Posts tagged with: Not Without Her Family

Don’t Leave Me Hanging

by Beth

I consider myself a fairly patient person. I don’t mind waiting in long lines or at the doctor’s office or in traffic. I don’t get impatient for special days such as Christmas or my book release days mainly because I realize there’s nothing I can do to make those days get here any faster so why bother? Even if I’m dying to see a new movie, I wait for it to come out on DVD (okay, this one is because with three kids to feed, I can’t afford to go to the movies *g*)

But that’s not to say I’m always patient (just ask my kids, they’ll be happy to tattle on me) While I don’t mind waiting for certain things, that doesn’t necessarily mean I enjoy waiting either.

For instance, I’ve begun to wait until the entire season of my favorite TV shows are out on DVD to watch them just so I don’t have a whole week between episodes. And I usually watch them as close to the newest season as possible just in case there are any cliff-hangers. That way I can find out how things are resolved a lot sooner πŸ™‚

I wish I could do this with book trilogies too. I’d love to be able to spend an entire weekend reading a favorite author’s latest trilogy/series from start to finish but books are one area where my patience runs thin. As soon as I know a new release is out, I have to read it even if it means a torturous six month wait for the next installment.

Which brings me to my most recent – and flattering – brush with impatience. I was asked by Harlequin to write an online read for their website, eHarlequin. HIS PERFECT MATCH is a weekly online read meaning each Monday for eight weeks a new chapter will be posted to the website and so far, two chapters have been posted.

And after both chapters, some very lovely people have commented on how they can’t wait for the next chapter! How cool is that? People are actually a bit impatient to read something I’ve written *g* I have to admit, it’s very cool – but part of me just wants to send them the rest of the story so they don’t have to wait – LOL!

What about you? What makes you impatient? Do you read a trilogy or series all at once or each book as soon as you can get your hands on it? Do cliff-hangers (in books, movies or TV) entice you? Or infuriate you? *g*

Prizes! Today I thought I’d try something different (and hopefully fun *g*) I’ll be giving away copies of the winner’s choice of either NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY or A NOT-SO-PERFECT PAST but there’s a catch πŸ™‚

Four times throughout the day I’ll ask a question pertaining to the first two chapters of HIS PERFECT MATCH (yes, you have to read it, but don’t worry, it’s short *g*). The first person to post the correct answer wins! Easy, right? But you never know when I’ll ask a question so be sure to check back πŸ™‚

Just click here to read HIS PERFECT MATCH!

Bandit Booty

Thanks to everyone who posted on my Birthday Blog. The winner of a copy of Not Without Her Family and a choice of one of Tawny’s books is…

Gannon!!

Congratulations, Gannon! Please send me your information at beth@bethandrews.net (let me know which of Tawny’s books you want – Double Dare, Does She Dare or Risque Business) and I’ll get your books out to you asap!

Thanks again to everyone for stopping by πŸ™‚

And The Winner…

Of a signed copy of NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY is

Beth!! (and no, I didn’t pick her because of her cool name – my daughter drew her name out of a hat )

Congratulations, Beth!! Drop me an email at: beth@bethandrews.net with your snail mail info and I’ll get your book out to as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who commented!

Favorite Funny Men

by Beth Andrews

I used to watch this very cool show on The Discovery Channel called Dirty Jobs. See, in Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe tries the dirtiest, most disgusting jobs he can find. It’s really interesting and honestly, quite disgusting.

Oh, how I loved that show!

I’m not actually allowed to watch it anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I try and watch it but whenever it’s on, my dear husband turns the channel. Why? Well, it’s not because he’s grossed out when Mike inseminates a horse or collects owl vomit or trudges around in sewage systems.

It’s because I have a crush–a HUGE crush–on Mike Rowe.

But before you start to think I’m crushing on Mike only because he’s cute (which he is) let me say that his looks are not the reason I adore this man. It’s because he’s funny. Yep, there you have it. I love funny guys. Give me a guy who can make me laugh and I’m hooked *g*

Which is why today I give you:

Beth’s List of Her Favorite Funny Men:
(yes, I do love my lists *g*)

1. Mike Rowe – As mentioned above, he does the most disgusting jobs but he’s always ready with a zinger or one liner that cracks me up.

2. Justin Long – Otherwise known as the Mac Guy in the Mac commercials as well as Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend. What a cutie! And I loved him in the TV show Ed which brings me to…

3. Tom Cavanagh – He was the lead character in Ed and he was adorable! He was smart and funny and such a good guy I couldn’t help but root for him that he’d win Carol’s (the girl of his dreams since high school) heart πŸ™‚

4. John Krasinski – I love The Office and part of the reason is Jim Halpert! What a cutie and he’s always pulling the funniest pranks on his coworkers and trying so hard to keep his boss in line. Every episode cracks me up!

