Category Archives: Life challenges

A new experience…

Every year for our birthdays, my daughter and I elect to give each other a memorable experience in lieu of a standard gift. (Full disclosure here: I still get her a gift!!) For her 25th birthday, we took a cooking class together, as an example. When my birthday rolled around this year, she asked what I wanted to do that we hadn’t done before and she gave me a few options. One of them was going to trapeze school.

I can hear you saying now, “Excuse me, WHAT?”
Yes, you heard ( or read!) correctly. I wanted to learn how to fly on a trapeze. On a bar. 30 feet above the ground. And yes, with a net under me. I’m not totally a moron or have a death wish.

Anyway….

Over this past weekend, my daughter and I went to trapeze school.

It was as terrifying as I thought it would be, but it was so much more.

My daughter gave me the option of going first. I took it. As I climbed the 25 foot ladder up to the jumping off stand, I started to run in my mind the last time I paid my life insurance policy, was it up-t0-date? Who was my beneficiary? When I got to the stand, shaking and feeling as if I was going to throw up the oatmeal I had for breakfast ( more on that later) I must have telegraphed my absolute terror to the man who was going to strap me in and basically shove me off the stand because he said, “first time?”

Jeeze. What gave me away? The fact the ladder was clanging from my shaking hands? The pallor of my face? The fact my pupils were constricted with fear?

Anyway…he was lovely, reassuring, and very strong, thankfully. I did as I was instructed: one arm out to catch the bar, one hand behind me holding onto another bar, bend my knees, breathe. ON his count, he made me switch to both hands on the bar, put ten toes over the ledge and don’t look down, just focus on the distance. Now, of course, you know when someone tells you not to look down the first thing you do is….look down!! And sweet, baby Jesus, was I high up. Like third story building high up. On the count of three, he said, “go.” And I…went.

You never know how much you value your life as when it flashes before your eyes.

From below, the main instructor was calling out instructions, the most important one? “Focus on my voice!!” I did. I straightened my legs, lifted them when told, swung them around the bar so that now I was holding on and my knees were clutching the bar. When he said, “Let go and drop backward,” another flash flew past me and I…let go and leaned backward. I think at this time I screamed “Holy, Shit!”  but since neither my daughter nor my husband was videoing me, I can’t remember for sure. I do remember thinking “I’m actually doing this and not dying!!  Then I thought, “yet!”

Next instruction? Lift back up, drop your legs and let go.

Now, upside down hanging from the backs of my thighs is a position I never in 1,000,000 years thoughts I’d ever be in. But, I was. Looking at the world from 30 feet up and upside down is…interesting. And, I will admit, a total rush. And a little nauseating…damn that oatmeal.

Okay, so after a few seconds of this experience the instructor yelled, “Put your hands back up on the bar, drop your legs, and let go.”

Okay, what? Let go? I guess  I thought they would somehow lower me back down. The thought I had to DROP never crossed my mind. He said it again. “Let go.” So, I did.

The fact that I’m here, writing this, proves I didn’t die!!!

Now, no one took video of me doing this, so when it was my daughter’s turn, of course, I had that camera all set to record. Here is her much more stylish swing through:  

And, yes, it goes just that fast!!

So after the first time, when I was letter friggin’ perfect, you’d probably think it was a piece of cake after that and that the next time I’d be even better. Yeah…not so much. You never realize how much you weigh or what terrible shape your arm muscles are in until you are trying to hang with all your weight dropping straight down and someone yells “lift you legs over the bar.” So, I was a one hit wonder with the trapeze bar. Got a perfect 10 on my first try. I should have stopped there, but you know…competition! I tried 2 more times and then that damn oatmeal got the better of me and I got really sick and we had to call it a morning.

But for a few quick hours I flew like a bird. An overweight, middle aged, not very strong bird….but one, nonetheless.

And it was friggin’ fabulous!

