Anne Marie Novark's Blog

January 3, 2017





Well, I've made it through another year. Thank God, 2016 is over. The year dragged on and on. And not in a good way. 
I didn't really want to write this post, so I looked back at last year's post and most of what I said then still applies going into 2017. So I'm just tweaking it and there you go. Or not.  :)
Time is marching onward . . . whether I want it to or not. I'm having a bit of a tough time with time marching onward this year. I don't like change. In fact, I hate change. I like my comfort zone. I like my comfortable routine. I like the happy rut that I'm in. 
Maybe I'm having a midlife crisis. Trouble is, I'm past midlife. Maybe that's part of the problem.
Anyway, I'm in a blue funk as my mother used to say. Gotta pull myself up by the bootstraps. Time to put my big girl panties on and face the world. The new year is a chance to start with a clean slate and all that.
So here goes:
I've decided not to make any hard and fast resolutions for 2017. What I want to do is live my life with the attitude of gratitude and embrace the simple things in life. I want to enjoy my family and friends. Especially my new baby grandson. I want to enjoy my lovely old house and the two acres James and I live on. And when the hustle and bustle of city life gets to be too much, I want to visit the family farm more often where I can renew my soul and immerse my psyche in the peaceful solitude of the rural countryside.
Of course, I want to get back to eating healthier and exercising more. Those are a given. But most of all, I want to find the joy in my writing again. I want to write for my own pleasure and entertainment, then publish my stories to share with readers around the world. What money I make will be icing on the cake.
No pressure. No worries. Just write and write some more.
Hey, what do you know? I think I'm feeling better already. My blue funk is slowly fading away. Maybe expressing my thoughts has helped me to see the New Year in a brighter way. Sometimes, change is good.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2017!!!
Anne Marie  :)
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Published on January 03, 2017 11:00 • 64 views

October 26, 2016





I'm happy to announce the release of my 40th title. Forty titles . . . Wow!!! It's hard to believe. Return to Stone Creek with me and read Marco Defalco's story. This book has been a long time coming, but I hope it's worth the wait.
Click here to get your copy: ONE HANDSOME COWBOY RETURN TO STONE CREEK: BOOK THREE
Here's the blurb:
Leslie Taylor moves to Stone Creek so she and her son can start a new life. Her job at the Dusty Boots Ranch is perfect except for one six-foot tall, drop-dead gorgeous problem: Marco Defalco. Her boss is way too attractive for Leslie's peace of mind. 
Marco Defalco has been saddled with enough family responsibilities to last a lifetime. The last thing he wants to do is change his bachelor status . . . until he meets Leslie Taylor, that is. The sensual sparks igniting between them are too hot to ignore, and Marco has the sinking suspicion his bachelor days are numbered.

Here's the excerpt:
Leslie moved away from Marco and almost tripped when she stumbled over a box sitting on the floor in front of his desk.
"Watch it there!" He reached out to prevent her from falling, his hand an iron clamp locked around her forearm. Her skin burned from the contact and her gaze snapped to his. She forgot to breathe.
Oh my . . .
Marco's heavy lidded eyes gleamed feral. And before she knew what was happening, he pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her. Leslie's breath shuddered in her lungs, and she placed her hands on his hard chest, splayed as if to ward him off. But her traitorous fingers curled into the fabric of his black t-shirt.
It felt so good to be held in his arms again. How could something so wrong feel so right?
She swallowed again. "Uh . . . I don't think this is a good idea," she said, her voice barely a whisper.
"Probably not." His brown eyes probed her depths, searching out the secrets in her heart, her soul. "But I want to kiss you. I've wanted to kiss you for weeks. I need to kiss you."
Before she could form a coherent reply, he leaned down and kissed her forehead, the tip of her nose, one cheek, then the other. He placed a delicate kiss on the sensitive skin of her collarbone between her shoulder and neck, nipping and licking his way to her lips. He teased the corners of her mouth with his hot tongue, torturing her exquisitely until she was panting from longing and want.
Desire permeated her being, a delicious languidness that made her body feel heavy and light at one and the same time. It had been so long since she'd felt like this.
So very, very long . . .
Get your copy today: ONE HANDSOME COWBOY RETURN TO STONE CREEK: BOOK THREE
FYI: I've set BOOK ONE: HER RELUCTANT RANCHER  for free. Get your copy here:  HER RELUCTANT RANCHER.

