Love in the Morning Calm

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15 10, 2018

The Tale of a Book Title

By |2018-10-14T20:32:47-05:00October 15th, 2018|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life, Writing Craft|2 Comments

Book titles and covers are important because the old adage — Readers do judge a book by its cover — is true. So, how can an author know beforehand what’s going to resonate?

Wiser people than me have come up with three criteria.

  1. A great title needs to create an image that synthesizes the story and suggest the story’s meaning or theme.
  2. The cover must also grab the attention of a casual book searcher.
  3. A title must describe the contents while being so piercing and articulate that readers will take notice.

Recently, I rebranded three previously published individual titles into a series. I considered coming up with new titles for each book, but each book already had an ISBN and the content was not changing. It wasn’t necessary.

Instead, I used a branding tagline or blurb (below) and a graphic — the ribbon — to link the books.

PROMISES series 

Two men and one woman met at Eighth Army Headquarters, South Korea in the turbulent Vietnam War years and found their lives linked together forever. The PROMISES series tells their stories through the decades that follow.

In making my decision, I examined my titles based on the expert’s criteria.

  • Book 1 is Love in the Morning Calm, Prequel to the Pendant’s Promise.

With love in the title, a reader gets the story will be a love story. The picture of Headquarters, Eighth Army identifies the setting as a military. A knowledgeable reader may also recognize that another name for South Korea is Land of the Morning Calm.

Conclusion: I may have I tried too hard.

  • Book 2 The Pendant’s Promise

The cover design with the Pendant, the Vietnam Wall, and the word promise signal another love story. I love this cover because my very talented daughter designed it. With the rebranding, my current graphic designer, Jim Peto at Petoweb.com, enhanced the graphics.

Conclusion: The title and the cover artwork make a reader notice.

 

  • Book 3 Until He Returns

The old Army green color clues a reader of the setting and time frame. The title suggests whoever needs to return is in the military. (Those who have read the first two books will know the character has been MIA since book 1.) Close examination reveals the character’s name on the dog tags.

Conclusion: Unsure whether this title hits the mark the mark or not. While the dog tags are clearly visible on the paperback cover, the tags are not readable on the eBook thumbprint.

 

  • Book 4 Promises to Keep

This is the final book of the series, which will be out next month. The title ties back to the second book’s title and the series title. The couple clues the reader it’s another love story. The sunset background suggests the end of the day and the last of series.

Conclusion: It synthesizes the story and suggests the story’s theme.

 

Overall, I give myself a generally good grade for my titles. What say you?

Should you want to read any of the books, simply click on the buy links on the sidebar. The buy link for book 4 will be added next month.

26 02, 2018

Happy Blogiversary!

By |2018-02-02T09:54:28-06:00February 26th, 2018|A Writer's Life, Make Me Think Monday, Writer's Life|0 Comments

Anniversaries mark accomplishments and are fun to commemorate. This month I celebrate my blogiversary.

On February 24, 2012, I published my first blog with WordPress.com. You can read that very first blog, here.

My original plan was to blog every day. I quickly discovered creating a daily blog took time from my fiction writing.

That goal gradually evolved into two times a week for me and once a week for my daughter aka Chicken Wrangler Sara who blogs every Friday about Life on the Miller Farm.

Guest bloggers also contribute periodically.

When WordPress.com hosted the blog, I received yearly stats on my blogiversary. I switched to hosting the blog on my own website and don’t have such accurate accounting. I get stats, not cumulative data. But, over the years, I’ve posted hundreds of blogs and had thousands of views, followers, and subscribers.

By the way, it’s easy to subscribe and have the blog appear in your inbox. Simply, go to the home page and enter your email address in the box on the right sidebar.

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I cherish your comments. We respond to every one. We attributed our blog success directly to you readers. As a special thank you, we’re offering a FREE Kindle or paperback copy Love in the Morning Calm to one lucky commenter today.

