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Story Magic

It happens when you least expect it, usually days or weeks or months after you need it. Whether I’m reading a book or writing one, there’s a moment when the magic of the story hits me and I’m swept up into the lives of the people on the page.

While I was writing my upcoming indie release WEDDING FEVER, I experienced this marvelous phenonmenon. I started the story with a bang, but by the time I reached chapter four, I was mired in the boredom of my own story.

So I stopped.

I stared at the computer screen for a while, folded some laundry, vacuumed the house, then went web surfing. Meanwhile, our own Sharla Lovelace announced her—then upcoming—book THE REASON IS YOU.

So I read the blurb.

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

In the small river town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn’t stop the talk. Now, with her sixteen year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start. Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window.

Mischievous and sexy, Dani’s old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there’s a big obstacle standing in their way–Alex has been dead for forty years. With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip–both on her sanity and her heart.

Somewhere between “With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments…” and “…sparking conversations with her teenage daughter…”, a new character, fully formed, popped into my thoughts. One who brought my story alive. One who caused my heroine both happiness and grief. One who would ultimately reveal the secrets of the past and help my heroine find true love again.

(In case you’re wondering, my character is very different from Sharla’s Alex, except for the ghost part and the snarky part. :))

From that moment on, WEDDING FEVER wrote itself. I laughed, I cried, and when I typed the end, I knew I had found my story magic.

But then I finished the book and started a new one. And now I’m looking for some new magic.

Where will I find it? Under the fridge? Within the pages of a magazine? Or perhaps one day I’ll stumble across two phrases that when put together, work their wonderful and mysterious magic on my brain.

If you’re looking to kill a few minutes on the internet this Sunday, join me for the Bandit Creek release party for WEDDING FEVER. The link will be on my blog Sunday morning. I’ll be giving away three (3) copies of the ebook. Hope to see you there!

If you’re a writer, where do you find your story magic lurking? And if you’re a reader, what makes a story magical for you?

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Love, Ghosts, and Lizards… (don’t you just have to know?)

Hi!  I’m Sharla.

Welcome to our little world, where we love to talk about anything!  I am blessed to have found such an awesome group of women to sit around the table with.  Nothing like six creative women in one place.  🙂

Since it’s our debut week, I’ll tell you a little about what I write.  Next week could be all about the cockatiels in my backyard or what insane thing my teenage daughter did…because she’s at that alien stage, you know.  Sixteen…yeah, enough said.

I write what I call Romantic Women’s Fiction with light paranormal elements.  Whew…I know.  That’s a mouthful.  More about the woman’s journey with something in her life that’s jacking her around.  But there has to be a major romance…and there has to be something supernatural going on.  I’ve tried it without it, and the weird stuff keeps coming back in.   And I call it Paranormal Light (less filling!) because well—what do you think of when you hear “paranormal”?

Werewolves?  Witches?  Vampires? 

Yeah, I don’t do those.  I like them…but can’t write about them.   I’ll use TV shows to demonstrate the difference.  I love vampire shows like Vampire Diaries and Being Human.  But I don’t care for True Blood.  It’s too gory for me.  I love Haven for its mysterious mystical town, and the movie (and book) Practical Magic for its “no evil in the craft” witches.  

I love a love story.  But not just a love story.  What else is going on in the character’s life?  Does she have kids?  Does she have a secret—because I love secrets!!  And what if that secret is the bane of her existence…and what if it’s that she can see ghosts…and what if a certain hot ghost has been the love of her life that she can never have… and what if her daughter suddenly sprouts the same gift…

Okay, so you can see where my head goes.

I love magical mystical whimsy…  I love the tease of something just under the surface, but not quite clear so you have to keep digging to find the surprise.  Sometimes that surprise is finding out you have magical power, or the ability to see ghosts (can you tell I like that one?), or read someone’s mind.  Or sometimes it’s a house that subtly changes temperature with the moods of its inhabitants, or a pantry that seals itself when you want that midnight Twinkie fix.

I write light paranormal romantic women’s fiction because it encompasses everything I love in a story.  A woman’s journey to figure out something, search for something either physically or internally or both.  A romance—because who doesn’t love a little romance?  There’s always humor, because I can’t seem to keep my snarky sarcasm out of it.  And then there just has to be something odd in the mix.  That thing under the surface that you can’t quite put your finger on.   

My book, THE REASON IS YOU (April 2012, Berkley), is about a single mom with a teenage daughter, coming back to her home town to start over.  Which would be easier to swallow if the dead would quit chatting her up in public.  Feel free to click over on the Our Books tab to read more about it, and please keep coming back because you never know what we might be talking about!  Could be life-altering, and you’d miss it!  

Could be a picture of lizards doing the deed! 

You laugh, but I actually do have a picture of that.  It’s not all that.  I think they fell asleep.   🙂

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