Category Archives: First Impressions

The Cleary House…ABA Halloween Blog Hop

 

halloween-hop1-680x863-1For this lovely Halloween Blog Hop, I wanted to give you a little view of how I envision the Cleary house from FIRST IMPRESSIONS. The book takes place in the Fall. Since the East Coast is so lovely this time of year, I simply had to set the plot in what many consider the most beautiful place to be in the autumn, namely, New England.

Seamus Cleary bought the rundown, abandoned farmhouse when he first came to Carvan, thirty years ago, and spared no expense restoring it. He found out from Serena  MacQuire that the farm was originally owned by the Johannsen family. When Mrs. Johannsen died, her husband was so grief stricken he wouldn’t let anyone take her body from the home. Serena’s mother, Alaina, was the one to convince him to do so. Ever since then, the house has stood vacant. The villagers in Carvan believe Mr Johannsen haunts the house – something Seamus wasn’t told when he purchased it! A native of Scotland, Seamus isn’t one to be bothered by the thoughts of ghosts and hauntings, though. This is the house he brought Serena to as a bride, and the one in which their 4 children grew up in.  In fact, twins Padric (FIRST IMPRESSIONS) and Moira (THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME) were born in the guest room because their parents couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough!

All my MacQuire Women stories take place in the fictional town of Carvan, Connecticut. Since FIRST IMPRESSIONS is an autumn story, I pictured the Cleary house as decorated for the season much like this:

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I can picture the 4 Cleary kids running around this farm in Halloween costumes, helping their mom give out the candy to the Trick-or-Treaters who come by, and generally just enjoying a childhood steeped in love and laughter.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS tells Padric  Cleary and Clarissa Rogers’ story.

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Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for “The One.” When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

I’ll be giving away 1 free e-copy ( from AMAZON) of FIRST IMPRESSIONS to a lucky winner who tells me this:

What Halloween candy was your favorite one to receive when you trick-or-treated as a kid?

Leave me your answer in the comments section of my blog post.

Have a wonderful, candy-filled Halloween, and don’t forget to visit the plethora of wonderful authors participating in this blog hop!

1. Casi McLean ~ A Haunting Halloween 2. Anna Durand ~ Spunk & Hunks
3. Claire Gem 4. Tena Stetler ~ Colorado Hauntings
5. Sorchia DuBois 6. Tricia Schneider
7. J. Rose Allister 8. Nell Castle
9. Jana Richards 10. Linda Nightingale ~ Wordsmith
11. Kayden Claremont ~ Tartan Temptation 12. Holland Rae
13. K.K. Weil 14. Peggy Jaeger
15. Maureen Bonatch 16. Jeannie Hall
17. Beth Caudill 18. Mary Morgan
19. Karen Michelle Nutt 20. Hywela Lyn ~ Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’
21. Whitney Cannavina 22. Devon McKay
23. Starr Gardinier 24. Erin Bevan
25. Nancy S Reece 26. Kathryn Knight ~The Haunted Jail Haunting Halloween
27. Judy Davis ~ A Writer’s Revelations 28. Katie O’Sullivan
29. Darlene Fredette 30. Alicia Dean
31. Lisa DeVore

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, First Impressions, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, Uncategorized

Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop

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Growing up, I was a latch-key kid, a term almost extinct nowadays. Long before after school programs became the norm for most children of working parents, I would be discharged from school at 3 pm and be on my own until my parents came home at 7pm, every day from third grade until I was a teenager and got an after school job. This was my life. During the summer, though, I really couldn’t be left alone for up to 12 hours every day safely, so from the time I was in kindergarten until I turned 14, I was sent away every summer with my Grandmother.

My grandmother was a very hard, no-nonsense Irish immigrant who brokered no fools and ruled with that proverbial iron fist. I would accompany her every July and August to an upstate New York retreat owned by a good friend of hers. I learned to swim in the creek abutting the cabin we’d stay in, helped make breakfast, lunch and dinner for the guests staying at the main house, and generally spent the majority of the day on my own as my grandmother visited with her friends, played cards, and drank.

