natalie Bright.
It’s the perfect basket of entertainment for you when that first blizzard hits!

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Contest Rules
Subscribe to each author’s Newsletter for a chance to win. Links are below.
To increase your chances, follow each of the authors on Twitter, Facebook Author Pages, LinkedIn or Instagram. The more likes on social media, the greater your chances of winning.
Like, share and re-tweet our posts on Facebook and Twitter to increase your chances even more. Links are below.
Thank you for your interest and participation!
List of Basket Items over $100 Retail Value!

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To Love a Texas Ranger by Linda Broday
Award winning and New York Times Best selling author, Linda Broday, is giving you the first in her new MEN OF LEGEND series,
Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?
Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.
Follow Linda on FACEBOOKTWITTERLinkedIn

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Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay
Marcy McKay, offers you her dark and heart stealing story about homeless eleven-year-old Copper Daniels. She spends her nights sleeping beneath the cemetery’s Warrior Angel statue for protection, and her days battling the mean streets of Remington, Texas, hell-bent on discovering what happened the night her Mama disappeared. While Copper and her rag-tag group of friends find danger at every corner, two horrors are certain: her Mama’s really missing and someone’s after Copper, too.
“[Pennies from Burger Heaven] gave me shivers on the first page…[Marcy McKay’s] writing is beautiful and emotional, without being sappy.”- Frontiers in Writing Contest Judge
Follow Marcy here: Website –  Facebook –  Twitter
You can email Marcy here: marcy@marcymckay.com

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Inherit the Texas Earth by Vicki Schoen
Set in 1930s Texas Panhandle, a young farmer must fight the long drought as it ravishes the land he loves–and solve a long-suppressed mystery triggered by the return of a Comanche, his former friend. Willy Gil Kellogg finds himself caught between promises he made his grandfather and tough truths about farming methods and prejudice–issues Gramps never faced.
“This is a raw, gut-wrenching novel about the effects of the Dust Bowl on Texas farmers and ranchers as well as their families.” –Amazon Reviewer.
Follow Vicki here: WebsiteBlogspotFacebookLinkedIn

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West Texas Christmas Stories Anthology includes “A Cowboy’s Christmas Blessing” by Natalie Bright
This anthology gives you 30 Christmas stories set in West Texas or by West Texas authors, both fiction and non-fiction. In Natalie’s story, a hard-working cowboy recalls the beauty of the season despite his isolation on a ranch without being surrounded by an abundance of decoration and crowds.
Find Natalie here: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInPinterest

Additional Basket Goodies
In addition to four books listed above, you’ll win genuine home-grown Texas Pecans, Texas Ginger Snaps, cowboy ornaments, and other surprises. All totaling over a $100 value!
Contest open to U.S residents only. The winner will be chosen by a random draw of all the entries and the prize will be mailed. Remember to follow, share and like for more chances to win.

Winner will be announced December 15!

It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!


It’s a Blizzard of Texas Goodies for You!

Several Amarillo area authors have teamed up to offer you the chance to win this basket of books and goodies. All of the stories are set in the Texas Panhandle and written by Amarillo authors Linda Broday, Marcy McKay, Vicki Shoen, and by Canyon author, Natalie Bright.
It’s the perfect basket of entertainment for you when that first blizzard hits!

image005

Contest Rules
Subscribe to each author’s Newsletter for a chance to win. Links are below.
To increase your chances, follow each of the authors on Twitter, Facebook Author Pages, LinkedIn or Instagram. The more likes on social media, the greater your chances of winning.
Like, share and re-tweet our posts on Facebook and Twitter to increase your chances even more. Links are below.
Thank you for your interest and participation!
List of Basket Items over $100 Retail Value!