Blurb for Love in the Morning Calm:

In 1966, while on temporary assignment to South Korea, Green Beret Major Alex (Ace) Cabot meets Lily Reed, a Department of Army civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters. Alex is a high-potential career officer, who should resist the temptation of any woman, but he can’t ignore his interest in her.

Lily is a firm supporter of the budding women’s lib movement. She enjoys her freedom and new life away from her stifling hometown. Her plans leave no room for any man. No matter how captivating his smile.

In an uncertain time, in a temporary safe zone, yielding to temptation changes both their lives forever.

Love in the Morning Calm is Book 1 of my newly created Promises Series, which consists of three published novels grouped into a continuous story of two men and one woman who met at Eighth Army Headquarters, Yongsan, South Korea in the sixties. Each sequel is a standalone novel that chronicles their stories from the turbulent Vietnam War years through the decades that follow.

The book winner will be drawn on Monday, March 2 and notified by email so be sure you include an email contact with your comment.

Thanks for visiting the front porch. We hope to stop by often.

9 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

By |2015-11-07T11:24:50-06:00November 9th, 2015|Holidays|2 Comments

This Wednesday we honor all veterans. I come from a family of veterans which means I have a deep-rooted interest in the day.

My husband is a retired Army officer. My father served in the Army Air Corps as a bombardier. My uncle was a Marine on Imo Jima. My son-in-law served in the Coast Guard. For one tour, I was a Department of Army Civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters, Yongsan, South Korea.

This year  I’m celebrating with a sale on my two military romances:V-Day sale Read here to learn the story behind the story and how personal experiences play into the fictional romance of Lily and Alex.

And, click on one of the following links to purchase the books and read the whole story.

cover for JABBIC MorningCalm_7 (2)Kindle

Nook

Kobo

iBook

TPP 1200x1800 Kindle

Nook

Kobo

iBook

 

To all those who have answered when called, gone where ordered, and defended our nation with honor, I send a sincere thank you.

5 08, 2013

Beyond and Behind the Story – Love in the Morning Calm

By |2013-08-05T05:48:12-05:00August 5th, 2013|Beyond and Behind the Story|2 Comments

Research and details in a book can make a major difference in a reader’s pleasure.

That’s why in Love in the Morning Calm and The Pendant’s Promise I include details selected from my time in South Korea.

Lily’s apartment is where we lived in U.N. Village.

UN Village4 I walked the same roads that she walked to catch the bus to Eighth Army Headquarters. UN Village6

We got so used to the train whistle we didn’t even hear it.

train on track2These pictures stir memories for me and I hope give you a good idea of where Lily lived. If you’ve read Love in the Morning Calm, is it like your mental picture?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A gold dress also plays an important role in both books. I got the idea for those scenes from my own experience having a gold dress made to wear to the reception President Park Chung Hee and his wife gave for President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson. Here’s what my dress looked like. Is it what you pictured Lily wearing?

There’s a carved Papasan in both stories. I brought back several carvings from South Korea to remind us of our time in Han Nam Dong.???????????????????????????????That’s the Papasan third from the left. When we lived in Seoul, Papasan meant a title used to address elderly men. The term has come to be used for pimps or a  person who manages a bar or a brothel or a similar establishment. The kindly men in the white suits we met didn’t do any of that!

You’ll find I used others places we went during our time in South Korea and developed scenes around them. Places like Chungpyung Reservoir. I can still remember our picnic on the hood of the motor pool jeep with the sound of the roaring dam behind us. Ace and Lily picnicked there too.409284034_Chungpyung Dam

I hope these glimpses of South Korea when I was there enhance your reading of Lily and Ace’s love story. Or make you want to read.

It should also demonstrate how writers use their personal experiences in creating their fictional stories.

MorningCalm_6 for webpgs

In 1966, while on temporary assignment to South Korea, Green Beret Major Ace Cabot meets Lily Reed, a Department of Army civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters. Ace is a high-potential career officer, who should resist the temptation of any woman, but he can’t ignore his interest in her.

