Refining the Details of Twistmas

I’m in the middle of the read out loud edit, and since the kids are home from school and my office is located in the kitchen, my reading is done for the day. This doesn’t stop work on the romance novel, it means only I have to work on other aspects of the whole publishing business of it.

I have only a few things left to decide. They include dedication, a short clip of an exciting scene, author biography and summary.

Dedication

It’s a tough one this time. I’m usually quite direct with my dedications, but I’m on a different path with this story. It’s dearer to the heart, hits a little closer to home and contains many elements that many won’t understand but mean a lot to me.

It also takes me back in time to when I lived a simpler, carefree life, back to when music played a bigger part in who I was. It was a time when I thought more things were possible, when I wasn’t so jaded and I still believed in things I now see are impossible.

How can I wrap all this up in a few mystical words that will make me smile years from now when I read them? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far for the dedication (without the video clip):

To all the knights who capture our hearts…

Bryan said it best when he sang Straight from the Heart

Short Clip of Exciting Scene

Something new I’ve added to the last few books is a snippet in the front before the story gets underway. It’s like a hook, something to convince the reader that they need to read this story. I’m tossing around a few snippets for Twistmas. Which do you like best?

Clip One

Jan followed his stare. The floral display twinkled beneath the many Christmas lights decorating the mall. It made her smile. “Have you ever picked flowers in December?” She looked up at him. Confusion clouded his face. “No? You will today.” She tugged on his jacket. “Come on.” She started gathering the flowers.

“Jan, don’t worry about them. I’ll get another—”

“Oh, no you don’t.” She stopped and stared at him. “These are my flowers, and I won’t see them go to waste.”

“But.”

“No buts.”

Together, they gathered the flowers off the mall floor, creating a second bouquet in Jan’s hands. By the time they picked the last one, they were both smiling.

“No harm done.” She removed her scarf and wrapped it around the stems. “This will protect them from the weather. And now you can say you picked flowers in December.”

Clip Two

Jan held out the new bouquet. “Will you carry them for me?”

“You trust I won’t drop them again?”

“Trust is difficult for me since…But yes, I trust you won’t drop them again after you worked to retrieve them.” She smiled and gave him the bouquet.

Delanie held the flowers close to his body. “I’ll be their security guard.”

Jan giggled, picked up her purse and the bank deposit bag, and tugged on his overcoat. “You can also be mine. Ah…to the bank, you know for the deposit.” Thoughts of his strong arms protecting her from all the evil in the world invaded her senses and sent a shiver down her spine. She’d let him guard her body anytime.

“I’d love to be your personal body guard.”

“The pay’s horrible.” She gripped the rail of the still escalator and began walking down the steps.

“But the benefits can’t be beat.” His pace matched hers.

Clip Three

Jan rolled her eyes. “Forget Santa, but the Easter Bunny has never let me down.”

“Santa’s not your man?” He swallowed hard and slipped his hand into hers.

“No, he never delivers what you really want.” She allowed her arm to slip tighter across his shoulders.

“If I could be your Santa, what would you want me to deliver first?” Delanie gazed into her eyes. They shimmered in the glow of the lamp light like chocolate puddles in the ocean. Her sweet aroma drew him nearer, and he longed to taste her lips again. “Perhaps this?” He reached up to meet her and closed his eyes as their lips joined. The long kiss fueled the fires within. He wrapped his arms around her and drew her closer. He felt her hands caressing his neck and shoulders, sending a clear message directly to his appendages. It had felt like forever since he had held a woman, longer since he’d enjoyed the hot pleasure of entering their inner meadow. He groaned at the thought, kissed deeper and stroked her hair.

“I’d accept that delivery.” Jan whispered into his ear. She drew a deep breath and kissed him again.

Clip Four

“Delanie!” She waved to get his attention as she walked to meet him. Her heart leapt, knowing he was safe. When he spread his arms open to greet her, she didn’t hesitate and wrapped her arms around him. “You’re okay.” Her smile broadened.

“It’s been a rough night, but I’m fine.”

Jan stretched up and kissed him, pulling him closer. His warm lips drew her in and she prolonged the kiss and pushed deeper into it. When she stopped to catch her breath, the sparkle in his eyes surprised her. She reached up and dragged her thumb across the stubble on his chin.

Delanie chuckled. “I didn’t have time to shave, only shovel and drive…home to you.”

“Were you stranded on the Pass?”

He nodded. “I should have stayed in Moncton, but”—he grinned guiltily—“I couldn’t wait.”

Author Biography

Author biographies should be refreshed with every new publication.

Diane Lynn McGyver grew up along the wild shores of Nova Scotia, Canada, where she spent her summers running barefoot through the forest and sailing on the sea, and her winters building snow forts and skating. She began writing at an early age, filling Campfire Notebooks with tales based on her imagination and her adventures.

She currently lives on a small farm where she raises children, Toggenburg goats and heritage breed chickens. Her work has appeared in more than a hundred publications since 1998.

Twistmas – The Season for Love is her second romance novel. Pockets of Wildflowers is her first. She also has also written a fantasy novel, Shadows in the Stone, and an anthology, Nova Scotia – Life Near Water.

To learn more about Diane and to keep up-to-date with her writing, visit her blog (dianelynnmcgyver.com).

Summary

This is the blurb on the back cover of a book and the one used on book-selling websites to give readers an idea of what the story is about.

Jan Cooper doesn’t believe in Santa Claus because he failed to deliver the one true gift she wanted when she was eight years old. The single mom wishes only for Christmas to pass quickly, so life will get back to normal in the camera shop she manages.

Delanie Taylor is a toy expert, divorced and trying to control his teenaged daughter and his overbearing ex-wife. When he finds Jan’s daughter at the toy store looking for the perfect gift for her mother, he discovers the perfect gift for himself.

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