Telling Your Story: Cara Putman

Once upon a time there was a girl who desperately wanted to believe she was special. Unique. Loved. She had a family that loved her, but her heart cried for something deeper. As she grew she wondered if anyone could love the parts of her that were covered with warts. The parts that revealed how far she had to grow.

She learned to look perfect. Act perfect. Be perfect. Because in perfection she found a place of comfort. No one could question her…instead she won applause. But sometimes as the wind blew, she teetered on the pedestal and realized just how fragile her perch.

Her heart cried for connection. For the knowledge that she could be. Simply be.

Yet her life was one series of accomplishments. College at 16. Marriage to her Prince Charming at 21. Career. Law School. Children. Dreams come true all. Yet on and on the list…

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Showing Some Love at the New Blog

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A quick note and reminder that I will no longer be posting to this blog site and have moved to this one. And you won’t want to miss what’s happening over there!

This week I’m giving away 3 Love-ly prizes to help celebrate Week O’ Love. That’s right three prizes!! But you have to go to my new blog page to enter.

Also as an enticing incentive to thank you for transferring your LOVE to my new blog. I’m going to give you an extra entry when you follow my new blog. All you have to do is click on one of the highlighted links and it’ll take you over to my new blog. When you’re there, simply add your email to follow blog and leave a comment that says, “Hey, this blog is way better looking than your last blog!” (My friend Emilie will be so happy to hear you say this since she helped me design it-this compliment is really for her, hehe). And BOOM! You get an extra entry into the GIVEAWAY.

I’m so grateful for each of you and hope you’ll  joining me at my (wait for it ….) new blog!

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PS. Seriously, how many times can I add the link to my new blog? <<< Oh, wait, one more time!

I’m Moving!!

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That’s right! I’m moving on up …. or at least to another page. And to celebrate I’m hosting a fantastic GIVEAWAY!

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All you have to do is check out my new blog and enter for your chance to win a copy of both books in Thomas Locke’s new series, Legends of the Realm.

 

I’m so excited for this new adventure and it promises to be packed full of fun, new posts about my writing (yep, some big things happening!), traveling (tips, pictures, and warnings about why visiting a cemetary with another suspense writer is a bad idea), and recipes (because my teenagers always want dinner??). Oh, and I might mention a thing or two about what life is like as a military wife … after all, I write suspense stories that may or may not have my soldier asking me to change my name. You, know, OPSEC and stuff.

Anyway, it’s been great meeting y’all here and I hope you’ll join me at my new page. It’s easy to remember:

www.nataliewalterswriter.com

Just that easy!

 

Romantic Gestures: Heartwarming Thursday

My husband is the prince of romantic gestures. I, on the other hand, had to read a book on writing romance … that should tell you something! LOL. Is there something special you do for your spouse? What is something sweet they do for you that reminds you of just how loved you are?

Thoughts On Plot

by Jill Kemerer

My husband and I like to tease each other, and on more than one occasion he’s accused me of not being romantic. He’s even gone as far as to say, “Aren’t you the romance writer?”

What? Mwah, not romantic? How dare he!

CORSAGE Photo courtesy of Morguefile

Well, actually he has a point. We’ve been married for over twenty years. I’ll be the first to admit I get lazy in the romance department. I don’t want to take him for granted, but the non-stop rush of each day tends to sap the motivation out of me. Nothing sounds better than flipping through a magazine or playing a few rounds of Candy Crush after a long day.

Let’s face it, romantic gestures take effort. And sometimes they’re kind of scary. We wonder if they’re silly or will be appreciated. The expense, even a small amount, can feel not worth…

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10 Stress Knock-outs For The New Year

Elizabeth Van Tassel

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This week, while sitting in the tire store for my car, I felt the stress mounting. Sick friends in need, many commitments to juggle, my back speaking a bad note, so many things needing attention all at once. I realized I couldn’t help anyone else until I created a game-plan to handle it better myself. There may be a few surprises here that could help you, too. We’re going to take four weeks to put them into play, but here’s the highlights, with sections for yourself, for others, for fun, and for perspective.

For you:

1.Find a corner of light – Dwell someplace where you come first. Try to visit it a couple times per month or more and listen to the little voices inside that are encouraging change or affirming you, rather than those on constant critique.

2. Tackle the lurking monsters – Well, I’m the creative type but…

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How to Encourage (or Discourage) a Writer on Deadline By Deborah Raney

This is great advice!

Katherine's Chronicle

I triumphantly wrote THE END on a manuscript last summer, and here I am again on deadline. I came across a post I wrote (but never published) while I was on that squeaky tight deadline last summer. I’d been noting the things that enabled me to finally finish that first draft—along with the things that had not been quite so helpful, and thought I’d share a few of them with you.

