Tag Archives: Harlequin

Liz Tyner: Ten Quotes That Focus My Writing World ~ Redeeming the Roguish Rake

I’m pleased to share a post from my good friend, Liz Tyner, who always has something informative and entertaining to share… plus, she’s a fantastic writer!!


Ten Quotes That Focus My Writing World

The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.  John Steinbeck. When I realized that many authors from the past had day jobs, or were supported by someone else, or had an inheritance, I felt so much better. And when I realize I’ve chosen, in a surprise way, to be a professional gambler of sorts, it helps with the day job.

People ask you for criticism but they only want praise. W. Somerset Maugham.  It’s very true, but constructive criticism helps us grow as writers, and I believe the ability to listen and evaluate feedback is important. I still have to work, however, to keep from taking criticism personally.

The first sentence sells your novel, the last sentence sells the next one. Mickey Spillane. Most likely, I will spend the rest of my life hoping for a perfect first sentence and never entirely satisfied with the endings.

Try to leave out the parts that most people tend to skip: Elmore Leonard. Editing is so important.

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. It’s the difference between lightning and lightning bug. Mark Twain  When I’m having trouble finding the right word and I care, then I remember it matters.

It’s only a book. Tim Hallinan  When I get stuck on trying to find the right word and I give up. It’s only a book and if I don’t finish it, no one will be able to read it, ever. So the other 69,999 words are more important than one I can’t find.

You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Anne Lamont may have said this about writing, and it’s an old joke, but when I think about my book that isn’t written yet, and know I plan to submit it, and I need a pep talk, this type of quote resonates so that I’ll get busy and write one word at a time.

I don’t like green eggs and ham. Dr. Seuss He wrote a book using only fifty words. And he wrote it about green eggs.  It tells me to push myself, challenge myself and if I believe in a topic, then I should write about it.

You can do it. The Waterboy movie For some reason that imprinted in my brain. And when a deadline approaches, sadly I can hear the “You can do it all night long…” but it’s not true.

Royalties.  I don’t remember who said it first to me. But it does roll off the tongue and makes the Steinbeck quote a little more palatable.


Beaten and left for dead, Foxworthy falls in love with the vicar’s daughter who saved him, and it’s a perfect relationship until he regains his ability to speak.


Foxworthy wanted to kiss Rebecca, but he could not.

He could not let his face near hers. No woman should be touched by such ugliness. He reached out and rested his fingertips against her cheeks. Then he traced her perfect nose. Even her jawline was perfect.

He’d thought nothing fascinating about her face, but now he looked closer. In her plainness, she had a simple beauty. The wisps of hair framing her face enhanced the softness of her skin. Such a contrast to the rough hands—the work she did made the woman more delicate.

He grasped her shoulders and her eyes opened. She’d taken pity on a beaten man and helped her neighbors with whatever they needed. He could see purity. An unaware angel.

He must kiss her. He must.

“Kissed?” he asked.

She shook her head.


Her head wobbled a no. Eyes begged him.


His right hand rested against her throat. Her pulse hammered. She swallowed.

“Promise?” she asked.

He traced the fullness of her lips and without words made a promise to both of them.





Liz Tyner has had seven books published by Harlequin, a division of Harper Collins. In her spare time, she walks her rural acreage trying to select the perfect tree to place her trail camera.





Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Ten Things I Learned On My Writing Journey by Liz Tyner ~ #Giveaway & The Wallflower Duchess

Please help me welcome my friend, Liz Tyner. I LOVE this girl so much!! She’s talented and sweet and funny and smart. What’s not to love? She has some excellent advice for us today. PLUS, she’s giving away a prize!! One lucky commenter will receive a copy of her book,  Wallflower Duchess and a Swag Surprise Gift from RWA17.


Ten Things I Learned On My Writing Journey

  1. A novel is a series of mini stories. Little scenes, one leading to the next.
  2. Each scene should move the story forward. You can test that quickly by summarizing, in one sentence, what happened in the scene. Those sentences, read in order, are a novel’s plot.
  3. Something in the scene should make it real or individual. For instance, a character takes a bite of an orange and grabs a napkin.
  4. A scene should have a “sense” included besides visual, such as the taste of the orange, the feel of the juice sticking on the face or the sound of a napkin box falling to the floor.
  5. Usually, the minor characters shouldn’t pull attention from the main characters or plot, but background is very important to create reality for the reader. Try to point out a bit of individuality in each background character and each scene. A chipped tooth on a smile. Straightening a picture of the leaning tower of Pisa.
  6. Boredom is bad. Imagine how many times you walk by pictures on the wall in your home, and no matter how much you liked them at first, you ignore them. Put new art up, and it’s fresh for a while, but then you start ignoring it again. Push yourself to put freshness throughout each book.
  7. No matter how stunningly wonderful your story is, it’s not going to appeal to most people because most people only read one book on average per year. They prefer other things. You’re writing for a select group of people, and one in particular—yourself.
  8. If you want people to read your book, plan to market. With millions of books to choose from, a reader who would like to read your story simply cannot find you without help. Marketing creates a road map to the location of your book. A chance to tell someone who is searching for that style of story where they can locate it.
  9. Don’t compare yourself to people quickly volunteering information about sales and income. People “spin” their writing lives. Most multi-published authors are a “bestselling author” or “prize winning author” in some form or another.
  10. The paperwork on a writing business is a pain, and grows as the business grows. You’re going to have expenses. If you’re serious about writing, you’ll have income taxes to pay. Plus the social security tax is around 15%. Add an agent, and a good rule of thumb is to halve your royalties by 50%. In other words, an agented author with a major publisher will most likely only net about half an advance.
  11. (Bonus) Writing is hard, but most important journeys are And copyrights are scheduled to last about 70 years longer than the life of the author. Which feels good. Now—imagine how many free books those authors starting 100 years from now will have to contend with…

