Updates on What I’m Doing

The new covers for the books in the Wyoming Series is here!

Old covers:

New covers:

Now no one can pick up the book thinking they are getting a book without sex in it. When someone assumed I was writing Amish romances based on the original cover for The Fugitive’s Bride, I knew I had to update the covers. I have no interest in writing Amish romances. I like my romances spicy.

I plan to keep these covers for the Regency Series I’m currently working on (Marriage by Design Series) because I love them…

…but all future covers I do will now convey to people unfamiliar with my books that I write romances that have sex in them. I figure Breaking the Rules lets people know there is sex in the book, but the other two might possibly give mixed messages. I love these covers, so I’m keeping them. I love all of my old covers, so I’ll keep those, too. (I do, however, want to eventually update Loving Eliza, Bid for a Bride, and Bride of Second Chances.) I’m happy with all of the other covers.

I have an Author Page on MeWe!

I have left Facebook, and I am MUCH happier now. If you happen to be on MeWe and would like to connect on my page, here’s the link: https://mewe.com/p/ruthannnordinsbooks.

Writing progress!

This is Book 2 of the Wyoming Series. Book 1 is The Outlaw’s Bride.

The Rancher’s Bride is fully edited now. I need to get it formatted and uploaded. I hope to get it done this weekend. The official release date is June 27.

This book bridges the events from The Outlaw’s Bride to The Fugitive’s Bride. This book starts the night our heroes rescued the two-year-old Lloyd. As you’ll recall, Abby ended up taking him, and no one knew what happened to them, so we’re left wondering if Abby and Lloyd are okay. This is her romance, so naturally, they’re fine, but she does sustain an injury that requires a doctor’s attention. As luck would have it (because I happen to be the author of this book), Thayne was a doctor during the Civil War. He no longer performs surgery because of the psychological effects the war left on him. Meanwhile, Wade is stuck at his hideout, and since he was also injured, he can’t search for Abby and Lloyd. Jeremiah does the search for him. There are a lot of serious moments in this book, but I also balanced them out with Thayne’s ten-year-old niece who says the darndest things at the worst possible times. When things get to be too depressing in a book, I like to boost things up with some humor.

This is Book 3 of the Wyoming Series. (This is the last book in the series.) Book 1 is The Outlaw’s Bride. Book 2 is The Rancher’s Bride.

I’m over the halfway point, and I’m going to be sad to see this book end. Of the three, this one is my favorite. The whole series is one of my top favorites. The Nebraska and South Dakota Series are my top favorites, and now this one is right there with them. There’s an emotional connection I’ve felt for all of these characters, and my favorite couple of the three books in the Wyoming Series is Wade and Millie. From The Outlaw’s Bride, we’re introduced to both characters.

Wade is bitter brother who wants nothing more than to kill Charles because Charles killed his wife, kidnapped his son, and stole his ranch. He has a lot of issues to work through, and it has been fun to watch him evolve from someone who is embedded in bitterness into someone who lets that destructive emotion so he can truly love and have joy again. Millie was Lillian’s traveling companion at the very beginning of The Outlaw’s Bride. Charles had abducted her from the stagecoach because he needed a woman to take care of Lloyd. At the end of The Outlaw’s Bride, Wade rescued her from Charles while he was rescuing Lloyd. So that’s how she ends up at the hideout with him. Millie is Wade’s perfect match. She’s compassionate, but she’s no doormat. Sparks fly between them, and that has made the romance portion of the book so much fun.

As a side note: I’m not writing a book for Jeremiah. Jeremiah does get his happy ending, but his doesn’t require a romance to make that happen.

I don’t know if I should publish this in August or wait until October like I had originally planned. Right now, Nobody’s Fool is slotted for August. It all depends on how much interest there is for The Rancher’s Bride.

This is Book 2 in the Marriage by Design Series. Book 1 is Breaking the Rules.

Poor Emilia is having the hardest time convincing the very besotted (and geeky) Benjamin that they would be better off living in separate townhouses. A wife has never had more trouble getting her new husband to fall out-of-love with her. She’s tried being a wallflower, being argumentative, and being a spendthrift, but so far, to her bewilderment, nothing has worked. This is a cute romantic comedy. I realize people are going to immediately root for Benjamin because he is such a sweet hero, but our heroine will need some convincing of it, which is what the book is all about. The “book” most of the gentlemen in my Regencies receive makes its way into this one. I know some of you enjoy it when that book pops up, so I thought I’d mention it.

