Author Archives: nicolemcgehee

My Book on Sale This Week

Thank you for all your kind comments about this blog.  For those of you who would like to read more, the Kindle version of one of my novels, REGRET NOT A MOMENT, is on sale this week — November 4-10, 2014, for 99 cents/99£.  The usual price is $3.99.

This novel has received reader raves with an average 4.4 star Amazon rating.

Regret - Kindle Format Like A Book[1]The book opens in Virginia horse country. The year is 1930. Beautiful, witty Devon is the daughter of a prominent Virginia family. Many men have fallen under her spell, but none has captured her heart, until she meets New York tycoon John Alexander. Their future seems assured: they will marry, raise a family, turn their country estate into the best Thoroughbred farm in the nation. But what Devon cannot foresee are the conflicts that will drive away her husband or the tragedy that will devastate their marriage.

Be transported from lush Virginia hunt country to sophisticated New York and the embassies of Paris. Travel from the Hollywood glamour of Hearst castle in its heyday to the turmoil of war-torn Cairo, and the enclaves of aristocratic England. Devon’s tale takes you through the decades from peaceful pre-war America to the danger of World War II, and the racial unrest of the South of the 1950s and’60s.

Enjoy the thrill of Thoroughbred racing with one of the first women to break into the male-dominated sport and one of the first African-American men to become renowned as a world-class trainer.

Buy the book here: REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

Love Boot Camp: From Now On

From now on, realize that if you put up with unacceptable behavior when the relationship is new, you’ll just get more of the same.

From now on, resolve not to be so desperate for a relationship that you put up with bad behavior.

From now on, resolve to view your relationships with a clear eye. Recognize bad behavior, call it what it is, don’t make excuses for it, and end the relationship as soon as you recognize the behavior won’t change.

From now on, honestly assess if a man likes you or if, instead, “he’s just not that into you.”   If you always have to initiate time together, if you always contact him first, then “he’s just not that into you.” Cut him loose before you really get hurt.

From now on, listen to your friends and family if they criticize a guy you’re dating. They’re more objective than you are.

From now on, resolve that you will not put up with humiliation, unreliability, or rudeness.

From now on, give nice guys a chance as you realize that brooding, bad guys are the most insecure lot out there.

From now on, admit to yourself that there is a difference between men and women, and that men still like a little challenge, a little chase, and firm boundaries. Don’t be so eager, so quick to say  “yes.”

From now on, realize that respecting yourself is the most important step in setting the groundwork for a relationship.

From now on, decide what you want from a relationship, what makes you comfortable, and hold out for a man who wants the same things.  You must decide what you want before you can ask for it.

From now on, ask for it.

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

 

 

R.I.P., little fawn

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen the photographs my husband took of three fawns and a mother deer in our back yard.  We have so much enjoyed the reactions of many of you to these photos.  The fawns brought us joy, and we hope to have transmitted some of that joy through the photos.

That’s why we were heartbroken today to discover one of the fawns had been hit by a car.  We were riding on the bike path near our house when we saw the doe and one fawn.  A few feet away, almost hidden by tall grass, was the dead fawn.  It looked like it’s neck had been broken.  It was only a few feet from the road, so it was probably hit by a car.fawn with momfawns running near rocksfawns behind tree

I couldn’t help crying.  My husband was terribly saddened, too.  We had a somber ride home.

I guess I’m writing this as a tribute to a beautiful little creature that brought us joy and wonder whenever we saw it. It visited us with its mother many times after I tweeted the photos a couple of weeks ago.  It laid with its twin under a tree in our yard.

I need to acknowledge the joy it brought us.  This small, innocent fawn died too young in what seems a senseless death.  Its mom can’t give it a funeral, though I’m sure she mourned its death.  So the least I can do is pay tribute to this perfectly beautiful being.  I can tell the world it mattered.  We will not forget the fawn.  Rest In Peace.

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

 

Love Boot Camp: Listen to Your Mama

Chapter 10 Listen to Your Mama

Up until now, I’ve told you about the dating experiences of my friends. Now, I’m going to tell you about mine.

My late mom could size up a person’s character in five minutes.  She was never wrong.  Never.  I dated men of many colors and nationalities and my mother never made judgments based on culture or color.  That’s not to say that appearances didn’t count.  If a man was polite, well-groomed and well-dressed, he got extra points.