One of my favorite human beings is Eleanor Roosevelt. She once said, “you must do the things that terrify you.” And I did!

So, next year’s birthday experience? Sky diving sounds good, no?

When I’m not doing birthday or bucket list things, you can find me here::Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Author, Life challenges, Strong Women

Presenting…Gemma Snow

A little something different from me today…I’m introducing you to a new author to me ( although I’ve known her personally for a while!) Gemma Snow. Gemma writers erotic and contemporary romance as well as historical romance and fiction. She’s got a new book out and I’m giving you a little taste of what to expect from her at the end of the interview. Gemma and I are part of the #MFRW authors 52 week blog challenge that’s been going on since January of this year, and this year at #RWA17 I was able to hang out with her for a while and just chat during our busy week. She’s an absolute delight – not to mention wicked funny and charming. So, sit back and find out a little bit more about this darlin’.

Gemma Snow, The Writer Questions

  1. What drives you to write?

I guess I don’t really see it as a choice. Stories, and characters and interactions and events build up and I just need to get them down on paper. I love the idea of being able to create something from virtually nothing, building characters and worlds that never existed before. Sometimes it gets hard, really hard, but I couldn’t possibly imagine a life without it.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?

I write across several genres, and that’s mostly because every time I think I should get it together and focus my attention, another story pops up like a demanding kitten. So far, I write in historical and contemporary, with raunchy and raunchier book.I love writing historical, because characters are already thrust into a tense situation, and it’s always a lot of fun playing with subtext and innuendo. I write erotic romance because I feel that a pretty fundamental part of feminism is reevaluating the role female sexuality plays in society, and acknowledging the very wide variety of what that means. Erotic romance is fun, and it makes for good cocktail party conversation, but I really do consider it important.

3. Do you write everyday? I write every day, but it isn’t always a book. I run three blogs, updated weekly, and I’m the News Editor for my startup company, which means I also have to keep up with the articles for that site as well. There’s also the way less sexy marketing and social media and newsletter element of things. That kind of writing isn’t nearly as much fun, but in a lot of ways, it’s just as important.. My schedule is nuts. I work part time, freelance, support my start up and write under two names, as well as managing all their accompany social media requirements. A good day for me is a healthy balance of writing and marketing.

4. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

My office is my bedroom. Sometimes it’s kind of a problem. The last thing us writer types is another reason to spend too much time alone in our own worlds. The room is actually great, though. I have my desk set up, two bulletin boards for storyboarding, and pens and paper within reach. My boyfriend and I are living with my parents right now, and I really do wish I had an office without a futon and piles of clothes in it, but I’m so grateful for the chance to make this author-as-a-career thing work, that I can’t complain. Plus, the light is amazing.

5. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, in fact, just leave the room, would ya? It might be because I’m nosy, but whatever the reason, I can’t deal with conversations, noise or music. The dog barking at the foot of the stairs takes me right out of my work and I sit there steaming instead of writing. I also tend to write down what I hear, so if the television is on or someone’s on the phone, forget it. My boyfriend’s great though, if he wants to come hang out in the room, he just plugs in his headphones and leaves me too it.

6. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? It’s kind of a funny story, actually. So Seduction en Pointe came about through a book I had published with a now defunct indie press, called Six is Company. That story was actually a novella, and included three couples that I wanted to bring to life. At first, Isabelle’s name was Taylor, so that shows you just how far away I’ve come from the original plot, which would need serious revising to go into reprint. Anyway, the press went down, but I kept my amazing editor and we started developing Seduction. At first it was going to be a novella, and I had to reorganize everything when I hit about 30k and realized the story was a world away from what I expected it to be. I can honestly say that I rewrote, like serious, construction equipment rewrote, this book at least four times. At one point, I had the whole thing broken down on a whiteboard in our foyer for like three months. My mom was patient, but I definitely pushed the limits. It’s been a really tough book to write, but I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.

7. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually character. I tend to write series, even when I don’t really mean to. A lot of that comes from my need to put supportive female characters into my books, so a lot of spin-offs are sisters or friends that started as secondary characters. But usually by the time I get done with book one, I know everyone in the book universe, so to speak. Seduction en Pointe is part of the Full Swing series, and I have those characters mapped out and pinned down. Same with The Lovin’ is Easy and the next three books in the Triple Diamond series.

8. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Curious, passionate, determined – I hope!

Gemma, The Person:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I work as an automotive journalist and I’ve been a car nut since before I could walk. Amazingly, I’m only just coming around to writing a car romance.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I was sixteen and he was a twenty-one year old British lifeguard. Pretty much ruined my life, ya know?
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…  This is hard! It has to be the day I found out Robbie, my boyfriend, got a job in New York. We had been doing long distance from Boston to New Jersey for over a year and it was just really hard. I was on my bus ride back to New York when I got the call that he was moving down to live with me in less than a week, and I burst into tears. Either that, or the day I graduated college.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxer briefs, baby! I love me a good butt.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?Hair pins! Or hair cream. Or tweezers… I have a hair problem.
  6. What three words describe you, the person? I think curious still stands, creative, loving.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I am not legally allowed to sing in the state of New Jersey, and I imagine that extends to New York too… Straight up tone deaf, this girl.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? This is so hard! I mean, there are some characters I love, but definitely wouldn’t want to spend time with – Dracula, for instance. It’s probably cliché to say Hermione Granger, but those books came out as I was growing up, and I can’t overstate how important they were to my development as writer, feminist and over all person. Or Claire and Jamie Fraser! Or anyone from any book Juliette Marillier has ever written! I’m not following the rules…

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound – Rain on a day you don’t have to get out of bed
  2. Least favorite sound – the freaking fire alarm going off at the college down the street ever freaking day this summer.
  3. Best song ever written – I don’t know if I can pick one, but Bob Dylan’s lyrics have always had a huge influence on me.
  4. Worst song ever written – When you work at a sleep away summer camp, you hear more teeny bopper music than anyone ever needs in a lifetime. Any of it. Pick one.
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Huge Emma Watson fan. (Shocker, I know). Chris Pratt reminds me of my Robbie, but I’m really upset about this whole break up with Anna Farris.
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)

I have a background in art history and spent several months working on a historical fiction book about Da Vinci, and I would love the chance to just slip into his mind for a day and get a real sense of the man himself. Or any of the bad ass female pirates, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, Ching Shih, Mary Read, any of them.

  1. What turns you on?

Intellectual conversation and humor. I love laughing kisses. And also, back muscles.

  1. What turns you off?

Misogyny, the idea that women shouldn’t like sex as much as men. Usually, it’s not stated out loud, but you can just tell.

  1. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)

“I can’t cook pasta.” (Okay, it’s four…) He was 26, and that didn’t even scratch the surface of that disaster.

  1. What’s your version of a perfect day?

Robbie and I have seasonal picnics in the park, and I’d love to spend the morning writing and then go apple picking and take some fruit and fresh bread on a picnic. I’m turning him into a museum person too, so maybe throw one of those in. Followed by a play or book reading and a quiet dinner at a good Italian restaurant. Last week we went to Harry Potter World though, and that pretty much made my entire life.

 

And now for a little taste of SEDUCTION en Point

Blurb: When successful TV star of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Nicco Castillo, finds his boyfriend in bed with another man, he goes full-on Hollywood trainwreck that lands him in ER. Next thing he knows, the producers are shipping him off to Paris to shape up and learn to dance for the next season’s story arc. But his incredibly tempting Parisian ballet instructor, Isabelle La Croix, makes that all too difficult, especially when he learns about her decadent desires–desires Nicco is all too pleased to indulge in. Against the ballet barre, the balcon railing, and wherever and for however long Isabelle is willing to have him.

Author Bio: 

Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories.  She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing.
 
