Monday, June 8, 2015

Taking Chances by Cheryl Harper and Pamela Tracy


Necessity is the mother of taking chances. ~ Mark Twain


This month, Pamela and I both have books featuring small-town heroines who like to play it safe.

I might know a thing or two about heroines like this. *cough*

The times I've ventured out of my comfort zone were in the pursuit of something I wanted more than I feared failing. Since it's almost that time again, one event that comes to mind is the first time I went to New York for the RWA national conference. I've traveled a lot of places. By myself. My job required several trips a year, and in every new location, I rented a car to explore for a few days. Apparently, car keys make me comfortable. After I ran a red light in Los Angeles because I was staring up at the Hollywood sign, everyone else should feel less safe if I'm coming to your town, but I'm still pretty confident. Five minutes after I picked up my luggage at the airport in New York, I was ready to find the ticketing counter to book a return trip home. But I wanted to see the Big Apple. So I used a lifeline and phoned a friend. I saw places I've only seen on television. I made connections at that conference. I rode the subway. By myself. And with every time I do something I'm not sure I can, I get a little braver.

Everything changes for Stephanie Yates in Winner Takes All when she and her friends win the lottery. Before she knows she'll have to follow through, she makes the wild promise that she'll throw a dart at a map and get on a plane if they win. Rebecca and Jen, in the way of friends who've been together long enough to know all the secrets, refuse to let her back down from following her dreams. And they think Daniel, Rebecca's older brother, is a part of those dreams. That means a trip to Peru and some of the biggest risks a girl from Holly Heights, Texas, can imagine.


I'm with Cheryl.  I'm both a risk-taker (I was once offered an opportunity to drive in powerpuff derbies (much, much MUCH younger) but I won't fly.  Did you know it takes four days to drive/train to New York from Arizona.  Someday I'll tell you about the time I scared a whole plane (vivid imagination and the words "We're going to crash!")  But, enough about me.  If you read Saturday's post, you already know a little bit about Yolanda.  But, here's something I didn't share.  She'd wisely decided to become an accountant.  Switching to used bookstore owner is a huge leap of faith.  (Yes, I also write for Love Inspired, so I like the word faith).

In Small-Town Secrets, Yolanda Sanchez is forced to take a chance
when her mother leaves her a beautiful home... with one stipulation: she has to do something risky. That involves pursuing a dream, opening a book store, working closely with her best friend, Adam, and a book filled with secrets.





What's a risk you've taken that paid off? Maybe it was taking a new job or quitting an old one, moving to a new city, talking to someone you didn't know...or submitting the manuscript you'd been working on to someone who might actually read it.

40 comments:

  1. Both of these books sound so amazing. I'm totally drawn in by both the settings of Peru and a bookstore :). I'm not a 'let's go skydiving' type of 'I might die' risk taker, but I have taken risks like quitting a job and moving to a new state ;). Best wishes to both of you!

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    1. Skydiving is definitely outside my "I'll try that" zone, Rula!

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    2. I've done the quitting the job and moving to a new state too. Again, much younger. I think it would terrify me now.

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  2. Cheryl, so interested in reading about Peru. And Pam, told you on Saturday that I can't wait for your book. I used to be much more of a risk taker than I am now. The older I get the more I tend to like home more than adventure. But I still always talk to people I don't know. My daughters always say it's amazing how I can go into a restaurant bathroom and not only wipe down the sink, but know everyone's life stories who are passing through there, too. Same at grocery stores. But how risky is that really?

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    1. For wallflowers like me, the idea of walking into a room and making conversation seems like a challenge. I can do it better now, at *mumble mumble* years of age than I used to, but I still get the nerves.

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    2. Cheryl, I'm blessed to know Roz through Arizona's RWA chapters. She's telling the truth. Everyone loves her.

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  3. Great post, Ladies! Looking very forward to both of these stories. I do like taking risks--I like adventure, change, travel, trying new things, etc... But I'd have to say my biggest risk was submitting a MS to Harlequin, although I didn't tell anyone other than my husband so it didn't really "feel" like a risk.

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    1. I love travel, although sometimes I make everyone around me crazy because I want to know everything about everything and control everything and lose some of the fun along the way. That's something I'm working on because I've had some great unplanned adventures.

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    2. Carol,
      I love travel! I so want to go to England. I told my husband it has to be by boat. He said, "Ugh." That's plumber for "I don't think so."

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  4. Both your books sound delightful. While in college, I panicked during my sophomore year. My major was textile design and the only place I’d be able to find work would be in New York City! That scared me so much, I switched my major to teaching which I considered safe and wouldn’t require the trauma of a big city. During my junior year I learned an important truth – I hated teaching. After one semester, I gathered my courage and switched back to textiles. Learned to love NYC, and I’m looking forward to this coming conference where I can check out my old haunts.

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    1. That's a great story, Marion. New York is exciting, but the whole decision had to take guts.

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    2. You'll have to share some of your stories here, Marion. I hard a few of them as we drove from AZ to TX. They were great.

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  5. Oh, goodness. Since I seem to not be afraid of anything, I'm searching my memory to see...Oh! the first time I spoke to a hundred women in my hometown. Yeah, that would be it. But it was a great success and I even had fun.

