Pleasure Me With Lorraine Heath

>Although I know she doesn’t remember me, Lorraine Heath and I met in Dallas a number of years ago at a RWA National conference. She impressed me then, and she continues to do so by creating wonderful characters and delicious romances. A USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, please welcome Lorraine for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.

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ROUGHING IT – by Lorraine Heath


Several years ago, my family and I visited the Grand Tetons—a few weeks before the actual tourist season was to begin. We’d heard about the Hidden Falls. To reach them, we had to follow a dirt trail around Jenny Lake. We found the beginning of the trail. It was clear, dry, well-marked. Our family of four took a vote. We decided that although our limited hiking skills had been gained by strolling through our smoothly-paved neighborhood, we could handle the 2.5 mile trek to the Hidden Falls. After all, how hard could it be to follow a path?

After about twenty minutes, we hit our first patch of snow. We had seen snow on the peaks, but we hadn’t expected snow to cross our path at the base of the mountain. We could see the trail was clear beyond this little patch. So we trudged over it, slipping here and there, learning to walk with our heels hitting first. We made it to the dirt trail on the other side, breathed a sigh of relief, and trudged on.


But as we journeyed, we ran into more snow, ice, and mud. The clear easy path became less frequent and more than once, one of us would stop and ask, “Do we want to go on?” 

Because we didn’t know what else awaited us. All we had was the promise of the Falls, and the hope that the worst was behind us. A vote was taken. “Let’s go a little farther.”

And so we trudged on. For two and half hours. Faltering several times, doubting that our destination would be worth the journey. From time to time more experienced hikers passed us. But we weren’t deterred by their easy stride or sure foot. We continued on, going at our own ungainly pace. Then we heard the roar of the Falls and discovered the trail narrowed down to a muddy slippery stretch guarded by a high bank of snow on one side and a steep drop to the freezing river on the other.

But we had come too far to stop now. Carefully, holding our breaths and each other, we maneuvered along the slippery trail. It led us to the Hidden Falls.

Writers travel the same sort of journey when they sit down to write the rough draft. They know their destination: a completed manuscript of 350, 400, or 450 pages.

But they don’t always realize at the beginning what obstacles await them: words that won’t come, ideas that flounder, scenes that fall short of expectations, characters that aren’t as likable as we envisioned they’d be. How many times when writing a rough draft, do we ask ourselves, “Do I continue on or do I stop?”

Book 2 in London’s
Greatest Lovers
Series
As the black sheep second son of an earl, Stephen Lyons has gained a reputation in the art of seduction, but when his wicked ways result in scandal, he enlists in the army to redeem himself.
 
On the battlefield, he proves courageous…until he is seriously wounded. Returning home to recover, he discovers he can’t remember the angelic beauty who arrives at his doorstep, his babe nestled in her arms.
Mercy Dawson will risk everything to protect the son of the dashing soldier she once knew and admired. When Stephen offers to do the honorable thing, she is determined that London’s most notorious gentleman will desire her and no other. 
But Mercy fears that what began as an innocent deception could destroy her dreams and their blossoming love if Stephen ever learns the scandalous truth…

Those who are published continued on . . .

Writing the rough draft can be a frustrating experience unless the writer understands its purpose. The rough draft is supposed to be rough and ungainly. It is the time when we flesh out ideas, get to know our characters, carry the plot down different paths and find the one that works best.

When I begin working on my rough draft, I break my story into scenes. The thought of writing 400 pages overwhelms me—but I can write a scene. Writing some of the scenes is like walking over a dry dirt path. And some are like trudging through knee high snow. Some make me question my ability to write and others flow so smoothly that I wonder why I ever doubted that I could do this.

I write my rough draft in single space so that more of the scene is visible to me. And when I feel I’m not making progress, I do a quick click, convert it to double space, and feel that I’ve made great strides.

What we must always remember is that the rough draft is a journey—a journey toward completing a novel. It’s the uncharted path. The more times we go through it with revisions, the smoother it becomes.

But we have to complete the rough draft before we can realize the promise of a finished novel.

And trust me on this—the more difficult the trail, the greater the reward. During our vacation, we saw waterfalls more beautiful than the Hidden Falls. But none were nearly as rewarding because the Hidden Falls were the only ones that challenged us to reach deep within ourselves and find the desire to continue. What is your most memorable—in a good way—challenging moment?

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About the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases for a publicist, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. In 1990, she read a romance novel and became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since, for both adult and young adult readers (as Rachel Hawthorne). Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today and the New York Times.

This entry was posted in Blog Event by Monica Burns. Bookmark the permalink.

