Tag Archive | authors

“Cove Soup”


It’s a new year. Spring is on its way…though the weather here in Georgia has been…erratic. My daughter and I have been sick with upper respiratory since Thanksgiving. I was even pretty close to deaf for a month and a half.

But now we’re well-er.

It’s time to get back to work. It’s so hard to put your all into your work when you feel like you just want to stay in bed. Add that to this being Courtney’s last semester of college and all that goes with that, and her last magazine and all that goes with that, I’ve been in the car a LOT.

So, again, it’s time to get back to work.

As writers, we get to play creator. We build our characters, their lives, their worlds, and of course, something of ourselves–or someone we know–seeps into their personalities. But their worlds are a little more difficult.

We can sit still and look out our window and create from that, or travel a bit and set it somewhere we find interesting. But what happens if what we see isn’t what’s in our imagination. Unless we’re writing Fantasy or SciFy, or we’ve “seen” our character’s world in some tv show, movie, etc. making up the world can be a bit less than realistic.

This is what I’ve run into while trying to build Moonlight Cove, the mountain village where I’ve set my new contemporary series, Happily Ever After. I could see the village. I kind of knew where it would need to be–I knew I’d even seen bits of pieces of it before, but I had no idea where it was.

So, I began making soup.

Have you ever made soup on a cold, wet and blustery day? I’m not talking about opening a can of Campbell’s or adding meat to Soup Starter, but real soup–the kind where you start grabbing things out of the fridge and pantry and putting together a hearty, rich, bubbly pot of soup. The kind you eat with crusty bread and homemade parmesan crisps and drink Southern iced tea so sweet it makes your hair curl.

Well, that’s how Moonlight Cove was born. I took photos and film snippets that I’d taken on day trips around North Georgia and spliced them all together to create my “Cove Soup.”

Moonlight Cove is a make believe village nestled in North Georgia. The town limits run along a five mile stretch of divided highway, split by a white water stretch of river. A couple bridges cross the river to connect the two halves of the town built at the bases and up the sides of two mountains, Us Mountain and Them Mountain.

The people of the Cove live together as family, and like most families, they have squabbles, and friendships, and secrets, love each other and will fight fiercely for each other. Moonlight Cove is a strong and protective member of this family.

SOMETHING BORROWED,  book one of the HEA series comes out from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. and Amazon.com on March 12, 2016. I hope you find yourselves deliciously lost in the Cove like I’ve been while writing.

Join us and be part of the soup…

 

Author Interview seventh question


And the last, best, and most visual question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Referring to either your most recent book release, or your current WIP, if you were to cast your characters, what actors would portray them? Tell us about the character, and why the actor/actress fits.

ROFL…my poor writers’ group members will tell you that I drive them nuts, not only casting my own characters, but almost forcing them to cast their stories as well. When I’m writing a story, I may cast someone by looks alone, or perhaps I’ll see him/her in a role that screamed my own. Often though, by the time you finish your story, that casted actor may be too old, may be starring in something else where you say, “What was I thinking??” I tend to cast because of movements or attitude. It always helps to SEE your character in motion, catch tics, mannerisms, even the speech patterns. That does not, however, mean if they have a southern accent, you can’t force them to use an Irish one. Also, sometimes I cast people from photos that fit, even though I may not have any idea who they are. I give you the cast of my latest release, Kate’s House.

Anson Mount as Ian Stuart(WITH the beard, his dimples drive me nuts. LOL)

Hair model as Kate

Skyler Samuels as Crysta

Colin Ford as Liam

Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Livvy

Jasika Nicole as Reggie

Blake Michael as Rocky Lando

Maria Cesaria Cordel Encantado as Jannette

Miss Cicely Tyson as Nannette

Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.'s photo.
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Author Interview sixth question


Next question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

TIME!!!! Before my children, I worked a sixty hour job as the manager of a needlework shop, as well as often taught classes on Saturday. After my daughter was born, I worked that same job and those same hours, and took her along with me. Six months later, my husband gave me the Stay-at-Home-Mom status. I did custom work and antique needlework restoration for various historical societies, even through my daughter’s illness and recovery, until she started college. She’s about to graduate with her third degree, despite not being confident enough to drive–just call me James. LOL So, through all that, I’ve managed to sneak in a little writing at a time. Most times I’m working on several stories at a time. It works.

