Giving it Up #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

www-carrieelks-com

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from S.C. Mitchell’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week we’re talking about giving things up. If we had to give up something, what would it be, and how would we handle it?

You only have to follow me on Instagram or Twitter to know how much I love a glass of wine (or two!) When my children were younger, and after they were in bed, pouring a small glass of white would be my signal that my working day was over and I could put my feet up and relax for a moment — at least until it was time to make their school lunches, tidy the kitchen, and get everything ready for the next day.

Nowadays my children go to bed after I do. I still love a glass of wine, though, especially on a Friday night. And if that glass somehow expands into  bottle (between the two of us, because I’m not that bad…) then so be it. It’s my favourite indulgence, and it tastes blooming good, plus it’s the perfect accompaniment to some good company (thanks Mr. Elks) and a good movie or TV programme.

So if I had to give up something, then wine would be it. And I know I’d find it hard. In fact, only last night Mr. E and I were talking about giving wine up for October. A whole month without wine? How would we last?

And then we remembered that we’re going out for dinner on October 7th. Plus we’re going away for a few nights on October 22nd. Neither of these things can happen without a glass or two of the best stuff. So in actuality, we’re giving up wine from 8th to the 21st October. We can’t even manage 3 weeks.

Because we are bad.

There you have it. If I had to give up something it would be wine. Except I can’t give it up because I like it too much and it makes me happy. Which, if you think about it, isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

 

Now let’s hop over to Brenda Margriet’s blog to find out what she’s planning on giving up! While you’re there take a look at her fabulous book, When Time Falls Still.

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Canva & authors own.

My Writing-Free Week

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Last Monday, I managed to type the most beautiful two words that an author can write; ‘The End’. Though I was sad to say goodbye (at least until I begin the edits) to the lovely world I’d created, and the characters I’d come to care about, I have to admit the feeling of accomplishment was fantastic.

But then what?

You see, in my mind I was going to type those words on Friday, leading into a weekend of rest before I got going on another project. But instead I’d been typing so fast and so hard, and the characters had been demanding so much of my time that I finished way ahead of schedule. Which left me with four days to fill. I didn’t want to jump straight into my next project (editing another book) because I needed time to let this story go. Time to pull myself out of their world and back into my own one. Time to take a breath and step back.

So I decided to spend the week adulting.

Yes, I know, very unlike me. But there was a lot of stuff I’d been putting off, and I really had no excuse not to do it any more. Plus there were the pleasant things too – you know, having coffee with friends who’d all but forgotten I existed, actually talking to my teenagers when they got home from school, and *gasp* even cooking food that didn’t come in a shrink wrapped tray. So for four days I was a bone fide fully-fleshed adult.

I even enjoyed it!

On Tuesday I spent the day cleaning the house. And I mean CLEANING. Not my usual swipe of a cloth until it looks surface clean (sorry Mum), but proper deep cleaning that made everything sparkle and shine. The sort of clean that makes everybody ask me if I’ve done ‘something’ to the house (nope) or if I’ve had a clear out (yep). So that was good.

Then on Wednesday morning I sorted out my clothes. I packed away my summer clothes and brought out the sweaters and stockings and furry socks. I even tidied up my closet and my drawers, and of course I discovered clothes I’d forgotten I had. In all it was very satisfying. I rewarded myself that afternoon by spending time with my sister-in-law and her very gorgeous new baby.

On Thursday I had coffee with another sister-in-law and our friend (I sense a theme here), followed by cleaning out the oven (bleurgh) and then chopping back all the overgrown bushes in the garden. We have a hundred-foot plus backyard, which can defeat me at the best of times, so actually getting things done was pretty satisfying.

Then on Friday I read.

Yep, I read.

I sat down with my kindle and a cup of coffee and didn’t move off my butt. And it was goooood.

Reading is one of my favourite occupations, and yet the first thing that I lose out on when I’m writing a new book. So for the three months that I’m typing away, I buy books and stockpile them, waiting for the moment to arrive that I can finally download them and veg out on my sofa. That moment was Friday and it was amazing.

By the weekend I was feeling antsy, so I started to sit down and plan some writing-related things. Marketing plans, teasers, release dates and signings.

Oh, and I met with my accountant to agree my tax return. Which doesn’t sound like much fun, but my accountant is lovely and funny and always makes me laugh (through my tears). So there was that.

I’m back to work today, but I’m glad I had a few days to spend doing the things I’ve been avoiding for months. Adulting is hard, but it’s also rewarding, and stops my family from throwing me out. All good things.

Have a good week!