5. Owen Wilson – I fell for Owen in a big way. That hair. That crooked nose. That sexy voice *g* Loved him in Night at the Museum and, though it wasn’t a comedy, Behind Enemy Lines.
6. Ben Stiller – love how he’s not afraid to play the bad guy (he was hilarious as White Goodman in Dodgeball) or the good guy (Larry Daley in Night at the Museum) or the not so bright guy (Derek Zoolander in Zoolander)

7. The men of MASH – I love, love, love this show! Hawkeye, Trapper John and BJ were my favorites. I especially love Hawkeye’s laugh πŸ™‚

8. The men of Friends – Ross was my favorite but honestly, Chandler’s dry wit is the most similar to my own sense of humor so he made me laugh the most *g*

9. Steve Carell – Yep, love him in The Office but he really cracked me up in Anchorman (as the dim-witted Brick Tamland) and I thought he was terrific in Dan In Real Life!

10. The classics – Cary Grant, James Stewart and Clark Gable. (sigh) Some of my very favorite movie stars of all time and they all did comedy so well! They were all handsome, super talented and could play both dramatic roles and humorous ones. They had it all πŸ™‚

What about you? Do you prefer a guy who can make you laugh or are you into more serious men? Who are some of your favorite funny guys? I’ll give away a signed copy of Not Without Her Family to one luck poster so let’s hear from you!

Debut Delight – Beth Andrew’s NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY chitchat

by Tawny Weber

Many people may or may not realize that the awesome Beth Andrews is my coveted Critique Partner (as in I will share her, but get first dibs… just don’t tell Vrai Anna) and I’m overjoyed to see her fabulous debut, NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY on store shelves now! For fun and pleasure (my fun in tormenting her, your pleasure in reading the results) I talked Beth into answering a few questions for today’s blog… and here we go: (btw: I tried to find a different picture of Beth and I to share, but most are blackmail material and probably should be kept off the net… for now)

So Beth, you wrote one hot hero in your debut, NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY. He’s the ultimate sexy good boy. Wanna share a little about what your inspiration was for Jack Martin?

First, thanks for thinking Jack’s sexy – I find him quite sexy myself! Actually, I started with Kelsey, my heroine. She’s a reformed troublemaker–or at least, that’s what she’d like people to believe *g* So I knew I wanted a hero who would give her a run for her money, who would really force her to grow and evolve into the person she’s meant to be, the person she’s been hiding behind her sarcastic wit and tough girl persona. And I came up with Jack *g* He’s a by-the-book police chief to her rebellious bad girl. I wanted him to be controlled and just a real steady arrow. Someone who knows what they want, knows right from wrong but wasn’t so rigid that he couldn’t bend once in a while without breaking. The more I wrote, the more Jack evolved and that’s where his sexiness sort of…leaked through into the story πŸ™‚

Hmmm… Jack leaked? Really? Okay, this image is killing me!

LOL – That’s what you get for letting me answer questions after 9 pm — Leaking heroes πŸ˜‰

And Kelsey – OMG I love her! She’s such a total smart-alek, yet so vulnerable. How did you manage to balance those distinctive traits so well?

It was tough. I’ve written several snarky heroines and to be honest, it took me a few tries before I was able to soften Kelsey enough to make her empathetic without having her lose her edge. I realized if Kelsey said something harsh or smart-aleky (I think I just made up a word *g*) then I needed to show WHY she was acting that way. Out of fear? Insecurity? Anger? Defensiveness? Also, I had to make sure she didn’t come across as mean or nasty (another tough trick) but mostly, I had to make sure she wasn’t ALWAYS the wise-guy. She has moments, especially around Jack’s daughter, where she lets her guard down and her vulnerabilities show.

This is so hard to get across, too. I remember how many times we… I mean, you reworked Kelsey to bring those vulnerabilities to the surface. And as the writer (and CP, ahem), I know you KNEW the reasons behind her smart-alekiness (to take off with your word *g*) but bringing those reasons out for readers to see. What was it that made you aware that Kelsey needed a little softening? I know it wasn’t CP input since I adored her rough edges *g*.

Hey, don’t try to get out of it – you were with me every step of the way with this story *g* And I adored Kelsey’s rough edges too which was why it was so hard to see that she needed softening a bit. Luckily, I had an editor explain to me that she came across as a bit…harsh and if I took her rough edges too far, she’d become unlikable. My current editor helped me see that sometimes taking out a single sentence can make all the difference. So even though I thought Kelsey was hilarious and witty, taking out some of her zingers and one-liners really made all the difference in how she comes across. I’ve definitely learned to take the adage Less Is More to heart with my writing πŸ™‚

Great adage and what a solid writing tip for us all! Now, I have to ask: Jack’s daughter Emma almost steals the story. You have a way of writing kids that keeps them real, but still makes them adorable (not saying real and adorable aren’t synonymous with kids, but… well, hmmm.) Did you worry about her taking over?

