Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Vonnie Davis!

Writer Wednesday welcomes my agency sista Vonnie Davis! I’m so excited to have her here and I can’t wait to share her with you. So, here she is!

Julie, thanks for having me on your lovely blog today. I’ve been looking forward to the visit. Before I start talking about my new release, I’d like to offer a few tips of encouragement to your readers. Don’t we all need encouragement from time to time? I know I do.

Keep Writing.

There’s wisdom to those two words. First, the more you write, the better you’ll become. Some things in life are rarely that simple, but this is.

Keep Writing.

You’re going to be rejected from time to time. This, too, is part and parcel of the writing profession.  When you get that rejection, thumb your nose at it and keep writing. I heard a speaker at a writers retreat give this excellent analogy. Grocery stores are loaded with shelves of bread—white, wheat, honey wheat, rye seeded, rye seedless, pumpernickel, double fiber and more. You, the customer, need a loaf of bread and reach for the type your diet and taste preferences require. Are you rejecting the others? No, but you can only use one loaf, so you only pluck one off the shelf.

Publishers only have one slot at a time to fill. They’re going to get scads of submissions. They’re going to pick the manuscript that meets their requirements and tastes. Are they rejecting you if they don’t pick you? Not really. They only had one slot and made a different choice. So, mutter under your breath or shout, “Damn their choice.” And…

Keep Writing.

While you’re writing, also take some online courses to improve your craft. I majored in English in college and retired as a technical writer. I knew how to write. What I didn’t know was the craft of writing. Savvy Authors is an excellent place to do this. For a low yearly fee ($30.), you can take as many workshops as you like. I belong to RWA and several of its chapters. As a member, I’m privy to a host of offered workshops. These range from $15-30 each. I’ve taken workshops on point of view, deep point of view, adding sensuality to your writing, character arc, internal and external conflict, and the hook. My writing has improved drastically.

Keep Writing.

Some days you’re not going to feel like writing. You’ve got too much to do. The house is a wreck. You’re sure one of the kids is buried under that pile of laundry. And you’re just not in the mood to face that blank computer screen. Take a couple days. Read. Enjoy life. But on the third or fourth day, set your bottom in the chair and kiss the computer keys with your fingertips.

Keep Writing.

Family and friends might scoff. “Oh, and how is the great American author today? Making any money off that little hobby yet?” Resist the urge to ask if he’s made any money playing golf or if she’s made any money hanging out at the mall. They have no clue. They don’t have a writer’s soul. YOU DO.

Keep Writing.

 

My debut contemporary romance was released on July 15th. Here’s the blurb for Storm’s Interlude:

Nurse Rachel Dennison comes to Texas determined to prepare her new patient for a second round of chemo. What she isn’t counting on is her patient’s twin brother, Storm Masterson. Despite her initial attraction, Storm has two things Rachel can’t abide: a domineering personality and a fiancée.

Half Native American, with the ability to have “vision dreams,” Storm dreams about Rachel for three nights before her arrival. Both are unprepared for the firestorm of emotions their first chance encounter ignites.

Ultimately, it is Rachel’s past—an abusive, maniacal ex-boyfriend—that threatens to keep them apart…and Storm’s dreams that bring them together again.

I got my first review—5 Stars—from Single Title Reviews on Monday. Forgive a moment of shameless bragging while I share the last paragraph of the review.

Loved every morsel of this story. Each chapter brought a smile to my face, the chemistry between Storm and Rachel is a barn burner. A compassionate story that takes a difficult subject and brings hope to a family struggling to figure out what will happen next. When they begin to live day to day, the love of each person in this story brings a warmness to every page. A wonderful book.

 

Excerpt set-up: Storm dearly loves his twin sister, Sunny, and her three-year-old boy, Sawyer. Rachel’s plan to build Sunny up physically worries Storm. He’d rather his sister stayed in bed. Rachel wants her out in the sun, enjoying life and getting some exercise. This scene takes place by the pool after Sunny swam her first lap across the narrow part of the pool.

 

After Sunny’s time in the pool playing with Sawyer, Storm came out onto the patio.  Gone were his relaxed features Rachel had seen earlier.

He hunkered in front of the child. “Want to ride with me for a while? We’ll go check on those new mustangs.”

“Yeah! Can I go wif Unkie Storm, Mommy?” The child was doing his happy dance.

