Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm starting to digitize my older books so that while they've gone out of print, they'll live on electronically.  I'm very excited as some of these books were personal favorites and have also garnered a lot of reader mail over the years. I've converted two books so far, SUMMER SECRETS and JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. The books are being offered for $4.99 on various sites in various formats listed below.  Hopefully one will work for you.  

(A Writers Work is an author website created by authors for readers where you can find both out of print and never published titles.)

Summer Secrets is the story of three unique sisters ... the secrets that bind them for life ... and the summer that will set them free.  

Eight years ago, the three McKenna sisters -- Kate, Ashley, and Caroline -- had their fifteen minutes of fame. Driven by their ambitious father, they won an around-the-world sailing race as teenagers. But something happened out on the turbulent sea -- during a fierce storm they could never forget ...

Now Tyler Jamison has come to Castleton, a picturesque island off the coast of Washington State, asking questions about the famous McKennas. But even as the sisters close ranks against the tenacious reporter, the past threatens to drown them in its wake. It will take Caroline's willingness to right a wrong, Ashley's struggle to face her greatest fears, and Kate's attempt to embrace life -- and love -- again to finally calm the winds and stop the rain...

AWritersWork.Com - Summer Secrets
On the Kindle - Summer Secrets  
On Smashwords - Summer Secrets 

Take a romantic journey with Barbara Freethy to Tucker's Landing, Oregon, where Sam and Alli Tucker have mad a life together ... a life about to be tested by the return of the only woman who can break them up ... Alli's sister, Tessa.

A baby brought them together -- and even though Alli has always loved her strong, sexy husband Sam and the life they've built together, she has decided to set him free to follow his youthful dreams. It is no longer enough for her to be wife and lover when she knows she holds so little of his heart.

Sam has always dreamed of a life away from the close-knit world of Tucker's Landing, but marriage and fatherhood ended all that. Now Sam is torn between what was and what was meant to be. He must decide if it's time to rekindle the dreams of the past ... or accept Alli, and her love, just the way she is.

Don't miss this heartwrenching tale of a man torn between two sisters , the one he loved, the one he married ... 

AWritersWork.Com - Just The Way You Are
On the Kindle - Just The Way You Are
Smashwords - Just The Way You Are

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ongoing and Upcoming Reader Events

I wanted to tell you about some events that are going on right now and upcoming on the web for readers and writers and for everyone in fact.

READERS AT HOME CONFERENCE -- Author Lucy Monroe has set up a Readers Conference on her blog for people who can't make it to the Romantic Times Conference this week.  It began on the 26th and runs through the weekend.  Every day there are guest authors blogging and prizes.  It's a lot of fun.  I'll be guesting on the 29th.  There are several authors each day so stop on by and meet some of your favorite writers!


BRENDA NOVAK'S AUCTION FOR DIABETES - Author Brenda Novak started this auction a few years ago to help raise money for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, a disease her son suffers from.  To date she has raised over $770,000 and is hoping to hit the one million dollar mark this year.  The auction runs from May 1st to the 30th.  It is set up like E-Bay but all of your money goes to this charitable cause.

And what can you get?  Just about anything.  If you're a reader, there are tons of autographed copies by bestselling authors as well as gift baskets and much more.  For writers there are agent/editor critiques, author mentoring, to name just a few.  For everyone there are fabulous vacation getaways, Hawaii, courtesy of author Jane Porter, the Cascade Mountains by author Susan Andersen, a stay in the Inn run by Nora Roberts.  There are trips to Mexico and the California Wine Country and the list goes on.  Bidders can also win raffle prizes that are amazing.

Don't miss this opportunity to help find a cure for diabetes and get something really good for yourself!


Hope you'll check out these fun events!


Monday, April 26, 2010


It's Book Release Day - so I have to do a little promo here ...

IN SHELTER COVE, Book Three in my Angel's Bay Series, hits the shelves Tuesday, April 27th.  If you haven't started reading the series yet, don't worry, you can still jump in.  Each book has a new central story that stands alone, so you won't be lost.  Of course, for the richest reading experience, you might want to read all of them! 

