Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Allie Pleiter | What’s in your wall?
Author Guest / March 28, 2011

You know that commercial that ends with the question “What’s in your wallet?”  Mack Tanner, the hero in my newest release YUKON WEDDING has something in his wall.  As a matter of fact, his new bride-of-convenience Lana is sure he has secret somethings stashed in every room of their new home.  Mack’s got serious trust issues where banks (and gold miners and women for that matter) are concerned.  It was fun to take a man who has been alone too long and invade his life with a feisty woman and a frustrating-but-adorable toddler. Mack buries a treasure to keep the world from getting at his fortune.  As a matter of fact, he goes to all kinds of trouble to keep the world from his gold, but if I told you the details I’d ruin the story for you.  Be assured that much mayhem takes place before Mack realizes he needs a bit more trust in his life (and in his soul). All that hiding got me thinking, though.  Where would I hide a treasure?  Now I’m not talking about hiding the chocolate, where you stand inside your pantry and swallow down the Hershey’s to say “nothing” when your preschooler asks…

Allie Pleiter | Epic Disaster
Author Guest / August 13, 2010

Things get blown out of proportion in our culture. It’s like when my kids howl “I’m starving!” and I look at them and say, “Children in Ethiopia are starving. You are hungry.” They roll their eyes, but I place great stock in the power of perspective and the leverage of point of view. Lots of things are out of our control, but how we react is always in our control. Enter the Epic Disaster. In this case, the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fires. Definitely “epic,” on a scale rarely seen even though the word “epic” gets tossed around a lot these days. The city suffered crisis on every level–buildings, food, clothing, civil services, even social barriers were demolished in a handful of truly “epic” days. Rich people lost their homes alongside desperate families. Worthy people died while criminals survived–and vice versa mere feet away. The ruthless randomness of it all left people struggling to cope. We often miss that the disaster also unearthed new ways to hope. Did you know a record number of marriage licenses were issued in the wake of the disaster? America experienced philanthropy on a scale seldom seen. When I unearthed the story of…

ALLIE PLEITER | A Little Bit of Real Life…
Uncategorized / February 24, 2010

Sometimes our imaginations cook up the perfect story from scratch. Other times, life hands us the spark of the story and our imaginations use it as a launching pad. Such was the case with my first novella, Bluegrass Easter, released this March in Love Inspired’s Easter Promises. Sure, it’s the final story in my Kentucky Corners series, and it’s special for that, but there’s another reason it captures my heart: the real-life spark of the story. An avid knitter, I’d been getting regular updates from a yarn shop and sheep farm in my area. One email chronicled the story of a particularly…shall we say…romantic male sheep and the surprise population explosion he brought to the ewes at the farm. I ask you, how could a romance novelist–let alone one who knits–pass up a courtship like that? Any writer worth her salt (or in this case her fleece) wouldn’t leave it at just a bunch of surprise sheep pregnancies. I had to find ways for this “bumper crop” of lambs to take librarian Audrey Lupine to her emotional edge. It’s cruel, I know, to take a control freak and send her beyond her coping, but the payoff is so very sweet…

Allie Pleiter | Balancing The Quirks And The Oddities
Uncategorized / September 28, 2009

How do you give an old story a new twist? Holiday romances are time-honored favorites. Everyone likes to see the guy finally get the girl under the mistletoe. Not that the holidays don’t provide lots of material for those of us who tend to put humor in our stories, but it can be hard to achieve that “smile while you tear up” quality that most readers look for in romantic comedy. For me, the balance is the difference between “quirky” and “odd.” We love quirky characters, mostly because they represent parts of us we don’t want to the world to see. Character traits run amuk are funny, especially if they’re character traits we have ourselves. That’s what makes them recognizable; what makes them quirky. Now, learn the differences by clicking here. And learn how to WIN a free book! Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Allie Pleiter | Cry me a keeper…
Uncategorized / July 16, 2009

So, why is it we love to see our characters go to the brink of misery? Follow them to the loss of their most treasured people, dreams, and possessions? The answer is because it makes for the best reading. Drama is the stuff of great books, and drama is built on loss, conflict, stress, and any number of other nasty elements. Let’s face it; make up kisses are always the sweetest. We cheer for the couple that falls scarred and wounded into each other’s arms because deep down, we know the redemptive power of love. When a romance restores a soul, it affirms our deeply held belief that love really can conquer all. That it transforms, redeems, and changes lives. You could comb the Bible and find scores of verses that talk about love’s power. It’s the stories, though, that stick with us. The books where all seems lost and you can’t imagine how the hero and heroine are going to make it back to each other–those are the best ones. Because it means that anything can get better! Cameron and Dinah go through their share of misery in Bluegrass Blessings. They learn things, down in that dark hole, that…

Allie Pleiter | BLUEGRASS COURTSHIP
Uncategorized / February 11, 2009

My first crack at the “plane Jane” heroine took me by surprise. Given my love for larger-than-life characters, I wasn’t sure my muse was up to the challenge. Then I remembered that one of the best matches for a small-town-practical girl would be a big-city-dynamo of a guy. One Sunday night I was sniffling my way through yet another episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition (come on…I dare you to watch that without crying at the end), thinking how any red-blooded American female would enjoy watching Ty Pennington rip up her hardwood flooring…and voila!—the idea for Bluegrass Courtship was born. Of course, I had to give this my own quirky twist, so I invented Missionnovation, the church-rehab version of home makeover a show. After all, how many church buildings could use a spruce-up to match the vitality of the congregations inside? Click here to read the rest of the blog. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Allie Pleiter | I think I have a writing disability.
Uncategorized / August 5, 2008

Well, perhaps disability is too strong a word, except that I do truly feel “differently-abled.” I feel somewhat hampered by it, like I stand out more than I already do by being six feet tall. And at gatherings of writers and readers, like here at the Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco this week, I feel my “freak flag” flying especially high. I’m an extrovert. A raging, card-carrying, put-my-photo –in-the-dictionary-next-to-the-definition extrovert. And introverts—not extroverts–populate the writers world by a huge majority. Why is that a disability? Well, it sets me at a disadvantage. All you thoughtful introverts are watching, observing cunning truths of human behavior, carefully selecting your contribution to the dialogue, and I’m…well I’m yakking away like that crazy uncle everyone tolerates at Thanksgiving. I’m on my ninth story, mistaking all your quiet for consent when I’m now rather sure you all were saying to yourselves (or maybe even each other) can’t someone rein this gal in? Take her volume and drama down a notch? I’m trying—perhaps too desperately—to pull you into conversations when you all would probably rather have a root canal than make small talk with the likes of me. Really, I’m starting to think…