Wow…fabulous, Liz!! Very helpful info. I’m definitely going to keep this handy. Thank you so much for joining me today!


I’ve had six novels published, which in today’s writing world, is a small number. But I’ve had editions published in ten countries and my author copies arrive with the Harper Collins imprint on the box. My last novel, The Wallflower Duchess, hit a bestseller list. (See point number 9. Immediately.)




“Capt’n. There’s yer mermaid.”

–First sentence in A Captain and a Rogue.

“I don’t eat hearts,” Bellona inserted, directing a look straight into the vile man. “Only brains. You are safe.”

–Forbidden to Duke

“My husband confessed to me that he’d only married me because his parents hated me so much—and that they’d been right.”

—The Notorious Countess

An unmarked grave would not fulfill her dreams.

—The Runaway Governess

“The two of you are not to fight. Brothers must be kind to their sister.”

“I am. She likes hitting me with the doll and I like calling her names.”

—Safe in the Earl’s Arms


Filed under Uncategorized

Liz Tyner Author Interview & New Release: The Wallflower Duchess

Please help me welcome a dear author friend from my Oklahoma Romance Writers group and a mega talented writer, Liz Tyner…


So glad to have you here, Liz. Where did you get the idea for The Wallflower Duchess?

I’d written about the duke in The Notorious Countess and made him irritatingly perfect. I wanted to write a story about a man who felt pressured to be correct. People agreed with him because of who he was, and not necessarily because he was right all the time, so he knew no one would tell him when he was wrong.

What is the most difficult thing with writing this particular book?

I wanted both characters to be introverted and controlled. I based the hero’s personality on Tommy Lee Jones, and I kept looking at the dialog and thinking, “Tommy Lee Jones wouldn’t say that.” That was a learning experience for me in characterization. About halfway through the book I decided to just let the characters talk to each other. Tommy Lee Jones had to get another role.

Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story?

I have tried almost every writing inspirational trick I’ve ever heard of. A timer. Listening to motivational tapes. Writing at the library. Mostly, a word count calendar keeps me on track.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Telling the plot of one of my novels. The only way to experience a book is to read it.

What do you want your readers to come away with after they read The Wallflower Duchess?

Besides the romance, I hope the readers like the sisters’ relationship and the handkerchiefs. The scenes with the windows and the characters using handkerchiefs as signals were my favorites to write.

You mentioned the scenes you enjoyed writing. Is that why you write?

Writing is a part of me. I can give you all sorts of reasons of things that happened in my past that led me to want to write. But what I really believe is that it’s a part of my being much like the color of my eyes or hair. It just is.

What do you want your readers to take away from your books?

A diversion from life. A moment in another world. Perhaps a bit of whimsy or humor added in their day.

And, one final question. If you were to wake up and find yourself in heaven, what is the first thing you’d like read in the newcomers orientation manual?

We don’t have allergies here. Or alarm clocks. But we have maid service and a thermostat dial that lets you control the seasons.

Great interview…I know what you mean about writing being a part of you. So true! Please tell us about your book. 



Edge had botched the first proposal terribly. But he wasn’t going to botch the first kiss.

He moved Lily slightly, turning her so he could savor every second and give her a feeling she would cherish.

‘This is how it starts,’ she said, whispering, shaking her head, turning away. ‘It’s not safe.’

‘One kiss,’ he said, knowing it was likely the biggest lie of his life.


But she didn’t push away. She didn’t move to her feet—she just sat, and leaned closer against him.

‘Half a dozen, then.’ He didn’t smile, again letting her hair brush his face. ‘Twenty. And that’s my final offer.’


Buy links:




Liz Tyner first became published when she sent four lines of her high school assignment to a national magazine to use as a filler. Her articles and photos have appeared in numerous trade and regional publications, but her heart lies in writing romance. The Wallflower Duchess is her sixth book to be published by Harlequin, a division of Harper Collins. Coincidentally Harper Collins began as a small shop in 1817—the same time frame as her novels are set.