For an only child and loner who loved solitary pursuits like reading, this was nirvana.

 

This was the time before handheld technology ruled the world.

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No cell phones, no Kindles, no iPads or iPods. We listened to music on the radio, put coins into a pay phone to call people, and read actual books with pages you had to manually turn. And this was the time I learned to love romantic fiction. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time  during my 11th summer, sitting by a cool, bubbling creek, a canopy of trees above me. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Victoria Holt, just to name a few, became my constant companions during those long lonely summers. I learned a lot about writing, about romance, and about sex. Much more than my compadres at the time, at least.twrpbloghop2

 

I was hooked. Romantic fiction, and all genres of romance, became my summer companions. I’d take out 20 or more books from the library at one time, put them in a separate travel bag, and work my way through them during those 2 months away from home. It made the separation from my mother less painful and, having to deal with an alcoholic grandmother, much easier. I could drift away to the times of knights and ladies, lords and wenches. I learned about strict, moral codes of times gone by, and that no matter what the chronological time period, love always won in the end. Every book had a happily ever after, something my life did not. But I could hope…and I did.

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Those long, drowsy, warm summer days and nights with a book in my hands remain my favorite summer  memories to this day. I grew up reading about love, hoping for it to come into my own life when I was grown.

And it did….

For other Authors Participating in the Wild Rose Blog Hop, click here:

1.
Sorchias Wild Rose Summer Treats Post | Visit blog
2.
RV Memory | Visit blog
3.
Tricia Schneider | Visit blog
4.
Anna Durands Spunk & Hunks | Visit blog
5.
Judy Ann Davis Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
6.
Spicy Summer Treats with Mia Downing | Visit blog
7.
Linda Nightingale. . . Wordsmith | Visit blog
8.
Jana Richards – Journeys with Jana | Visit blog
9.
Summer Memories of books well read @ Peggy jaeger. com | Visit blog
10.
Summer on Cape Cod ~ Kathryn Knight books | Visit blog
11.
Summer Fun at the Beach, with Katie OSullivan | Visit blog
12.
I Believe Ill Go Canoeing – C. B. Clark | Visit blog
13.
Summertime Love is Sweeter with. . . Frozen Mango? @ Kimberly Keyes blog |Visit blog
14.
Wild Rose Summer Treats Blog Hop @ Brendas Blog | Visit blog
15.
Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
16.
Midsummer Magic on the Isle of Skye! | Visit blog
17.
My Guilty Summer Treats from Lori Sizemore | Visit blog
18.
Wild Rose Press Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
19.
Hywela Lyns post for the WRP Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
20.
Wild Rose Press Summer Treats & Reads | Visit blog
21.
Camping is a Recipe for Summer Treats and Reads | Visit blog
22.
The Snarkology | Visit blog
23.
Summer Survival Tips @ Nitty Gritty Romance | Visit blog
24.
Wild Rose Press Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop | Visit blog
25.
Nell Castle – Summer of the Sweat Lodge | Visit blog
26.
Myth, Magic & Wonder Susan Edwards, Breathing Life into the Past | Visit blog
27.
Romance with Spice, Sydney St. Claire | Visit blog
28.
Author Kat de Falla | Visit blog
29.
Anni Fife. Exciting new author of Steamy Romance with Irresistible Heroes | Visit blog
30.
Summer Vacation, Victorian-Style, AND a Giveaway | Visit blog
31.
Wildfires, Monsoons, and Mojitos – Author Susabelle Kelmer shares how she keeps cool in a climate that is on fire! | Visit blog
32.
Casi McLeans recipe for Hot Reads and Cool Treats | Visit blog
33.
Cool Summer Reads: Jeannie Halls Romantic Suspense Blog – Where Hearts Tremble From More Than Attraction | Visit blog
34.
Summer treat – Adult Slushie | Visit blog
35.
How to Rediscover the Magic of Bicycling | Visit blog
36.
Charlottes Tips on How to Stay Cool in HOT New York City | Visit blog
37.
Caryn McGill | Visit blog
38.
Hywela Lyns Inrerplanetary Summer | Visit blog

 

 My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.