Author Interview fifth question


Fifth question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Pick five words to describe your writing style/voice… then tell us why you chose each word.

Irreverent–I’ve never been one to back down or believe or not believe something simply because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I draw characters who are the same way–be they children or old ghosts. Every character I create has at their core some belief system and they always follow it–good or ill. Which brings me to…

Emotional– All my stories are built around the character’s emotions. Their belief systems often drag them along from chapter to chapter and decide how they’ll react to whatever situation or other character they encounter. They will defend the things they think are important to the exclusion of many other “supposed to be important” things, and the resulting feelings–happy, sad, terrifying, and exhilarating–build the stories. This very often will include the emotions in the settings as well. I met an old lady once who smoked a cigar and drank moonshine. She was the most irreverent and the most fascinating woman I ever met. And that brings me to…

Lighthearted–In the immortal words from Legend, “there can be no good without evil….No love without hate….No heaven without hell….No light without darkness.” I take it a little further–“there can be no sorrow without happiness…not pain without humor” or you dissolve. Which brings me to…

Honest–While I adore fantasy, fairy tales and make believe, I can’t stand things or people who don’t ring true. I try very hard to make my characters breathe. I want them to walk off my pages, take my readers’ hands and pull them into the stories.

Southern–I am southern. I’ve lived in Delaware and Michigan, and still I came out southern. I lived in Florida and even though it’s south of Georgia, only certain parts of the state are really southern. Ninety percent of my characters are southern. Most bleed Georgia red clay, buttermilk and cornbread. There will be “sayings”. There will be accents–if not of the tongue, surely of the heart.

Author Interview third question


Third question for Author, Sheryl Hames TorresHow did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you? Tell us why you love writing in whatever genre you consider your favorite (if you write in different genres).

I write romance, pure and simple, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only genre I play with. I believe in love. Love between a man and woman, parent and child, best friends. I’m a diehard believer in love. Without it, everything would be clinical but it wouldn’t matter because no one would be here to enjoy it. So whether I’m writing paranormal, or suspense, or whatever, there will ALWAYS be love of one kind or another involved, romance of some sort, but NOT the “okay, there’s a lull, let’s jump the main character so there’s a break in the tension” romance. When I read something like that, I see the romantic almost-scene from the 1990 film, The First Power, and giggle. “Logan, what are you doing?”

Author Interview second question


Second question for Author, Sheryl Hames Torres: Are you a full-out plotter? Are you a “let’s see what happens” pantser? Or do you think you fall somewhere in between? Describe your process in coming up with and executing a story idea.

Oh mercy, I’m a steadfast plotter! Before I start a new story, I spend months making a story file, complete with setting photos, casting photos, histories for each main character and some of the secondary characters. I have descriptions of every character right down to the quirks and mannerisms, and I know where all the moles are hidden. I have dates and family trees. If I create a town, I have several pages of history, historical figures and landmarks. Then I go into math mode–I will figure out how long I want the book to be, how many words, chapters, pages in each chapter, and what scenes are most important–and even write a few in advance to be fitted in when I get to their homes. Once I have all that done, I will take whatever I have jotted the original idea on–a napkin, back of a grocery list or receipt, even in tiny letters on the back of a fortune from a fortune cookie– and flesh out the story.

Update and Review for ILLUSIONS from Desert Breeze Publishing now available at Amazon.com


IllusionsCoverArt72dpiNow up for voting in Cover Wars at http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/  ~~ Please register and vote daily October 11-17!

Seventeen years ago, Lily had the perfect life — loving parents and grandparents, a best friend and a boy she thought loved her. An explosion and a disastrous decision blew it all away.