She correctly predicted who would be reliable and who would dump me: her version of, “He’s just not that into you.”  She knew when a guy was lying or making excuses and when he was sincere.  She would say things like, “I just don’t trust him,” or, conversely, “He’s a good boy.”

When I met my future husband, Michael, he immediately began hot pursuit of me.  I just wasn’t that into him.  He wasn’t my type.  My mother knew that my type had thus far proved unreliable and, in her opinion, unworthy of me.  By the time I met Michael, I was 24, and had never really been in love.  I had certainly wanted to be, and had tried to convince myself that I had loved one long-term boyfriend.  The truth was, though, that I was a complete stranger to being in love.

My mother at once recognized that Michael was different from any man I’d previously dated.  He called when he said he would, was always on time, and invited me out often with plenty of advance notice.  I toyed with the idea of breaking up with him because I wasn’t that attracted to him (even though he was handsome.)  My mother said, “Just give him a chance.  You don’t have to marry him.”

She had been right about so many other men that I took her advice.  Michael was a gentleman  and I knew he wouldn’t rush me into a physical relationship, so he unknowingly — or perhaps knowingly — gave me the time and space to grow my feelings for him.  For the first couple of dates, he didn’t even try to kiss me good-bye at the end of our date.  Then, on our third date, we were at the grocery store shopping for a picnic and he gave me a peck on the lips.   I wasn’t expecting it and I was surprised at how pleasant it was.

Well, we went on our picnic.  We kissed in earnest, and I literally seemed to hear bells.  I knew I could love this man, or at least be wildly attracted to him.  His kindness and patience — and his passion for me — made me fall in love with him.

We were married for 14 years, until he died in a car accident (see blog post COINCIDENCE OR PARANORMAL ACTIVITY).  I cannot imagine a happier marriage.

My mom adored him, and she was right.

The fact is, our parents have met many more people than we have.  They’ve been burned, disappointed, cheated and delighted more than we have.  Their experiences make them better judges of character.  So unless your parents hold racial or cultural prejudices for no logical reason, they can probably judge a man’s character better than you can.  At least listen with an open mind.  They could save you plenty of heartache.

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

 

 

Love Boot Camp: Manners Do Count!

Chapter 9 Manners Do Count!

My friend Kate, age 32, is attracted to bad boys, as are so many women.  A little scraggly, a little shady, her boyfriend, Rob, can be mysterious in a spicy way.  He can be loving on rare occasions, but is aloof much of the time.  He’s often unreliable, but reliable enough to keep her hooked.  He smokes, of course, dresses in jeans, old T-shirts and a leather jacket.

Sounds like a typical 20-something, right?  Well, Rob is 41 years old.  He has a cool job as a sous-chef, which means plenty of late nights, lots of drinking, rough language and more than a little misogyny.  There’s a certain glamour to that picture, isn’t there?  At least there was until Kate took Rob home to meet her folks.

His devil-may-care, slicked back hair just looked greasy.  His ripped T-shirt looked sloppy.  His rough language made her parents cringe, and Kate couldn’t ignore the shock and disapproval on their faces.  All of a sudden, she was excruciatingly aware that he smelled like an ashtray.

To make matters worse, he had bad manners.  He nodded upon being introduced to her parents, rather than shaking hands.  He sunk into her father’s easy chair without waiting to be invited to sit down.  He ignored the glass Kate’s mother brought for his beer and drank from the can.  He began eating before his hostess, made no comment on the food, and did not offer to help with clean-up.

Seen through her parents’ eyes, Rob — for the first time — seemed repulsive.  Her parents didn’t need to voice any criticism.  Kate realized for herself that Rob would never fit in with her family. Maybe his demeanor would have been perfectly acceptable in another family, but not in hers.

It’s not so much a matter of  good vs. bad manners, but about having compatible ideas about manners.  Kate never met Rob’s family, but if they were like him, they might have found her uptight and pretentious.

If you’re not comfortable introducing your man to family and friends, then he’s simply not a good fit.  Unless both of you are up for a makeover, best to end the relationship.

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

 

Even Good Writers Need Editors

Thousands of free books are offered each day on Amazon.  Ever since I uploaded my two novels on Kindle, I, too have offered my books gratis on selected days.  What’s more, I’ve taken advantage of other free books to download and read on my Kindle.