Blurb:

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, First Impressions, Life challenges, Literary characters, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Lessons I’ve learned about being a published author.

I found out my first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, had been contracted for publication while I was attending the 2014 RWA conference in San Antonio, TX. Shocked, thrilled, and terrified, I thought the hard part – finding someone willing to publish my novel – was over.

Yeah, not so much.

Lesson one: it’s not over when you type THE END. It’s just the beginning…

the end

After I signed on the dotted line, the real work began. I’d been published for years in literary fiction anthologies and in non-fiction magazines and periodicals. The literary magazines accepted the work as is, the non-fiction articles were sometimes reworked and refined by editors to allow for spacing considerations. My point is that it was someone else’s job to get the piece publishing presentable.

Not anymore. Welcome to the world of book fiction.

Lesson two : the hard work starts after you contract for publication…

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My first book went through 3 rounds of edits between my editor and myself before it was sent to galleys for actual publication. And even after it went out to the copy editor, there were still some changes that needed to be made. I was ready to rip my hair out at one point. All I kept thinking as more and more edit suggestions came my way was, “Why the heck did they want this if it needs so much work??”

Lesson three: Editors are the most underrated and undervalued people on the publishing food chain…

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All editors are good at their job – they have to be. But the ones who are truly great make a good book even better. They find the little twists and turns of a phrase, or a word change, or a sentence deletion that is key to making the reader want to read more.

My editor is one of the great ones.

Lesson four: you should have taken marketing classes in college…

I will admit this freely – I was unbelievably naïve when I signed that first contract. I thought the publisher was going to do all the marketing necessary to promote my book, get it on a best-seller list, and generally skyrocket me to fame.

Yeah, AGAIN, not so much!

The minute your book is contracted and the editing begins, you need to start promoting it. Often and everywhere. FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, your website, blog tours, newspaper press releases, your Aunt Maimie’s bridge club. Anywhere, everywhere, and as often as you can, so that when you finally have a release date, the buzz about the book will have started, grown to fever pitch and resulted in so many pre-orders your head spins.

Lesson five: before the first book hits the shelves you’d better be working on, or done with, book #2…the end5

As a writer you can never – NEVER – rest on your laurels. It is a true axiom of publishing: you are only as good as your next book. So while you are doing all that dreaded marketing, take time each day and write…write…write. I had book two on my editor’s desk before book one was released. Same for book 3. Keep ‘em coming.

Lesson six: you need to take time to breathe and enjoy…

 Yes, I was overwhelmed, naïve, frustrated and generally anxious with the release of my first book. But I was also thrilled at having my dream – finally – come true. It was a long road for me to book publication. I was 54 years old when the first one came out, a time when most people are starting to look toward the end of their working life. Not me. Mine was just beginning and I wanted to savor every moment of how it felt to hold my first book in my hands; see my name in print on the cover of a book I’d penned; sign my first autograph on a copy someone had actually paid cash-money for! Don’t let anything ever take away or overwhelm you from that sense of wonderful, soul-soaring achievement you’ve accomplished.

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My fourth book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS was released on March 11. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed this time because I knew the basics. Promotion and marketing were all lined up and ready to go, I pre-ordered by print copies so I had them ready, and a book signing was waiting for me.

