A Royal Engagement Lesson #2: A Queen Should Be In Top Physical Shape

© Antonio Guillem | Dreamstime.com

© Antonio Guillem | Dreamstime.com

From the diary of Ann Kerwin (heroine in A Royal Engagement):

Okay, so I’m not at all excited about this prospect of being the queen.  Queens can face danger at every turn.  You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.  I was minding my own business, going to college and all, when Hathor came to get me.  I didn’t ask to be the queen of Raz.  He just told me I was going to be one and whisked me away from Earth.  And what has it been ever since?  Dodging one life threatening situation after another.  There was the crazy cave on planet Red then the dragon on planet Forestaria.  But I have to say dodging bullets on planet Pale took the cake.  That’s been the worst by far, and as you can see, I’m not in any shape for this kind of thing.  (By the way, the Zeus mentioned below is the god from Greek mythology.)


“Follow me,” Zeus said.

He didn’t need to tell her twice! She bolted with him across the open field, if white sand could be considered a field. Behind them, the guards were shooting at her, and for reasons she couldn’t explain, she managed to dodge each bullet. Either they were lousy shots or she was incredibly lucky. Whatever the case, she wasn’t going to complain.

By the time they reached the nearest building, she thought she was going to pass out. No wonder she didn’t do so hot in gym class. She wasn’t cut out for this kind of thing. When they got into the building, Zeus locked the door and she collapsed against it.

She glanced at Zeus and saw that he was breathing normally. No one would guess he’d just been in the same perilous race that she had been in. He hadn’t even broken into a sweat! She told herself it was because he was immortal, but that did little to make her feel better. She was supposed to be the queen of Raz. Surely, the queen should be able to manage a run across a vacant field while nearly being shot without feeling like she was going to pass out.


In case anyone missed it last time, here’s where you can get A Royal Engagement on preorder:

a royal engagement ebook cover


Barnes & Noble


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A Post for New Writers: Starting With An Idea

Someone asked me if I would do some blog posts on writing. Since some people who read my books have told me they are either thinking of writing or are in the process of writing their own books, I though this topic might interest enough people to make it worth making a series of blog posts.

Photo Once Upon a Time Pen Ink - © Clarsen55 | Dreamstime.com

Photo Once Upon a Time Pen Ink – © Clarsen55 | Dreamstime.com

So you have an idea for a story.  Where do you go from there?

1.  Expand your idea to get a better feel for the story that is developing.

Start looking into possible scenarios that could develop in your story.  This is a brainstorming session.  Everything is on the table.  Ask lots of questions.  Let your imagination run wild.  If you write them all down, you won’t forget them later, but there are times when no pen is handy (like if you’re driving on the interstate).  So what I try to do in these situations is play the idea out as a movie in my mind to help me remember it.

Let’s say this is my idea: I want to write a story about a married couple who are seriously thinking about getting a divorce, but they hesitate to because of their daughter.

From there you brainstorm smaller ideas to go with this main one.  Like this: Perhaps, the husband is a work-a-holic, and the wife feels neglected.  Maybe she was tempted to cheat but didn’t, but maybe he believes she did.  (Why?  That would have to be developed in the story.)  So at the moment, they’re separated as they try to figure out what to do.

Okay, so you have a few ideas.  These ideas are not set in stone, and you don’t have to have all the answers to all your questions.  It’s actually good if you don’t because these ideas may change as you write the book.  What this does is gives you a brief sketch of what you’re working with.

2.  The next thing you want to do is pick a beginning point.

What will your opening scene be?  I suggest actually writing the beginning scene out.  It doesn’t have to be complete.  It doesn’t have to be completely fleshed out.  All you’re doing it getting an summary of what happens.  It should be at least a few hundred words long so you get a good grasp for it.

The reason for this summary is to help you set the tone for the rest of the book, and from it, you might come up with other ideas you hadn’t considered before.