Carrie Pink

 

When Writing is In-Tense… #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Lyra Parish’s blog, thanks for joining me!

This week we’re talking about craft. How we decide what tense and point of view to use, and whether we have written a book that breaks all the rules.

I never used to notice tense or point of view until I became a writer. As a reader I didn’t care less about the mechanics of the writing, as long as it was a good story, with good characters, and a plot that kept me hooked. Any more information than that, and it was like looking behind the Wizard of Oz’s curtain, and discovering how mundane the crafting of a story can be. But when I started writing stories, my eyes were opened to how many choices a writer has to make about how their story is formed, and how these choices can influence the reader’s perception. As Stephen King so wisely said in his memoir, ‘On Writing’, “you must not come lightly to the blank page.”

When I first started reading romance books (just after papyrus was invented), many of them shared the same basic framework — written in third person, with both the hero and heroine’s point of view, and always in the past tense. Of course the occasional book would be written in first person, but often those would veer more into the Women’s Fiction genre, with more emphasis on the heroine’s journey, and less on her budding romance with the hero.

Nowadays, though, there are so many choices in how to approach the story. There are books in first or third person, in present or past tense, and the choice of whether to show one or both points of view can depend upon the story. I love the diversity this offers both reader and writer, and I myself have written in different styles. Fix You is more traditional, written in third-person past, with both Richard and Hanna’s point of view. The three books in the Love in London series are different — they’re written in first person present, giving an immediacy to the heroine’s journey, and a more intimate viewpoint of the budding romance between her and the hero.

When I wrote fan fiction, I liked to push the boundaries, and have written in third person present (not a combination you see in books very often) and even had an attempt in writing in second-person present. For those who haven’t had the joy of second-person, take a look here. All I can say is that by the time I’d finished writing, it somehow morphed into first person. Probably a good thing not many books are written in second!

While I don’t really have a preference on tense or viewpoint, recently I’ve found myself veering more into third person than first. For some reason I’ve found it suits the story better, and allows me to give a fullness and weight to the plot that first person wouldn’t allow. I know some people say that third person is more shallow and less emotional than writing in first person, but I think that you can still fill a scene with feeling and depth regardless of the point of view. You just need to use the right words in the right order — it’s that easy, and that hard!

How about you? Do you have any preferences for tense and point of view when you’re reading (or writing a book). Let me knowing the comments.

Now let’s hop over to Jenna Da Sie’s Blog to find out how she deals with tense and pov.

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

There goes summer… #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Brenda Margriet’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week we’re talking about summer. It’s winding down (boo) but there’s still little warmth in the air. So we’re going to share our favorite summer activities. 

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When I was a child it felt as though summers stretched into forever. Long days were spent playing in the fields with my friends, or laying in the grass reading a book. I’d get through at least 20 books over the 6 weeks we had away from school. I was intimate friends with our local library. And through my very rose-colored glasses, I have to say I can’t remember feeling any stress at all. Just the wide open sky of opportunity that arched over my head.

Nowadays, summers are a little less easy. I’ve spent half of it being Mom’s Taxi Services, ferrying my daughter around from social engagement to social engagement (whatever happened to building forts in the fields?). Plus I also have taken on the new role of Human Alarm Clock. That one’s for my son. Somehow over the course of a summer he’s become nocturnal, sleeping all day and staying awake all night. It doesn’t bode well for his first day back at school!

But in the middle of all this, there’s still my love of reading that keeps me going. And my favourite summer activity of all is to take a book and a glass of something cool out into our beautiful garden, and spend an hour in the easy chair reading under the blue sky.

That’s the beauty of reading. You can do it anywhere, anyhow, and somehow it’s perfect for every season. I love being curled up under a blanket and reading my book as the rain beats on the window, and I love reading a wonderful story as the multi-coloured leaves fall down from the trees. But my very favourite place of all to read is the beach. It’s not something I get to do very often, but when I do I can spend all day doing it. And this year I got to read all day on a lovely beach at Caorle, on the Mediterranean coast of Italy. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

Now let’s hop over to Jenna Da Sie’s Blog to find out her favourite summer activities.

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

Canada Square – 99c sale plus a giveaway!

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Summer’s coming to an end, but to cheer us all up, I’ve put Canada Square on sale for 99c. It’s never been this cheap, and won’t be at this price again in 2016, so grab it while you can! Sale ends on Friday 24th August, when it will be back to the usual price of $3.99.  

So if you love a forbidden office romance, with a sexy Scottish hero, grab Canada Square today.