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    1. Not afraid of anything? DOES. NOT. COMPUTE. :-) Public speaking makes me nervous, but I think this is one fear I've tackled (she says, hoping no one asks her to prove it).

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    2. Patricia,
      So you like snakes?

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  6. I'm generally a fun-lover, but not a risk-taker. Still, Ron was my biggest risk. I was 23 with big plans of living in Rome and writing, and he was 35 and ready to settle down. I had so much to do, but taking a chance on doing it with him was the smartest thing I've ever done. Then there were the children - I had imagined little ones dancing around me, loving me. Ours arrived fully formed in body and mind, and sort of skulked around us in suspicion and a dare to make them happy. But we leaped into the middle, got our clocks cleaned more than once, but what's life if you're not there to give it all you've got? Marion - I love textiles! We have to talk.

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    1. Wow, Muriel, this a great story and a fabulous attitude. I want to work more on being less afraid and more determined to give it everything I've got.

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    2. Muriel,
      That makes you a hero, a whole different kind of risk-taker. By the way, I'm reading your story about the returning soldier and the girl who's apartment caught on fire and the bear.... I'm soo looking forward to finding out if he finds his sisters.

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  7. Both books sound wonderful!

    As for taking risks, I am at the other end of the spectrum. In retrospect I feel very bad about the grief I must have caused my parents. Especially as a child, I had no natural fear of anything. I decided I wanted to learn how to dive off the side of a boat when I was two (before I knew how to swim). When I could swim, I'd be the kid in the ocean wanting to frolic with the sharks, or learn how to surf when the red flag was up. And that's just related to water...!

    Best wishes with your new releases!

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    1. Another person with no fear. I can't imagine how that must feel?!?! I want to apologize to my mother for having to spend twelve years with a little girl hiding behind her skirt. Someday, I'll do that and tell her it could have been worse...swimming with sharks...

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    2. LOL, Kate, look above at my response to Patricia.

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  8. I love this post. I want to write like you two when I grow up! I admit to being overwhelmed by both large cities and large crowds. However, going parasailing did make me think if I decide I want to_____(fill in the blank) I'm going to do it whether I'm afraid or not.

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    1. Oh, Liz, thank you! I love your attitude. It's all about the motivation. I don't like heights, but I would try parasailing even though I'm not going to climb the ladder to hang lights. I want one more than the other, obviously!

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    2. Liz, you are too cool. Last summer I went white water rafting. I had to sign a weaver that no one would sue should I perish. Hmm, I'm standing there changing my mind as my 9 year old said, "Come on, Mom."
      Now, I love white water rafting and can hardly wait to do it again, and for longer!

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  9. As everyone else has said, both of your books sound wonderful! The greatest risk I ever took was moving to NYC two weeks after college graduation. I had two suitcases, two hundred bucks--and no job. Five days later, I got one in publishing (my dream) and met my future husband (ditto)--on Fifth Avenue, no less! The rest is history. But I'm more of a homebody now.

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    1. That risk paid off! I'm so impressed, Leigh. You're totally a romance heroine!

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    2. I agree with Cheryl, what a romance. And I want to hear about this job in publishing.

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  10. I look forward to reading both of your books! I'm not a physical risk taker--no jumping out of planes or swimming with sharks for me--but other risks? Bring 'em on! I like challenges, though sometimes my family wishes I didn't.

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    1. Good for you, Kristine! I sort of back into all challenges sideways, but once I'm in, I'm committed.

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    2. I'm sending my son to live with Kate. He'll do anything, swim with sharks, etc. I applaud you.

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  11. I'm definitely not a risk-taker. It's taken me half a lifetime to decide to risk letting agents and editors see my writing. I guess I'll find out if it was a risk worth taking.

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    1. Hi, Beth. I know what you mean. It's worth it. Take the risk.

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    2. I have more than 40 rejections before I sold. 40. So, I saw the pathway to publication is paved with rejections. Once you're there, you can stomp all over them.

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  12. These books are making my mouth water with anticipation. Both sound so amazing!! I love everyone's stories of the risks they've taken. I've never been much of a risk taker....I guess I'm more of a pragmatist. However, I did move from NYC where I'd lived for practically my entire life to NC a little over 11 years ago. That was a big decision for our family and I didn't know how things would turn out. Fortunately we all love it here and I'm glad we took the risk. Nothing against my native NYC, but I'm more of a country girl at heart I guess. Thx for the great post!!

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    1. Hi, Laurie! You went the other direction! Lots of people look at NYC as the risk, but I can see how life outside the city can be an even bigger change. Good for you for making the move and finding the place you love.

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    2. Id love to live in New York for just a year. It would be so exciting.

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  13. You two are so great. I felt just like Cheryl in New York City. It was so overwhelming but there was nothing more empowering than riding the subway by myself! I am somewhat of a risk taker - a cautious risk taker maybe. I don't jump out of plane or anything like that but I did dare to write a story and let other people read it. I think that was a HUGE risk!!

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    1. Exactly, Amy! I don't know what it is, but taking that subway alone was really big for me. I hope when I go back this summer that I can make it through the airport without a meltdown. I did not try hailing a cab. Maybe that's my hurdle this year. Or not. I'm a good walker. :)

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  14. Oh, Amy, you are so fun. I wish I was taking risks with you in New York come July

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