Monday, 1 June 2015

Imagination to the fore... Margo Hoornstra's Dearly Beloved Series

My Monday Moments return guest is my friend Margo Hoornstra who is sharing her Dearly Beloved Series with us today. She's written a thoughtful guest post about how writing fiction doesn't always need actual experiences. Read a couple of excerpts from her stories and there's a RAFFLECOPTER chance to WIN $15 a Gift Certificate. Read on to find the link below to enter.

Welcome again, Margo, it's lovely to have you back...

Art Imitates Life; Or Is It The Other Way Around?

In Only If You Dare, recently divorced Cynthia Buckingham has a one night stand with well- respected judge Jonah Colt. Except they soon discover life just simply isn’t that, well, that simple. As their story unfolds, all sorts of personal issues surface they have to deal with. Jonah is a military veteran suffering, and denying, PTSD. Cynthia happens to have just begun a psychological practice and helping those with PTSD is her specialty.  When they have their first fight and Jonah leaves Cynthia at the restaurant to ‘fend for herself’ she’s mugged and her purse is stolen.  Add to all of this, many of their clandestine times together are interrupted by face-time calls on the computer from Cynthia’s grown daughter with various crises she needs solved in the planning of her quickly approaching wedding.  Given that Cynthia’s goal is to keep Jonah’s presence in her life a secret, these calls pose a special, and physical, challenge.

Enter me, the author, to present all of these issues and make them believable. I’ve never been divorced, never indulged in a one night stand, never served in the military, never been a judge, never been a psychologist, never suffered from PTSD, never been mugged, though I once had my purse stolen, have face timed with my grandchildren, and helped two grown daughters plan their weddings. Out of ten things, I have, hands on, personal experience with three of them.

That’s where imagination comes in. I put myself in the shoes of my characters and try to envision how they would act, think and feel in various situations. I’m not trying to suggest that I’m an expert at any of it.
In my writing, I’m a true pantster from the word go. I come up with an idea-no let me rephrase that-an idea comes to me and I begin a mental game of what if. Sometimes-let me rephrase again-most times my characters surprise me. They will say or do something in a beginning chapter, and I won’t have a clue why. Then a few chapters down the road, whatever it was they said and did before makes perfect sense to me now.

I guess you could say I view writing as an adventure, a journey, a joy. Here’s hoping those who read my work agree.
Find Margo at these places: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon Author Page
More About Margo:
Like many writers, it’s hard to determine exactly when my fiction writing career began. I remember composing a short story in grade school (I have no idea about what) which was chosen for publication in an all school anthology. A journalism class taken in junior high school led to a job on the school newspaper and a weekly column.
I always loved reading. I loved writing too. Someday, I thought, maybe when I grew up and received the right training, I could actually write a book. After all, I was often told, laughingly most times, I had an extremely vivid imagination.Through the years, the desire to write was always there. I had so many ideas and characters roaming around in my head, so many stories. But the business of living—going to college, getting married then raising a family—took precedence over something as frivolous as writing a book.

Then one day out of the blue I was downsized—effective immediately—from a job I’d held for over thirty years. What seemed so unfair at the time, I now recognize the tremendous gift I was given that day. As I’m now able to spend more and more time doing what I love—writing romantic fiction—I find I really do have an abundance of stories to share.

 Only If You Dare
by Margo Hoornstra
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 26, 2013
Length: 117 Pages

All the pleasures and none of the pain, that's what Cynthia Buckingham wants in a relationship these days. A one-night stand with Jonah Colt seems to fit that bill perfectly. Newly divorced, she's too busy planning her daughter's wedding for any serious involvement. Besides, her true passion is helping victims of PTSD reclaim their lives.

Waking up after spending the night with a woman he barely knows, Jonah is stunned to realize sex for the sake of sex isn't enough for him anymore. A veteran of more military battles than he cares to count, he wants to forget it all and focus on peaceful civilian life. Except flashbacks won't allow it.

Falling for Cynthia makes Jonah regret his weakened state, but he'd rather hide the truth than face it. When she sets aside everything she believes in to help him heal, can he accept her help--and her love?

Here's a little snippet from Only If You Dare to whet your appetite:

 “So, if I want to call you a hero. I’ll call you a hero.” As she looked over to study him, remnants of fear lingered in her eyes until recognition rose up to overcome it. “Why Judge Colt. It’s nice to see you again.”

“Jonah. And I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage. Unless I can call you potential juror number twenty-three.”

“I’m flattered you remembered.” Smiling now, she stepped closer still. “I wouldn’t have thought my presence in your courtroom was all that memorable.”

“I try my best to keep track of what goes on in there.”

“I saw that for myself.” She turned to face him full on. “My name is Cynthia Buckingham.”

“Nice to officially meet you.” As he accepted her offered hand, she grabbed hold then squeezed, and welcome warmth filtered through him.

He realized with one brush of that soft skin somewhere along the line he’d forgotten how good it felt to be touched.

Elyse Monroe may be her sister's maid of honor, but that doesn't mean she has to follow the bride's example and fall in love. Battle-scarred and weary from previous relationships, she has no desire to take a chance on another--no matter how many hints her little sister drops about the best man.

Devastating life events have taken a toll on Eric Matthews. After losing his wife and unborn daughter, he's come home to heal. Serving as best man at his kid brother's wedding is the only relationship he cares to contemplate--no matter how attractive the maid of honor.

Thrown together again and again by wedding duties, Elyse and Eric reluctantly agree to explore a possible relationship--only to have their casual date turn into a glorious night of passion. Can two hearts, convinced a happily ever after will never happen, recognize love when it finds them?

Night Stars and Mourning Doves
by Margo Hoornstra
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Wild Rose Press
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Length: 90 Pages

Here's a taster from Night Stars and Mourning Doves

Eric slammed open the door to the hospital emergency entrance nearly blinded by terror at what he might find once he was inside. The last time he’d been summoned to a hospital like this--The sharp smell of antiseptic invaded his nostrils, blurred both eyes. He paused to lean against a wall tiled in puke green to get his bearings. A woman in blue scrubs and a stethoscope looped on her neck walked by.

He grabbed her arm. “Jay Matthews. Where is he?”

“I don’t know, sir. You’ll—”

When she attempted to pull away, he hung on. “My son. I got a call that he fell at his daycare. Someone brought him here.”

“You’ll have to ask at the desk. Down there.” Reaching over to pry away his fingers, she indicated the direction he needed to take with a nod of her head. As soon as he glanced that way, she yanked free.

“Where’s my son?” He lunged for her then stumbled when she hurried away. “What?—”

A hand clamped on his shoulder from behind; he spun around and found a green-eyed gaze holding his.

He clutched at Elyse’s upper arms. “Where is he?”

Thank you for sharing with us today, Margo. Best wishes with your tour!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Looks like an intriguing story. I'll be following now on FB. Thank you for the giveaway,

    1. Thank you for being a part. Best of luck in the giveaway.

  2. Thanks so much for participating in Margo's DEARLY BELOVED Series Blog Tour, Nancy!!!

  3. Hello again, Nancy! (Waves feverishly) As Florence said, thanks for having me, uh, us.


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