Where do I find inspiration?

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(Image by fiach from Pixabay)

I hate the question. Where do I find inspiration? It’s one of those open-ended questions that causes my mind to go blank. Just…blank. No ideas. Nothing.

So I thought I’d share where I got the initial inspiration for a few of my different books.

– the Blackbird Series: a crazy dream I had the week before NaNoWriMo started.

– After the Scrum: I made the mistake of watching 7 Nation rugby a week before NaNoWriMo one year.

– Royal Marine: Bake Off. Seriously. I binge-watched a few seasons of it, and Akash sprung from that.

– One Last Heist: Ocean’s Eleven.

– Motts: Motts was inspired by two things. One, the idea of someone naming their child after the food they crave while pregnant. Two, the series Rosemary & Thyme.

– My current WIP is inspired by Britain’s Secret Treasures, a show all about the artifacts people find while using metal detectors.

– Cosplay Killer was inspired in part by this:

– Pure Dumb Luck: I saw a news story about someone winning the lottery and sharing it with their best friend.

If you’re an author, where do you find inspiration for your books?

Book Sale: Pure Dumb Luck

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Pure Dumb Luck is free from June 19 – 23rd!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LJDlZl
All other links: books2read.com/puredumbluck

Excerpt

This is not even close to the hardest part of your day.

Except it had definitely become the most difficult daily event. Woody had never considered himself a coward, yet every single morning, he walked into the gas station to see his best friend, the person he’d been in love with for years, and said nothing beyond small talk.

He never told the truth of the ache in his heart growing too painful to ignore. He couldn’t. What if Eddie rejected him?

“Your usual?”

Woody grinned at Eddie, who ran the family-owned gas station in their little country town nestled in the middle of a national forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains. “You know me. Boring as shit. I’m consistent, at least.”

“One large coffee, one pack of powdered donuts, and three lottery tickets. Two for you, one for me.” Eddie rolled his dark brown eyes and held out a large hand for the card Woody held out to him. “You never change, dude. You’ve been doing this for twenty years—since high school. I know Coach said you were full of dumb luck, but I don’t think he meant with the Mega Millions.”

“Have a little faith, Eddie.” He grabbed both his breakfast and the lottery tickets, winking at his oldest friend, who hadn’t changed much in the thirty years since they’d known each other. Still as fucking hot as the day I first saw him in the shower at the gym. His warm brown skin had glistened under the shower. Maybe stop thinking about Eddie naked in the middle of the gas station. “We still on for fishing this weekend?”

“Unless you get lucky with your numbers. If you do, we’ll go fishing on a yacht instead of your granddaddy’s rickety old boat.” He tapped a finger against the ticket stub in Woody’s hand. “Go on. Get your ass out of here. You’re ruining the atmosphere. Plus, I like watching you leave.”


My Favourite Austen Adaptations

What’s the best Jane Austen movie adaptation? If you’re a fan, you probably have many thoughts on this question. I know I do.

I thought I’d share my favourites per book.

Pride & Prejudice – I’ve seen so many adaptations (I’m not counting the modern takes in this–just the more close ones.) My favourite is probably the Colin Firth version. He’s glorious as Darcy. And I love so many of the secondary characters.

Though, Donald Sutherland’s portrayal of Mr Bennett was magnificent.

Persuasion – This is my favourite Jane Austen book. The only one I re-read periodically. As much as I love Rupert Penry-Jones in the 2007 one, the earlier version with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root win my heart. They’re brilliant. The subtlety of their pain, angst, and romance is palpable.

Emma: Probably my least favourite overall of Jane Austen’s works that I’ve read/seen, I have to say the version with Romola Garai is my favourite. I didn’t enjoy the more recent one. I felt they made Emma completely unlikeable.

She’s supposed to be a bit silly, impetuous, but likeably well-meaning.

Sense & Sensibility: I’ve watched three adaptations. While I love the Emma Thompson version (especially because Alan Rickman was magical,) I prefer the more recent version from 2007. I’m not sure why, but it just made me happy.

