Working on Your Writing Brain

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Story Plot Exercises

You have this idea for a book, but something is missing. Or maybe you're stuck on a plot point.

What do you do?

The best thing an author can do is watch TV and dissect the plot and characters. Asking why a plot is working and how the writers did that, or if it isn't working, the things the writers can do to fix it will build your storytelling muscles in no time. The best part is you can do this with any show. It doesn't have to be a romantic movie- any story will help you become a better story-teller.

I play this game all the time with my husband with our kids' movies since we have to watch them nine million times.

For example, Frozen. It's a great movie and it's made billions of dollars. It's not a traditional romance, but we can still learn a lot about it.

The main criticism of the movie's plot is how out of the blue Hans' transformation to bad guy is. In the movie's commentary, the original story had Elsa being the villain, but the song was just too good and they changed the story around. Knowing that, it's easy to see why he has such a abrupt change of personality. They morphed him into the bad guy rather than making him the bad guy from the beginning.

So, how do we fix it?

My plan: Hans needs to show more uncaring characteristics earlier on. The gloves theory (he's wearing gloves while professing his love to Anna and thus doesn't mean it) is weak. We need a clearer hint. Perhaps during the meeting with Elsa, he says, “when I'm king…” and Elsa corrects him that he'd still be a prince. He can smile and brush it off. But, the audience would have the hint that he wants more.

He can say something again while handing out blankets. “When I'm your ruler, things like this won't happen.” The people can smile and cheer, and Anna can be happy she has a strong man to help her. She doesn't have to see anything wrong with this statement.

Also, when he's interrogating Elsa in the dungeon, he could try and woo her a little bit. This would make it a lot easier to hate him, and make it more believable that he'd do anything to be king. It also makes his feelings for Anna, or rather the lack of them, make more sense.

The audience LOVES to figure out the clues to a puzzle. That's why mysteries are so popular. That feeling of “I KNEW IT!” is super powerful and motivating. We want to keep the story going to see if we're right. It's important to give hints and clues so that the A-ha! Moment can happen. Plus, if you do it well, you'll get a re-read. How many people watched The Sixth Sense at least twice? You don't have to have a huge twist, but making the reader/viewer feel smart for figuring it out will definitely make your book more enjoyable to them.

How do you then incorporate this into your story?

-Make sure you're characters decisions make sense. They don't have to be rational (who in their right mind goes and looks for the scary noise without calling the cops?) but it does have to be believable.

-Use inspiration from other stories. That CSI episode might give you a great idea for why your character needs to go to Vegas. Use your favorite TV shows to fuel your brain. Don't just consume the show blindly- analyze them. Why is this show entertaining to you? What's the story that's got you invested? Put that in your book, or use it as a motivation elsewhere.

So, go watch some TV 🙂 It's not totally part of your writing process.

Tips on Being a Romance Writer

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I'm going to start a new blog series:

Tips on being a Romance Writer!

I might come up with a more exciting title, but for now it's pretty explanatory. I'm a romance writer and I'm going to explain how I do what I do.

This will be great for those looking into writing a romance novel or even those who already are in the business. I know I'm always learning new things from other authors!

So, stay tuned for a new post every Friday!

Love Under the Mistletoe

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Do you love Hallmark Christmas movies? Do you like mistletoe magic and falling in love?

Then Love Under the Mistletoe is just for you!

It's on sale for a limited time on Amazon, but also available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited. I hope it brings you Christmas spirit and joy!


Can a kiss under the mistletoe save Christmas?

Holly has always loved Christmas, but this year is different. As a school teacher, she's worried about her students, her dad, and her entire town. All of them are poised for a terrible Christmas, and there's nothing she can do about it. The only bright spot in her life is the mysterious man she meets at the holiday party.

Nathan has always hated Christmas, but this year is different. As a billionaire, he's excited about his new plans for his company, but as always, it's all about the money. When he meets the bubbly woman who doesn't care about his wealth, love blossoms under the mistletoe.

It almost seems like magic.

But their lives are more intertwined than either of them originally thought. It turns out that Nathan's plan for the future of his company is the very thing that's destroying Holly's community.

Holly begins to understand why everyone refers to Nathan as a Scrooge, and she thinks that the wonderful man she shared a passionate weekend with was nothing more than a lie. Will Nathan be able to prove that she saw the real him?

Will Christmas magic prevail, or will their love vanish like a kiss under the mistletoe?

NYT Bestseller Krista Lakes brings you this brand new heartwarming holiday romance. This standalone novel will convince you that love can make the magic of Christmas real.

Free Romance Novels!!!!

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Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR free books! From now until the end of Tuesday 11/13/2018 all four of these books will be available for FREE!

Please spread the word! If you haven't read one of these books, now is your chance! If you have and you loved it, tell a friend 🙂

Happy Veteran's Day with FREE BOOKS!

 A Billionaire Love Story

A Forever Kind of Love


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This year I was Princess Peach and my boys were Mario and Luigi 🙂 Their Dad was a dinosaur (supposed to be Bowser)

I know we don't have very many years of themed Halloween costumes left, so I'm enjoying the ones I have. When my boys no longer want to match, my poor husband will have to be my Halloween partner. To be honest, I already have some Disney princess dresses in mind… (for me. Not him)

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween full of jump scares (you can see mine below) and candy! My kids don't like 100 Grand bars or Mounds/Almond Joys, so I have no guilt eating their candy. 😀

What were you for Halloween?