image001

To Love a Texas Ranger by Linda Broday
Award winning and New York Times Best selling author, Linda Broday, is giving you the first in her new MEN OF LEGEND series,
Gravely injured on the trail of a notorious criminal, Texas Ranger Sam Legend boards a train bound for his family ranch to recuperate…only to find himself locked in battle to save a desperate woman on the run. Determined to rescue the beautiful Sierra, Sam recruits an unlikely ally. But can he trust the mysterious gunslinger to fight at his side?
Sam is shocked to discover his new ally is not only an outlaw, but his half-brother. Torn between loyalty to his job and love of his family, Sam goes reeling straight into Sierra’s arms. Yet just as the walls around his battered heart begin to crumble, Sierra is stolen away. Sam will risk anything to save her—his life, his badge, his very soul—knowing that some bonds are stronger than the law…and some legends were born to be told.
Follow Linda on FACEBOOKTWITTERLinkedIn

image002

Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay
Marcy McKay, offers you her dark and heart stealing story about homeless eleven-year-old Copper Daniels. She spends her nights sleeping beneath the cemetery’s Warrior Angel statue for protection, and her days battling the mean streets of Remington, Texas, hell-bent on discovering what happened the night her Mama disappeared. While Copper and her rag-tag group of friends find danger at every corner, two horrors are certain: her Mama’s really missing and someone’s after Copper, too.
“[Pennies from Burger Heaven] gave me shivers on the first page…[Marcy McKay’s] writing is beautiful and emotional, without being sappy.”- Frontiers in Writing Contest Judge
Follow Marcy here: Website –  Facebook –  Twitter
You can email Marcy here: marcy@marcymckay.com

image003

Inherit the Texas Earth by Vicki Schoen
Set in 1930s Texas Panhandle, a young farmer must fight the long drought as it ravishes the land he loves–and solve a long-suppressed mystery triggered by the return of a Comanche, his former friend. Willy Gil Kellogg finds himself caught between promises he made his grandfather and tough truths about farming methods and prejudice–issues Gramps never faced.
“This is a raw, gut-wrenching novel about the effects of the Dust Bowl on Texas farmers and ranchers as well as their families.” –Amazon Reviewer.
Follow Vicki here: WebsiteBlogspotFacebookLinkedIn

image004

West Texas Christmas Stories Anthology includes “A Cowboy’s Christmas Blessing” by Natalie Bright
This anthology gives you 30 Christmas stories set in West Texas or by West Texas authors, both fiction and non-fiction. In Natalie’s story, a hard-working cowboy recalls the beauty of the season despite his isolation on a ranch without being surrounded by an abundance of decoration and crowds.
Find Natalie here: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInPinterest

Additional Basket Goodies
In addition to four books listed above, you’ll win genuine home-grown Texas Pecans, Texas Ginger Snaps, cowboy ornaments, and other surprises. All totaling over a $100 value!
Contest open to U.S residents only. The winner will be chosen by a random draw of all the entries and the prize will be mailed. Remember to follow, share and like for more chances to win.

Winner will be announced December 15!

NaNoWriMo aspirations


NaNoWriMo aspirations

Natalie Bright

Totally defeated by my NaNoWriMo aspirations, but maybe I will end up with half of a novel by month’s end. Sometimes the entire universe seems to be against the written word. How is the word count going with you all?
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

― Louis L’Amour

Writing Quote


“There’s an old folk saying that goes: whenever you delete a sentence from
your NaNoWriMo novel, a NaNoWriMo angel loses its wings and plummets,
screaming, to the ground. Where it will likely require medical attention.”
― Chris Baty

Writing quote


Books are masters who instruct us without rods or ferules, without words or anger, without bread or money. If you approach them, they are not asleep; if you seek them, they do not hide; if you blunder, they do not scold; if you are ignorant, they do not laugh at you.
— RICHARD DE BURY

HAVE YOU SET UP YOUR AUTHOR PAGE?


HAVE YOU SET UP YOUR AUTHOR PAGE?

By Natalie Bright

If you have books listed for sell on amazon.com, then you have an Author Page. As the author, you can access that author page and provide updated information that might be of interest to your readers.

As a reader, I like checking out the Author Page before I buy. This information is informative and much quicker than finding the website when I’m short on time. If I love that .99 cent special promo book, I can easily find more books at their Amazon Author Page.