Amazon: http://mybook.to/CanadaSquare

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/canada-square/id1090859640?ls=1&mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/canada-square-1

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940152775969

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Carrie_Elks_Canada_Square?id=F82xCwAAQBAJ&hl=en_GB

Summary:

Secrets have a way of coming out…

Amy Cartwright isn’t sure who she’s supposed to be anymore. Her family thinks she’s flighty, her ex believes she’s a walkover (the bastard) and her friends think she’s plain crazy. But there’s a different side to her that nobody sees, nobody but the cool, sexy Scotsman who just happens to be her boss.

Callum Ferguson isn’t looking for excitement; he’s had that and it almost ruined him. He likes things calm and predictable – everything that his new PA turns out not to be. But from the moment she walks through his office door it’s as though the light has come back into his life, and he can’t get her out of his mind.

Fighting against the inevitable, they both try to ignore the attraction, but the flame of desire is too bright. They’re soon drawn into a steamy love affair that they have to hide from everybody, knowing the revelation could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard for, as well as each other.

AND DONT FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD

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Release Day Blitz – Politically Incorrect by Jeanne McDonald.

Today I’m delighted to take part in the release day blitz for my wonderful friend, Jeanne McDonald. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of Politically Incorrect, and I loved it. Read on for more information about the book, and your chance to win a signed paperback!

Carrie Pink

Young couple flirting with legs at the restaurant under the tableRelease Date: August 16, 2016

Synopsis

Sex. Lies. Greed. Power. Scandal. Politics. Political strategist, Elizabeth McNeal has been called a lot of things throughout her career—bitch being at the top of the list—but she doesn’t let it get to her. She’s bold, she’s blunt, and she takes orders from no one. This is how she’s survived working in a man’s world. She’s the master of diversion, and her specialty is winning an election—no matter the cost. That is, until she meets her new client, Democratic candidate, Congressman William Baxter. Kind, considerate, insanely handsome, honest, and ten years her junior, he’s a unicorn among politicians. He infuriates her. He challenges her. Most of all, he makes her see past the scandalous world of politics and helps her to discover the heart of the woman inside her. With sparks flying between them and the election rapidly approaching, the last thing either of them need is to be caught in a compromising position. Some lines are meant to be crossed and some rules broken, but for Elizabeth and Liam is it worth the cost of being politically incorrect?

Goodreads
Purchase Links

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/28SfwKX

 

iBooks: http://apple.co/28O2NYV

 

B&N: http://bit.ly/28Ykqoe

 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/28O6z6a

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Giveaway

 

One of Two Signed Paperbacks of Politically Incorrect by Jeanne McDonald

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cba4250295/?

 

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About the Author

Jeanne McDonald is an author, a mother, a wife, a student of knowledge and of life, a coffee addict, a philosophy novice, a pop culture connoisseur, inspired by music, encouraged by words, and a believer in true love. When she’s not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, enjoying a great film, chatting with friends or diligently working toward her bachelor’s degree in literature. A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.

 

Connect with Jeanne

Website: http://www.jeannemcdonald.com

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2ahMlB3

Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2ardmBi

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/VFamn

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2ant56n

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2avdUre

Tumblr: http://bit.ly/2aaCDhu

Google+: http://bit.ly/2aazNdf

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2aaDT42

Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2awz2ii

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/29f6C9z

BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/2arcEEm

 

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Expanding my Horizons

image I’ve spent a lot of time gazing at the horizon this week. It’s a happy side effect of being on holiday: the ability to lie on a beach and just be. Staring at the line where the sea and the sky meet sparks an excitement inside me which seems timeless. I imagine it’s the same excitement that caught the imagination of long ago explorers, ones who looked beyond the lives they had right there and then, and imagined ‘what if…’

The funny thing about horizons is they can both limit you or offer you endless possibilities, depending on your outlook. So many people probably looked at that same line and just accepted that was where the world ended. They didn’t question, didn’t wonder, just went about their day and lived within the limits of the land.

But then there were the dreamers. The brave people who had no idea what was beyond that infinite line, but hoisted up their sails and journeyed to find out anyway. For all they knew there was a cliff drop into nothingness, or a land of monsters that swallowed them whole. In spite of the dangers that lurked just beyond their sight, their need to know outweighed any peril. Their courage outweighed their fear.

And that’s what I try to do every day. In my writing, in my parenting, in my life, I try to push myself beyond the horizon. I try to venture into new lands, knowing that I may stumble and fall. But the endless possibilities draw me still, always so much more exciting than a life that is limited. It is definitely scary, and often perilous, but the rewards are always worth the risk.

So how about you? What things lie beyond your horizons? Are you brave enough to discover them too?