But the anticipation, the soul-empowering elation of having a book actually published was as spine tingling and heart-stopping as with that first one. And I think it will continue to be that way each and every time.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Family Saga, First Impressions, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Lifetime Student

 

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Those of you who know me – either personally or through my writings in this blog – know that I lovelove love to learn new things and that I am a lifelong student of writing: techniques, story building, plotting, and grammar, just to name a few. I simply love to learn new things related to writing in all its aspects. My personal writing library has over 100 books on subjects of plotting and structure, dialogue,  character traits, etc. I refer to many of them whenever I am starting a new book or even when I a looking for guidance with a problem I incur during writing.

Writing technique books are it for me, but I also live to go to writing conferences. My goal is always to learn at least one new thing at a conference and so far, that number has grown exponentially with each new conference I attend.

The reason I mention this lifetime and lifelong love of learning is because my New England chapter of RWA is hosting such a writing worshop/conference this month. An Editorial Director at Carina Press, Angela James, is presenting her wonderful  BEFORE YOU HIT SEND class for writers of all genres. You can click on the SPECIAL EVENTS toggle at the NWRWA website for details and to register, here:  NHRWA

I have taken this class twice before: one at a New England RWA conference and once on-line. Both times I learned something I hadn’t learned the time before. Nowadays, with the publishing industry changing by the second, and editors pressed for time to find the next big author, if you are a writer, you MUST, absolutely MUST submit a manuscript that is professionally polished and worthy of a complete read-through. I have been to too many conference talks to count with editors and agents who persistently and consistently only read the first page of a submission and if there is any kind of mistake ( typo, wrong grammar use, poor tense) their reading stops at the end of that page. We all want to make the best first impression we can, and  unfortunately, your first impression is usually a query letter and/or a few pages of your manuscript. If there is anything that stands out and makes you look like an amateur, it is poor spelling, grammar, and sloppy writing.

Angela James’ class BEFORE YOUR HIT SEND tells you how to avoid and prevent all those pesky problems, how to correct them when they do occur, and how to get your  manuscript as ready and as polished as it can be for an editor or agent’s eyes. You only get one shot to make a favorable first impression (What a great title for a book, btw!). Do you want to take the chance a professional will simply disregard your writing because it is riddled with mistakes? Mistakes that could have been prevented and corrected before you hit that send button?

I hope you join my chapter for this wonderful conference. If you do one thing this year to make yourself a better writer, this will be it.

Self-Editing Workshop with Angela James

Saturday, May 21, 2016

9am – 4pm

The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire

James_pixJoin Angela James, editorial director of Harlequin’s Carina Press and developmental editor of New York Times Bestselling authors Shannon Stacey, Lauren Dane and Jaci Burton, for a day-long workshop covering ideas, tips, tricks and lessons for polishing and self-editing your manuscript.

Topics include: point of view, passive vs. active voice, show don’t tell, formalizing your manuscript, and more!

Spend the night at a special rate and have use of our meeting room for quiet self-editing/writing Sunday morning to put all you learned into practice before you head back on the road.

Conference Schedule

Saturday, May 21, 2016

  • 7:30am – 9:00am:  Check-in/Registration
  • 9:00am – 4:00pm: Workshop & Buffet Lunch

Sunday, May 21, 2016

  • Morning:  (OPTIONAL) Meeting room will be open for attendees to use for quiet self-editing/writing time.

Registration Information

  • Regular Registration for NHRWA members (3.1.16 – 4.30.16) = $90
  • Regular Registration for non-NHRWA members (3.1.16 – 4.30.16) = $100
  • Late Registration for ALL (5.1.16 – 5.14.16) = $110

Registration includes the following:

  • Admission to the Before You Hit Send workshop.
  • Saturday lunch buffet & afternoon snack.

Ready to Register?

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Editors, First Impressions, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

Truth in Fiction…good or bad?

Yesterday I visited my lovely and talented Wild Rose Press sistah Angela Hayes with a blog piece about reality. Well, it was my reality, really. I wrote a piece about the birth of my daughter, the accident I’d had on the day she was due and how I used that little piece of reality to drive the plot of my new book The Voices of Angels.