In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent a semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. 
 
Find Gemma on: 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, First Impressions, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books

2027…

Because I have a scientific background, I’m a planner. That’s why I classify myself as a plotter for writing. But I digress….

I plan. For everything, Disasters, worst case scenarios, major illnesses, disease, pestilence, and plague. I have enough non-perishable food to last through the next zombie apocalypse, and if we get hit with a nucelar warhead, we’ll have clean water to drink..and douse ourselves in (!) So it’s no secret I’ve got a plan for the next ten years of my career.

Originally, when I started writing full time in 2015, I had a 5 year plan. I exceeded all the goals on that plan by 2017, so I broadened and increased it to 10 more years at the beginning of 2017.

Here are a few things on that new career plan:

Get an agent

Have at least 1 NYTimes and USA Bestseller, if not more.

Have a movie made out of one of my books – a good movie, at that, None of this wrecking the story by putting it on film crap!

Have at least 2 books per year, if not 3, published every year

Make enough money to hire a personal assistant who will do all my web media. ( since you all know how much I hatehatehate self marketing!)

Win a RITA ( or 2)

There are more things, but I didn’t feel I needed to share everything.

So…check back in 2027. Until then, I’ll be working on my plan.

Check out the other authors in this blog challenge and see where they see themselves in 10 years. This should be fun!’


12.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#RWA17…the reason I go every year

So, of course, the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, are the Workshops I took at RWA 17. Between coloring, fangirling, attending the book giveaway signings, I did – actually – sit in on a f ew lectures and learn some things.

IF you have never had the opportunity to hear Damon Suede speak, I pity you. First, his voice is like a warm blanket thrown over your body on a cold day. Warm, rich, soothing. Second, he is a wealth of amazeballs information about character development, what makes people-characters tick, and what their motivations/conflicts/individual characteristics should be. Damon comes from a theater ( and life!) background and really helps you get into your character’s mind set, feelings, and persona just as if you were portraying them on a stage. I’ve already listened to his 2 hour workshop twice since I’ve been home because I purchased the flash drive of the conference classes. Each time I’ve heard something new and fresh I will be using in my next books!

Three uber talented and mega published romance authors, RaeAnne Thayne, Jill Shalvis, and Sarah Morgan gave a workshop on Contemporary romance in today’s marketplace.

They each have very different writing styles and ways of telling a story, but they also know their market. Thier stories are character and situational driven, and they bring into each one a perfect little snapshot of the contemporary age, without isolating themselves to this moment in time. Case in point: you can read one of their books from five years ago and even though things have changed in the tech world and the world in general, the stories told are still relevant and topical to today. That was my takeaway from this talk. Write the here and now, since I write contemp/romance, but make it relevant for the future as well. It’s all in the characters and how they are motivated towards their HEA. Love these three authors!

 

Another workshop with a trio of amazeballs and prolific writers, was one titled Fifty Shade of Funny with writes Jennifer Probst, Lauren Layne and Rachel Van Dyken. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture while I was in this workshop because I was fangirling like a two year old over Jennifer and Lauren and forgot!!!! I di remember their takes on what constitutes “funny” in a romance novel was very insightful, though, so that’s something ( heehee).

My absolute favorite workshop was the last one of the conference: The Neuroscience of high-impact Love scenes, presented by the amazingly brilliant, funny, and speedy-talker, Emily Foster. I wasn’t able to hear her speak when I was at the NECRW conference earlier this year because she was presenting at the same time I was, so when I saw her name listed on the RWA17 conference sheet for presenters, I knew I just had to attend her lecture. And, yowza, am I glad I did.

  

As a nurse I figure I have a pretty good idea of how the human body and the mind work. Yeah…not so much in reality. Emily gave me a completely different spin – a neuroscientific one – about how the body responds to desire and arousal, and how the mind is the major player in the difference, not the body’s reactions. Blew. My. Mind!!! Again, I played this lecture back once so far – but plan on listening to it, again and again, to make sure I get the character’s reactions to all things sex, correct!

