Why I wrote Notes of Love and War #WWII #Baltimore #historical #fiction #books #inspiration #amwriting #amreading @Baltimore_City

“Where did you get the idea to write…?” This is a common question I receive from my readers. So I thought I’d share the genesis of a book I wrote that is very near and dear to my heart. Notes of Love and War was inspired by, though most definitely is not the story of, my parents’ courtship correspondence before, during, and after World War Two. Let me explain.

After my father died in December 2011, my grief and sorrow lingered for years. He was one of my champions and best friend all of my life. Six years passed before I could bring myself to go through his accumulated letters and papers. Part of my reluctance stemmed from knowing that those letters included dozens if not hundreds that were exchanged between my mother and father before they married. My oldest sister had forewarned me they were somewhat “racy” but what exactly did that mean? Just how personal were the contents?

Stacks of my dad’s letters… and this doesn’t include all the Victory mail during the war!

I sorted them out by year, then by month and day. And there are a lot of letters! Then I read them. One by one, with growing interest as the insights into my parents when they were young (early to mid-twenties) played out in my hands. The jokes, the concerns, the sharing about their daily struggles with finances and family matters. The songs and books they enjoyed. Hints of intrigue and private moments shared and cherished. The resulting overarching concept of how they grew to love each other through their letters became an idea I wanted to explore in a fictional setting. I wanted to replicate the intimacy evoked through their words but also through the handling of a piece of paper that could physically, tangibly transmit those thoughts into the hands of another. The sense of intimacy coming from holding the same piece of paper as your lover which leant a shared moment of contact over long distances.

Letters sorted by year, not including those between my parents nor V-mail.

My mother’s letters proved far more enlightening to me than my father’s. Why? You’d think I’d have been more keenly aware of my mother’s attitudes and desires, one woman to another. To an extent I had spoken with my mother about her life as a young woman, just not nearly as much as I wish had in my later years. I knew, for example, that she’d been engaged to another man during the war but that they’d ended their engagement and he went on to New York to become a lawyer. But…what I didn’t know, what Mom had never told me, was that the man’s mother had something to do with them breaking up. Mom hinted about it in one of her letters to Dad, but never disclosed what exactly. Talk about getting my imagination spinning! What would a mother have to do to break up an engagement? Perhaps I don’t really want to know.

Dad, likewise, had frequently and at some length talked to me about his life and the decisions he made, including those related to moving from Miami, Florida, to Baltimore, Maryland, in order to marry my mother. His comment to me, which is echoed and substantiated within the letters, was that his job in Miami fell through and he knew that Mom wouldn’t be happy in the hotter climate and so far from her family. (An aside: my mother’s side of the family has lived in Maryland for many generations. I was also born and raised in that beautiful state.) So he decided to move north to make her happy. This self-sacrifice for the woman he loved with all his heart resonated with me, as both his daughter and an author of romantic fiction.

So the initial kernel of interest in writing what has evolved into Notes of Love and War came from wanting to recreate that intimacy developing through letters. Of getting to know one another through what they shared about themselves on paper. Of course, that’s not enough of a premise to build a novel-length story, but it’s a strong foundation.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share other elements that I’ve woven together to create the framework for the story. Elements such as spies and journalism and music, each based in the actual history of Baltimore and Maryland during the 1940s. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my journey through my hometown history as imagined in my novel.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Now available for preorder! Notes of Love and War will release on July 28, 2020, in honor of my dad’s 100th birthday!

Audrey Harper needs more than home and hearth to satisfy her self-worth despite being raised with the idea that a woman’s place is in the home. Working as a music critic for the city newspaper in Baltimore, Maryland, during the Second World War, she’s enjoyed both financial freedom and personal satisfaction in a job well done. When she uncovers evidence of German spies working to sabotage a secret bomber plane being manufactured in her beloved city, she must choose between her sense of duty to protect her city and the urgings of her boss, her family, and her fiancé to turn over her evidence to the authorities. But when her choices lead her and her sister into danger, she is forced to risk life and limb to save her sister and bring the spies to justice.

Set against the backdrop of the flourishing musical community during the 1940s in Baltimore, Notes of Love and War weaves together the pleasure of musical performance with the dangers of espionage and spying.

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Which wood for a wand? #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #research

One of the fun aspects for me when writing a new story is finding out about new-to-me subjects. I’m curious by nature, so it’s something of a treasure hunt to go looking for the details to include in my stories. The meanings behind the “props” my characters use. For example, what kind of wand would Roxie have? She itches to use it in Charmed Against All Odds:


“My tea is cold.” Paulette screwed up her face as she set her cup on the low table in front of her.

