Western Historical Romance
Date to be Published: 8/27/2013
U. S. Marshal Jamie MacLaren will do whatever he must to find people who have been abducted, then return them to their families. This includes the woman who betrayed him then disappeared from his life.
Victoria Wicklund has endured numerous obstacles since she left Fire Mountain. None as frightening as being the victim of a kidnapping. At least that is what she thought until Jamie MacLaren appeared to rescue her. He was older, just as handsome as she remembered, and as unforgiving as the Arizona sun in summer.
Neither expects the desire they shared many years before to still burn as strong as ever. Nor do they anticipate the accusations upon their return to Fire Mountain. Will Jamie seek revenge, turning his back on the only woman he ever loved? Can Victoria forgive herself enough to trust the one man who can help her?
I have been writing most of my life, but only recently began the transition into fiction. Historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and short stories are what keep me reading, so that is the focus of my writing.
I was born in California, grew up between a growing beach town and a small town at the base of the San Bernardino mountains. My mother originally planned to name me Katherine, but she read an article in the paper about a woman named Shirleen shortly before my birth, so instead of having a cool nickname, like Kate, I am simply Shirleen. My mainstays growing up were all the Nancy Drew mystery books; I loved them. Eventually I moved on to mysteries, suspense stories, crime novels, and romance. Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorites.
Besides California, life changes have allowed me to live in Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. Everywhere I have lived has been inspirational in one way or another, giving me the opportunity to meet remarkable people with their own stories to tell. I've sailed, skied, owned horses plus lots of other animals, and ridden various off-road vehicles. I enjoy dancing, fishing, hunting, being the back-seater on my husband's Harley, traveling and, of course, reading and writing.
Prior to transitioning to writing fiction, I worked for Fortune 500 and many smaller, start-up companies. Fortunately, I regained my sanity long enough to start my own consulting firm, which I still maintain today.
My husband and I spend most of our time at our main home in the mountains of Arizona and our second home in Southern California. Between us we have five boys with growing careers and families of their own.
So, from my perspective, my life is a success and always an adventure. I wouldn't change a thing; well, except finding more time to write.
I love hearing from readers, so please feel email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/shirleendavies
The Challenges of Writing a Series
Authors are an adaptable group. We write wherever we happen to be when inspiration hits, we change our personality to fit the character we are penning—an introverted author may become and extrovert through their writing, we write short stories and long tomes, and we pen stand-alone stories or plan out a series ranging from three to ten books or more. All writing presents challenges. For me, I encounter the most challenges when writing a series, such as the MacLarens of Fire Mountain.
Series creation requires the author to look toward the future and identify characters for books that may not be penned for months. The author builds a family or community where readers make a connection through the stories. Readers are encouraged to become a part of this community and get to know the inhabitants.
Most important, the author must create characters that readers like and want to follow over a long period of time. An author once told me that readers of romance inhale them like air—romance books aren’t a long-term commitment, but a short-term ‘story fix.’ This may or may not be true, but I do believe the opposite is true of romance books that are part of a series.
Characters in a series become a group of friends the reader relates to, commiserates with, and roots for. If written well, the reader is able to visualize themselves as a part of the community and not an outsider watching from afar.
The challenge for me is developing characters that are interesting, engaging, and project different personalities that complement the story and not detract from it. For book one, Tougher Than The Rest, I knew the oldest brother needed to have a stoic personality, a somber demeanor, and a no-nonsense approach to his responsibilities. He didn’t have the luxury of being anything else. The protagonist in book two, Faster Than The Rest, didn’t have the same accountabilities and could afford to be more of a rebel. Both characters appeal to me but in different ways, much like a family. At the same time, the women in their lives must fit into the family and not make the reader want to disengage from the series.
Even though I write both stand alone books and ongoing series, in the end, I much prefer writing a series. Why? Because I get to become a part of the family and experience their heartbreaks, troubles, and triumphs. And isn’t that what romance is about?
I’d love to read your comments about the difference between stand-alone or series books, or which you prefer to read.