These weren’t the only lectures I attended, but they were the highlights. There was sososososo much to do, sear, and hear at the conference I had to pick and choose wisely. Another reason I am so glad I purchased the conference recordings. I missed a bunch of really fabulous workshops and presentations because I needed to be elsewhere at the same time. Best $$$$ I’ve spent in a while, too.

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

A day in my life….is not for sissies!!

I retired in 2015 when I got a book contract. I’d worked for about 150 years as a nurse in varying specialties, then as a contact lens technician. By the time I left the nursing profession I was dog tired, emotionally wrung out, and psychological drained. Having a full time job that could be at the same time uplifiting and soul-sucking was difficult. I figured retirement – and the oppportunity to write full time  – would be much more relaxing and enjoyable.

What’s that old saying? You make plans and God laughs?
yeah…story of my life.

I figured writing full time would be a cake walk. Hey, I didn’t have to get dressed in professional clothes everyday any more, do my makeup, hair, and coordinate my wardrobe. I could stay in my pj’s all day and not even put on deodorant if I didn’t want to. ( I do, just for full disclosure here!)

That easy, carefree life of a writer I imagined? yeah..not so much. A few months ago I did a blog piece about a simple question my husband asks me every day at dinner: “So, what did you do today.” My usual response? “Worked.”
One night I figured he really needed to hear what I actually do under the definition of “work,” so here’s what I told him.

4am, Finally got out of bed after lying there for an hour, wide awake.

405am – 530 am Checked email, answered 16 messages. Wrote 2 blogs, uploaded one then posted on social media outlets and HootSuite for the day. Social media sites included uploads of blog on twitter, Triberr, Tumblr, Linked in, Goodreads, google+ and Pinterest. Hootsuites were posted for every 2 hours.

530-6. Got hubby up, ate breakfast. Got ready for the day. Made bed.

630-930 am Gym, followed by grocery shopping for the week, Target, the post office and the bank. Got gas and went to the dump.

930-1030am put the groceries away then started laundry, vacuumed bedrooms and living area. Started dishwasher.

1030-1pm wrote in current wip; worked on Copyedits just received for Book 3 in new cooking series.

1pm-130pm ate lunch then answered emails and checked social media sites. Changed laundry and started another load.

130-500 worked on wip; and worked on Copy edits for book 3 in new cooking series, plus plotted out book 4. )  Folded dried laundry and put it away. Ironed shirts.

5-545 walked on treadmill and read current NetGalley book for review. Folded the remainder of done laundry, put it away.

545-630 cooked dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, set table, worked on copy edits.

630-7pm dinner and conversation ( questions!) with Hubby. Cleaned up the dinner dishes.

7-830 worked on wip, answered email, worked on blog posting for the morning. Did a few pages of the copy edits for book 3

830-10 read Netgalley again

10pm-midnight. Slept

Midnight-2 am. wide awake in bed, reliving yesterday, planning today.

Now, mind you: I have no children at home who need to be tended to, ferried places, or shown love and attention. I don’t currently, have a pet. My friends all work at full-time jobs out side of the home, so ladies who lunch is not on my menu. I don’t get manicures, pedicures, or have spa days. The last time I went to a mall my daughter was in college and I had a panic attack from the crowds. I simply write all day long.

But there’s nothing simple about a day in my life.

So, how do you think the other authors in this blog challenge spend their days? Find out by clicking on the links below


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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Foodie, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A fiery Artist and a Horse Whisperer find love in Passion’s Palette; #MFRWBookHooks

PASSION’S PALETTE, book 5 in the MacQuire Women series, releases on 8.4.17.

Blurb: Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Excerpt:

Standing before her, his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, he wore a look of bashful sheepishness. “I guess I owe you an apology,” he said, tilting his head to one side. The sun was full force on his face, one eye winked closed from its glare.