“So, go put it in the micro for a few seconds.” Zak squeezed her shoulder with one large hand. “Lazy.”

“Am not. I don’t want to miss a thing.” Wrinkling her nose, Paulette turned away from her husband to pin her hopeful gaze on Roxie. “Would you mind?”

“Of course not.” Suppressing the bounding of glee inside, Roxie flourished her wand, aimed it at the flowered mug. She flicked the tip of the wand at the cup. Steam rose from the warmed liquid. “Try that.”

Paulette lifted the mug and took a sip, aiming a grateful grin at her cousin. “Perfect.”

Grant had one beefy arm around Tara as they sat on the loveseat facing the fireplace. His storm gray eyes held a hint of skepticism, the scientist in him still doubting his wife’s abilities as well as her sisters. Despite having proof. Objective, irrefutable evidence and yet he continually showed that he doubted his own observation. Roxie pursed her lips as she studied the man. Ere long he’d have to acknowledge the abilities of the witch he’d married.

“What do you know about the quest spell, Roxie?” Beth sat on Mitch’s lap in one of the chairs flanking the fireplace.

Mitch, too, tended to be reticent about the three sisters and their magical talents. Even though he would soon be a member of the family of witches with their individual gifts. Still, he’d only been part of the group for a couple of months. Over time, she hoped he’d come around fully to believe in them. Like Max and Zak.

“Enough to know that Leo and I may need all of you to help.” She slid her gaze to take in the rest of the group.

Max and Zak had married the Golden sisters’ cousins, Meredith and Paulette, respectively. The owners of the Twin Oaks plantation and B&B, the sisters had been instrumental in freeing the two ghosts who once haunted the place. Luckily, the ghosts were friendly and not scary. A whole different kind of magic might have been necessary in such a case. Roxie’s wand fingers itched at the thought. It had been too long since she’d had a solid reason to seriously wield her wand. Warming her cousin’s tea did not satisfy the itch. She put her wand away with a reluctant sigh.


I had to go digging for what kind of wood her wand would most likely be made of. There are many to choose from with their own unique properties and affinities, I found out. The list at Dragon Oak includes alder, apple, ash, basswood, beech, birch, cedar, cherry, elder, elm, hawthorn, hazel, hickory, honey locust, holly, ivy, lilac, maple, oak, Osage orange, poplar, sassafras, vine, black walnut, and willow. After reading through the descriptions, I chose ash for Roxie’s wand. Why?

Several of the properties tie into Roxie’s family heritage and her personal abilities as a witch. With her Irish ancestry, the fact that ash is a sacred tree of Celtic Astrology struck a chord. The more importantly ash “aids in communication, intelligence, wisdom, and promotes curiosity” which are all important to Roxie. And it’s also the “wood of the writer, poet, and scholar” which Roxie is as well.

I looked a bit further into ash wood wands over at British Originals to see what they had to say. Turns out “ash wands cling to its one true master” and so shouldn’t be handed down to another witch. Also Roxie’s stubborn nature makes her an ideal candidate for an ash wand since “witches…best suited to ash wands are not lightly swayed from their beliefs or purposes.”

I do find it fascinating that so much thought has gone into understanding the inherent properties of individual woods and how people can use them to suit a given purpose. I do not fully understand it myself, but is an interesting aspect of the woods available. To think of how they possibly impact us without our being aware of the subtle influences they generate.

Thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds is now available!

Charmed Against All Odds is also part of the Common Elements Romance Project. More than 75 romances—historical, sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, suspense—which include the same 5 elements. Those elements are a guy named Max, a lost set of keys, a tall stack of books, a haunted house, and a lightning storm. Visit the website for a listing of all the books by subgenre and for monthly giveaways.

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Charm #6: Feather or quill #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

Book birthday! It’s finally here! Charmed Against All Odds is now available! Which means I’ve hit the 20 published books milestone. That’s nonfiction and fiction titles, too. Hubby and I are going out somewhere nice tonight to celebrate, because I never thought I’d have so many published and even more to come. I’ve got plans…!

Now, on to the enchanted charm bracelet featured in Charmed. Each charm represents a characteristic I feel is important in order to have a solid relationship with the one you love. I’ve shared the reasons for why I chose an open book, a Friend charm, a handshake, a Comedy and Tragedy Theater masks, and an arrow charm. The sixth and final charm is a feather or quill.