About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

47 thoughts on “Pleasure Me With Lorraine Heath

  1. >I would have to say child birth 🙂 But the reward with worth it 🙂

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  2. >Thanks for your article. I think my biggest challenges as a writer come with editing — hitting that balance between cutting too much or not enough….keeping the flow going, the pace just right. But I love the idea of using single space, then double!

    hugs,

    billi

  3. >Hi Lorraine! My most memorable & challenging moment was when I finally completed and earned my college degree after 13 years of classs primarily part-time and working three jobs at the same time.

    Nancy E, Wisc USA
    everitnm at hotmail dot com.

  4. >Probably my most memorable challenging moment is the fall semester I had to take organic chemistry. All through freshman year I heard horror stories about it, and I think I psyched myself out on these stories. The first exam rolled around, and I did absolutely horrible despite studying so hard. The second exam I resolved to do better, but once again I bombed it despite studying triply hard. I was getting extremely scared that for some reason, I understood the material while I was studying but could never get it on the exams. I felt I was on the precipice tipping towards failure. I studied even harder the third time around, going over the entire chapters, questions, and lecture notes 3-4 times. It turns out third time was the charm – I aced the exam, and by the end of the semester, I scored in the mid-90s on my final, and ended up 3 points away from an A-! While I was experiencing it, it was excruciating and made me so distressed, but now that I look back on it 3 years later, it feels like an even greater achievement because I had to work so hard to attain it.

    abbydillon16 AT yahoo DOT com
    CA

  5. >Lorraine,

    Have been enjoying your books for years. Thank you.

    Most memorable challenge was learning to snow ski. I spent more time getting up after falling than actually swishing down slopes.
    -Vonda

    2much2reid {at} comcast {dot} net / Texas

  6. >My biggest challenge for me was when my mother had a heart attack last year and I had to take care of her. Usually I don't do well with situations like that. I just knew that I had to be strong for her. Thankfully she is fine now.

    iqb99@yahoo.com
    Florida

  7. >Probably flying for the first time at age 40. With my mother and my daughters, who were pre-teen then. It was quite an experience!

  8. >First of all I want to say that Ms. Heath is one of my favorite authors! I have read several of her books and will continue to do so!

    My most memorable challenging moment was talking with people at my father's wake. Some I knew but most were virtual strangers. I guess I should preface this by saying I am I EXTREMELY uncomfortable talking with people I don't know. But for some reason that night I was able to "come out of my shell" and talk with these people like I'd known them all my life. My kids even commented at the end of the day: "Where is my mother? And what have you done with her?"

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom
    Kansas

  9. >Forget email addy. But I would also like to highly recommend "Pleasure of a Notorous Gentlemen" to everyone.
    tarenn98[at]yahoo][dot]com
    Henderson, NC

  10. >Hi Lorraine!

    I just love your books! Your adventure to the hidden falls sounds like it was well worth the trouble it took to finally arrive to see them. I can relate to you as a writer as I am a creative person and some day's I can create things that I just love and at other times I feel stuck and unable to come up with anything that I like.

    Best wishes,

    Chris M in Missouri
    christin.mead at att dot net

  11. >For me, it was when I challenged myself to enter the ocean. See, I'm scared of the water (Big water. If it's in a cup I'm fine
    😉 ) It didn't change my fear, but I was proud of myself 🙂

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
    Mississippi.

  12. >My most memorable, challenging moment was when I had to accept that I couldn't always do perfectly in all my classes in college. It was difficult to accept after all my years of doing so well and to drop the habit of beating myself up on the inside when I didn't do so well.
    lilazncutie1215 at yahoo dot com

  13. >Hi Lorraine, your post reminded me of our road trip last summer. We went to the Grand Teton NP and to Yellowstone before driving on up to Glacier NP. It was our third road trip in as many years, and by far our favorite. The hikes were incredible and difficult, but all in all, what a great time we had! The hikes were challenging for me–I have GOT to lose some weight–but so beautiful!
    I can't even relate to the challenges of being a writer! You do an amazing job and I so enjoy your books.

  14. >I, too, had looked for a rumored waterfall at the end of a trail, even through the parts where the "trail" was a 1.5-foot ledge.