Join at authorcentral.amazon.com and sign in using your amazon account.

Add your books (there may be a waiting time for approval). You can post original content at any time, such as a bio picture, update your bio info, pictures of author events, videos, and blog posts or link to an RSS feed. There is even an events calendar you can utilize.

I enjoy reading other author bios. I have to admit that I’ve reworked my bio several times. I can’t decide if a long and detailed bio works better than having one that is brief, to the point. Should it be in first person or third person? Read several of your favorite authors and decide.

You can create an Amazon Author Page URL link for use in blog posts, Facebook posts, and tweets.

Have fun adding content through yet another way to connect with readers on social media. Comment to this blog and provide a link to your Author Page on Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Meet the Author – Natalie Bright



Meet the Author  

Since the creation of WordsmithSix as a critique group, we have evolved in many ways. While every member is like family and brings their own valuable insights to the group, sometimes there are changes. Some of our members have moved on in their life’s journey, however their contributions continue to influence our writing forever. Others have filled the empty chairs and have started their journey into the world of writing.

Each member of WordsmithSix is excited about our writing journey. For the next few weeks we will dedicate a Sunday blog to letting our readers know a little more about who we are. Each author will be asked a few questions to help you understand their desire to write and what motivates them. Maybe their answers will influence you in your writing.

This week we are excited to feature one of our original Wordsmithsix members. An established Author and Blogger, her writing includes: Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschoolers Soul “The Race”, Books – Oil People, Gone never Forgotten and West Texas Christmas Stories. You can find more about Natalie on her website nataliebright.com.

Please welcome Natalie Bright

When did you start writing?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been scribbling in diaries or writing silly poems, and then I began to write novels in high school.

Why did you choose the Genre you write in?
The stories choose me. My vision was to be a romance novelist because I’m been a lifelong fan of the genre, but the stories inside my head tend to be more for young readers. I honestly do not have any control over the characters that wake me at night.

What’s the best thing you’ve done to help your writing?
Found a great critique group (thank you WordsmithSix!). I read a gazillion kid lit books, and reread my childhood favorites with a critical eye. Why have those classics stood the test of time? Write every day. Stop questioning the why. Joined writing organizations directly related to the genre I write.

What’s your writing routine like?
There is no routine. I have two teenagers, a day job, community volunteer work; I write whenever, wherever I can.

How do you reach that personal place that allows the writing to flow?
Butt in chair, focus and do your job. Writers must practice intense self-discipline. No one is hovering over your shoulder telling you to work. I think this is what separates the successful writers from the ones that always struggle to reach THE END. It’s an endless internal battle.

Are you an outliner?
Sometimes. Every book is different.

What has been your biggest writing challenge?
Finishing one novel before the next spark takes over.

What advice would you give to new writers?
Just like any professional in any career, learn as much as you can about story craft and the publishing business.

What’s the most positive thing you could tell writers today?
I believe it’s an amazing time to be a writer. If you have respect for the craft and can find joy in the writing, then your work will be authentic. When writers view their craft like a business and they see themselves as a professional, both traditional and indie published authors can achieve great success. We have just begun to tap the potential of eBooks and the ability to reach worldwide markets. There are readers out there waiting for your stories.

Meet the Author – Cait Collins


Meet the Author  

Since the creation of WordsmithSix as a critique group, we have evolved in many ways. While every member is like family and brings their own valuable insights to the group, sometimes there are changes. Some of our members have moved on in their life’s journey, however their contributions continue to influence our writing forever. Others have filled the empty chairs and have started their journey into the world of writing.

Each member of WordsmithSix is excited about our writing journey. For the next few weeks we will dedicate a Sunday blog to letting our readers know a little more about who we are. Each author will be asked a few questions to help you understand their desire to write and what motivates them. Maybe their answers will influence you in your writing.

This week we are excited to feature one of our original Wordsmithsix members. An established writer, she lists three documentaries, a thirteen-week local television series, commercial copy and news copy on her writing resume. She has also written Bible application stories, puppet plays, and two 15 minute plays for her church youth group.