This got me to thinking…how much personal information is too much when you’re using it as a springboard to your fiction?

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Case in point. Using one of my books again, First Impressions, I wrote a simply heartwrenching scene about the death of a much-loved family pet. It took me three days to write because every time I sat down to do it, I started bawling. My editor even wrote me after reading it to tell me she thought it might be too emotional for readers and might turn them off to reading the rest of the book.  She thought I might want to temper it a little. I had to give that some serious, serious pondering and consideration time. In the end, I left the scene written as I had originally for two reasons. 1.) I knew that any reader who had a pet could and would sympathize with the feelings the heroine was experiencing from the death, and 2.) my own 18-year-old cat had recently died, so I knew every emotion I wrote was real and raw. Just this week I had someone I know who’s read the book tell me they were bawling their eyes out on a beach on vacation when they read that part. I asked how did they really feel about the scene. Did it turn them off? Make them not want to read ahead? And was told “I kept imagining my own cat dying. The scene was so real! I felt every emotion Clarissa did. I finished the book that night!”

Manna from heaven to a writer.

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Now, I’d never use something grossly personal about myself or someone I know in my writing – too much potential embarrassment, not to mention lawsuits, could come of  doing that. But there have been things have had happened in my life that I will slip into a scene or a plot. I think in some way doing this lends more credibility to the work. Truth in fiction stories always seem to grab me by the throat and not let go until I finish the book.

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So, writer friends….how much is too much reality for your fiction? Truth in fiction…good, or bad? Let’s discuss….

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, Life challenges, Literary characters, MacQuire Women, research, Romance, Romance Books, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

My Sexy Saturday #119

mysexySatWelcome to the 119th week of My Sexy Saturday.  This week’s theme: Imagine Sexy   Click on this link to see the slew of sexy writing authors on this blog hop. Who knows…you might find your next favorite author.

This week’s theme is Imagine Sexy. As writers of sexy books, we have all imagined sexy. Whether he comes riding in on a horse or in a space ship, we know sexy. We know how it looks, we know how it tastes and feels and the sounds associated with sexy. We can imagine each and every one of them. And this week we want you to share what you’ve imagined as an author about sexy. Readers can’t wait to read more about your sexy imagination.

Sexy can be anything, such as romantic moments like walks on the beach, a home cooked meal or even in another galaxy. It could be two lovers here on Earth dreaming about the day where they go on a magical vacation to another planet. Or staying right here at one of those wonderful places we can find in our own world.

Readers want to see those characters, the ones who can’t get enough of each other as well as ones who are fighting their way back to being part of the world once again. These are the types of characters they can’t forget, the one they want to take home and keep forever. Readers love the kisses, the looks or touch of each and every one of our characters.

Sexy has nothing to do with looks or status or even wealth. It doesn’t demand perfection and it isn’t pretentious but it does make us want to read those books.

We know that everyone has their own idea of sexy and we all love sexy!

Here’s a little sumthin sumthin’ from my newest release FIRST IMPRESSIONS. 

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From the doorway, he went unnoticed as his eyes scanned the room. His mother was at the stove, his father next to her, his arms crossed over his chest, listening intently to something Alastair was saying. Dennis Cleary, Pat’s other brother, home for the weekend from college, sat at the table in conversation with Quentin Stapleton. His brand new wife, Moira, Pat’s twin sister, stood next to him. Each sported a deep tan and Moira had one hand on her husband’s shoulder, her hip snuggled against him, as she spoke with Clarissa Rogers.

The good doctor’s attention was focused on his sister, a small smile dancing across her utterly desirable and kissable mouth. A mouth he’d almost kissed yesterday in the hallway of her clinic.

Pat remembered in graphic detail how the thought to take those lips with his had blossomed in his mind while they’d been speaking about his father. Her perfect mouth was plump and naturally pink, and all he could think about was what it would taste and feel like against his own.