    My biggest challenged was managing somehow to graduate college. I had realized that I didn't like my choice of major but it was too late to change my mind (because I had run out of money anyway). So, I gritted my teeth and worked really hard that last semester to finish. My friends used to make themselves feel better about their workload by asking about mine. To this day, I have no idea how I managed to take all those classes at once. One of these days, I'll do what one of my friends has done and get another degree in something I actually like (and won't land me in the emergency room again).

    ironss[at]gmail.com
    CA

  15. >I faced my greatest challenge when I left an abusive marriage with two teenage children. It was a very rough few years, but everything turned out great.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com
    Oregon

  16. >My most memorable challenging moment was when I moved away from home all the way across the country for college. I had never been on my own like that what an eye opener I learned so much in the first few months.

    lamtvg at gmail dot com
    utah

  17. >One of the biggest challenges was transitioning from from college to your first real job as an adult. Leaving that comfort zone and forging your own path.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com
    New York

  18. >First off, I love the changing form single space to double space. That is brilliant! Going back to school last year has been scary but rewarding at the same time. I never thought I would ever get back to the idea of being a teacher, but I am on my way!

    ps. Gig'em Aggies! 🙂

    julieboo817 at gmail dot com
    Arizona

  19. >My biggest challenge is to face the reality my parents are getting older and aren't as spry as they used to be.

    I know I must keep a closer eye on them to ensure they are healthy and happy.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com
    Maryland

  20. >Finally facing the financial mess of credit card debt, getting everything on payment plans and paying regularly for the last 2 years.

    linze_e at hotmail dot com
    USA

  21. >One of my biggest milestones so far has been getting my IB diploma. All of my high school courses were college level and higher. I am grateful for those classes now because college is really easy for me now.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

    Florida

  22. >Hello Lorraine,

    That sounds like an amazing experience – I hope to see the Grand Tetons myself one day. Well, my last semester in grad school was really quite challenging from a mental perspective. It seemed like it would never end with all the projects and papers required. However, after all was done, I got the best grades for an entire semester that I've ever received in my entire academic career. So, I was quite proud of that accomplishment and hopefully, I will be even more excited when I earn the rest of the degree. Thanks for the post.

    jend451 at gmail dot com
    from US

  23. >Having such a huge fan-girl moment here. I LOVE your books, Lorraine!

    And what an inspiring post. I sometimes lose focus on the fact that the first version of my manuscript is just that – a first version! I obsess about making every word perfect when all I need to do is get it down on the page!

    All of my best experiences have been the ones that weren't planned. I lived and worked in Germany and Austria for three years and the side trips to the little back alleys in Salzburg and Vienna resulted in things like the best black forest cake I have ever eaten and the chance to touch the keyboard of Mozart's piano.

    Actually, I wanted to be a writer at the age of nine, but a music career and other things put that on hold. Just a little over five years ago someone mentioned an online event for aspiring romance writers. It was a chance mention of a chance event, but it started me on this road and while the journey has definitely not been easy I am still determined to finish it!

    louisa@louisacornell.com

    Alabama

  24. >In keeping with the physical activity theme, one of the hardest hikes I've ever been on was through the Anza-Borrego desert, in the middle of the year. It hit 110 degrees that day, which we actually didn't find out until after our hike; all we knew during it was that it was hot as Hades, and our 10-mile hike (roundtrip) seemed to stretch on until forever.

    We stopped whenever we could find even a modicum of shade, depleted our water supply a lot quicker than planned, and used up tubes of sunscreen. It was worth it when we finally reached the oasis, however. It was gorgeous: cool and refreshing. I'm glad we decided to trudge onwards, but I think I can live without hiking in 100+ degree weather ever again in my life.

  25. >Lorraine,

    I found your story inspiring. When you push beyond what you may find safe or comfortable, you can be surprised and/or amazed in the best ways.

    My most challenging moment isn't really a moment but challenge I face every day, raising my daughters on my own. Single parenthood is a challenge, howver, it's one that has given me the greatest joy.

    I can't wait to read "Pleasures Of A Notorious Gentleman"!

    Linda
    linda_keeran at hotmail dot com
    MIssouri, US

  26. >Thank you all for the kind words about my stories. I truly appreciate your taking the time to let me know how much you enjoy my characters.

  27. >Hey everyone, just a….

    REMINDER…

    To win today's giveaway only a comment specific to the day's post is required.

    However, I wanted to make it clear that I must follow the rules when it comes to awarding prizes.

    In order for your comment today to count toward the Grand/Second Prizes you MUST include email and residence status in your comment. You can go back and make another comment to show that you forgot with the 24-hr period. But after that it doesn't count.

    Just a friendly reminder so no one gets upset a month from now.

  28. >I have so enjoyed reading this post and the replies here. So many inspirational stories!