Happy Reading!!!
Anne Marie   :)
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Published on October 26, 2016 08:36 • 47 views

August 26, 2016



 Twenty-five things about me you probably didn't know:

1.   I drive a silver 2001 Honda Accord. Yes, I've had it that long.

2.   Because I'm pretty much a tightwad.

3.   I married my high school sweetheart thirty-nine years ago.

4.  I have two grown kids, both out of the nest.

5.  I used to be a cat person; now I love dogs.

6.  Since the kids moved out, I've pretty much become the tech-support gal in the house. I find this amusing, since I'm basically techno-challenged. Thank goodness for Google. Shhh . . .

7.   I enjoy making homemade jams and jellies.

8.  Georgette Heyer is my favorite all-time author. I read my first GH book when I was fifteen and love all things Regency.

9.   I attended Catholic school.

10. I love old movies, especially the romantic comedies of the fifties and sixties.

11. I tend to see the good in people and situations. Just call me Pollyanna-marie.

12. I also tend to see both sides of an argument or discussion. Not always a good thing.

13. I don't drink alcohol except for the occasional frozen daiquiri. Not that I'm against drinking, but it's just not me.

14. I'm a dedicated tea drinker. I'm not particularly fond of coffee, although I love how it smells.

15.  I'm the quiet shy type in most social situations. I'd much rather stay home and read a good book than go to a party.

16. This probably explains the fact that I tend to lurk on forums. But I love live chats; go figure.

17.  I love antiques. Almost every piece of furniture in the house has an interesting (or not so interesting) story: the sofa is from Salvation Army; that chair was bought at a garage sale; I got that lamp in the library silent auction, etc.

18. I love vintage Tupperware and Corning Ware.

19.  But I'm not crazy about cooking. I'm a pretty good cook, but only do it because we have to eat.

20.  Which leads to: I really really enjoy eating out.

21.  I'm the oldest of three children. Family is important to me.

22.  I prefer Apple products over the other kind. I have an iMac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.

23. When I get excited, I tend to talk loud.

24. I love humming birds.

25.  My lucky number is 13.


Cheers!

Anne Marie   :)
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Published on August 26, 2016 17:16 • 21 views

April 14, 2016


As a writer, sometimes I need to step back and regroup and stop being a hermit. Live life. Make memories. Refill the well. Many of the stories I write are set in small Texas towns. What better way to live life AND do research than to go to an old-fashioned Church Bazaar?

A couple of Sundays ago, this is exactly what I did. Hubby and I went to visit his dad up at the farm and we all decided to go to the bazaar, walk around a bit, then buy lunch and take it home. When we got there, I immediately knew I didn't just want to walk around. I wanted to play the games of chance and indulge in some tasty sweets.

First thing I did was buy a cupcake. I felt like a kid, eating it and getting the icing all over me. Then I played the games. You know the kind I'm talking about where you plop down your quarter on a numbered squared and they spin the wheel and you hope you win a prize.

Well, it was my lucky day! I won not once, but twice!!! I won a pound of homemade peppered bacon and a delicious lemon sheet cake. I tried and tried to win a plant, but alas . . . my luck ran out.

I had fun at the bazaar. And the new memory and experience is now tucked away inside my writer's brain for future reference.

Happy Writing!!!