Please welcome Cait Collins

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was in grade school. Then I fell in love with Illya, the Russian agent from Man from U.N.C.L.E, and wrote “romances” based on the show.

Why did you choose the Genre’ you write in?

I like suspense and romance, so I began writing romance with the suspense twist. I recently tried writing memoirs of growing up during the 50’s and 60’s. My nieces and nephews have no knowledge of how different my childhood was. Some of the memoirs are for the kids.

What’s the best thing you’ve done to help your writing?

First was taking a creative writing course at Amarillo College taught by New York Times Best Selling Author, Jodi Thomas. Jodi is a great teacher and mentor. I also began attending writers’ conferences and workshops. Wordsmith Six, my critique group, is the best. If you don’t want honest critique, you don’t belong in the group. We have a rule; give the good before pointing out the weaknesses.

What’s your writing routine like?

I’m not one to force myself to look and the computer daily and get frustrated when the words don’t come. I tend to go on writing binges when my characters are talking to me and demanding I tell their part of the story. I don’t sit down after a critique session and make the requested changes. I’d rather keep going forward, and editing when the inspiration is just not there.

How do you reach that personal place that allows the writing to flow?

Silence the phone, put on some music or turn on the news (the news is easy to block out). I read a few paragraphs from the last point, and start writing. Once I get going, I don’t stop until I need a break for food or something to drink, or until the session ends itself.

Are you an outliner?

No. I make lists or do timelines, but outlines stifle my creativity. I find myself writing to the outline instead of responding to my characters nagging.

What has been your biggest writing challenge?

Coming from a broadcasting and business writing background, I find settings and details are often overlooked. When the action is moving forward, I will neglect the setting and concentrate on the action.

What are you working on currently, future?

I have a memoir and a novel I’m trying to edit and I’m actively writing book five, a suspense novel with the working title Three by Three.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Write your story. Don’t disregard the advice of critique partners or beta readers, but remember it is your story. If you think the character would not respond as a reviewer suggests, stick to your guns. If you are honest with yourself, you will be able to make the right choice between your gut instinct and the reviewers’ suggestions.

What’s the most positive thing you could tell writers today?

Opportunities are unlimited for writers. Network studios need material. The Netflix and other independents have opened doors for us. Ebook outlets are exploding. Movie studios need original material. Don’t overlook opportunities in magazine articles, technical writing, and training manuals. I truly believe we are limited only by ourselves. That said, do your homework. Learn what the media and publishers are looking for. Watch the trends in releases. And above all, be sure your formatting, grammar, and facts are correct before submitting to an agent or editor.

 

Meet the Author – Nandy Ekle


Meet the Author

 

Since the creation of WordsmithSix as a critique group, we have evolved in many ways. While every member is like family and brings their own valuable insights to the group, sometimes there are changes. Some of our members have moved on in their life’s journey, however their contributions continue to influence our writing forever. Others have filled the empty chairs and have started their journey into the world of writing.

Each member of WordsmithSix is excited about our writing journey. For the next few weeks we will dedicate a Sunday blog to letting our readers know a little more about who we are. Each author will be asked a few questions to help you understand their desire to write and what motivates them. Maybe their answers will influence you in your writing.

This week we are excited to feature one of our original Wordsmithsix members. She is a multi-published author in the Psycho-thriller and horror genre.

Please welcome Nandy Ekle

When did you start writing?

I started writing in junior high. In the 8th grade I actually wrote a book (I’m talking about 80 pages) about a group of kids who found tunnels underneath the school. I really didn’t have a plot, but it was fun for them to explore the tunnels. This was in the middle 70’s. Of course, nothing happened with the story, which is lost somewhere in my childhood. But in the middle 80’s, The Goonies came out on the big screen, and it reminded me of my first writing adventure. After that I wrote a story called The Kiss That Never Was. I’m actually a little embarrassed about that story now because it was so awful, but it was something I wrote, and it had a definite plot, weak as it was. After that, I wrote part of a story about a woman and her boyfriend who were kidnapped, which was also hilariously ridiculous because my kidnapper did not even have a gun.