LOL – Emma was so much fun to write! And yes, sometimes real kids aren’t so adorable (as we know since we have real kids *g*) I didn’t worry about her taking over until it was pointed out to me that she needed to be…toned down a bit. But really, to me, kids do have a way of stealing the spotlight in real life – especially one like Emma. They’re just very hard to ignore πŸ™‚

So true! And she did have a hottie for a daddy. How hard was it to create a flipped stereotype – single father hero with a fear of kids heroine?

Creating the flipped stereotype was very easy for me because I knew Kelsey so well that I knew the idea of being around kids would freak her out. (Again, what better way to torture her than to pair her with a single father? I’m so mean to my characters *g*) With her background, she knew nothing about kids, nothing about being a mother so adding Emma into the mix also added another conflict to keeping Jack and Kelsey apart.

So lets talk about this mean thing. I keep hearing rumor that you’re intimidating and mean (and not just to your characters). Do you really think it through like that – here is my character and here are her deepest fears… now lets find the absolute worst person for her –in her mind– and bring them together?

Hey, who says I’m mean? Besides my kids, that is *ggg* And yes, you nailed it perfectly – that’s exactly how I think it through. For example, in Not Without Her Family, Kelsey’s brother Dillon and Jack’s sister Allie are friends. Now, I think some people would like to see Dillon and Allie get together but the fact is, there’s no reason for them to have a story. They have no conflict, no chemistry except that they’re friends, he’s a sexy bad boy and she’s a gorgeous good girl. But that’s it. So, for Dillon’s story, I paired him up with the worst woman in town for him. Honestly, I torture the poor guy (and believe me, he was already tortured enough before I started his story *g*) but the end result, his happily ever after, is so worth it. At least, I hope it’s worth it!

Ahem… methinks it’s you who keeps claiming to be mean, but I’m usually laughing so I might be mistaken.

Hey, it’s not my fault you’re not the least bit intimidated by me. I’d think my angry face would scare you right out of your socks πŸ™‚

LOL – you keep saying that and I just keep laughing. Maybe you should get a whip or something?

So, okay, back to it… I think, IMHO, your characters are the strength of your writing. They are so multi-dimensional and real that they jump off the pages. And yet you can distill them -their essence, lets say – down to a simple archetype description. How DO you do that?

Oh, thank you! That’s wonderful to hear because I consider myself a very character driven writer. I start with an idea of who my character is and once that character has really gelled in my mind, I go through and figure out their archetype. I then use what I’ve learned to amp up their internal conflict and to give myself an idea as to how they might handle certain situations.

Can you expand on archetypes a little? Tell us more about the concept?

Uh…no? *g*

Kidding. Boy, you’re really making me work, huh? Well, I’m far from an archetype expert but from what I’ve learned, an archetype is a person’s personality, their characteristics. It’s a way to get to the heart of a character. I use The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever and Sue Viders and I’m currently reading a book you recommended, 45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. Both books give the archetype, the archetype’s virtues and flaws as well as examples of each archetype. Once I’ve decided which archetype my character is (although sometimes they’re a combination) I use the virtues and flaws to help decide on what their internal conflict will be and how they’ll react to any given situation. I use it to get a good feel for my characters but honestly, once I start writing and get to know the characters as people, I let their individual personality take over instead of their archetype.

Clear as mud, eh? πŸ˜‰

LOL – Isn’t it fun trying to explain your writing process? Thank you for humoring me and answering all these questions… even if you did make a few threats along the way.
Photobucket So, because Beth rocks, we’re gonna celebrate her debut by me giving away her book *g*


In Not Without Her Family, there’s a scene where Kelsey uses her favorite stand-by cookie recipe to help Jack and Emma out of a jam. What’s your favorite go-to recipe, the one that never fails to impress at family picnics or neighborhood potlucks? Whether it’s your mother’s chocolate bundt cake, your own secret recipe crab dip or a tray of cookies from your local grocery store’s bakery, we want to know! Share and Beth will choose one name to win a copy of NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY!!