After more than twenty years with deadlines, and almost that long with fellow writer friends who sometimes seem to be the only ones who “get it,” I fully understand that to the general non-writing public (including family and friends) writers are strange ducks. Unless you are also a writer, it’s almost impossible to make you understand the intensity of what is required to finish a novel. 

Writers must “live” in the story for weeks and even months on end. We must “become”…

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Interview with Nadine Brandes

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I’m very excited to have the opportunity to interview award-winning author, Nadine Brandes. The last couple of weeks I’ve been helping to promote her newest release in the Out of Time series, A Time to Speak, a novel of superior-standing that rivals best-selling and blockbuster hits of the dystopian genre.

Nadine-Brandes-Head-Shot-295x300There have been plenty of Nadine Brandes interview blog posts floating around leaving me with the daunting task of finding some new and refreshing topic to discuss on my blog.

First let me give you a little background on this fabulous author that you might not know:

  1. Nadine takes research seriously. Like ninja serious.
  2. Nadine has been dog-sledding. Traveled in Russian sleeper-car train. Dredged through a muddy marsh. Hiked in a fur skirt through knee-high snow. Tasted swampy cattails. Balanced on a slackline = ALL for the glory of research. *You’ll have to pick up your copy of A Time to Die or A Time to Speak if you want to know why her research was so important.
  3. Nadine LOVES her readers. She spends time responding to them through her social media and website and loves to hear how her stories are touching lives beyond the pages of her book.

I had the opportunity to meet Nadine in person at the ACFW conference in Dallas and

Nadine and I along with a few of our crazy author friends.

Nadine and I along with a few of our crazy author friends.

she’s just as kind, sweet, and funny as you would guess. Now without further ado, here’s my interview with Nadine.

You’ve done a lot of interviews lately and have probably been asked the same questions over and over. Today I wanted to ask you about your hobbies. As I mentioned above you are quite the researcher. Have you incorporated any of your personal hobbies into your stories?

Well, I really enjoy answering questions so this is fun!😀 One of my main hobbies is adventuring, as you know, but I’ll branch away from that.

Hubby and I enjoy rock climbing, so that definitely made it into A Time to Die (book 1). Another main hobby is music. I was raised by musicians and was a professional drummer for several years. But my favorite instrument to play is the piano. Music didn’t make it into the Out of Time Series because the culture in which Parvin lives doesn’t really allow for such luxuries, sadly. But music will be a big part in the next book I’m writing. The main character is a drummer.

Basically, if I have a hobby, I’ll try to incorporate it into a story. That’s lifelong research you can’t experience in a single day! J

You’re quite adventurous but is there a hobby, or activity, that you’re too scared to try?

I live in a small valley surrounded by mountains that is packed with wild animals. Bears, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, you name it. They’re here. And that keeps me from hiking. Even if I have bear spray or a gun on my hip or I’m with a group of people I’m tense to the point of a moving statue the whole time. My sister is an avid avid hiker. She’ll go on multi-day trips and camp alone with no fear.

That is not me.

Spending an extended time out in the woods is too much for me (and, as far as excuses go, I have bad knees for hiking anyway.) I’d rather go skydiving (which I truly hope to do someday.)

If money or courage weren’t an obstacle what hobby or activity would you like to pursue?

I would want to go skydiving, at least once.

But using the money: I’d want to sign up for some high-quality art classes somewhere. I love to draw, but I have zero knowledge on what I’m doing. I visualize parts of my story so realistically I’d love to be able to get them down on paper.

I’m a big fan of Pinterest and love seeing hobbyist create artistic, culinary, and building masterpieces but I know my limitations and often relate to the Pinterest Fails. Have you experienced any “fails”?

Ha! All. The. Time. Last Christmas I tried to make the lovely “ice marbles” that were shown on Pinterest by filling balloons with water and food coloring. When we undid the balloons, some hadn’t frozen through all the way and the coloring leaked out, staining the porch. Others collapsed completely. It was a fail, but it was fun to do with the family. [grin]

You’ve introduced some very curious characters in your Out of Time series. Each with their own unique set of skills that carry them through a heart-wrenching, gut-punching, nail-biting adventure. Can we expect to meet more of these remarkable characters and have you done any crazy research for book three?

You’ll definitely see more of these characters in books two and three. As for research, that’s what the dogsledding was for!😉 I also traveled to Russia and France (though not just for book research. These were multi-purposed trips) in the past year, and rode a sleeper train. You’ll see much of this in book three, but that’s all I’m saying for now!😉

Ooh, I can’t wait for book three!! Thank you so much, Nadine, for taking the time to answer a few fun questions about you and your series.

Thank you so much for having me, Natalie! This was a fun interview. 

I enjoyed being a part of Nadine’s launch team and hope you’ll check out her Out of Time series. A Time to Die and A Time to Speak are available now in paperback and eBook. And now Nadine has a question for you:

What’s one of your favorite hobbies? And do you see them (or put them) in books often?