Free signed copy of Crimson Secret!

  • As we near the July 15 release of Crimson Secret, I’ve entered a Goodreads Giveaway! Ten lucky winners will get a signed print copy of Crimson Secret, 4th book in the #1 Amazon Bestselling series!  To enter, go to CRIMSON SECRET GIVEAWAY3DCrimsonSecret300x354

Tense with the treachery of medieval battle–colorful with the forgotten charms of a living bridge–and perilous when young lovers dare to pursue the forbidden.

Master bridge builder Luke Penry is a known traitor, committed to destroying Joya’s beloved Queen argaret so the Duke of York can rule. Like her noble family, Joya is deeply devoted to saving her and keeping King Henry VI on the throne. They’re both right, both wrong, both lost in the heat of unbridled passion and growing uncertainties. It’s a dance of imperiled love amid the War of the Roses, and time is running out to reveal their true loyalties.

“…political intrigue with a hard-won romance along for the ride. Recommended for fans of star-crossed lovers. –Library Journal

“A freshly imagined setting filled with intrigue and passion–loved it!” –USA Today Bestselling Author Cassie Miles

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Countdown and giveaway! Crimson Secret releases July 15!

The excitement mounts! I just received notice of The Library Journal’s review of Crimson Secret!                  “Political intrigue with a hard-won romance along for the ride. Recommended for fans of star-crossed lovers.”3DCrimsonSecret300x354

And from USA Today Bestselling Author Cassie Miles: “A freshly imagined setting filled with intrigue and passion — loved it!”

#1 Amazon Bestselling Author Peggy Waide says, “Romance, intrigue and lush historical details. Crimson Secret has it all.”

This is my first novel released as both an eBook and a paperback novel, which just adds to the fun.  Finally, those who prefer a print copy will have that option.

It’s the fourth book in the international award-winning, #1 Amazon bestselling Coin Forest series.

Master bridge builder Lord Penry is a known traitor, committed to destroying Joya’s beloved queen so the Duke of York can rule. Like her noble family, Joya is deeply devoted to saving her and keeping King Henry VI on the throne. They’re both right, both wrong, both lost in the heat of unbridled passion and growing uncertainties. It’s a dance of imperiled love amid the War of the Roses, and time is running out to reveal their true loyalties.

Also, I’m running a giveaway on Goodreads, so you can get it for free! As soon as they provide it, I’ll post the Goodreads icon so you can click on it to enter the giveaway. I’m providing ten free books, so the odds are in your favor!

If you’d like a guaranteed copy, Crimson Secret is available now for preorder on amazon.com

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers Day

 

 

Following my not-so-annual tradition, here’s my Mother’s Day poem for 2016!  I hope it brings some sunshine to you on this special day. It will delight me further if you share it with your special mother–birth mother, mother-in-law, stepmother, adopted mother, or your aunt, sister, daughter or friend.  Happy Mother’s Day!  –Janet Lane

                           Always My Mom

by Janet Lane

You are the tree

I am the limb

You are the house

I am the trim

You, Mom

You are the notes

I am the song

Your loving arms

 Help me along

You, Mom

You gave me love

Warm like the sun

Laughter and fun

Second to none

You, Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!

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CAPERS – do you know what they are?

They’re delish. You cook with them, but do you know what they are?

I wanted a quick, easy recipe for tilapia, and found a delightfully simple, quick one that included wine, salt and pepper, butter and parsley – that’s it! Just my kind of recipe, and the tilapia is pan-fried, also simple and quick. (Just turn off the heat before you add the parsley and capers in the last step.)Capers

As I returned the small jar of capers to the fridge, I wondered what a caper was, really.  Google to the rescue. I found splendidtable.org and learned from David Rosengarten that capers come from a plant called capparis spinosa, and that capers are actually a bud that grows on the plant every spring. Left to itself, it will produce the lovely purple flower shown here. After the flower’s done blooming, the plant produces a fruit called the caper berry.

The berry resembles an olive, has a similar taste, and David says it’s quite delicious. In Greece, the leaves of the plant are also used.

The caper plants are grown in the Mediterranean, Asia and Australia. And yes, they can be cultivated. If I lived in a warmer climate, I’d try it myself. What a delicious conversation piece!Caper Flower

What, you may ask, does this have to do with writing? It’s research, which I always enjoy; they’re delish, and one of my characters will likely be cooking with them.

Want to know more? Here’s the URL:  http://www.splendidtable.org/story/you-cook-with-capers-but-do-you-know-what-they-really-are

Wishing you a fragrant, delicious day!

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Do fiction readers have better social skills?

These guys must have recently read some good fiction novels!(Photo courtesy pixabay.com)

These guys must have recently read some good fiction novels!(Photo courtesy pixabay.com)

I read a fascinating research report from The Wall Street Journal on March 8th. According to a study published by Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, reading fiction can  improve one’s social skills or social cognition.

The Harvard University study involved 16 women and 10 men ages 19 to 26. They underwent MRI scans of their brains while reading excerpts from novels and magazines.