Charm #6: Feather or Quill

The quill is an old-fashioned tool for writing with ink to communicate with someone. Letters were the most used form of communicating with people at a distance. If you’ve been following my career or my blog, then you may realize that I adore the 18th century as a time period to write about. My A More Perfect Union series is set in Charleston, South Carolina during the American Revolution in 1782. At that time the quill was the best tool for writing.

Communication is extremely important in any relationship, from professional to personal. Clear personal communication depends on several of the other characteristics I’ve talked about in my previous posts about the charms: honesty, trust, friendship, and being open to learning about the other person’s opinions and experiences. I suppose to some extent those characteristics also apply to professional communication as well. Let’s look at each a bit more closely.

Honesty feeds the content of your conversation or letter, whatever mode of communication you’re using. If your message is not telling the truth as you see it, then doubt and allegations of lying may follow (as opposed to a misinterpretation or honest mistake). To have a solid relationship, therefore, when you speak or write to your significant other, it’s important to be honest.

You also must trust the other person, and they trust you, in order for your message to be accepted. If you can’t trust the other person for whatever reason, likely your communication will be more guarded, perhaps hedging your words more to protect yourself. This can weaken the bond between you and your significant other.

I include friendship here because if you’re in a loving relationship friendship is most likely at the foundation of the link between you. And it seems to naturally evolve from the first two characteristics of trust and honesty.

Finally, being open-minded is important to have a good communication because if you’re not then you’re probably not hearing, listening, or receiving the real message being sent. Errors in intent or meaning may then occur because the close-minded person has already decided how they will react to the perceived message. Probably negatively since they’ve stopped accepting what’s being conveyed. Actively listening or reading with an eye to understanding the other’s point of view will smooth any misunderstandings that may arise through a garbled message. We all mistakes sometimes in how we phrase something or our interpretation of what’s happened and then make assumptions.

Case in point. I came home from a quick trip to Texas on a stormy Sunday evening. My son’s car wasn’t parked where he normally parks, on the left side of the driveway. Instead he’d parked in my spot on the right side. I knew he and my hubby were aware I was almost home and I was glad to see I could park closer to the sidewalk and run inside from the rain. I thought he’d moved his car out of courtesy. In fact, he’d thought I wasn’t going to be home so had parked in my spot so that my hubby could run an errand (he parks in the garage on the left side of the driveway). So I had totally misunderstood the situation but was still happy to have a shorter distance to get inside. (Don’t think badly about the fact I park outside and hubby parks inside. He’s the one that has to get up and go to work each morning while I walk into my office, so I suggested he park in the garage so he doesn’t have to face the weather and such.)

One other point I’d like to make about communication. You must communicate with your significant other. Not talking, sending an email, a letter, a paper airplane with your message will almost definitely lead to a breakdown in your relationship. We’re very imaginative beings so when something confuses or annoys or upsets us we can find any number of “reasons” which may or may not be the real underlying cause. It’s far easier to have a conversation and clear up the mystery or misunderstanding than to let it simmer until it explodes into a fight. Even if that conversation is difficult to have—and trust me my hubby and I have had several in the 38 years we’ve known each other, including 32 years married—working out the differences can bring you closer together. You’ll see the other perspective and hopefully understand the other point of view, and vice versa. Then you find a compromise.

I do hope you’ll read Charmed Against All Odds and then let me know what you think of Leo and Roxie’s story.

I’m heading out for a nice dinner with my loving, supportive, sometimes frustratingly stubborn husband. And as always, thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds is now available!

Charmed Against All Odds is also part of the Common Elements Romance Project. More than 75 romances—historical, sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, suspense—which include the same 5 elements. Those elements are a guy named Max, a lost set of keys, a tall stack of books, a haunted house, and a lightning storm. Visit the website for a listing of all the books by subgenre and for monthly giveaways.

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Charm #5: Shooting Straight to the Heart #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

My next book is Charmed Against All Odds, and it releases in 1 week! I’m really very excited about this story, which is Roxie and Leo’s story. Writing their story was a challenge since they must complete a quest spell in order to learn their true destiny. The challenge for me was that I had to figure out what the clues would be and what they would mean to my characters. Which meant lots of prewriting before I started writing the actual story.

It’s also one of many books included in the Common Elements Romance Project. More than 75 romances—historical, sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, suspense—which include the same 5 elements. Those elements are a guy named Max, a lost set of keys, a tall stack of books, a haunted house, and a lightning storm. Visit the website for a listing of all the books by subgenre and for monthly giveaways.