Find out more about Liz at:

Blog: http://www.liztyner.com/

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/liztyner2

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/LizTyner1

Pinterest:   https://www.pinterest.com/liztyner1/



Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

“10 Moments that Changed My Life” by Liz Tyner – PLUS, her new release, THE NOTORIOUS COUNTESS

Please welcome my dear friend, Liz Tyner…


10 moments new_MTE1MTUwNTQ0MTg

 Ten (Mostly Unplanned) Moments that changed my life:

  1. I was too young to read, but my mom asked me to tell her a story. She wrote it down and said she would keep it with the “important papers.”
  2. My husband said he wanted to go to college—which also led to moment #3.
  3. At age twenty-five, I went with someone applying for a job, showed them how I thought the application should be filled out, and ended up working there twenty years.
  4. At twenty-six, because of #3, I had to put writing non-fiction articles aside, so I began a novel, which four years and 100,000 words later was a story with a sagging middle. My energy sagged. I soon stopped writing. As in “I quit. I do not want to do this anymore.”
  5. My husband said I needed a laptop computer. I didn’t think I did.
  6. Because #2 turned out well, and I didn’t like #3 particularly, I put in a job application somewhere else and ended up with more spare time.
  7. With #5 being so handy, I wrote a 60,000 word journal about violin lessons—which was another unplanned event in my life. (Yes, you can end up in a violin class without really planning to but that’s a long story—a 60,000 word one.)
  8. It snowed. Roads were bad. I started a writing a story thanks to #5, #6, and #7. I wrote four rough drafts of short novels in approximately a year.
  9. So now I really wanted a book published. The writer’s conference site in Nashville flooded after I’d signed up, and I ended up flying to the new conference location in Florida alone, which led to me deciding later to fly to NY with friends, and then back to NY—alone—and I’d never flown until after I was forty.
  10. Someone didn’t show up for their pitch appointment after I traveled to Atlanta for a writer’s conference, and I was in the right place at the right time, and met an editor from Harlequin who agreed to look at my historical romance…

Wow, Liz. Great stuff. What a series of seeming mishaps that turned into a blessing. 

Check out Liz’s book and the gorgeous cover!



“People must have something to talk about… And I do make for a good tale.” 

After escaping an unhappy marriage, Lady Riverton enjoys her notoriety among the ton…even if her reputation isn’t deserved. But when she’s caught in a most compromising position with Andrew Robson, for the first time the truth is even more scandalous than the rumors! 

And yet, in Andrew’s arms, Beatrice finds she’s no longer defined by her reputation and is free to be the woman she truly is. Is it time for Beatrice to trust in Andrew and end her reign of scandal once and for all?


                Sitting shoulder to shoulder, aware of every one of her curves, he forced himself to think of plans for Beatrice’s reintroduction into society.

                She turned her face to him. From the gentle brushes of movement at his side, he knew he need move only the barest amount and she would be in his arms.

                “I don’t think your sleep quite agreed with you,” she mumbled. “You look quite grim.”

                He nodded, aware of her fluid movements, confined by the seat, and yet she didn’t still. Her body moved constantly, checking its boundaries.

                She coughed and lost all seriousness. “Did you, um, think of me last night?”

                His thoughts jumped from her body to her words. “Of course.”

                Her shoulders wobbled and she managed to squeeze so close to him he braced himself not to be pushed out of the other side of the conveyance. Tickles of warmth moved from the place she touched to flood his entire body.

                Wide eyes blinked at him in feigned innocence. “I do have a place in the country. Except it’s rather crowded. My mother’s there.”

                “I was trying to think of ways you might impress the ton.

                “I did not think of that once after you left.” She moved closer to her side of the curricle. “They cannot be impressed by me. I assure you. They’ve spent too many teatimes murmuring about what has happened in my past.”

                Andrew slowed the horse.

                “Past. Present. The future. You must only think of the future now. I don’t believe anyone is really aware of the events of the night yet,” Andrew mused, “so I want us to be noted today. A pre-emptive move for when Tilly’s words are spread about.”

                He ignored the skepticism on her face. “Also you might adopt a worthy cause and pour yourself into it. A cause which shows your heart. With your ability to draw attention, you’ll gather print. At first people will be unimpressed, but over time you’ll gain acceptance. People are fascinated when others change from what is expected. Think of reformed rakes. Ordinary people into war heroes. Women who sacrifice for others. Those gather a lot of discussion.”

                “So you think to tame the Beast.”

                “I think for you to tame her,” he said. “Things have been exaggerated in your past and now you will merely control what is noticed and embellished.”

                She gave a distinctive grimace and touched the blue at her sleeve. “Not the carriage incident.”

                “You must also refrain from rolling your eyes in public, I suppose. And smirking. And using scissors.”

Fabulous excerpt! Sounds like a great read. Readers, you can check it out here:





Safe in My Arms—My First Book: Safe in the Earl’s Arms



Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release