Anne Marie   :)
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Published on April 14, 2016 17:33 • 40 views

January 2, 2016


Well, I've made it through another year. I can't believe 2015 is over. The year flashed by in a blink of the eye. It's gone. It's history. Kaput.
Sometimes, it's hard for me to realize that we're in the second decade of this new millennium. I recently read a post on Facebook, and the author used the term: at the turn of the century. When I first read it, I thought she meant 1900. But no, she was referring to 2000. 
Time is marching onward . . . whether I want it to or not.
I've been putting off writing this post. I'm having a bit of a tough time with time marching onward this year. I don't like change. In fact, I hate change. I like my comfort zone. I like my comfortable routine. I like the happy rut that I'm in. 
Maybe I'm having a midlife crisis. Trouble is, I'm past midlife. Maybe that's part of the problem.
Anyway, I'm in a blue funk as my mother would say. Gotta pull myself up by the bootstraps. Time to put my big girl panties on and face the world. But not quite yet. My new year is officially starting on Monday. A clean slate and all that.
This year, I'm not going to go back and see what I did and didn't accomplish on my New Year's Resolutions List for 2015. I know I didn't get as much done as I had wished for or planned. What's past is past.
So I've decided not to make any hard and fast resolutions for 2016. What I want to do is live my life with the attitude of gratitude and embrace the simple things in life. I want to enjoy my family and friends. Enjoy my lovely old house and the two acres James and I live on. And when the hustle and bustle of city life gets to be too much, I want to visit the family farm more often where I can renew my soul and immerse my psyche in the peaceful solitude of the rural countryside.
Of course, I want to get back to eating healthier and exercising more. Those are a given. But most of all, I want to find the joy in my writing again. I want to write for my own pleasure and entertainment, then publish my stories to share with readers around the world. What money I make will be icing on the cake.
No pressure. No worries. Just write and write some more.
Hey, what do you know? I think I'm feeling better already. My blue funk is slowly fading away. Maybe expressing my thoughts has helped me to see the New Year in a brighter way. Sometimes, change is good.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2016!!!
Anne Marie  :)
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Published on January 02, 2016 08:43 • 52 views

September 29, 2015


Just a quick reminder that the Eleventh Annual October Obsession 2015 BIAM Writathon is starting October 1st. WooHoo!!!

Here's the information: Anne Marie's Writathons.

And here's where it's happening: AM's BIAM Facebook Group.  Email me for your very own special invitation.

Spread the word, clear your calendars, and prepare to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, and WRITE SOME MORE!!!

Let's do this!!!

Anne Marie   :)

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Published on September 29, 2015 10:50 • 49 views

August 23, 2015


Wow. This month marks my five year anniversary as an Indie Author. It's hard to believe I've been self-publishing for that long. Five years. Half a decade. Just wow.

I've been rereading my past anniversary blogposts, smiling at the newbie enthusiasm, the milestones, the writerly moments; commiserating with the bad reviews, the not-so-happy downslides of sales and royalties. It's been a roller-coaster ride, that's for sure.

My sister calls the epublishing revolution: The Ebook Miracle. For years, she watched me submit manuscript after manuscript to editors and agents, only to receive rejections again and again. She said something to the effect: "If they're rejecting Anne Marie's books, there's no use for me to even try."

A sisterly compliment and tribute of the highest kind.  :)

Then in 2010, I got fed up with the whole traditional publishing/ small press routine, and that's when I discovered Kindle Direct Publishing. At long last, there was a way to publish my stories directly to readers. They would decide if my books were good enough. They were the gatekeepers, as they should have been all along. I no longer had to submit and beg for a crumb of attention or validation to this or that editor in New York City.

Readers buying and reading my books, propelling me onto the bestseller lists on Amazon, B&N and Apple gave me all the validation I needed.

And BOOM!!! The Ebook Miracle began.

I've been very lucky and blessed that my stories have found a readership. My sister is now writing and publishing, and she's also found a loyal and dedicated readership.

An Ebook Miracle for both of us indeed.

Rereading those past anniversary blogposts, I'm sad to find I no longer have that newbie enthusiasm. But after five years in this business, I'm a seasoned player. My enthusiasm waxes and wanes very much in sync with the roller-coaster ride of ups and downs that predominates Indie Publishing. As I've said before, it's not for the faint of heart.