    My own challenging, yet awesome, experience was when my husband and I visited Alaska. We had been told that the best way to see Alaska was by plane. I am actually afraid of flying, but I somehow found the courage to go up in a floatplane for a tour of the glacier fields. It really was a wondeful "adventure" for me. The views were just gorgeous, and it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am proud of myself for doing it.

    castings at mindspring dot com
    Georgia, USA

  29. >Hi Lorraine and Monica,
    Lorraine I love all your books. They bring out so many different emotions while reading them.I will be reading this new series.
    The milestone in my life that always sticks out was in the process of a divorce with 7 children because the marriage just could not go on and the man had to go.Everyone said I'd never be able to raise 7 kids alone. Well, I had to try. And many years later it was the best move I ever made and me and my kids muddled through and we did it. 🙂 I may have lost my mind a few times but I'm here. lol Monica, this blog event is really amazing. Thank you.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750@aol.com

  30. >Hello, Lorraine! Congrats on your latest releases! I have them and can't wait to read them. 🙂

    Oh, I love the Tetons! We visited there five years ago and fell in love with that area and Jackson, WY. So beautiful and breathtaking.

    To answer your question… Having an autistic son has presented me with many challenges, but the end results are always so very sweet. It certainly makes me appreciate even the littlest of things and I wouldn't have it any other way! 🙂

    ~Andrea
    dadaw1321ATnumailDOTorg
    Georgia

  31. >I think my most challenging moment was when my now husband and I moved to Atlanta out of college. We both came from a small town and to move to a large city was going to be different. We drove down with nothing but a couple of suitcases and got an apartment. We slept on an air mattress until we both found jobs. I'm so glad that we did it. We're back in NY now, but will never forget the life experiences we gained there.

    cbandy10(at)hotmail(dot)com

    New York

  32. >The falls sound like a beautiful place to see. Your new books sounds like something I would like to read.
    Iowa

  33. >First of all, Ms. Heath, this series is wonderful. The emotions and tears your words have wrung from me while reading are astounding. When I have finished each book, I just sit there; unable to function for the time being; delighted in the world I have just experienced.

    My most challenging moment, in a good way, would have to be the one I am currently involved with as it is first and foremost upfront. You see, I am 53 years old and suffer from RA, but I will not quit. Oh, my challenge: P90X! Bring It!

    cindersmaria @ yahoo DOT com
    South Carolina

  34. >It sounds like you were definitely having quite the adventure. I hope you can use this as "research" for a new book! Me? I'll just wait for the rest of the story to come out! Living in KY I get to enjoy the mountains and scenery year round!

  35. >I'm going to try this again because I haven't seen my post appear.

    Good morning and thank you so much for stopping by. I love reading the inspiring posts.

  36. >Good morning Lorraine & Monica. Thank you, Lorraine, for visiting with us today.
    A big milestone for me was when I decided to bike Canada. To train for it, I would ride up to 30 miles a day and do a small hill in Florida over and over. When I look back at that, I laugh. I went with a group I found on the Internet – I didn't know a soul there… but ended up biking anywhere from 55 – 80 miles a day and talk about mountains! My little hill in Florida was a joke. I survived though. It was even hard for me to breathe as I'd come from zero elevation in Florida to much higher in Canada. Even when I wasn't biking the 1st few days, I really had to concentrate on taking deep breaths. I went to the bathroom along the side of the road with tourists in buses taking pics (there were bears so we were warned not to leave the road). I was chased by a mother bear one day and a group of mountain goats on another (you can surprise yourself by how fast you can pedal when you're put in situations like that!) and I participated in group showers. One wonderful thing was that I actually lost most of the cellulite in my legs on that trip (some has come back…)

    Thank you, again, for appearing here today and for this contest.

    Linda T.
    lindalou@cfl.rr.com
    Florida, USA

  37. >Good Morning to all. Hello Lorraine!I have to say this series is wonderful,delightful,I just finished reading "Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman" and I just loved it,waiting for the next one.Also,thank you for being on this tour with the others. What a beautiful experience you and your family had. My most memorable moment was last year with my daughter and grandchildren we went to Natural Bridge,VA and being I am having knee issues(need replacemts for both),I have problems walking,climbing,etc,but my grandchildren(9 & 6y/o) was so willing to carry me "up the hill"
    I made it to the top and it was glorious.They where so funny,about helping me and making sure I made it.I could hardly walk for laughing(believe it or not,with not much pain involved). It was a should have been on video moment.They say"you can do it Grammie"just keep going.They are my memorable moments.Congrats on the series!
    Have a wonderful day/week.
    AprilR, Eastern, NC

  38. >Wow Lorraine! That's an amazing story!

    My most challenging moment was flying up to PA from TX to meet a man I met online. I was twenty-four at the time and knew I was taking a risk to meet a virtual stranger so I had a backup plan if anything wrong happened.