Now, on to the enchanted charm bracelet…

I’ve been talking about the charm bracelet featured in Charmed. Each charm represents a characteristic I feel is important in order to have a solid relationship with the one you love. I’ve shared the reasons for why I chose the first charm, an open book, the second one, a Friend charm, the third, a handshake, and the fourth, a Comedy and Tragedy Theater masks charm. The next charm they must find is an arrow.

Charm #5: Arrow

Why, you may be wondering. Well, I think it’s very important to be honest with everyone, including yourself. Definitely when you’re in a loving, long-time relationship you want to be truthful with your significant other. And yes, it can be difficult to be totally honest! But I do believe it’s important to speak the truth.

I’m not talking about being cruel with your honesty. Not at all. If someone asks your opinion, and you don’t like whatever it is they’re asking your opinion about, then please consider your response before you blurt out something hurtful. I’ve always tried to phrase my criticism gently or with some kind of suggestion for improvement (to my way of thinking). I expect my hubby and my loved ones in general to be honest in return.

Now, I will say that a very dear friend of mine once asked me while we were out shopping if I liked the hat she was trying on. I gave her my honest answer: it looked good on her but I wouldn’t buy it. She put it back and later told me she hadn’t bought it because I said I wouldn’t buy it. What she failed to realize is that I don’t wear hats. Not unless it’s in the single digits and I have to put something on my head or freeze. But decorative ones? No, thanks. But then I felt bad that she’d denied herself the hat she liked because of my inadequate response. I should have just said it looked cute on her and left it at that. I don’t recall now, decades later, if she asked me if I’d buy it, and then I replied I wouldn’t, so she put it back. That may be the case. Either way, I learned something that day as well about how to respond to such questions going forward.

One lesson I learned as a young woman is one that has stayed with me, and which has guided my choices on whether to delve deeper or not. You know, do I ask whether something I’m wearing looks nice? Or what hubby thinks of some other aspect of my person? Or even something about my stories, if I’m still working on something. Anything intensely personal which may sting if criticized. The lesson, or realization, is that if I think it will hurt to hear a negative answer, then I don’t ask the question. I keep my mouth shut. That way neither of us are put into an awkward situation when we want to share honestly with each other.

When my dear father started living with us (he did so for 17 years), he asked me to not tell my hubby something my dad had said about my husband. Since it concerned my hubby, I wanted to make clear to my dad that his unkind words were not appreciated. My response was, we tell each other everything. We are a team, partners in our married life. We are honest with each other to the best of our abilities. The message was hopefully clear to him. I do not keep secrets from my husband. Besides that, I could see how condoning or encouraging my dad to tell me such things would put me in the middle between the two men in my life. Not a place I ever wanted to be, even though there were many times I did find myself right smack dab in the middle. But that’s another story…

While I am open and honest with my husband, I will not reveal a secret to him which doesn’t concern him. I value my friends and family and their privacy, so if they ask me to keep something in confidence then of course I will.  That’s not the same thing as hearing someone disparage my husband and then ask me to keep it to myself. The decision as to whether to tell my husband rests with me at that point.

It’s my firm belief that if two people in a relationship don’t feel comfortable sharing their day-to-day stuff, their decisions, their futures, their lives, then they probably shouldn’t stay together. Honesty seems to me to be the foundation of trust. If you’re not sure whether your partner is telling you the truth, can you trust them? Without trust, how can you relax and be yourself with the other person? The rest of the characteristics I’m talking about all rely on each other.

So, that’s why I included the arrow charm, with the imagery of being honest and true with your significant other, your spouse, even your friend. It’s also vital that you are honest with yourself. Understand the impact and the effect of the decisions you make, both for yourself and those you love. Note that decisions can be as small as what you’re going to drink with dinner or huge like where you’re searching for your next job. The first choice may have no impact on others, while the second one could have life-changing ripple effects.

Five charms down, one more to go! And it’s a really, really important one, too.

So what are your thoughts on these characteristics? Do you disagree? Have others you’d like to add to the list?

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Charm #3: Let’s shake hands on it #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

I’ve just returned from a week spent in Virginia at Massanutten Resort with my loving hubby. While I was away I heard from several readers who had advance copies of Charmed Against All Odds that they loved Roxie and Leo’s story. And several others who also loved The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn. All I can say is, thank you so much! Makes me smile! I need to get back to writing this week, right? I have several other books to revise and even more to write.