This is Book 3 in the Marriage by Design Series. This is the last book in the series. Book 1 is Breaking the Rules. Book 2 is Nobody’s Fool.

This book has been a lot of fun to write. This is the classic battle of wills setup. Aaron is the hero, and we learn in Breaking the Rules that his mother had several affairs and children from those affairs. It’s made him bitter toward marriage, and he assumes all ladies are like his mother. With that background, you know he’s not going to be happy to be tricked into marriage. Our heroine had hoped to be unmarried forever, so she’s not exactly happy to be married, either. She, however, was willing to give the marriage a chance. And then he hired a chaperone to watch over her at all times. When I say “all times”, I mean “all THE time”. Our poor heroine can’t get a moment alone. He refuses to take the risk she’ll have someone else’s child.

But she’s not one to take things lying down. She hires a chaperone to watch him, saying she won’t have him siring a bunch of children with other ladies, either. From there, the battle of wills only intensifies, and at the moment, our poor heroine has been forced to wear gray dresses from the top of her neck all the way down to her ankles because our hero can’t bring himself to admit he’s attracted to her fiery spirit (and her beauty), so he is determined to snuff out anything that tempts him to cave. She’s not so tempted by him at the moment, though I’m sure she’ll figure out a way to him as uncomfortable as the restricting dresses are making her.

I’m laughing a lot while writing this. If you like my type of humor, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s a solid romantic comedy. I have no idea how these two will finally kiss, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

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Is the Story Good Enough?

ID 119116945 © Ilovewinter | Dreamstime.com

This is something I think every writer asks themselves once in a while. Usually, while we’re writing a story, the words flow nicely and the scenes seem to ease from one into another with no real effort at all. The story is vibrant in our minds, and we see and feel everything our characters do. Time is suspended while we’re in our world and watching things unfold as the story progresses.

And then we finish the story, have it edited, and publish it. I don’t know how many writers out there start to question the story once it’s released into the world, but I do with just about every book I’ve ever done. Did I give the characters the story they deserved? Did I leave something out that should have been in the plot? Did I add something in the plot that was unnecessary? Was the story too short? Was it too long? Did I rush something? Did I let something drag on too long? In other words, “Is the story good enough?”

There are many things a writer can doubt about their work. It’s hard to remember what made the story so awesome when we were writing it as we get further away from it. This is why I think it’s good for us to go back and reread our stories from time to time. Of all the people who ever read our books, we should be the most excited to be wrapped up the worlds we created. But try not to read the story as an editor. Read it for enjoyment.

Will there be things you see that you wouldn’t do today? Probably, but these are often small things like word choice, a way to better explain something, or a certain detail you know would be a better fit. In cases like this, I think you should take that as a sign of growth as a storyteller. I wouldn’t bother going back and fixing it. When you get enough books out into the world, there’s simply not enough time in the day to tweak old books. The best use of your time is to keep producing new work because writing new stuff is the best way to fine tune our storytelling abilities.

So when you notice those things that could have been better in the old stories, think of this as an indication that you are a much stronger storyteller today than you used to be. It’s a sign of success. Even with some hiccups in a past story that you pick up, you should still get enjoyment from reading your stories. This is why you should read them as a reader. You spent a lot of time writing it and polishing it up to get it published. Why not sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor?

Thankfully, how well a book sells or doesn’t sell is independent of the emotional satisfaction you have when you go back and reread the story. Some of the books I enjoy most are the ones that barely sold at all. Sometimes when you publish a book and realize very few people want to buy it, it’s easy to think the story sucks. The truth is, a lot of amazing stories out there aren’t getting the sales they really deserve. I don’t know why this is. But this idea that only good stories are big sellers is a myth. Just because a story is good, it doesn’t mean it’ll sell well. In the end, if you got pleasure from your own story, it is a good story. I don’t care what anyone else says. You are the only person whose opinion is worth listening to when it comes to your work. If you reread your story and love it, it is good enough.

