Friday, January 24, 2020

#GuestPost - "An Agent for Lydia" by Caroline Clemmons

Thank you, Amber, for having me as your guest.
Many readers ask me how I come up with ideas and write my books. In case you’re curious, let me explain. Ideas are the easy part. They bombard me daily. Everything generates a “what if” or “wouldn’t that have been better if” thought—overheard conversations, stories on TV, things I read while researching something else.
First, I use a plotting system called Story Magic which was demonstrated by Robin Perini and Laura Baker. Their presentation at an RWA chapter meeting was like a lighthouse beacon. This system doesn’t work for every author but it is a lifesaver for me. In this method, an author uses sticky notes of different colors on a science board that’s been divided into chapters. Hard to explain without a visual demonstration.
I use pink sticky notes for the heroine’s action, blue for the hero’s and various other colors for minor character and the romance’s progression. After the plot is worked out, I collect the sticky notes in order to use them for my outline. So I don’t forget who has what color eyes and hair I compile a list of characters and a brief description. Don’t you hate when characters change features or names?
Next is the research I know I’ll need. (Something else always pops up later.) For AN AGENT FOR LYDIA, Pinkerton Matchmaker Book 56, I was able to research an area that has long fascinated me—the Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming. Most people associate this area with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but it was a robber hideout decades before Butch and Sundance. I also had to research the railroad through Wyoming. Fortunately, timing worked out for me.
This is not a long book—about forty thousand words. Years ago, it would have been called a novella. With people getting busier, many readers prefer shorter books they can read in one sitting. It is sweet, meaning no sex occurs on the page. If this turns you off, please try one of my longer sensual books.

Let me share the blurb of AN AGENT FOR LYDIA:

When Lydia Wood is left at the altar, she believes something beyond her groom’s control has happened. Two years with no word have hardened her heart. She has to get away from her parents’ constant urging her to choose an acceptable husband and wed. Becoming a Pinkerton agent suits her plans.
Pinkerton Agent Jake Hunter has recovered from injuries that put him in a coma and a long convalescence. He realizes Lydia would have been injured had she been with him. He vows to distance himself from the one person who means the world to him to protect her. 
When they are paired for an investigation of bank robbers they must follow the trail to a dangerous hangout of men on the run. Can the two successfully pull off their charade and capture the robbers or will this trip confirm Jake’s worst fears?

Here’s a short excerpt:

Lydia gazed out the train window at Wyoming’s desert landscape, recalling how terrified she’d been last night in the saloon. The man who’d wanted to take her upstairs was huge and smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in months. He carried a bottle of whiskey in one hand, some of which he had spilled on his shirt.
Thank goodness she had her gun and her knife. Would her little gun have stopped such a large man? With any luck she’d never have to learn the answer.
Forcing herself not to snuggle up to Jake for comfort had been almost impossible. His presence reassured her. He’d had several years’ experience at Pinkerton’s and knew how to deflect and defeat combatants.
An older couple sat in the seats facing theirs. Lydia avoided eye contact with the prune-faced woman across from her. The woman had snubbed her and Jake as if they carried leprosy. 
Prune-face ceased staring long enough to tug on her husband’s sleeve and whisper, “Horace, doesn’t he look like the man on that wanted poster we saw in Cheyenne?”
Horace frowned at her. “Hush, Mattie.”
Did those two think she and Jake couldn’t hear them?
Lydia gestured to the window. “I’ve never seen so much sand and scrubby bushes. Barren as it is, it emanates a serene beauty.”
 “Wait until you see where we’re headed. I’ve heard it’s picturesque as well.” Jake flashed his bone-melting grin.
No, thank you, she couldn’t weaken now. She’d had the vaccination for that grin’s affect. Too bad the inoculation hadn’t proven very effective.

Buy Link
AN AGENT FOR LYDIA is in KU and is available as an e-book or in print.

About the Author:

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their three rescued indoor cats and one small dog as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters.
The books she creates in her pink cave have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Pearson Grove, and Loving A Rancher as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.
Join her and other readers at Caroline’s Cuties, a Facebook readers group at for special excerpts, exchanging ideas, contests, giveaways, recipes, and talking to like-minded people about books and other fun things.
Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.
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To stay up-to-date with her releases and contests, subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here and receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?
She loves to hear from readers at caroline @ carolineclemmons (dot) com


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