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NEW BLOG: Memorial to Maria February 2024 E-Newsletter Email me to subscribe to my E-Newsletter!
Happy Valentine's Day, Everybody!
Happy Valentine's Day, Everybody! I love Christmas best of all, but Valentine's Day runs a close second as a favorite holiday. Its just so pretty. Thats how I see it. Flowers, chocolate, lace and hearts. Valentine's Day always brings back memories of when I was little and in school we made boxes for Valentine cards. Usually they were decorated shoe boxes with a cut-out in the top. They would be decorated with red construction paper and those lacy paper doilies cut into hearts. And we made our own cards. Valentine's Day also reminds me that spring is right around the corner. Its just a happy day full of love and fun.
This year, though, a great loss has thrown a shadow over the hearts and flowers. A dear friend of mine died just a few days ago. Her name was Patti, and she was one of the women who helped me edit SHADOW TRAIL. Through it all, Patti was fighting a royal battle with cancer and had been going through nearly three years of chemo and radiation and bone marrow transplants and tons of testing Hers was a cancer that did not show much hope of overcoming, but Patti fought so hard and always took time to read my books and even help me edit that last one. She loved Jake and looked forward to another book about him, but now she wont be here to read it. During her cancer fight she handed out my postcards and books to everyone she saw, doctors, nurses, interns, and others at every doctors office and hospital she went to. And she left books in lobbies and donated them to hospital libraries. Patti was such a devoted fan.
Cancer is a sneaky, vicious disease. I am sure everyone who reads this has somehow been touched personally by it. We can only pray that someday soon we will find more answers. I am so grateful for my own good health (so far) and for all of you faithful readers out there who wait so patiently for each new book I manage to write. As long as my brain and fingers keep working, there will be more to come!
Speaking of new books, I like openings that hook the readers, and I have three different scenarios for the heroine in this new story and how she gets into her situation. I just cant decide which scenario to use. I guess I will have to take the same advice I give to other writers in a similar situation - just sit down and get started. Even if I end up changing the beginning, I will have started the story and more ideas will come, which usually happens when I start the action and put words in the mouths of my characters. I dont use any kind of outline. I just let the characters do their thing and tell the story from their point of view. I promise that I will get this book going strong, now that the holidays are over.
With 2023 behind us, and looking forward to a new year and a new book, I want to send a big thank-you to all my readers who are giving me great reviews forSHADOW TRAIL. I am happy with the great comments and 4 and 5 star reviews. One fan compared the Outlaw series to Yellowstone! If only I had an in with Keven Costner, but of course, I dont.
I cant say for now whether the next Outlaw story will still involve Jake. I do know I need a story about Lloyd and Katie, and one about Young Jake as a grown man. I might combine their stories. I do know Young Jake will have his grandfathers personality and that wild side that will often get him in trouble. I think his parents, Evie and Brian, will have to bail that young man out of jail more than once. But along will come a young woman who will help change his life the kind of woman Young Jake has always searched for someone who is as faithful as his Grandma Miranda was to Jake. The story will also get Young Jake involved in World War I.
I think I need to get away from the series and the Harkners for a while, though, so I am pretty sure my next project will be another historical involving a Native American man and a young white girl who is traveling west by wagon train. They meet secretly, until the girls father finds out what is going on. You can imagine what happens then. I have had the story in mind for quite some time. The idea came to me when I was listening to the song, IF I LOVED YOU, from Carousel, by Rogers & Hammerstein. IF I LOVED YOU will be the title of my book. I will explain that theme once it is written and published. It refers to a certain scene/event in my story that will really touch your heart.
Please don't panic; at this time, I have NO plans to end my writing career! But when you reach a certain age, you do start to think about what you would like your legacy to be! I'm still planning a sequel to DANCING BENEATH YOU. And I have a brand new western I want to write called A WIND IN THE PINES. Its a very compelling love story In fact, .I have so many more ideas for stories yet to write. also still want to work on my WWII story, which I will probably title NOW AND FOREVER. I still want to write an eighth SAVAGE DESTINY book about one of Zeke Monroes modern-day descendants.
The ideas never end! I pray every night for the health Ill need to continue writing. My goal is 80 books before I am gone from this earth. SHADOW TRAIL will be number 77, so I have a good start! I appreciate all of you so much. You are what keeps me going, so keep reading, and as long as the Good Lord allows my brain and fingers to work, I will keep writing!
If you are new to my writing -- or even if you want to replace old favorites -- please see my Books in Print page for a complete list of all my books, with most recent covers, publication histories, and Amazon.com ordering links. Eventually, I want to have all of my backlist available for both new readers and long-time fans who have reread the original print versions so many times that the pages are worn out! If you prefer the convenience of e-books, check out my E-books List, where you will find ordering links for electronic versions of my books in several different e-book formats.
Brand new Bittner titles are distributed through Amazon.com. But locally in Southwest Lower Michigan -- my books are available at Hardings Market and Linda's Antiques in Coloma and Back On the Rackin Watervliet! You'll find my new books there, as well as an assortment of my older titles. I am excited to have such great outlets for my work right here in and near my own hometown. (Plus, Email mefor a personalized autograph.) You can also check with your local library or book store and ask them to order any of my books youd like to read.
And if you want a print book personalized for yourself or before you gift it, just e-mail me privately at email@example.com mailing information, and I will pay the postage to send the signed books back to you! Or, if you prefer, I can autograph a label for you to stick into your book.
I'm hearing from more and more men who enjoy my books because they are packed with action, western history, and solid family values as well as heart- felt romance. Yes, "real" men really DO enjoy reading my books!
Many thanks for your continuing e-mails and notes. YOU keep me going back to the computer to write more books. Many of you tell me that reading my books got you through something physically or emotionally traumatic -- well, WRITING those books does the same thing for me! Keep reading, and I will keep writing!
A Colt .45, much like the gun my heroes use - and my own .30-.30 rifle. The Colt is surprisingly heavy and requires a strong hand and arm to draw, cock and fire in one swift movement. That would take a LOT of practice!
"Your stories keep me up all night...I'm up in my seventies--and your books take me back in time--and I relive my life through your wonderful imagination! Thank you for being there for all of your readers." -- Zella Mae