Summer Blockbusters!

by Beth Andrews

Since summer time is blockbuster movie time, I thought I’d get a few opinions on what movies people are excited to catch this summer. So I gathered a few characters from my debut release, Not Without Her Family, to get their opinions on what they’re looking forward to seeing (hey, I never said I was going to talk to ‘real’ people *g*)

Before we get started, I’d like to introduce you all to a few of my favorite characters:

Jack Martin – Serenity Springs chief of police, widower, single father and all around good guy (and also our hero *g*)

Kelsey Reagan – our heroine is a bartender, a troublemaker and the perfect woman for Jack *g*

Dillon Ward – Kelsey’s older brother is a local carpenter, an ex-convict and a man in serious need of some love and laughter in his life

Allie Martin – Jack’s younger sister, an ex-defense attorney and current small business owner, she turns heads and breaks hearts wherever she goes

Emma Martin – Jack’s six year old daughter. Emma is precocious, adorable and far too inquisitive for her age (especially when she starts talking about Jack and Kelsey getting her a baby brother)

Beth crosses her legs and takes out her notebook and favorite pen. Okay, let’s get started. What movie are you most looking forward to seeing this summer and why? Let’s go around the room. Jack? You’re first.

Jack: I’m looking forward to seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull because I loved the Indiana Jones’ movies as a kid. But I’ll probably wait to see it on DVD since it’s too scary to take my six year old daughter to.

Emma hops off her chair: I wouldn’t get scared, Daddy! Honest. And if I did, you could take me out for ice cream to make me feel better.

Beth catches Emma’s sly grin and fights her own smile. She clears her throat: Uh, okay, Kelsey, what about you:

Kelsey, sitting with one leg tucked under the other swings her free leg: I’m dying to see Wanted partly because it looks like Angelina Jolie kicks some serious a** in this movie but also because I’m crushing big time on James McAvoy!

Jack, raising his eyebrows: Oh, really?

Kelsey grins and leans over to give Jack a playful kiss: No need to be jealous, sheriff. You’re the only gun toting, handcuff wielding guy for me. Especially since you wield those handcuffs so well.

Dillon flinches: I’m going to be sick.

Allie sends a significant look toward Emma: Could we move on? There are small children here.

Beth blushes to see the heated look passing between Jack and Kelsey: Oh, yes. Sorry. Emma? What movie do you want to see?

Emma hops up and down: I wanna see Kung Fu Panda! Emma starts twirling and kicking and punching, punctuating each move with a forceful Hiyah! Look how good I can do karate! A boy at my school takes karate lessons but my dad says I’m not allowed even though I’m almost seven and I didn’t even cry when I got my ears pierced and they hurt a lot.

Beth leans away from the adorable six year old’s flying fists of fury: Uhm…Okay. Dillon?

Dillon slouches in his chair: Yeah?

Beth’s throat goes dry at having his full attention. There’s just something sexy about a dangerous bad boy: The summer movie you’re most looking forward to?

Dillon: I don’t go to the movies.

Beth: Ever?

Allie: How can you not go to the movies? Is that like a religious preference?

Dillon slides Allie a hooded look: No. I just don’t go.

Allie leans forward, exasperation clear on her beautiful face: Well, let’s say for the sake of argument that you do go to the movies. What would you like to see?

Kelsey slaps Dillon’s knee: I bet you want to see The Incredible Hulk! Remember when we were little and you’d try and tear your shirt off as if you were turning into the big green guy? Oh, and that time you colored your face with green marker only to find out later it was permanent?

All the adults burst out in laughter.

Kelsey, wiping a tear of laughter from her eye: I swear, he was green for three weeks. Looked like he had a permanent case of motion sickness!

Dillon’s lip twitched which is actually pretty close to a smile for him: Hancock.

Beth blinks: Excuse me?

Dillon: The movie I’d see? Hancock. Because Will Smith is pretty cool.

Beth: That he is. Okay, Allie, what about you?

Allie flips her gorgeous dark hair over her shoulder: I can’t wait to see Mamma Mia! I mean, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan in the same movie? Heaven!

Beth: I want to see that one too! Looks like a lot of fun and could even make me appreciate ABBA. Hey, maybe we could all go together?

Dillon glances at Jack: Just shoot me now.

Allie swats him on the arm: Don’t be a drama king. It’d be fun for us all to hang out together.

Jack pulls Emma onto his lap and motions for Kelsey to sit on the arm of his chair: I don’t think Beth’s going to have much time for movies this summer.

Beth: I’m not?

Jack: No. You still have to finish your next story, remember?

Beth pouts prettily then sighs: You’re right. She lowers her voice. I need to get Dillon his Happily Ever After. Poor man’s been put through the ringer.

Dillon jumps to his feet: That’s it. I’m outta here.

Kelsey grins and leans onto Jack’s shoulder: Don’t worry, Dillon. Once you get your Happy Ending, you’ll see that all that torture Beth put you through was so worth it.

She and Jack kiss with Emma grinning happily between them.

Okay, so that was our interview. Sorry it got a little out of hand there at times – you all know how those darn characters get minds of their own πŸ™‚

So, what about you all? Any movies you’re dying to see this summer? How do you prefer to watch your movies: At the theater, at the drive-in or at home? What’s your favorite movie watching snack?