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Return of the Aliens Trivia

I know this isn’t on the list of things I had up to do next. That was The Earl’s Wallflower Bride. But I have just gotten through rereading Return of the Aliens. In light of the virus that caused almost every country in the entire world to lockdown, various politicians in the world calling for a one world government (which isn’t all that new), and the Pentagon recently releasing footage of UFO (or “unidentified aerial phenomena”, as they’re calling it), it just seemed like a good time to go back and read the book. I hadn’t read it since I published it, so I’d forgotten quite a bit of it.

returnofthealiensnewcover

1. I got the initial idea for the book back in 2009 when I saw a You Tube video (from someone I can’t remember) who said that the US government was going to declassify UFO footage the military has taken over the years. My first thought was to laugh. But the writer in me asked, “What if it did happen? What if the government suddenly came out with alien disclosure?” And that one question led me down a rabbit trail that introduced me to conspiracy theories I’d never heard before.

2. It took over a year for me to write this book. The rabbit trail of one conspiracy theory after another evolved as I did more and more research. It led to things like the Illuminati, underground bases where strange experiments are going on, super soldiers, black-eyed kids, false flag events the government puts into place to scare people into giving up their rights, and the meaning of different colored dots in the mailboxes to signify who is a compliant citizen and who isn’t. Since these were conspiracy theories, it was hard to separate fact from fiction. But those theories made for good storytelling.

3. Now, I do believe the Bible and the prophecies that point to the rapture of the church, the Great Tribulation period, and the second coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth. I also believe there is a spiritual world going on around us composed of angels and demons. I have not had visions or dreams or anything like that. I just study the Bible and go by what it says. I do, however, have a friend who is attuned to the spiritual world. I know it exists. I just don’t have any personal stories to share about it. Anyway, Return of the Aliens was written from the “What if….” standpoint. What if the conspiracy theories are true? If they were true, how might they collide with Bible prophecy?

4. It was a lot of fun playing with all of these neat ideas, but it was also very draining. The book took over a year to write because I had to keep taking breaks. I was wiped out by the time it was done. The extensive research I did for this book was more than I want to do with any other book, and this is why I have no intention of writing anything else like it.

5. Autumn’s name comes from the lateness of the hour since autumn is the season where the leaves die and fall off the trees. It represents the end of one era (summer), and it also represents a transition into the next (winter that leads into spring). This story begins the end time events. In Bible prophecy, preachers often say that the hour is late and we’re very close to Jesus’ return. I realize they were saying that even in Peter and Paul’s day, but this virus has shown me how connected people are on a global scale. I’m seeing things I thought I’d never see, and it sets the stage for what happens in the Book of Revelation.

6. Devon was meant to be a bad guy who stayed the villain. I picked his name because it was close to “devil”. He was supposed to represent the evil forces in the world. That’s why Autumn saw the demon hovering around him. However, about 1/3 of the way into the book, I realized he was going to turn into a hero. No one was more surprised than I was by the turn of events.

7. Alex was supposed to end up with Autumn, but that changed on me, too. Alex had two choices to make, and he chose to hold onto his anger. Vanessa was very hard to write, too. I liked both of these characters, but they made their choices, and I had to follow the results of those choices to their conclusion. While Alex’s choices were based in resentment and bitterness, hers were made out of fear.

8. The alien stuff is pure speculation. I was listening to some people at the time who held the theory that our “saviors” would appear to us as aliens but they really were fallen angels. Having watched the movie Mission to Mars where the astronauts learned that aliens planted our DNA on Earth, I decided to go with that approach to explain the aliens’ appearance in the book.

9. I enjoyed writing the scenes with Devon the most because it allowed me to explore various techniques in working with psychological suspense and horror. In my opinion, psychological suspense and horror have the strongest emotional impact than the slasher kind of stuff. That all said, this is not a book for children. It’s for adults. I wanted to write something for a mature audience because the subjects I tackled were dark.

10. The scenes with Alex and the gray alien freak me out even to this day. While I wrote them, I was seriously spooked and would imagine all kinds of crazy things happening in the house. I was relieved to get past those scenes, and when I reread the book last week, I skimmed those parts. I think it’s because demons were tormenting him, and since I believe demons are real, that just hit too close to home. The conspiracy theory stuff Devon went through were more of a “maybe/maybe not” scenario, so it’s easier to brush that off.

11. I didn’t get to all the seal, bowl, or trumpet judgments mentioned in the Book of Revelation. I originally set out to do that, but there was so much already going on in the book that I couldn’t have possibly fit everything in. Instead, I focused on the four main characters (Autumn, Devon, Alex, and Vanessa) and dealt with their specific stories.

12. The original set up for this book was six installments, so it started out as a serial. I later dropped the individual small books and put everything into one book that is what you get today.

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