Here's a blurb from the back cover --

A long-ago shipwreck off the California coast led the survivors to the haven they named Angel's Bay. Their  shared adversity brought fellowship and joy ... but also unsuspected secrets...

The theft of three priceless paintings sent Derek Kane to prison and destroyed the dreams of his wife,  Brianna. When Derek unexpectedly dies just weeks before his release, Brianna returns to Angel's Bay with her young son, determined to prove her husband's innocence and find the missing paintings.  Her efforts are stymied by Jason Marlow, the police officer who sent Derek to jail -- betraying his former friend. And when unexpected passion flares between Brianna and Jason, she must choose between the past and the present, the guilty and the innocent, the truth and the lies.  For nothing is what it seems ...

If you haven't yet read ON SHADOW BEACH (book 2) which came out last month, the book is still available at most bookstores and can be ordered online.  

Here are some of the rave reviews ...

"With ON SHADOW BEACH, Barbara Freethy writes an excellent, easy-to-read novel.  It flows beautifully  with intriguing and appealing characters.  It will grab you within the first few pages and just keep getting better." Romance Reviews Today 

"A lovely contemporary romance ... you can never get enough of Freethy’s excellent characters. She’s a master at creating whole relationships in just a few short paragraphs." Romantic Times

"On Shadow Beach is another heart stopper by Barbara Freethy. The author has an uncanny knack to draw the reader into this little slice of true Americana. On Shadow Beach hums with red hot passion and duplicity that is underlined by a bit of mystique to make this novel one of those you don’t want to put down." Winter Haven News

"Ms. Freethy has again written a suspenseful tale entwined with romance, heartache, rekindled relationships, close community ties and even miracles. This captivating tale will leave the reader guessing till the end and surprised by the outcome. Book two in the "Angel Bay" series stands alone, offering a great read." ReadertoReader.com

Hope you'll check out my series.  I just finished writing book four, which is tentatively titled, AT WHISPER FALLS and will be released February 2011.

If you've been reading the series, I'd love to know what you think!  Comment here or send me an email. 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Writing Tips #3 - Transitions -- Keep the reader reading!

For all the writers out there, thought I'd jot down some of my thoughts on transitions, scene breaks, chapter endings and changes in point of view.

Great transitions keep the reader reading.  Poor transitions make it easy for the reader to put down the book.  Some common traps to avoid:  Putting your character to sleep at the end of the chapter.  When the protagonist goes to bed, it often provides a good place for the reader to put down your book and also go to bed.  Try to avoid this type of chapter ending.  You don't want to encourage napping!

Consider these craft techniques:  End a chapter in the middle of a scene, perhaps with a question asked by one character, or the entrance of a new character into the scene, or a change in the point of view.  All of these type transitions will encourage the reader to turn the page.

When breaking between scenes and chapters, think about finding a connective link ... a repetition of a word or a theme or a thought can sometime provide an almost subliminal connection.  For example, in a book I'm current writing one of my characters is desperate to be a mother and has just learned that the baby she wants to adopt may not be an option.  My next scene moves to another character who is having trouble dealing with her ailing mother ... it's a subtle connection but one that provides a smooth transition and links by the word mother, and the theme about mothers and children that plays a role throughout the book.

Another tip, taking the chapter ending a bit further, is to end the chapter with a question.  But don't provide the answer in the next scene, make the reader wait, introduce something else that's new and compelling.  One cautionary note -- if the next scene isn't compelling, you may annoy the reader by making them wait so make sure it's a good one!

To keep the reader turning the pages, vary the tempo of your book, emotional scenes might move a little slower than action scenes.  Use short, rapid dialogue to increase pacing.  And after you've written your first draft, be a ruthless editor. Don't let yourself fall in love with all of your words.  If sentences or scenes don't move a story forward and wouldn't be missed if they were gone, then take them out.  The reader will love you for it!

Anyone run into any transitional type issues?  Ask away.  Maybe I can help.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's a Real Book!