Clarissa had mistaken his momentary lust-filled lapse for something else, and worry for him had quickly risen in her eyes. He’d pleaded a quick retreat to save himself further embarrassment, when in truth, he’d wanted nothing more than to stand there, all afternoon, and be with her.

As she stood so casually in his parent’s kitchen, Pat was struck with the notion she looked like she belonged there, with his family, as one of them.

Buy Links:

Amazon       The Wild Rose Press    B&N

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, love, MacQuire Women, My Sexy Saturday, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

My Sexy Saturday #117 While you were sexy…

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This week’s theme is a take on the movie, While You Were Sleeping, and can be fun, quirky or not. So many things can happen while you were sexy…things like falling in love with someone other than your boyfriend/girlfriend…or maybe taking a risk you wouldn’t normally take. That’s what the movie is all about…having a dream and risking for that dream…only to find it wasn’t what you really wanted or needed anyway. Our stories have lots of those type themes.

Love is a dream for some, a risk for others. Sometimes it’s fulfilled or sometimes it just isn’t what the characters imagined. Remember Scarlett O’Hara at the end of Gone With The Wind…she realized she never really loved Ashley to begin with…it was Rhett all along. We think you get the drift of what this week’s theme is. But we want more and we definitely want it hotter than ever before. So show us those sexy, hot characters in those sexy, hot stories.

Sexy can be anything, such as romantic moments like walks on the beach, a home cooked meal or even in another galaxy. It could be two lovers here on Earth dreaming about the day where they go on a magical vacation to another planet. Or staying right here at one of those wonderful places we can find in our own world.

Sexy has nothing to do with looks or status or even wealth. It doesn’t demand perfection and it isn’t pretentious but it does make us want to read those books.

click on this link to read the other authors in this weeks MSSBlogHop.

                           FIRST IMPRESSIONS 

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Here’s a little thought process from Pat Cleary. He’s beginning to realize Clarissa Rogers may just be what he’s needed in his hectic busy like.

He grabbed his cell phone from where it rested on his desk, and pressed the screen. He’d programmed one  of the pictures he’d taken of him and Clarissa in the apple orchard as his screen display. He’d stared at it so many times since that day. Just seeing how happy and relaxed they both looked made him feel better no matter how busy or tiring his day was. He wanted to see her smile like that every day.

And at him.

Buy LInks:

Amazon   Wild Rose Press    B&N

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Strong Women

Still NaNoWriMo-ing

Day 5 of NaNoWriMo and I’m way into my current WIP ( work in progress). Yes, I love a personal challenge. Yes, I adore a writing challenge. And yes yes yes I love to combine them both.

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But I do have a life away from the laptop.

Yesterday, I started writing a 3 am ( chronic insomnia, folks) and went strong until 9 when I realized I couldn’t feel my a**. So, I got washed up and went off to the gym for  a few hours to pump and cardio myself into a clear head ( and a smaller a**).

Back home I banged out another 1200 words before I stopped for lunch, then another couple hundred more before I called it a day.

A day for writing that is. When I closed my WP program, I did three loads of laundry, ironed it all and put it way, vacuumed the four floors in my house – yes folks – 4 FLOORS – dusted, put various stuff away and a took care of paying the monthly bills.

Then I started dinner.

After dinner I worked on two courses I am taking online, wrote this blog and stashed another one away for a future release.  I am reading two books on kinesthetics, so I delved into those for  a while.Tomorrow  the car has to go in for service, so I will bring my laptop with me and NaNo while I wait ( like the way I made the challenge a verb, there?)

For those lucky people who can sit all day long and create ( and not have their a**es grow and spread) power to you. I am jealous. I am envious. I am filled with angst.

But not really, because…I do have another life.