In recent weeks I’ve shared the reasons for why I chose the first charm, an open book, and the second one, a Friend charm, that the quest spell in Charmed Against All Odds sends Roxie and Leo out to find. The third charm is a handshake. Why?

It took me a little while to pick a symbol for the third element of a successful relationship. (In my opinion of course. I’m sure others may have different characteristics they associate with having a solid relationship, but I can only choose those elements that have worked for me in my 30+ year marriage.) Several charming (get it?) possibilities are out there but only one seemed just right.

The third characteristic is one that you must have in order for the first two to work, and for the remaining three also. It’s essential for any relationship, personal to business and probably beyond. What is it? Trust.

Charm #3: Handshake

When you meet someone for the first time, you have a polite level of trust but you most likely won’t trust them with too much that’s personal and private. You’ll talk about the weather or the local team’s odds of winning the pennant or even the new restaurant coming to town. Safe topics. Until you get to know them. Until they prove whether they can keep your personal and private thoughts, desires, dreams, etc., private. Or if they’ll keep their word to you, whatever promise they make. If you were to hear of someone else talking about those private dreams or hopes, or if a specific or implicit promise is broken, then your trust would fracture if not shatter. Rebuilding trust takes time—if it’s even possible—after someone has lied or cheated or betrayed your trust in any number of ways.

In Charmed Against All Odds, Leo must rebuild the trust he once shared with Roxie after he not only abused his magick powers, making his actions suspect, but also since he broke her heart by his subsequent decision to leave town permanently. Ending their betrothal and walking away.

Trust is a requirement of a close relationship because without it you cannot be comfortable sharing with anyone who you really are in private. We all put on a persona, a mask if you will, when we go out in public. We are polite and friendly, most of the time, but we don’t reveal much that is painful or worrying. When someone asks, “how are you?” we tend to say, “fine, thanks” and move on. We don’t say the absolute truth—unless we’re talking to someone we know and trust.

When we accept another person’s promise, it is an agreement. A contract of sorts. We expect the other person to do everything in their power to do what they say they will. Now we all know some of those promises are what Mary Poppins calls “pie crust promises” – easily made, easily broken, and therefore of little lasting import. But some promises have lasting impacts and breaking that type of promise can leave emotional scars.

So the handshake charm speaks to me as an agreement, a sense of trusting the other person to some degree. The extent of that degree would most definitely depend on how long you’ve known the other person and your previous interactions. Also of how you’ve been treated in the past in a similar situation. But if you hope to have a long-lasting personal relationship with anyone, then you must build it on a foundation of trust plus a few other key ingredients…which we’ll explore in the coming weeks.

Three charms down, three more to go!

Don’t forget that Charmed Against All Odds is available for preorder before it releases on November 11. And as a bonus gift for everyone who preorders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order with me on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/AuthorBettyBolte) and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, we’ll pick a different story in the Secrets of Roseville series as a thank you gift!)

One last thing! My next signing is in a couple of weeks, on Saturday, November 2, 11:00-3:00, in Albertville, Alabama. Visit the Shades of Pemberley Event Page for details. You will be able to buy a copy of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) AND I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds (Secrets of Roseville Book 5) before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you there to support the Shades of Pemberley independent bookstore as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple

Charm #2: On being a Friend #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

Continuing on this week with the enchanted charm bracelet in Charmed Against All Odds and the individual charms Roxie Golden and Leo King have to hunt for and why I chose them.

I talked about the first charm, an open book, last time. Today I’ll talk about the second charm and why I chose it as a symbol of things required in a lasting relationship, especially marriage.

One of the very familiar tropes in fiction is the friends-to-lovers story. I feel like this is the most powerful of stories in many ways. Mainly because if you can’t be friends with the person you’ll spend the vast majority of your time, your future, your old age with, then it’s going to be a difficult relationship/marriage to enjoy.

Charm #2: Gold-plate Friend

I’ve known people who tell me they love their family even if they don’t like them. Loving and liking are very different intensities of caring for another. Wanting no harm to come to family but also not wanting to spend time with them. I understand how that can be a person’s reality. I know of marriages that have stretched over decades but with little love between the husband and wife. I really don’t want to contemplate how horrible living in such a situation would make me feel.

I believe that for a marriage to last and to be a relationship cherished by the couple, there must be a friendship between them. Things they enjoy doing together. Experiences they want to share with the other first, or only. My loving hubby knows more about me than any other living soul on this planet. All the good, and all the not so good. He’s my very best friend, and I am his.

