This summer I’ve been busy promoting my new women’s fiction series, set in northern New Mexico, “The Inn at Verde Springs.” Book one, The Renaissance Sisters, came out on May 23. Now, book two, Love Child, is set to be released on October 3. Book three will follow on April 3, 2024, completing the trilogy.
I’ve dearly loved giving the coastal beach read a twist, by setting a women’s fiction/contemporary romance novel in a decidedly more rugged setting. Thirty-something sisters Harper and Paige Crawley inherit a neglected former chicken ranch an hour south of Santa Fe — and both needing a fresh start in life, they repurpose their 56-acre property into a wedding and special-event venue, finding love and community along the way in the Verde Springs, New Mexico. It’s small-town romance, but you won’t find any sea shells or white-washed gazebos in these stories. They’re set firmly in the sagebrush-filled high desert. Instead of indulging in cozy tea-times and pumpkin-spiced mayhem, the Crawley sisters will be slinging back margaritas, while chowing down on Maggie’s cheese enchiladas after a hard day’s work on the ranch. I think you’ll like these intrepid sisters, and enjoy following their adventures in life and love — with or without a side of Maggie’s chips and salsa.
The Renaissance Sisters (The Inn at Verde Springs Trilogy)
Where hens once laid their eggs, mice now frolic in bits of leftover straw, a majestic ranch house sits empty and…
But long before the Crawley sisters entered my imagination, I began writing short romantic fiction, trying my hand at “world-building” on a small scale, before I jumped into a 70,000-word manuscript.
In a short story, a writer has to cut to the chase, developing character, setting, conflict, plot, and themes in 10,000 words or less. Most short stories, like mine, range from roughly 2,000 to 7,500 words. How long should a short story be? Long enough to tell the story without rushing, or giving short shrift to any of the five key elements listed above. Every sentence in short fiction needs to help advance the plot or develop character. Every setting must be painted using quick, effective brushstrokes.