Today the second book in my Angel's Bay Series, ON SHADOW BEACH, was officially released!  It's the 26th book I've published, but I never get over the thrill of actually seeing the book as a book, no more looking at manuscript pages or reading on the computer.  It's there between the beautifully designed covers and on the shelves, too!  Although, I haven't yet seen it on an actual shelf, I'm planning to do some signings starting this weekend.

And this time around, the excitement won't end soon as the third book in the series, IN SHELTER COVE, will be released on April 27th. I had asked my publisher to release the books as closely together as possible since some of the characters continue, and I think readers enjoy reading a series of books when they're published fairly frequently.  Luckily, my publisher was able to put me in the schedule for the back to back books and I'm just thrilled.

There will also be a book 4, still to be titled, coming out in the fall, and maybe a couple of more books depending how readers respond to the series.  I'm hoping everyone will enjoy reading the books as much as I've enjoyed writing them.

I'm currently finishing up book four, and I can't wait to get into the next story!

If you haven't yet read an excerpt from On Shadow Beach - check out my book buzzer widget on the right and you can read the first chapter.

And if you have read Suddenly One Summer or are currently reading On Shadow Beach, come back and let me know what you think.  Would also love to hear any On Shadow Beach sightings, especially at the drugstores and Wal-Marts - I never know exactly where the books will show up!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Writing Tips #2 - Don't Write What You Know - WRITE WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW ...

When I first began writing every how-to book suggested that a writer begin writing what they know.  But while this advice might be great to jumpstart a writing career, unless you have a really unusual life, you may run out of things you "know" pretty early in the game.  And sometimes what you "know" can be an obstacle to creating good fiction.

When we know a subject very well, we're sometimes too close to it to fictionalize. For instance I love movies or books where one character is a writer and her editor actually comes to her house to help her write or just to visit.  I've been writing for almost twenty years and I've never had one of my almost a dozen editors ever come for a visit or to help me write.  If you don't live in New York or L.A., chances are rare that you'll see an editor anywhere except at a writer's conference or if you go there to meet them.  But I digress -- I couldn't write that scene because I know too much about writing and yet for the purposes of many fictional stories and movies, it's kind of cool to have an editor visit the writer.

Now, you might be saying but if it wouldn't really happen, then you're wrong in writing it -- no, that's why it's called fiction.  As long as it can happen within the realm of possibility, you're cool.

So once you get past the "write what you know" advice, my advice is to write what you DON'T KNOW but WOULD LIKE TO LEARN.  Researching has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my writing career.  I have learned how to sail, grow orchids, ride horses, win the Kentucky Derby, cure amnesia, steal million-dollar paintings, catch thieves who steal million dollar paintings, find famous missing Russian orphans, solve cold case murders, find long lost family members, sew quilts, move up in the police department, decipher psychic visions, change my identity and find lost shipwrecks.  And I rarely left the house.

Writing what I don't know engages my curiosity, gets my energy going, makes me excited to create a world where I'm going to share some of what I've learned, and I do mean "some".  Never overburden your fictional story with too much research.  Carefully pick and choose only those points that make your story better.  Always remember that you're telling a story, not writing a how-to book.

So if you think you don't know anything worth writing a book about -- think again!  The world is waiting.  What have you always wanted to learn?  Where have you always wanted to go?  Who have you always want to be?  As a writer, you can do it all!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Writers Can Learn From The Olympics

I've caught Olympic Fever ... I find myself watching speed skating and actually being able to converse with people about how the Korean team knocked each other out allowing Apollo to take second and the young American J.R. to take third.  I've watched people ski and the shoot rifles, and watched the snowboarders do incredible tricks in the air.

And after listening to the stories of how much the athletes struggled to attain perfection, I couldn't help comparing some of that struggle to writing.

I love the snowboarders' motto, GO BIG or GO HOME -- and think that's really how as a writer you have to attack your writing.  You can't hold back, play it safe, write with an eye to what other people are going to think about what you have to say.  You can't let the constrictions of the market make you second guess your plot or just how over the line one of your characters might be.  You can't let yourself write scenes similar to ones you've written before because it's faster and you know how to do that.