Back in Kindle Unlimited!

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So, Big News!

All Krista Lakes books are back in Kindle Unlimited!

What does that mean for you?

Well, if you are a subscriber to KU, then you can read my books for free! If you don't subscribe to KU, that's ok! The books are still available to purchase on Amazon! Unfortunately, this does mean they are no longer on the other retailers. We may go back after the 90 day requirement, so enjoy now!

And just so you know- the new Christmas Novel (coming in November) will be in KU as well!


…and that's a lot of exclamation marks! (I'm just excited about this!)

Year End Splash Party

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Come and play with us! There's going to be all sorts of cool games (like cover matching) and fun multiple choice questions to win amazing prizes!

I'm giving away the full series of “Billionaire and Brides” in eBook form as my prize, but there are so many other authors giving away books, gift cards, and really cool swag.

I'm super excited about this! Come play!

I’m Writing a Christmas Novel!

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Christmas is 74 day away.

As such, I will be releasing a Christmas novel right after Halloween. (Because, I hate when Christmas stuff comes out before Halloween. AT LEAST WAIT UNTIL AFTER HALLOWEEN!)

Right now, I'm listening to Christmas music. My husband gave me an eye-roll and grimace when we all piled into the car to go pick pumpkins and “Jingle-bell Rock” came on. I'll be honest, it was a little weird to have Christmas music on with pumpkins and skeletons decorating the house.

But, it's coming. It will be here for you to enjoy through Thanksgiving and into where Christmas music belongs- December.

I'm so excited for this book. It's heartwarming and sweet. I can't wait to show it to you all!

Do you want an email when the book is ready? Sign up for my newsletter (Here) Then make sure you put the signup email in your Primary tab so it doesn't go to spam! (Or make a contact!)

*The puppy is Nebula from last year's Christmas 🙂

Bad Boys and Babies

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Three new books! Three new books!


Not one, not two, but three new Krista Lakes books!

Book #1: Family Doctor's Baby!

When I left my small hometown years ago, I never expected to come back. I certainly never expected that when I did, I'd be working for him.

He's the town's doctor. He's supposed to be a respectable member of society, a pillar for the community. He's supposed to have come a long way from the bad boy who rode a motorcycle in high school.

But he hasn't. One glance from those lustful eyes looking at me tells me that he has the same voracious appetites that he did when we were younger.

Only it's not quite the same stare. It's more urgent. It's more intense. I'm not the same nerdy girl who tutored him. I've grown up, developed fertile curves that I know he finds irresistible.

In this small town, rumors travel fast, and the family doctor can't be seen as a player. So he does try to resist. And I do too. But with every smoldering glance and moment of sexual tension, we find our barriers breaking down.

After a stressful night of touch-and-go baby delivery, a moment of elation overcomes our inhibitions. It seems like maybe we'll need to confront those rumors sooner rather than later, especially before I begin to show the results of that night.

Can I give this doctor the family he has always desired?

Book #2! The Billionaire's Baby Arrangement

Billionaire CEO Jackson Weathers needs a family for a PR boost, and I've signed a contract agreeing to give him one. A doting girlfriend in public. A wedding ceremony to invite all the socialites to. And finally, a baby for him to parade around, to show he's really a wholesome, down-to-Earth man.

I've tried to remain cynical about it. He's going to make all my dreams come true. So what if it's supposed to be a loveless marriage?

Only, his tenderness in private has me hooked. The way he kisses me drives me wild. When we make love, I lose myself to him. His body feels like it was meant to be on top of mine, like we fit together like two puzzle pieces. I can't help but begin to fall for him.

I can't tell him, or I risk losing everything. And nobody else can find out about our little “arrangement” or it will destroy his reputation. Still, I feel like I have to know how he feels, before the marriage, before the baby, before I give my entire life over to him.

Is it still just pretend?


And Book #3! Crime Boss Baby!

I am a mafia princess.

My family is making me marry a rival crime boss.

At first, I go along with it because it's important to my family. But then I meet him.

Dante is dangerous and sexy as sin. I want him physically and mentally. His talented fingers and mouth have me panting for more before he even knows my real name.

But there are parts of my past that can ruin everything. My mother's murderer is catching up to me. If he finds me, he could ruin everything. Not only that, not everyone in Dante's family is as excited about the wedding as they appear.

And then, there's news that both overjoys and terrifies me. I'm pregnant.

Can Dante save me and give me the future we both desire? Or will my past destroy everything and everyone that I care about?


They're $2.99 for a limited time only!

Bad Boys and Babies are Coming this September!

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There is not just one book coming this month.


These books have been so much fun to write. The bad boy and the baby? It's sexy and fun and heartwarming all at the same time!

Be sure to check them all out! (They're all on pre-order!)

Family Doctor's Baby: Coming Sept. 7th

The Billionaire's Baby Arrangement: Coming Sept. 11th

Crime Boss Baby: Coming Sept. 18th