She endures her estranged husband’s brutality in order to protect her six children and paraplegic grandmother, hiding her bruises and terror as best she can. Her family will be safe, even if it means shrinking their world into a very small space.

Alex has been trying to figure Lily out since he returned to town. His teaching job has not only allowed him to get to know her kids as he floats from school to school teaching them music, it’s given him a reason to reconnect with Lily.

However, the new persona he created is all she sees. In her eyes, the boy he was has ceased to exist. Will Alex’s love save or destroy her family?

Excerpt~~

“I’m sorry, Lily.”

She searched his face, and he didn’t buckle under her scrutiny. There was something about those eyes, something that grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. Something that made her feel safe and weak all at once.

“For what exactly? For my marrying the wrong man or for having the power to make me tell you things I refuse to tell anyone else?”

“Both, I guess.”

“You are a puzzle, Alex Anderson.”

“Not at all. My agenda is clear.”

She shivered. Her breath came in gasps as he leaned closer to her, and her heart beat out of control.

“Aren’t you going to ask me what that agenda is?”

“I’m not sure I want to know,” she whispered.

He surprised her by sitting up straight and offering her a wide smile. “You make very good tea.”

“You think I’m a coward?” She stared at her hands. There were tears in her voice, and she felt ashamed.

“Oh, no, Lily.” He put his glass down on the island, stood, and moved to stand in front of her. Sliding his hands along the side of her face, she felt his warmth flowing into her. Putting pressure on her chin with the pads of his thumbs, he raised her eyes to his. “You’re the bravest woman I’ve ever known.”

She scoffed. “You don’t have a clue what kind of woman I am.”

“You’re wrong.” The sudden pain in his eyes shocked her to her very core, and the need to comfort him was jarring. His voice when he continued was gentle, quiet, and intense. “I know you. I always have.”

With those words, he placed a gentle kiss on her forehead, soft, non-threatening, comforting and strengthening. Her eyes followed him as he picked up his glass, walked to the sink, rinsed it out, then headed to the door. As he opened the door, he slipped the lock on the doorknob.

“Get some rest. I’ll see you Monday.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

Lily remained frozen in her chair despite a devastating urge to run after him and beg him to stay. What was it about this man that made her feel so secure? By all rights and purposes, she’d only really met him this afternoon. He was a virtual stranger.

And why didn’t she send him away? After all, once he found out all the truths in her life, he’d leave anyway.

 

Review~~

Five our of Five Stars: A gut-wrenching, yet delightful read!

By Nancy C. Lepri on July 21, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Lily Cabot is raising six lovable, well-behaved children while keeping Peter, her abusive ex at bay. She fearful of him, and her kids hold him in contempt, also, wanting no part of him.

Living with her wheelchair-bound grandmother and caring for the needs of seven, not to mention herself, Lily is selfless and strong, determined to create a happy family environment.

The young man she once loved, Zandie Anderson is but a memory, though she still has a soft spot for him in her heart. If only, she thinks…but if only never happened, so she deals with the cards she’s been dealt. Not only deals with them, but does an excellent job, too. She encounters many stumbling blocks, though they do not deter her determination for a better life for her young ones.

Zandie, now going by Alex, teaches music for the local school system. His appearance is very different from the Zandie Lily once adored. He offers lessons to her children–drawn to the rowdy, but lovable brood–though more so to the girl he still loves. Attracted to him, Lily perceives something familiar in him, but cannot discern what, for he is not recognizable from the boy she had known. However, a relationship is impossible. She has her young ones and grandmother to care for, and her worry of reprisals from Peter keeps her from enjoying a life of her own.

Can Lily ever escape the bonds that bind her and find the true love she deserves, or will she continue to live in fear?

Ms. Hames Torres pens her novel with flair and wit. Though tackling the difficult subject of domestic violence, her protagonist proves to be a tough, independent woman who is doing an extraordinary job raising her six precocious kids while living with her grandmother, a feisty individual in her own right. Humor mixed with the issue of brutality offers a light-hearted, delightful read plus the anticipation of more in this same tone from this author.