“You’ll have to put on dry clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt.” Sunny was breathless as she collapsed onto a chaise lounge. “Whew, I’m tired.”

“You rest. I’ll get him dressed. Come on, partner.” Storm spared Rachel an irritated glance. “I hope you haven’t overextended my sister. She’s out of breath.”

“She just swam her first lap across the pool. Naturally, she’s out of breath.”

He grabbed Rachel’s arm and yanked her to him. “Laps? You have my sick sister swimming laps? Are you nuts?”

She winced at the pain. Her heart was beating like a bass beat on a rap song. She didn’t know if it was anger, fear or leftover desire from earlier this morning. Whichever, she didn’t like it. Her gaze went to his calloused hand squeezing her arm and then quickly swept to his hard, black eyes. “Kindly remove your hand.”

When it tightened, she glanced at Sawyer who had crawled onto his mother’s lap. For his sake, she whispered, “Not in front of the child.”

Storm’s dark eyes blinked twice and his grip loosened. He turned to his nephew. “Are you ready to get dry clothes on, buddy?”

“Are you being damned bossy to Wachel again?” Sawyer’s eyes were big as he cowered against his mommy.

“Sawyer Dalton Brentwood!” Sunny shook a finger at her son in admonition.

Storm hunkered down again in front of the boy. “It’s alright, sister. I was being damned bossy. Don’t growl at him.” He reached out to take Sawyer’s hand. The child pulled back. “I’m sorry if Unkie Storm scared you.”

“You haf’ta say ‘sowwy’ to Wachel.” Sawyer crawled off his mother’s lap and ran to Rachel, wrapping his little arms around her knees.

Storm stood and sighed, his hands on his hips. “You’re right, partner. Rachel, I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’ve always protected Sunny and, well, I’m just worried about her.”

“That’s okay.” When she had him alone, she’d tell him she didn’t like his grabbing her in anger. She’d tell him how she saw it as abuse. Not now in front of the child, but soon. She refused to put up with abuse from another man. One trip down that road had been enough.

“Now, kiss and make up.” Sunny beamed a mischievous smile.

Sawyer clapped his hands. “Yeah, Unkie Storm, kiss Wachel. I kissed her before. It was fun. Go ‘head. She don’t bite.”

Storm chuckled. “No, but I might.”

A duet of “Kiss her, kiss her,” erupted from Sunny and Sawyer.

Storm rolled his eyes and stepped closer.

Rachel shook her head. “No.”

He cupped her face in his hands, his eyes locked on hers and he lowered his head. Warm lips pressed a kiss to her forehead. She reached up and placed her hands on his forearms, torn between pushing him away and pulling him closer. He laid his forehead against hers. “I’m sorry I was so rough earlier.”

Perhaps now was the time to tell him how she felt, when he seemed open and receptive. “I don’t like abusive men. They frighten me. I avoid them at all costs.”

Storm went still, a muscle bunched in his cheek. His voice barely a whisper when he spoke, a whisper so sensually tender it spun a web of privacy around them as if they were the only two souls in the vast, beautiful hill country of Texas. “You think I could be abusive?” He stepped closer so their thighs touched. Her stomach fluttered in response.

Their eyes locked. Their breaths mingled. His one hand lightly stroked her neck. Warmth rushed through her. “Never, honey. Especially, never to you. I don’t abuse my animals and I don’t abuse women. God treasures both, and so do I.” He cupped her face. “I’m finding I treasure you.” His gaze swept to her open mouth. “Treasure you more than I have a right to, my sweet mouse.” He brought his mouth to hers and showed her how sweetly gentle and tender he could be.

“Wow, Unkie Storm, you kissed her a weally long time. You must be weally, weally sowwy.”

 

3 comments to Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Vonnie Davis!

  • Great blog Vonnie! I enjoyed your pep talk for writers! Currently, I am in the take a few days off category. Yes, the house was definitely a wreck!!!! Good luck with your new release! Sounds like a great story!

  • Julie, I’m late to this party today. Too much going on, plus I have an interview for a newpaper article this afternoon. Thanks for having me here on your lovely blog.

  • Krissy, thanks for stopping by. We all need a break now and then to re-enter the real world. This time away is good for us. Plus our subconscious works on our stories as we do other things. I get the best ideas in the shower, washing my hair or mopping my floors.

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