“You don’t look apologetic. You could have told me you were David’s partner,” she said, cringing when she heard the whine in her tone, “instead of allowing me to believe you were one of the moving men.”

“Now, hang on a sec,” he said, moving closer to her. “You were the one who assumed that. I never told you I was one of the movers. In fact, you never gave me a chance to tell you who I was. You just assumed. Incorrectly, it turns out.”

“You could have said something,” Serena blurted, her lower lip pouting outward.

Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press

Check out the other authors in this Book Hook Blog Hop:

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Please #Vote for my book!

Hey all! My holiday novella A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is up for the July non-erotic book of the month over at Long and Short Reviews. I’d really appreciate some voting help! Here’s the link:

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/book-reviews/july-non-erotic-book-of-the-month-poll-3/

YOu can vote until August 2nd. Thanks so much!!!

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with #author Jennifer Wilck

 

Happy August first. Since it’s a brand new month I thought I’d introduce you to a brand new author. Jennifer Wilck may not be a debut author – just check out her impressive Amazon page – but she is a new writing sistah to me, courtesy of Wild Rose Press, so I wanted to find out a little bit more about her. And boy, did I like what I did!!! Read along and discover some of the fun things about this fab author, and stick around – she’s giving you a taste of her newest WRP release, ADDICTED TO LOVE.

Here’s Jennifer…..

the Author

  • What drives you to write?An inability not to? I have stories and voices in my head, dying to be written down.
  • What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?I write contemporary romance. I love writing about people falling in love and I have no faith in my ability to create other worlds or time periods. So for me, contemporary makes sense.
  • What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? My favorite genres of romance to read are historical and military. I love the alpha heroes in military romance and as for historical, I love everything about the 1800s—the dresses, the customs, the houses. That’s the time I’d go back to if I could time travel, so reading about it makes me happy.
  • What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?I try to write every day during the week, and my daily word count goal is 1,000 (that started when I participated in my local RWA chapter’s version of NaNoWriMo). Usually, I get blogging and marketing out of the way in the early-ish morning and then I write starting around lunchtime and going until late afternoon.
  • Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I have a laptop, so I can write anywhere, and often wander—walking around helps me focus and getting up and moving keeps me from getting distracted. I wander from my dining room table to my family room sofa to my desk and back. If it’s nice out, I’ll sit outside on my deck as well.
  • Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? That depends. When I’m home by myself, I write in total quiet. When my kids are home, I tolerate a little noise, although I often look around and think to myself, “Am I really writing this sex scene while they’re doing their homework here?” But in general, the quieter the better.
  • Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No, I can’t because I’ll start singing along, and then writing the lyrics down. J
  • How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is book 3 in a four-book series. I came up with the series idea while writing book 1. It’s a group of four men (one per book) who are wealthy beyond wealthy, but who pool their money and invest in charity projects. The hero of the first book was a loner, but I had to give him people to talk to, so I started thinking about what friends he would have, whether he would distance himself from them too and why or why not, and the series idea was born.
  • Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character always comes first. I’m always curious about why people behave the way they do. So I come up with who and why and then fill in the rest. And I have a thing for tortured heroes, so my method lends itself well to that.
  • What 3 words describes you, the writer? Must have chocolate. Oh wait, are you talking about professionally? Tortured heroes rule. (Peggy here: Both are fabulous!!!)

the Person:

  • Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’m an only child, and I totally wing it when it comes to sibling issues between my two children.
  • Who was your first love and what age were you? A boy in my first grade class. He used to give me presents that he stole from his sister.
  • If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. Probably the last time I was with my grandma.
  • Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Can I choose all three?( Peggy here: yes, you can!!)
  • If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?It would have to be makeup, because I can’t give up my hair products—my hair is awful as is, and that’s after I use them!
  • What three words describe you, the person? Kind, loyal, funny