I’ve no thoughts on Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, or Sandition. I haven’t seen any of the adaptations. Actually, I take that back, I think I’ve seen one of Mansfield Park that I didn’t enjoy.

How about you? What Austen adaptations do you enjoy?

Quoth the Raven: Part II

A couple years ago, I put a blog post together of writing quotes I enjoy and use for inspiration.

I thought I’d share a few more of my favourite quotes. This time from books I read either as a kid or in my teens.

  •  “. . . . I cannot escape my life but can only use my determination and courage to make it the best I can.”  ― Karen Cushman, Catherine, Called Birdy
  • “There’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” – Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. – Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • “As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.” —Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Book Excerpt: Pure Dumb Luck

67094819_2462361867344618_30024437034123264_n

This is not even close to the hardest part of your day.

Except it had definitely become the most difficult daily event. Woody had never considered himself a coward, yet every single morning, he walked into the gas station to see his best friend, the person he’d been in love with for years, and said nothing beyond small talk.

He never told the truth of the ache in his heart growing too painful to ignore. He couldn’t. What if Eddie rejected him?

“Your usual?”

Woody grinned at Eddie, who ran the family-owned gas station in their little country town nestled in the middle of a national forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains. “You know me. Boring as shit. I’m consistent, at least.”

“One large coffee, one pack of powdered donuts, and three lottery tickets. Two for you, one for me.” Eddie rolled his dark brown eyes and held out a large hand for the card Woody held out to him. “You never change, dude. You’ve been doing this for twenty years—since high school. I know Coach said you were full of dumb luck, but I don’t think he meant with the Mega Millions.”

“Have a little faith, Eddie.” He grabbed both his breakfast and the lottery tickets, winking at his oldest friend, who hadn’t changed much in the thirty years since they’d known each other. Still as fucking hot as the day I first saw him in the shower at the gym. His warm brown skin had glistened under the shower. Maybe stop thinking about Eddie naked in the middle of the gas station. “We still on for fishing this weekend?”

“Unless you get lucky with your numbers. If you do, we’ll go fishing on a yacht instead of your granddaddy’s rickety old boat.” He tapped a finger against the ticket stub in Woody’s hand. “Go on. Get your ass out of here. You’re ruining the atmosphere. Plus, I like watching you leave.”


Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LJDlZl
All other links: books2read.com/puredumbluck

Book Review: Pure Dumb Luck

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“As usual Donovan created two lovable (however clueless) main characters that you can’t help but love to pieces. The writing is flawless and the whole story is imbued in the kind of humor I came to expect from this writer.” ~ Amazon Customer


Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LJDlZl
All other links: books2read.com/puredumbluck

Here Comes The Groom

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Weddings appear a few times in my novels. I’m one of those authors who honestly believe not every romance story needs to end with an engagement or wedding. Happily-ever-afters don’t always come with a ring and a ceremony.
Some of my couples have been happy without a paper saying they’re promised to one another. BC and Graham, for example, were perfectly content without a wedding. Bishan and Valor were quite vocal while I wrote the Grasmere series about it, as well.
I’ve personally been married twice. We won’t talk about the first one. =) Neither of my marriage involved actual ceremonies. My anxiety would not have handled a wedding ceremony/reception, and financially it wasn’t feasible anyway.
I did greatly enjoy the two weddings in the Sin Bin series. Planning those out was so much fun. I tried to honour the individuals and their backgrounds with the ceremonies, which required quite a bit of research on my part.
For Freddie and Taine, from The Caretaker, I wanted to combine Freddie’s Jewish heritage with Tens’ Maori/Samoan traditions. I also tied in a few Welsh aspects as well. I genuinely adored the Welsh lovespoon concept so I used it as well.
I loved their wedding. The haka performed by the Sin Bin lads. The literal cheese cake that Freddie drooled over. It was the perfect ceremony, reception, and honeymoon for the two of them.
The other wedding I planned in the Sin Bin was for Akash and Wyatt in The Royal Marine. Theirs was a lot easier. Wyatt wasn’t bothered. He didn’t have any traditions he cared to honor while Akash wanted to please his family.
Are you married? Did you have a big ceremony or just got hitched without all the drama?
(Image by Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay)