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Cool Gus Book of the Week: Welcome Janice Maynard to the House!

How many weddings have you attended in your lifetime? Me—close to a hundred, I’ll bet. Between my spouse’s career as a pastor, our friends and family near and far, and all of our daughters’ contemporaries, the ripples roll out in a great big circle.

I may not have seen it all, but I’ve seen a lot. First are the large traditional weddings with ten bridesmaids and a fancy reception on the lawn beneath a white tent decorated in lights. At the other end of the spectrum are the simple ceremonies out in the woods with the groom in a kilt and the bride wearing flowers in her hair. Between those two extremes comes everything else you can imagine.

Through all those weddings, I have learned one thing. It’s impossible to predict which marriages will last and which won’t. Life throws curve balls. Tragedies happen. Sometimes people simply have to give up. The truth is, there are no guarantees in life, not even at the altar.

sayido3In my book, Say I Do, I turned the traditional romance trope on its head, because it’s the heroine, Hannah, who is commitment phobic, not the groom. She’s no starry-eyed romantic. Her world is based firmly on reality, and she’s not at all sure a lasting marriage is even possible in the twenty-first century.

The hero, Morgan, has had the opposite life experience. His parents have been happily married forever, and he’s counting on Hannah to make his house a home and grow old with him.

Then disaster strikes, in a manner of speaking, leaving both Hannah and Morgan to deal with the aftermath, when finding their back to each other is the only thing that matters…

Thanks for reading!

Janice Maynard

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Google | Kobo

For Writers. Plot I: Narrative Questions and Book Dissection

There are a lot of questions that have to be answered when writing a novel. I think asking them both before starting to write the book gives focus, and asking them after a draft is done allows for great editing.

Book Dissection means taking a book that is like what you want to write and tearing it apart. This isn’t plagiarism. This is being smart. Many very successful authors did this. It’s how you learn how a successful novel is put together.

Here is my slideshow on this subject via Slideshare.

100_0112-2 If you’re interested in joining my Facebook team, drop an email to

Hope you are enjoying your weekend and these posts!  Cool Gus says hey– this is him a few years ago after conquering Puget Sound, when we lived on Whidbey Island.

novelwriterThe Novel Writers Toolkit.

Westworld. Thoughts.

wwmagesI watched the first two episodes of Westworld and was immediately drawn into this rather amazing remake of Crichton’s story. The movie wasn’t so hot but maybe I was never a Richard Benjamin fan. I did love Money Pit, but as an actor he seems very The Last of Sheila all the time. So, I wasn’t too enthused but my wife said I’d like it and when we met we had all the same books on our shelves, so she’s usually right about what I’d like. And in this case it’s not so much the story though that’s there–it’s the showing and not telling. It’s a good example of when writers and producers choose to believe that you’re as smart as they are. 
And it’s a fitting story of our times as we see racism and sexism finally tossed on the table for discussion and not locked away like the crazed wife in the attic.
Ignore her, I love you.
cgapprovedAt heart there is an apt line in the second episode which says it all–are you one of them?, meaning a robot, and she says if you can’t tell then does it matter? Because the other meaning of that is that if you can tell then it does matter. Meaning that a robot who looks like us is and acts like us is easier to accept than another human who doesn’t look like us or act like us.
Westworld is a lot of things and all of them complicated and thought-provoking. It’s a love it or hate it thing which, like a Rorschach test, says a lot about you in how you interpret it.
Nothing but good times ahead!
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