    I arrived bright and early only to discover I left my wallet at home. I panicked but luckily – mere minutes before the check-in deadline, my mom pulled through and me at the airport with it. Only to find they cancelled my flight due to maintenance and I had to take another three hours later. Once in the very turbulant air, the plane had to circle around Philly due to extreme weather conditions and didn't land until an hour after it's scheduled arrival.

    There was no way to get word to Cory as it was around this time he didn't have a cell phone and our primary source of communication was through both our mothers.

    Finally after a full eight hours from the time I was originally scheduled to arrive, I met the man I grew close to online. Each time during the trip I could have backed out. The stress was incredibly high and the trip was harrying to say the least.

    But if I had backed out, I wouldn't have met the man I was going to marry. We'll be celebrating our 8th anniversary this year in July.

  39. >My most challenging yet eye-opening period in my life has been the 10 years after college. It was all about learning who you are and what you care about.

    "And trust me on this—the more difficult the trail, the greater the reward." – – I definitely see this belief play out in your writing. TEXAS DESTINY epitomizes that philosophy. Houston & Amelia stole my heart years ago and they remain one of my most favorite couples.

    Congrats on the success your new series!

    jenma76 at hotmail dot com

  40. >Hi Lorraine,

    Fantastic story today. Enjoyed reading it and your correlation of that life experience to the challenges faced when writing a novel.

    I think my biggest life challenge began in 1998 when I took early retirement from my job of 23 years. Along with that came fledging my last child (he was 21 after all), selling my house in MI and moving to NC in late '99. I told myself it was a move because I hated living in the long, cold MI winters and yes, that was a factor, but I really needed to change my life and the direction I was going. I miss my family back in MI but I see them twice a year and email & talk on the phone often, so homesickness isn't too bad, but I enjoy my life here now and I'm glad I did it.

    kkhaas at bellsouth dot net
    NC, USA

  41. >For me it was moving away from my family after graduate school. I lived in the same small town for over 25 years and was moving to the 'big' city several hours away. It was a fun challenge and my time there really taught me a lot. Though I will admit I love living in the country so much compared to the big bad city, lol.

  42. >Morning everyone, just sent Lorraine a message telling her that her post is live. I'm not sure what time zone she's in, but I'm sure she'll be here to chat a little as soon as she can.

    Hope everyone is spreading the word!!

  43. >The most challenging period in my life (which I honestly wasn't sure I was going to survive at the time!) was moving internationally with an 8-week old infant (who was one of those babies who didn't like to sleep!)…less than 2 weeks after September 11, 2001. It was surreal and grueling and stressful.

    I remember just reducing everything to small increments of when the movers were showing up, when she needed to be fed next, when the taxi to the airport would arrive, how long the layover in Miami would be, etc.

    I got through it but man was it ugly. However, it did show me how much I was capable of. Not that I ever want to repeat the experience…

    My husband refers to that period as my attendance at "mommy Ranger school" and I think that's about right!

    BabsVick AT gmail DOT com
    Virginia

  44. >good morning lorraine and monica!
    hmm I think it would be raising teenagers and hoping they turn into good people because you just really never know until they become an adult and realize you might have done something right! 🙂 I have that with one of my kids but I am not sure about the other so I worry alot that she will not be the person I want her to be tho I dont think she cares! LOL

    the book looks very good I do love all the covers I have seen this week! 🙂 my nook will be busy searching while I am on break at work today!

    Kris b indiana

    krysti33 @ frontier dot com

  45. >Good morning Lorraine and Monica,
    That sounds like quite the reward for a lot of hard work. The water falls sounds beautiful.

    I'm afraid of heights and so when we went to the Crystal caves when I was about 10 years old, and I found out that we had to hike about 1/4 mile down into a mountain where the path we would be walking on was a sheer drop drop the side of the mountain I almost didn't go, I didn't think I could make it.

    Of course hiking down was a lot easier than hiking the 1/4 mile back up and out of the cave, but once down inside the cave, it was so pretty and I am so glad I overcame my fear for a while and was able to experience that.

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com
    Nevada, USA

  46. >Hello, Lorraine! What an awesome experience for you and your family to share together! I am sure you felt many different emotions, especially reverence for the power and beauty of the falls.

    One of my biggest milestones, and greatest celebrations involved starting college at age 43. I skipped a grade in elementary school, and graduated high school with honors at age 16. Due to family responsibilities, I immediately started working. Twenty eight years later, I finally became a college student. I was so worried that I would not "make the grade" in my college studies, but I pulled it off. I graduated "Summa Cum Laude" with a 4.0 grade average. Whew! Unfortunately, I live in a small town with few job opportunities. My studies only slightly improved my work situation, but they greatly improved my self-esteem. It's never too late to try to improve yourself. One should never stop learning!

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com