This anniversary slipped quietly by with no fan-fare or big celebration. Looking back over the year, thinking I hadn't really accomplish that much, I was happily surprised to discover that I have published two novels, three short stories and one boxed set. Not bad by anyone's standards. Plus, I hosted my two annual BIAM Writathons. And the year's not over by a long shot.

When I'm feeling a little down, I remind myself that the Ebook Miracle makes it possible for me to live my dream: I write my books, I get to share my stories with readers, and I'm able to make a little dab of money from doing what I love. What could be better than that?

Happy Writing!!! Happy Reading!!! Happy Publishing!!!

Anne Marie  :)

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Published on August 23, 2015 09:14 • 36 views

June 11, 2015


I thought I'd share the recipe for Ruth McCade's, the Diamondback Ranch matriarch's, famous Texas Hot Cocoa Cake. It's the most delicious, most decadent, most luscious chocolate cake you'll ever put in your mouth. In real life, my Grandmother Ruth Reeves made this for us every time we visited the farm in West Texas.  

Go ahead!  Indulge yourself!!!

Texas Hot Cocoa Cake

1 stick oleo or butter
½ c. shortening
1 c. water

Mix these in a small pot and bring to a boil.

¼ c. sour cream
¼ c. milk
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix these together and let sit.

2 c. flour, 2 c. sugar, 4 heaping T. cocoa, pinch of salt.

Mix these in a mixing bowl.  Pour hot liquid over and mix.
Add 2 beaten eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and milk mixture, beat
all until smooth.  Pour onto a greased 18X12 cookie sheet.
Bake 20 minutes at 375 F.  Or until toothpick comes out
almost clean.

Hot Cocoa Icing

1 stick oleo or butter
4 heaping T. cocoa
6 T milk

Melt these in a sauce pan; do not boil.

1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Combine these with the hot liquid
and beat until smooth; pour hot icing
over hot cake.

Enjoy!!!

Anne Marie   :)
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Published on June 11, 2015 18:30 • 76 views

March 28, 2015


Readers are always looking for stories that are “fresh” and “different,” and writers are always striving to fulfill these demands.

First and foremost, an author’s voice and writing style make his/her stories unique. Second, there are many classic romance plots that appear again and again in popular commercial fiction.  

Writers often combine two or more of these plots and tweak them to create refreshingly different kinds of romance stories.
 
Here are twenty of the classics in no particular order:
 
1. Secret Baby
2. Cinderella (rags to riches)
3. Opposites Attract
4. Bodyguard
5. Second chance/Love rekindled (they were once a couple)
6. Reunion (they knew one another, but were not “together”)
7. Stranded (forced proximity)
8. Love Triangle
9. Marriage of Convenience (mail-order bride)
10. Beauty and the Beast
11. Sleeping Beauty/Ugly duckling
12. Amnesia
13. Fish out of water
14. Blackmail/Revenge
15. Forbidden love
16. Mentor/protégé (boss/employee)
17. Princess/Pauper; King/Beggar maid
18. Bad boy/good girl; Bad girl/good boy19. Best Friends
20. The Road to Adventure



In HER RELUCTANT RANCHER , I combined Opposites Attract, King/Beggar Maid, and Boss/employee.  In TALL DARK AND TEXAN , I combined Bad boy/good girl, Reunion, and Secret Baby with a twist—the “baby” is fifteen years old.

The combinations of the Classic Plots are countless into infinity.  Utilize them to create your own refreshingly different romance stories and your readers will love them.

Happy Reading and Writing!!!

Anne Marie   :)
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Published on March 28, 2015 13:53 • 72 views

March 14, 2015

WooHoo!!! Check it out!!! I'm giving one free paperback copy of HIS HOMETOWN COWGIRL to one lucky reader!!!
Happy Reading!!!
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Goodreads Book Giveaway His Hometown Cowgirl by Anne Marie Novark His Hometown Cowgirl by Anne Marie Novark Giveaway ends March 19, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win
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Published on March 14, 2015 05:54 • 51 views