The fiction readers showed enhanced activities in regions associated with reading about people, and such enhanced activity was linked to higher scores on social cognition assessments.

This could explain why I love my fans, my book club discussion groups and writer conferences–because the people are so interesting.

You can read more about the study at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/377

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March 14, 2016 · 9:58 am

Ireland is calling me … and you

I will be teaching in Ireland this August when I team up with multi-published YA/Middle Grade author Dianne Salerni to present the “Character, Conflict and Stakes” conference. It will include private consultations and writing classes, with plenty of time for brainstorming plotting ideas.       Brochure Castle 2.3 in

These surprisingly affordable tours are unique in that they combine writing workshops with touring fascinating attractions in Ireland — a fourteenth century abbey, haunted castles, stone circles, mysterious lakes — it sounds too good to be true, but it is! I’m excited to see all these inspirational sights and share my tips with fellow writers. Something I love almost as much as writing is inspiring other writers to follow their hearts to create successful, award-winning stories.

This tour has been described as the perfect holiday or birthday gift. I first learned of it through Pam Nowak and Susan Spann. Pam attended the tour last year, and my writer’s soul screamed for me to attend with her, but I couldn’t. I so wanted to stow away in her suitcase. She was generous about sharing, though, and I saw photos of her touring days.  Pam will be presenting a June conference on Craft, Career and Publishing.

Susan, a publishing attorney, presented last year and posted several pictures that made me drool. You can see her post at http://www.susanspann.com/looking-for-a-writing-retreat-try-ireland-this-summer/

And now I’ve learned something equally as exciting: non-writers are welcome to attend, also! That means my husband can join me. He won’t be participating in the writer’s meetings, but he can enjoy the tours. He’s a golfer, so he’ll probably hit the links while we discuss plotting and characterization, then join us to see the forests and castles and abbeys. Here’s a general post from the tour organizers: http://www.theroadlesstraveledireland.com

If it works out, I’d love for you to join me for the writing, the sights, and the inspiration!

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To the best actress: a vampire breast lift

What the Oscars reveal about good writingOscar

As Oscar Night nears, I’ve been movie viewing. Two years ago I decided I had approached this awards night unprepared too many times. Movie after movie was highlighted and praised, and too often my viewed flicks were limited to Disney and Pixar.

Then our daughters left home and I found myself no longer watching any theater movies at all.

My new MO is to list the Best Picture nominees and see as many as I can before the show. My current tally: 6 viewed, 2 still on the list.

I started with The Revenant (Leonardo DiCaprio). A “revenant,” BTW, is someone who comes back from the dead. Based on the true story of frontiersman Hugh Glass, it’s the story of a man who, after being mauled by a bear, is stripped of his weapons and left to die in the wilderness by his friends.  Message for Novelists (MFN): Man Against Nature plots still work. Also, with an appropriate Author Note, the plotline of stories based on a true story can be massaged and altered to give a more complete character arc. (No spoilers, but after viewing the movie, look up the true story of Glass and see how they tweaked the ending.)

Next up was Bridge of Spies (Tom Hanks,  Stephen Spielberg).  With this talent, I knew it had to be good. Based on the true story of attorney James Donovan, which makes it even more incredible and appreciated. No tweaking with the story for arc’s sake—Donovan really was amazing. MFN: Look to this and similar true stories for inspiration, because they successfully define “hero.”

Then I saw Brooklyn (Saoirse Ronan) and fell in love with love. This is the romantic’s romance, a beautiful love story oozing with the charm, uncertainties and sacrifices of a bygone era. MFN: Love is timeless, and the movie reminds us that plotlines need not be complicated, convoluted or sensational to make a reader care, to make a reader cry.

The Big Short (Brad Pitt) surprised me. It tells the story of the banking industry’s collapse in 2008. From first glance, it seemed to be a distasteful topic. Who would want to revisit a flaming failure that left the middle class people bleeding, unemployed and homeless? MFN: The screenwriters triumphed with this by demonstrating that with care and creativity, a complicated story can be told in layman’s terms so everyone can understand it. I’ll still need to view it a few more times, just to absorb it all, but it’s a movie everyone with assets should see.

Spotlight (Michael Keaton) tells the story of the in-depth news team from The Boston Globe that broke the 2001 story of an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. I admire films that tell the story after the fact. Everyone enters the theatre knowing the ending, so the strength of the story has to lie in the story’s middle. This film is classified as a drama/thriller, and the creativity and strategy with which the team overcame obstacles to find the truth may inspire writers of mystery and intrigue.

Room (Brie Larson) is another inspirational survival story, but with a twist. Jacob Tremblay is magnificent, an outstanding new child star. Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue. MFN: a static setting is not at all boring when presented with a compelling character study and the bond of mother and child.  A memorable example of really getting into the skin of your characters. It’s definitely a book I’d like to read.

My journey continues as Oscar Night nears. Oh, and about the Vampire Breast Lift? It’s one of the gifts in the goodie bags that will be distributed to all the nominees. I’m sure the topic will be raised during the awards program.

What’s your pick for Best Film?

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