You have to push your plot, have to hone your craft, work harder, aim higher with every book that you write.  I'm writing my 28th book at the moment and sometimes I think I've done everything and then ... I realize I haven't.  Because there are millions of stories to tell and various ways to tell them, and I want every book to be better, richer, deeper ... to have more of everything.  Because as writers, just like Olympians we want to pull out the best performance every time and especially when it counts.

When I think of how hard some of those athletes have worked to get where they are ... it makes me realize that there's no excuse for writer's block ... writing may not be a sport, but it's still a struggle to create something out of nothing.  And despite the bad breaks writers can encounter in a writing career, poor covers, bad book distribution, snarky anonymous reviews, those breaks are nothing like skiing down the face of a mountain, flying head first into the snow at 80 miles per hour and then getting up and doing it again, because it's what you love, it's what you do.

So I'm heading back to work ... inspired ... as I hope you are, too, by the Olympics and how they can bring out the best of us.  What's your favorite Olympic Sport - any athlete that has inspired you?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Discovering Yoga!

In my effort to de-stress, lose weight, and get out of the house during the rainy season, I signed up for a yoga class at the local recreation center.  My teacher, Margaret, is in the most fabulous shape of anyone I've ever seen.  I'm in awe of the poses she can get into.   According to Margaret, yoga is her medicine.  She takes absolutely no pharmaceuticals and is in perfect health, not a bad goal to have.

I got into the class with some friends.  We're all beginners, so we immediately headed to the back row, hoping we could hide out there with our inflexible bodies.  Unfortunately, Margaret likes to roam the class and pay special attention to the beginners.  So pretty soon we're using blocks and belts and stretching every which way.

My favorite pose was the "Warrior" pose, maybe because it made me feel strong even as my legs started to shake.  I couldn't understand all the words Margaret used, and am still a long way from putting my head on the floor while bending over at the waist, But I did love the stretching and the slightly sore achy feeling at the end of it.  The next day I realized I was feeling muscles I hadn't felt in a long while.

As we were practicing one of the poses -- lying down, resting on forearms and putting hands behind small of back and kicking legs into the air in a bicycle fashion, my friend exclaimed, "I used to do this when I was a kid". I remember doing it, too, but couldn't quite fling my legs into the air the way I used to.  But I'm determined to progress slowly but surely.  I hope to get to the point where I'm concentrating less on doing it right and more on just sinking into the pose and letting the stress of life melt away.

So Yoga is my new hobby -- anyone else gotten the itch to get into the lotus position?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Writing Tips #1

Once a week I thought I'd share some writing tips that I've learned over the many years that I've been publishing.

Today, I'm focusing on beginnings ... a handy topic as I'm just starting book 4 of my Angel's Bay Series.

First chapters are so important. They serve several functions, introduce the characters, start the story rolling and set the tone, three critical issues. The opening must be compelling. It has to grab the reader by the throat and not let them go. And that has to happen even if you're not writing a suspenseful story. You still have to set a plot in motion that creates a question in the reader's mind, a reason to keep going.

I always dither about my openings. I probably rewrite the first chapter a dozen times over the course of the book, often going back halfway through the story to foreshadow something I hadn't anticipated. Which brings me to my first tip -- Push past those opening lines even if they're not perfect. Just write something -- anything, kick off the story. You can always go back and fix it later.

Another important tip about openings is that the reader has to immediately care or connect with one of the characters. It doesn't have to be instant liking -- in fact it can be just the opposite -- fascinated horror, but whatever the tone, you don't want the reader to look away, which means you have to introduce just enough details to make us curious about the character. Tell us something about them, not a lot, because we don't want to get bogged down in back story. But something that makes us realize they're about to hit a turning point, a crossroads, and the path they choose will forever change them.

In my book, DON'T SAY A WORD, the heroine is visiting a museum where she is planning to have her wedding reception in the garden area. As she is wandering through the collection, she is struck speechless by the fact that the painting of a famous Russian orphan looks exactly like her, but she's never been to Russia and she knows who her parents are -- at least she thinks she does ...  That painting makes her question everything she thought she knew about herself.