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound: Rain on the window
  2. Least favorite sound: Wind
  3. Favorite actor and actress: Emilia Clarke & David Tenant
  4. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Ruth Bader Ginsberg—her intelligence and wit amaze me.
  5. What turns you on?: Humor and compassion
  6. What turns you off? :Hate
  7. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I don’t remember the words because they were slurred—he was drunk. It was not cool.
  8. What’s your version of a perfect day? Surrounded by my family/close friends, spending time together, laughing

 

Blurb: ADDICTED TO LOVE

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Excerpt:

“What are we looking at?” she whispered out of the side of her mouth, pursing her lips together and giving him an insane urge to kiss them.

“What?”

“I assumed since we’re standing here you must be looking at something, and I wanted to join in the fun. Or did you not realize we weren’t moving?”

Her nostrils flared and she bit her lip. Dan realized she was trying not to laugh. Now he really wanted to kiss her, to capture her mouth with his, to make her his own. Before he could act on it, his stomach growled.

“Was that yours or mine?” She looked at him, an eyebrow raised.

His lips twitched. His breath hitched. He couldn’t keep his amusement to himself any longer. It bubbled in his chest, and he let it out as he shook his head.

“Okay, while I am older than you, I’m not old enough to be senile. Yet. So yes, I did know we weren’t moving. But thanks for that. And yes, my stomach growled, because I’m hungry. Except I think I need to put eating on hold for a moment, because what I need more than anything else right now, what I’ve needed all night long in fact, is to kiss you.”

Buy Links: Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N //Kobo

A little more about Jennifer:

When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary) and now I’m a published author. My first book, A Heart of Little Faith, was just declared a Finalist in the Fiction: Romance category of the 2016 Best Book Awards.

In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I run youth group activities, train the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently.

You can connect with Jennifer here:  Facebook // Twitter //Website // Blog // Pinterest 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Choices, choices!

 

Paperback, ebook or audio?

Which do you like best? I’m going to answer that question backward. Why? Just listen…

I’ve never been able to listen to an audio book without my attention wandering.

When we first moved to New England ( and even still to this day) we would travel to NYC to visit relatives frequently via car. My husband is the main driver in the family, so I have always been relegated to the front seat passenger side. You can only talk so much in a car before it gets: distracting, boring, tiring, so that means I usually need something to pass the 4+ hours ( without traffic) it takes to get to our destination. I tried listening to audio books when we first started these treks. Five minutes in my mind would start to wander or drift, or I’d slip into sleep. Just listening to someone’s voice – no matter how riveting the book was reported to be – was mind numbing to me. So, not a fan of audiobooks.

 

I had an original Kindle. You know, like ten years ago when it costs $300+ dollars!!

Again, I purchased it mainly because we travel so much and carting heavy books around, because I like to read hardbacks, was getting to be too much in luggage weight. I took the Patricia Cornwall book Scarpetta to England and the flight attendant said I had to stow it because it was so heavy! SO the Kindle seemed perfect. And I do love my Kindle. I have my account and the app uploaded on all my devices from phone to computer to iPad so I am always able to read wherever I am.

But….

There is just something about a book.

I love the way a library and an old book store smells. No, not musty and damp!!! But like you just sense down to your bones the millions of words and pages living in those places. I like holding a book, especially if I’m sitting down in a cozy, favorite chair, by a  warm fire on a cold day. I fully realize it’s wicked easier holding a Kindle when you are standing in line waiting to get on an airplane, or on the subway, and that’s another reason I love my Kindle: ease of holding. If I read my Kindle before bed, though, my brain tends to not shut down easily. A battery of psychologists did testing that postulated this is because the pixels and the other cyber stuff of devices forces your brain to stay awake by stimulating it. Reading a regular book, on the other hand, is calming to your brain.

Ahhh, a book….turnable pages filled with inky thoughts and ideas…something solid, that has weight – both in ounces and substance(!)

SO for me, it’s never really a contest – a real book all the time. ( With Kindle a close second!)