So, if you are NaNo-ing, are you an all day typer, or do you take breaks? Let’s discuss

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, First Impressions, Life challenges, NaNoWriMo, Romance, Strong Women

What a conference can REALLY teach you

I recently attended the New Jersey Romance Conference and took a master class with Margie Lawson. Who, you ask? Well, if you don’t now who she is, you really are missing out.  Margie Lawson is a woman who wears many metaphorical hats. She’s a psychotherapist, an editor, and  a very smart, savvy woman, just to mention three. The master class I took was all about Empowering Character Emotion and it was the best 3 hours and the wisest money I ever spent on a day course.

Seriously.

In fact, I learned so much in that short 3 hours, I knew there had to be more to learn, and boy was there! When I clicked on her site I found she has on line instruction classes and packets and I purchased two right at the conference. I’ve been editing away ever since in my current contracted novel. You can see the efforts in the picture I’ve included. Now, Margie’s stuff is proprietary so I’m not going to tell you what she suggests doing, but I highly recommend you go to her site and click around.

I can say with all honesty my writing and editing skills have improved significantly since I started following her suggestions. She helps you hone in on places where you can add punch to character emotions and scenes where you can dial up the conflict from easy to complex with just a rephrasing of a few words, or the addition of a power word or two. She helps you see where you may have too much of one thing – like exposition, which makes readers skim the page – and not enough of another – like conflict, and we all know romance writers need conflict between their characters.

If you are determined to get that first book published or if you are a multi-published author already, Margie can literally take your writing skills to the next level and maybe even 3 or 4 more beyond that.

Just saying.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, First Impressions, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

Snarkology Halloween Hop – Pumpkins Everywhere!

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015

WELCOME to the 2015 Snarkology Halloween Hop. From now until October 31 ( Halloween, anyone?!) click here to Follow the hop for more fun, great books, and awesome prizes plus, visit almost 70 authors, all with a Halloween story to tell. And don’t forget to enter for a chance at a rafflecopter prize. Just click the highlighted rafflecopter word in the previous sentence to be entered.

FALL is my absolute favorite time of the year, bar none. I live in New England,  home of Leaf Peeping Season, re-enactments of the Salem Witch Trials, and apple picking – just to name a very few.

There’s nothing better to me than apple picking at a local farm once the fruit is ripe and ready, or carving a series of  Halloween pumpkins into gruesome and scary faces. I live in a town that has the distinction of being the Guinness World record holder for a number of  years for the most lit jack-o-lanterns at one time, an event we natives call “The Pumpkin Festival.

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My daughter was just 5 when we attended our very first Pumpkin Festival. We met tourists from all over the United States, who’d come in for the three-day weekend/event to help us crack the Guinness Record.  And we did. And then went on for several more years to hold- and increase-the record.

During one Presidential political campaign year, George Bush ( 43) came with a carved pumpkin and added it to our count. On the dozens of towers set about our downtown you could find any sort of carving from intricate, professionally artist-carved ones to kindergartener simplistic ones with happy triangular cut-outs.pumpkin6  At twilight, all the pumpkins were lit with votive candles, and then the official count was done by the Guinness representatives. As these pictures show, 30,000+ lit jack-o-lanterns is an amazing sight to behold.pumpkin 5

The Pumpkin festival was a source of unending pride for our little ‘burg because it united all of us from every political party, religious persuasion, age, ethnic background, and economic class in an event that not only increased our tourism rate by the thousandth-fold, but also served as a beacon for all our citizens, and a source of civic self-respect. My town truly became a unified community for those three days in October.

As I said, I love the fall and I love New England, so  for those reasons, I set my newest book FIRST IMPRESSIONS in the autumn season. There’s apple picking, pie making, and even a Red Sox game depicted in the novel. The cover art is simply the best illustration of this season for me: Two lovers, kissing, in an apple orchard in September. If that isn’t swoon-worthy, I don’t know what is!

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Autumn in the North East…does it get any better???

SNARKOLOGY HALLOWEEN HOP

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Amazon     Wild Rose Press   Nook

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, love, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, Romance, Strong Women