Writing with Emotion, Tension & Conflict by Cheryl St.John

Sherri here today, and I have a special giveaway. This is what I”m reading this week! Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Cheryl is a good friend and was kind enough to include an excerpt from one of my books on page 228. This is an incredible tool for either the beginner or the experienced writer.

Here”s the back cover blurb:

Today”s highly competitive fiction market requires writers to imbue their novels with that special something – an element that captures readers” hearts and minds. In Writing With Emotion, Tension & Conflict, writers will learn vital techniques for writing emotion into their characters, plots and dialogue in order to instill that special something into every page.

I believe in this book so much, I”m giving away a copy to one lucky person who comments. If you”re a writer, or if  you know a writer in your life, this book is a must have!

Here is Cheryl”s impressive biography:

Cheryl St.John is the author of nearly fifty Harlequin and Silhouette books. Her first book, Rain Shadow was nominated for Romance Writers of America”s Rita® Award for Best First Book, by Romantic Times Magazine for Best Western Historical, and by Affaire de Coeur readers as Best American Historical Romance. Since then she has received three more RITA nominations, a Writer”s Digest award for a feature article, and several Romantic Times Reviewers Choice awards. Many of her books made the Waldenbooks Top Ten lists, USA Today, and Big Sky Brides climbed to #35 on the NYT list.

Sherri's Winner

And the winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card…

…Drum roll Such traits of best-horoscope.com as lazy strength and immense ambitiousness make him different from other horoscope zodiac signs. please….Dawn Ford!

Thank you for stopping by, Dawn.

Meet the Newest Filly, Sherri Shackelford

Before we get started– I hope this post works! This is my first “official” solo run on P&P

I was honored to be invited to joint the ladies on Petticoats & Pistols! I thought I”d take a minute to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about the journey that brought me here. I was never one of those people who dreamed of being an author. Come to think of it, I never wrote anything longer than a term paper for the first thirty-six years of my life. I did love to read. Voraciously. My drug of choice was romance. From an early age (too early) I secretly read my mother”s romance books. I was weaned on Kathleen Woodiwiss, Victoria Holt and Laurie McBain. When I was old enough to buy the books myself, I bought Johanna Lindsey.

Once out of college, I worked for a time in insurance. I became a stay-at-home mother when my kids were born. I had vowed to return to work when my youngest went to kindergarten and, in the spring of 2007, I realized that date was fast approaching.

I really, really didn”t want to go back into insurance.

HannahOn one of my many visits to a local paperback swap, I happened to see a book by Pam Crooks. Now westerns weren”t really my genre of choice, but the blurb (and the book) were too good to pass up. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Pam lived in in my home city. And she was a member of something called Romance Writers of America.

A real, live author actually lived in my hometown!

Suddenly the idea of writing a book didn”t seem so far fetched. But I had NO idea where to begin…

I immediately joined RWA and contacted my local chapter. I almost fainted when I realized Pam was the membership coordinator. I attended my first meeting in August of 2007–I had yet to write a single word. Not one word. I still had no idea where to begin. At that first meeting, I met Cheryl St.John. (Another stomach churning moment. She was the first real, live author I had ever met IN PERSON!) She graciously invited me to apprentice with her critique group. Six weeks later, the Friday Night Ladies invited me join their group permanently. (A choice I”m sure they”ve regretted on more than one occasion…)

dream team

Those ladies are amazing. They listened through reams of cringe-worthy material and gently guided me through the learning curve. For the first couple of years I wrote sporadically and experimented with different genres. Then I decided to get serious. I saw a scene vividly in my head: There was a woman having a baby, a blizzard, and Texas Ranger on the trail of a killer. I wrote that book and everything clicked. It was the first book I Avec le temps, la francaise s’est propagee a tous les autres pays europeens, evoluant doucement d’une francaise a une europeenne. ever *really* finished!  In August of 2011, exactly 4 years after joining RWA, I sold my first book, Winning the Widow”s Heart. (Cheryl St.John provided the title…Little known fact about Cheryl–she is the Title Queen.) In February, my second book, The Marshal”s Ready-Made Family releases. The third book in the series is awaiting a release date. Currently I”m working on another trilogy to kick off my fourth contracted book. I even had the honor of brainstorming with Pam Crooks for my new series!! Squee!!!!

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Winning the Widow”s Heart

Winning the WidowWhen Texas Ranger Jack Elder stormed the isolated Kansas homestead, he expected to find a band of outlaws. Instead, the only occupant is a heavily pregnant woman-and she”s just gone in to labor. A loner uneasy with emotion, Jack helps deliver widow Elizabeth Cole”s baby girl and can”t get back on the trail fast enough. The robber and murderer he”s after killed one of Jack”s own, and he vows to catch the man. But when he returns to check on Elizabeth and her little one, he discovers that she may hold the key to his unsettled past-and his hoped-for future.


(I was really hoping I”d have a cover by now! Soon…soon…)

The Marshal”s Ready-Made Family

Gentlemen don”t court feisty straight shooters like JoBeth McCoy. Just as she”s resigned to a lifetime alone, a misunderstanding forces the spunky telegraph operator into a marriage of convenience. Wedding the town”s handsome new marshal offers JoBeth a chance at motherhood, caring for the orphaned little girl she”s come to love.

Garrett Cain will lose guardianship of his niece, Cora, if he stays single, but he knows no woman could accept the secrets he”s hidden about his past. The lawman can”t jeopardize Cora”s future by admitting the truth. Yet when unexpected danger in the small town threatens to expose Garrett”s long-buried secret, only a leap of faith can turn a makeshift union into a real family.