I have other friends, of course. I love and cherish our friendship, too! The difference between the friendship I share with my husband and that of my other friends comes down to just how intimately my husband knows me. Not just the physical me, but the emotional, professional, ambitious, loving, supporting me.

That will bring us to the other charms on the enchanted charm bracelet…

Two charms down, four more to go!

As a reminder, Charmed Against All Odds is available for preorder now and releases on November 11. I announced this special offer last week. As a bonus gift for everyone who preorders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order with me on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/AuthorBettyBolte) and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, let me know and we’ll work out a different story in the Secrets of Roseville series as a thank you gift!)

My next signing is November 2, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. I’ll bring copies of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) to sign and I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds (Secrets of Roseville Book 5) before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you in Albertville, AL, to support the Shades of Pemberley independent book store as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

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Charm #1: On being an open book #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #wicca #jewelry #magick #magic #witchcraft #research

The last three weeks I’ve talked about the elements of the membership ring for the Order of Witchery Lore in Charmed Against All Odds. Those elements include which finger to wear the ring, what color of stone, and what metal. Now I’d like to talk about the enchanted charm bracelet and more specifically the individual charms Roxie Golden and Leo King have to hunt for and why I chose them.

One lesson I’ve learned over years, or make that decades, of writing is that nothing in the story should be arbitrary. Everything should have a reason for being. So when it came time to sort out the booty my main characters were in search of, I had to determine the why before the what.

The first thing I did was to make a list of things I feel are necessary to have a successful relationship, partnership, marriage, based on my observations and my 30+ years’ experience married to my husband. Then I arranged those into an order of increasing importance.

Charm #1: Gold-plate open book

The first charm, an open book, is given to them to launch the quest spell. This is the moment in Charmed Against All Odds when Roxie realizes something is amiss, after Leo (her ex-fiancé) arrives out of the blue with a mysterious box:

“The sole reason I’m here is to give you this box.” He plunked it down on the glass display case by the register, knocking a stack of postcards advertising the open mic night across the surface. “Done. I’m out of here.”

Wait, she wanted to cry out as he glanced at her and then away. He couldn’t leave. She had questions only he could answer. If he’d stay long enough to hear them. He pivoted on one heel and marched toward the door.

“Stop.” She hurried to pick up the silver box and then hurried after him, holding it with both trembling hands. She caught up to him and momentarily laid a hand on his arm to detain his rapid departure, sensed the deep agitation inside him even as the familiar sizzle flowed through her. She stifled a gasp. He glanced at her hand and then met her eyes with a steady look. Releasing his arm, she gripped the box with both hands. “What am I supposed to do with it?”

The box vibrated in her hands and then a lyrical click sounded as the lid popped open. What had unlocked the box? She blinked at it, angling it one way and another to search for a release or some other catch she might have brushed. Nothing. Tara and Beth came around the counter and stood to one side, peeking at the tiny box. Magic must have been infused in the object, sensitive to her touch. But only after she’d touched Leo. Before then, it had remained firmly secured. She stared at the box as if it held a secret she didn’t want to know.

“Open it all the way.” Beth stretched a hand toward the box but hesitated to make contact with it. “What’s inside?”

“No idea. Not sure I want to but… Here goes.” Roxie slowly lifted the lid to reveal another gold folded note under a chunky golden bracelet. A single charm—an open book—was attached to it.

So, why an open book to begin the search? It’s not that either of the main characters, Roxie and Leo, are open books. Not at all! It’s more a symbol of knowing each other by walking in their shoes. Like when you read a story set in a different world from your everyday life, you get to experience life from a different perspective by “becoming” one of the characters.

The open book also symbolizes, to my way of thinking, being open to knowing everything about the other person in the relationship. Of attempting to understand the world through their eyes, their experiences. Do we always succeed? Of course not. But the attempt makes it easier to understand their reasoning, their reaction, their decision-making process. Ultimately to find common ground when you have a disagreement, an argument, or even an out-and-out verbal fight.

One charm down, five more to go!

Charmed Against All Odds is available for preorder now and releases on November 11. As a bonus gift, for everyone who pre-orders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order with me on my Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/AuthorBettyBolte) and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, let me know and we’ll work out a different story as a thank you gift!)

My next signing is November 2, so check out my Appearances page on my website for details. I’ll bring copies of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) to sign and I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you there to support the Shades of Pemberley independent book store as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

Books2Read     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo      Apple