And I had no concept of “short answer” questions on tests. Once we were assigned to write a short essay about Christmas for English class. But mine was more of a short story about a little girl waking up and feeling the Christmas magic in the air. Needless to say, the teacher advised me to stick a little closer to the assignment instructions.

Why did you choose the genre you write in?

Well, I didn’t choose my genre, it chose me. I write the dark stories, the horrors, psychologicals, thrillers, mysteries. I’ve tried to stick to lighter stories, but there’s always a twist that heads back to the dark side. It’s as if I can’t control it.

And I think I understand where it comes from. I’ve been accused of being an adrenalin junkie, and I guess that’s true. There’s nothing I love more than reading a book, or watching a movie, and a completely unexpected life shattering twist leaves me feeling as if I’ve been punched in the gut. That, my friends, is a fantastic feeling. And I suppose that’s why I try to include that type of twist in my writing.

What’s the best thing you’ve done to help your writing?

The best thing I’ve ever done to help my writing is join a writing group. I had been the person who, even though I’ve been a writer for most of my life, I’ve always felt self-conscious about it. I mean, I’m a grown woman, a grandmother, and I see other worlds and hear characters talking in my head all the time. So the first time I walked in the group and people came up to me and said, “So, what do you write,” I was completely floored. I had never felt that open about it before, and it was absolutely . . . liberating. Then I found the critique group. Not only was I accepted as a writer, I was encouraged, even expected to write more and more words, in more and more creative ways. And that has made all the difference.

What’s your writing routine like?

I’m ashamed to say I really don’t have a set writing routine. As a “pantser,” I write when the whim strikes me. And that means that sometimes there are huge chunks of times between writing sessions. This creates guilt feelings, and that makes me try to force words on a page that have no business being there.

How do you reach that personal place that allows the writing to flow?

Getting myself in “the zone” sometimes is harder than others. One thing is to have a character be real to me. I have to do that by getting deep in their heads. One way I do that is to write in first person.

Another thing that helps is listening to music, especially if what I’m writing was inspired by a specific song. I once wrote a story about a wife who suspects her husband is seeing another woman, so she goes to a fortune teller. An old 70’s song by Cher was my inspiration, and I had to listen to the song over and over while I was writing it. To this day, when I hear it, I hear the characters arguing with each other.

Movies and books also inspire me. Also pictures of old houses and true crime stories. Also, an interesting situation or character.

Are you an outliner?

As I mentioned before, I am a “pantser,” which means I write “by the seat of my pants.” I usually have an idea of where I want the story to go and the twist, which is very important to me, but when I do get into “the zone,” anything can happen, and it’s usually better than what I had originally planned. While the rest of my life is very organized, I suppose writing is where I’m actually able to let it go and let it happen. But it’s finding that zone . . .

What has been your biggest writing challenge?

Well, definitely, keeping a writing routine is a challenge. I know the masters say, “the more you write, the more you want to write,” but if I force myself to write, it reads, at least to me, like it was forced. In my case, spontaneity is definitely the best.

What are you working on currently, future?

Currently, I have more than ten short stories going, at least I think they’re going to be short. I have several more started that will be longer than than a short story, but I really don’t plan to make them into a novel. I have two novels completely written in my head, but only about one fourth of the way on a page. And I have countless rewrites and completions to get done. And no number for the ones in my head that have not floated to the top of my story soup and screamed for attention. Besides these are the situations and characters, or even just a glimmer of a twist, and I know there’s a full-blown story there, but just have not been able to put my finger on exactly what it is.

What advice would give to new writers?

Writers write. That’s all I know. Writers write.

Oh, and let go and let it flow.

What’s the most positive thing you could tell writers today?

The most positive thing advice I can tell writers today is don’t ever let anyone make you feel silly because you like to make up worlds and characters. And find a master to emulate.