Category Archives: love

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!’


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#RWA17, So, we come to the end….

It took me almost 2 weeks to tell you everything I wanted to about RWA 17, but there are still a few things I want to mention.

There was a new format this year for the Golden Hearts and the RITA awards ceremonies. In the past, both events have occurred on the last night before the end of the conference, and usually the only food you see are desserts. This year, the RWA Board decided to split the ceremonies into 2, with the Golden Hearts a luncheon and the RITA’S a…dessert. Yes, again. But I digress. It was actually great splitting the two for several reasons, not the least of which was that we didn’t need to sit in a noisy, crowded ball room for more than 2.5 hours while the awards and the speeches were done. The Golden Heart luncheon took about an hour, the lunch was great and the dessert wasn’t bad, either, although I was allergic to everything in it, so had to rely on the reactions of the others at my table to determine if it was good.

The RITA awards took place the same night, featured many desserts which again I was allergic to,

and a cry-induced speech by the amazeballs Beverly Jenkins, who was the Nora Roberts LIfeTime Achievement award winner this year. It’s no wonder this woman is such an amazing writer- she is a phenomenal speaker!

Now, many of you may know I was a Stiletto Finalist this year for my holiday novel A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.

Stiletto Finalist 2017

I didn’t win…but there’s always next year, and in all honesty, it was fabulous to be a finalist in such a prestigious RWA chapter contest! Thank you CRW!

Now, I can’t forget my two favorite events: The Kensington Book signing and the Literacy book signing. For Kensington, I gave out my books along with my hand painted produce bags that I schlepped with me as a swag item. Let me tell you, people lovedlovedloved them!!!

Here’s me at the Literacy signing – which was packed to the hilt with readers!

So Sunday morning, after a very busy and HOT week, I got myself to the airport via Shuttle ( nightmare, again!!! But that’s for another blog post) made it through security because of TSA pre-check( Thank you, Jesus and the TSA!) and settled down to wait for my plane to leave while I listened to some of the workshops I missed via the flash drive.

I listened on the plane home, too!

Le Sigh…. Now I have to wait a whole year to go to RWA18 in Denver. I’d better start painting more bags….

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#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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A #Giveaway and a promise…

Hey all! There’s currently a Goodreads giveaway running for my October release of A SHOT AT LOVE, book 2 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE series.  Just click on GOODREADS in the previous sentence to enter.

If I get 300 entrants, I’m going to post a special scene that didn’t make it into the final copy of the book here on my website, so please, pass this link on to anyone who enjoys romance!

I’f I get 500 entrants, I’ll choose a name for a special chance to win a signed first edition copy from me!

And Holy Smokes, if I get more than 500, well, I’ll think of something special to give away from me, never fear!!!

thanks, oodles!

 

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#RWA17, Are we adulting here?

Something new at RWA this year was the adult coloring wall.

Yeah…I know.

But…. it was really cool. I took some pictures of the images on day one and then tried to remember every day to take more to show you the progress. Had I been able to access good internet service in the hotel ( bah humbug!) I would have been able to update these pictures daily instead of shooting them all to you in one quick shot. Anyway…enough complaining.

So here’s day one, then day 4:

   

Now, please remember, these were up on a wall, mural sized. Getting to the top of the picture required a ladder!

This one never got finished.. .I don’t know why not. It’s a great Beverly Jenkins cover!

here are a few more:

I was surprised they didn’t all get finished. I will admit one thing, though, it was a great stress reducer! Every day I stopped by and filled in a few more colors on all of them and I actually went away feeling lighter. That whole adult coloring craze has boomed, I think, by now, but still, this was a cute idea. It’ll be fun to see what the RWA board comes up with for Denver.

When I’m not adulting you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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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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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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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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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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One week from today!

Join me and many other Romance Authors next Saturday, July 29  at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Dinsey World for a mega book signing.I’ll be there from 3-5pm EST with copies of COOKING WITH KANDY and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to sign.  The money that’s paid for the books goes to the Nora Roberts Foundation for Literacy – so you not only get to meet your favorite authors, you get to support Literacy too! How cool is that?!!

 

Can’t wait to meet you all!

 

 

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