Here’s what I’ve discovered.  There are many good writers who are self-publishing.  Often, their books are free on Amazon and other sites every day.  They give away their books because they hope to gain an audience.  When they establish a following for their “indie” (i.e. self-published) book, they hope to be offered a contract by a traditional publisher, and/or to gain enough of a following to enable them to sell future books.  Some authors accomplish these goals.  Many do not, and I think I know why.

There are too many self-published authors who have not had independent editing of their books.  They may be good writers, and have probably been told they’re good writers, but the problems in their books are manifold.  They are inconsistent with verb tenses; they have poor transitions; they meander; their books are too long; they have characters or events that do not advance the story; their characters all have names so similar that it’s a task to keep them straight.

I recently read a book that started off well enough, but then devolved.  There were sections that involved travel by the main character, but the travel was more a sight-seeing check list than a plot device.  My impression was that the author wanted to go to exotic vacation spots and write off the trips as a business expense on her tax returns. Boy, did she need editing!  I couldn’t wait for the book to finally end.  It was at least 75 pages too long.

If you’ve read my previous blog entries, you know that my books were initially published in hard cover by Little, Brown, then in paper by Warner.  My editor at Little, Brown said she loved my books, and I was offered a two-book hard/paper contract.  Despite that, when she returned my manuscripts to me for re-writes, there were notes on at least a quarter of the books’ pages.  I had to cut length, I had to explain the presence of certain characters, and I had to re-write many scenes.  After my editor approved the changes, my books went to a copy editor, who checked grammar, word usage, and sentence structure.

My advice to indie authors:  pay someone to edit your book.  As for me, I’ve pretty much stopped reading many free books after just a few pages.  So far, too many of them make me cringe.  Even good writers need good editors; bad writers need them even more.

To purchase my books http://www.amazon.com/Nicole-McGehee/e/B001KDDEG8

 

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

 

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S

 

 

 

 

 

Love Boot Camp: If He Makes You Feel Bad, Then He’s a Cad

Chapter 8  If He Makes You Feel Bad, Then He’s a Cad

June is a 5’8″ natural towhead with high cheekbones and wide, blue eyes. She has a flawless complexion and a good figure.  She’s a head-turner, but she doesn’t believe it if you tell her so.  Why?  She’s married to Ray, who always finds a way to put her down.

I don’t know why he does it, but I suppose it’s because he has an inferiority complex.  Her curvaceous figure  — a size 4 or 6 — he calls “hippy.”  Her legs — strong from horseback riding — he’s dubbed “thunder thighs.”  As a result, she’s on a constant diet or cleanse, won’t wear light-colored slacks for fear of looking fat, and only takes off her swim wrap to go in the water.

She wears her hair the way Ray likes it (always down), grows her nails the way he likes them (though a nuisance when she rides), and dresses the way he mandates.  She seems unable to make a decision without him.  If she had always been this way, I’d say it was her nature, but she’s an avid, serious horsewoman who was once opinionated and independent.

Ray seems to have the need to keep her off-balance and insecure.  Maybe he thinks she won’t leave him if he makes her feel worthless.  He talks about “blond moments” when, in fact, she is better educated than he.  Ray makes a bit more money than she as a top manager in luxury car sales, but she has built a good business with her horse expertise.

At age 41, June refers to herself as “old”.  When Ray’s barbs get to her and she burst out in angry tears, she talks of leaving him, but always concludes with, “But who would want an old bag like me?”

Should she leave him?  That’s not for us, her friends, to say.

What about just standing up to him?  “Why would you want to make derogatory remarks about me?  You chose me, you married me…so what does that say about your taste?”  Or, look him dead in the eye and say, “That is not the kind of remark you make to your wife.  It is disrespectful and I won’t have it.”  She could even try a more casual, “Well you married these hips so you must like them.”

The problem is, June is already married to a man who makes her feel bad, but he surely displayed this behavior when dating, and June let him get away with it.

My advice?  When a man starts criticizing you for things that aren’t true, show him the door.  Otherwise, tell him immediately that if he won’t encourage you and make you feel lovely and admired, he’d best go in search of someone “better.”

Really, what is the point of a relationship that makes you feel bad about yourself?

To purchase my fiction for $3.99

REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W

NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S