In my book, GOLDEN LIES, the hero, former war hero, accompanies his elderly grandmother to an antiques roadshow.  She has a red wagon filled with her attic treasures hoping that one of them will make her rich.  They discover that the ugly dragon statue that has been gathering dust for the past fifty years might just be from an ancient Chinese dynasty.  And suddenly more than a few people want that dragon, including the heroine and her family.  The hero's good deed in helping his grandmother with some spring cleaning changes his life forever.

In my book, ON SHADOW BEACH (Book 2 of Angel's Bay), the heroine returns home, the first line of the book ... "It was just like before ... the front door was open, the lights were on, the TV blaring, but no one was there. We learn quickly that the last time the heroine found the house in disarray, her 15-year-old sister had just been murdered. It's been 13 years, since she's been back, and she's only returned home now because her father is ill.  Her past and her present are colliding and as much as she wants to run away, she knows that this time she has to stay and finish it.

Hopefully, all these examples of beginnings make the reader want to know more about the story. Each one starts with the "day that was different". It's a moment of change for the pivotal character. Whenever you're debating where to start your story, think about "the day that was different".

Don't bog down your first chapter with a lot of details. Readers want to know what's happening now, and they're far more likely to want to know what happened in the past if you hook their attention in the present.

I personally love a good prologue if it's short, compelling and tells me something important. Some readers hate prologues, so it's something to consider when plotting out your beginning.  If you can relate that information elsewhere, then why not do that?  But if you have something out of the past, or some key moment that really seduces the reader into the story, I say go for it.

My last tip for beginnings is to make sure that Chapter one ends with the same compelling need to go as it begins.  I'll talk more about transitions in one of my upcoming writing blogs.

Hope these tips have helped. Any questions? Ask away.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reality Shows ... Which ones make the cut ...

So as a new season of reality shows begins, I thought I'd take a look at some of my favorites and not so favorites.

 At the top of the list is Project Runway ... while Heidi and Tm, Nina and Michael were battling out with Brava and Lifetime networks, I tried to get into some of the copycat fashion shows ... like Launch My Line and the other one with Isaac Mizhri -- The Fashion Show.  I must say -- both disappointing.  Launch My Line didn't even take fashion designers, people who could sew, but rather just people who thought they could be designers and matched them with experts who basically do all the work.  The message here that bugs me is that anyone can be designer and launch a line without paying their dues in the trenches.  For heaven's sake, if you want to be a designer, why not take a few sewing classes and learn the craft.

The Fashion Show used designers, but there wasn't a high level of talent.  The problem with both shows in my opinion and where they miss Project Runway -- is that they don't have a Tim Gunn.  While the hosts go visit with the designers, they don't tell them anything, just sort of stare at their designs and not say a word.  It's awkward and not particularly interesting.  When Tim gets in there and tells them where they're heading wrong, that's fun and entertaining.  So I hope if these other shows continue, they'll offer some helpful insights.

But while I love Project Runway -- the Models of the Runway that follows after seems like a waste of 30 minutes.  There's about 5 minutes worth of excitement.  Again, they've built a show on nothing.  The models don't control their own destiny.  Being good doesn't necessarily mean they'll win.  Being likable or bitchy makes no difference either.  This show would be so much better if something happened ... or if they force the designers to shake things up.

As a writer, I tend to analyze the shows and it's so glaringly obvious where some of them are going wrong.

So what's your favorite reality show?  And do you ever wish you could rewrite the rules and make it better?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to my new blog!

I've set up a new blog to match my new website.  If you haven't had a chance to explore the new barbarafreethy.com, I hope you'll take a look.  I've added a section of FAQ's, new book pages with excerpts for my upcoming books, ON SHADOW BEACH, out March 30, 2010 and IN SHELTER COVE, out April 24, 2010.  There's also a contest kicking off February 1st.  And lastly, I've set up a BEHIND THE SCENES pages for my Angel's Bay Series, where I discuss how the series got started and the legends behind the town as well as the original Angel's Bay quilt.  Check it out at http://www.barbarafreethy.com

I'm hoping to mix up my blogs as I go along with writing tips, publishing biz info, guest authors and other fun topics.  Hope you'll bookmark this site or set up an automatic feed.

Happy reading!