Lily is a firm supporter of the budding women’s lib movement. She enjoys her freedom and new life away from her stifling hometown. Her plans leave no room for any man. No matter how captivating his smile.

In an uncertain time, in a temporary safe zone, yielding to temptation changes both their lives forever.

Available for Kindle     Nook    Apple iBook/iPad  and   Smashwords for PDF, Diesel, or Kobo

books_pendant

For twenty years, Lily Johnson’s life, albeit a life of lies, has been good. Then her daughter falls in love and trouble abounds.

The young man her daughter plans to marry is the godson of her daughter’s biological father. A Green Beret Lily thought died in Vietnam.

When they meet him face-to-face, the years melt away and old passion returns, but Lily’s convinced revealing the truth could mean losing her daughter and the only man she’s ever loved. He believes Lily betrayed her promise to wait.

Is the flame of love strong enough to be re-ignited, or, is it too late?

Available for Kindle  Apple iBook/iPad   Nook     Smashwords for PDF, Diesel, or Kobo and in Paperback

10 07, 2013

ONE WORD WEDNESDAY – Finished!

By |2019-01-08T21:21:25-06:00July 10th, 2013|one word Wednesday|1 Comment

hemingway quote on finishing

All I can add to Hemmingway’s quote is AHEM!

I finished the prequel to my debut novel, The Pendant’s Promise last spring. The sense of relief – wonderful. The shout of hallelujah probably heard round the world.

Then my publisher took over. I waited to see my FINISHED baby released to readers.

Somewhere in the midst of all the smoke and fire that has consumed our lives these last few weeks, that release happened.

Caught up in that living fire story, I didn’t get to promote the much anticipated release day.

Today I’m spreading the word…

LOVE IN THE MORNING CALM, Prequel to The Pendant’s Promise is now available.

MorningCalm_7_dUse these links to get your copy.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/186U8IG

Apple: http://bit.ly/188Ob1n

Nook: http://bit.ly/10MYQJC

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/14ITsaW

If you’re wondering why the prequel comes after the story, you’ll find the answer in a blog soon!

28 01, 2013

The book’s finished so why am I sad?

By |2013-01-28T09:51:39-06:00January 28th, 2013|Monday Motivations|17 Comments

I finished Love in the Morning Calm, the prequel to The Pendant’s Promise and turned the manuscript over to the editor. 

MorningCalm_6 for webpgs

Now I’m sad.

I know I should be happy. IT’S FINISHED.

There is a sense of relief and exhaustion considering the amount of energy and focus required to “birth” this particular novel. I’ve been working on Lily and Alex’s love story for years.

My very wise book editor suggested I split the original manuscript into two books, which added a year to the writing process, but keeping the tale as one book would have made James A. Michener’s multi-generational works look like short stories.

Really, I am excited that I’m finished.

Except for this lonely feeling that keeps creeping in–sort of like postpartum blues.

Sigh.

I found comfort in knowing I had Lily and Alex’s romance to resume every morning and think about at night.

I already miss the arguments trying to persuade them to follow my outline. Then sometimes settling for something close to what I planned, but perhaps better and more interesting.

Other authors have shared that they experience the same sluggishness, a lack of motivation, and energy when they finish a book. I know my feelings will subside. Lily and Alex have, after all, found their happily ever after.

It’s time to do the next thing — start a new manuscript. I began that process this weekend.

I’m looking at two quotes as the new story’s theme. One fromTruth About Forever a Sarah Dessen novel: “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

 The other from Lao Tzu: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Once my new friends, Darcy and Andrew, and I have done that dance of the first 50 or 60 pages they’ll begin to talk to me then my real work will begin.

I can truly bid Lily and Ace farewell.

YOUR TURN:  Do you get the postpartum blues when you finish a book? What do you do about it when you do?