For example, let’s use my idea.  I’ve decided the husband is going to be driving in the rain on a deserted winding road.  He has to periodically slow down because of the storm, and there is an occasional lightning bolt in the sky and thunder rumbling, which makes him jump.  He’s running late from a business meeting, but he is in a hurry. He’s on his way to pick up his daughter who has been staying at a friend’s house.  He will have her stay with him for the weekend.  He’s anxious because he’s running late, and he feels guilty, even though it wasn’t his fault the meeting ran late.   When he gets to the house, he doesn’t see any of the lights on, and it looks as if no one has lived in it for years.  He pulls out his phone to make sure he got the right address.  He did.  Since no other houses are on the road, he gets out of the car and ignores the rain as he goes to the front door.  He knocks on it, the door opens, and we fade out.  The next scene will be with the wife.  (Yep, I cut the scene off intentionally to make the reader want to keep reading to find out what will happen to him.)

3.  Now pick an ending.  This can be vague.

In romance, you know the ending.  The hero and heroine end up together.  This is a must for romance readers. If the story doesn’t have a happy ending, it’s a love story.  It is not a romance.  I specify this only because there seems to be some confusion among writers unfamiliar with the genre.  Do not classify your love story as a romance unless it has a happy ending where the hero and heroine end up together.  Anything else will piss off your audience.

In other genres, you can have a happy or sad ending.  There might even be some twist at the end that the reader doesn’t expect.

At this point, your ending might read something like this: The heroine finally has the long awaited baby.  Or this: our team of heroes defeat the bad guy and save the day.  Or maybe even this: I don’t know, but I want it to be a happy one.

Something should be in mind to give you a direction to aim for while you write the story.


Next time, I’ll continue on with taking your story idea and picking the appropriate genre for it.

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Upcoming Posts for New Writers

Here’s the list of posts I’ve drafted so far.  If anyone can think of anything to add, please let me know.  These are for new writers, either never been published or new to publishing.  I am not going into marketing and book promotion.  This is more about writing the story.

I will start posting these later this week, and I’ll post one a week.

1.  Starting with an Idea

2.  Picking your Genre

3.  Backstory

3.  Point of View

4.  Characters are the Heart of the Story

5.  Your Setting (aka World) – The Character is Always Key

6.  If The Scene Doesn’t Add to the Story, Throw It Out

7.  What if You Get Stuck

8.  What to Do If You Don’t Know What Comes Next (this does piggyback off the one above)

9.  There is No Perfect Time to Write so Write Today

10.  What if You Never Finish a Story?

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My Writing, Editing, and Publishing Schedule up to March 2015

Last week, I spent considerable time and attention to getting preorders established on iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  (This is not available for me on Amazon, Flipkart, or other sites.)  I’ll be posting links to preorders soon.

Below is the list of books coming out and when I’ll be working on them.  The most frequent question I get is what I’m working on (and when) and when the books will be available, so I wanted to get this list up on this blog. :)


A Royal Engagement – To Be Published on September 28

a royal engagement ebook cover

Editing – Now

Polished Version Turned in by August 15


Just Good Friends – To Be Published on October 12

Just Good Friends

First Draft Done

Editing – August 1-30

Polished Draft Turned in by August 31


His Convenient Wife – To Be Published on November 16

His Convenient Wife ebook cover

Writing right now

First Draft Done – August 31

Editing – September 1-28

Polished Version Done – September 30


Love Lessons With The Duke – To Be Published on January 3

Love Lessons with the Duke

Writing – September 1 – 21

First Draft Done by September 30

Editing – October 1 to October 31

Polished Version Done by November 15


A Groom’s Promise – an anthology (Publishing Date Unknown)*

Cover Coming Soon

Writing – October 1-20

First Draft Done by October 31

Editing – whenever Janet Syas Nitsick is done with her book

*Publication Depends on when this anthology is done and the publisher is ready to publish it.


Royal Hearts – To Be Published on March 21

royal hearts ebook cover

Writing – November 1-20

First draft done by – December 1

Editing – January 1-31

Polished Version Done by February 15


Shane’s Deal – Due out in February or March*

*Publisher Decides The Exact Date

shane's deal ebook cover

Writing – December 1-20

First Draft Done by – December 31

Editing – January 1-30


To Be Determined

TheRancher'sWife ebook cover

Not sure what is going on with this one, so I’m holding off on saying anything about it until I know.

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