Stop by the other authors in the Blog Challenge and see how they like to read….

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Less than 2 weeks until PASSION’S PALETTE releases…8.4.17

I’m off to #RWA17 today but before I go and start a week long blog fest about the event, I wanted to just give myself a plug of shameless promotion for my Wild Rose Press release on 8.4.17 of PASSION’S PALETTE.

This is book 5 in MacQuire Women Series and it’s a prequel in which I tell you the love story of Serena MacQuire and Seamus Cleary. They went through quite a bumpy road before they found their HEA, I’ll tell you that! The book is available for preorder now using the link at the top of the page. This book is filled with the humor, love and loss of all my MacQuire women books, and Serena is so very near and dear to me I heard her voice in my head sometimes when I was writing her dialogue say, “Are you sure that sounds like me? ” Or “Yeah, that’s just what I’d say!” Hee hee. Don’t worry, I’m not ready for a prolonged hospital stay!

I hope you enjoy reading Passion’s Palette as much as I did writing it.

 

Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Excerpt:

From the side view mirror Seamus watched her cross her arms over her chest again in what he guessed was an habitual gesture, turn, and then walk back toward the house.

What the hell was wrong with him? He’d never acted so impulsively with a woman before. All professionalism had flown the moment he’d laid eyes on her.

Good Lord, she was gorgeous.

When she’d called out from the porch he’d almost gasped out loud. She looked all of twelve years old with her hair hanging down the sides of her head in two thick braids and no makeup camouflaging her unlined face. But her voice and the air of mature self-assurance surrounding her mocked the age she presented.

He’d never seen eyes so blue. Blueberries drenched in cream. Sweet; succulent; seductive. They engulfed her face, surrounded by long, thick lashes mimicking the color of her hair.

And what magnificent hair. It was so black shards of blue shone through it in the sunlight. In a flash of carnal excitement, he wanted to see it un-braided and hanging free, dancing around her body in the breeze.

Her naked body.

When she came toward him, he realized she was much shorter than she’d looked standing on the porch. Long, coltish legs barely covered by her cutoffs, were the lengthiest part of her body. Her torso was small and angular, the bones in her neck outlined and protruding beneath her shirt. She looked frail, as if she’d been ill. The description died a moment later when she shook his hand. The quiet strength of her grip belied her outer waifish appearance.

When he’d driven out to the farm, his first stop of many for the day, he’d expected to see the ailing horse, treat it, and be on his way. After meeting Serena MacQuire, the thought he had to leave to tend to the rest of his clients was maddening. He wanted nothing more than to stay as long as he could with her.

He’d been more than willing to help her move things in the loft, never guessing she’d mistaken who he was. It gave him a cheap kind of thrill to be the stronger one, the one she needed to open the skylights, lift the heavy equipment. Sure, it made him seem a little like a conceited prick, but he didn’t care.

When he’d caught the appraising qleam in her stare as she raked her berry colored eyes up and down his body, he had to stop himself from flexing his biceps and pumping his pecs. Like a peacock, he wanted to preen for her.

And dear God, when the notion to kiss her bloomed easy and free in his head, he’d had no will to stop himself.

Thinking back to those all-too-quick few seconds, the power of that unexpected touch shook him to his core.

Why the hell had he acted on the impulse to kiss her?

He prided himself on his control both professionally and personally, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t summon up any will at all to stop from leaning down and tasting her.

It was almost as if he’d been hypnotized. He didn’t think. He didn’t rationalize what was happening. He’d just lowered his head to hers and taken.

Want to find out where that kiss leads? You will, on 8.4.17 Hee hee

I’ll be at #RWA17 this week in Orlando, Florida and blogging every day, so look for my links when they go live. And if you’re in the Orland oare on Saturday, July 29, please stop by the book signing at the Dolphin Hotel and come meet me…maybe even buy a book or two…or ten!

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Filed under Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor