Category Archives: #Mfrwauthors

Social Media is here to stay…. #MFRWauthor

Another Friday, another blog challenge topic from MFRWauthor. Heehee. This one’s another easy peasy one to write.

Up until I had my first book published, the only Social Media platform I used was Facebook. It kept me in touch with my daughter who’d been in college, and I had fun seeing the posts from all her friends.

Fast forward to June 2014. I signed my first book contract and was told by the publisher that I needed to have a social media presence in order to garner readers and followers. I think the first thing I said was “no.” All I wanted to do was write, not be on-line with strangers all the time talking myself and my book up. That thought went the way of the dinosaur when I found out how effective a marketing tool being on social media sites can be, and in reality, is.

With my daughter’s and my best friend’s help – both of whom are techy and marketing gurus, I started this website, joined Twitter, found Pinterest and Instagram, and became a Goodreads “author.” In addition, I developed a FB following on my author page.

By the time my second book was released, I was proficient in all these sites.

And every time I thought I was done, another “must be seen on” social media site emerged. Book Bub, Triberr, Tumbler, Linked-In came along and with them, my participation.

But this is a blog about our favorite SM platforms, so to be true to the challenge, my absolute favorite it TRIBERR. The reasons vary, but the main one is REACH,  a term that gives new meaning to what you really think it mean.

On TRIBERR I follow many book-, romance-book, and writing web-blogs. Each site has at least a reach of a minimum of 2000 readers. A few have hundreds of thousands. What that means is, if I a member of that TRIBE, ( and yes, that’s what it’s called!) and I post a new blog, the potential for people who don’t know me from Adam to see it is huge. Really huge. Of course, there is reciprocity involved in all this. If I want my blog posts to be seen, I need to publicize other blogs as well. Tit for tat; or in this case, blog for blog. Every morning I log onto my Triberr account and then scroll through the Tribes I am a member of. When I see interesting posts, or posts I feel will be beneficial for my followers, I schedule them on my Twitter feed. That way, my 2000+ Twitter followers, get to read things by people whom they do not ordinarily follow.

Get it?

If you’re a blogger, Triberr is a great place to garner new readership, so that’s why it is my current favorite SM site.

And you can follow me on Tribber ( and all my other sites) here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

Now, since this is a blog challenge and hop, visit the other authors here to find out what their favorite social media platforms are and why.

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#Weekend Wrapup

Just in case you missed any of my blog posts this week ( and yes, I realize how conceited and self aggrandizing that sounds!!), but Goodreads does so it, so figure, why not? Here’s a list of this week’s musings:

Saturday, May 5, 2018 Long and Short Reviews Saturday Seven

Monday, May 7, 2018  A little surprise for me

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 A visit with WRP and NRWA sistah Gina Leuci

Friday, May 11, 2018 MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge entry

Saturday, May 12, 2018  The last Saturday Seven from Long and Short Reviews

and if you’re looking for me you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Long and SHort Reviews, Romance, Romance Books

Jetting off….

This week’s blog prompt is A.) wicked easy for me to write, and B.) a happy chapter in my life.

Backstory: In 1983 I met a man. Kinda cute, kinda funny, wicked smart. We worked together.

Plot: He asked me if I’d like to go out on a date sometime.

Conflict: I’d just gotten out of  a VERY toxic relationship and wasn’t looking to start another one anytime soon. But…I said yes, because, you know…he was kinda cute!

Act 1: it was a saturday and we were both off from work. He drove me to an airport. I said, “What kind of date is this?” He said, “Trust me. It’s a goodie.”  We boarded LAKER AIR ( long now defunct airline) where you paid for your seats once you got on the plane. The seats were $50.00 a piece. Already he’d spent more on this date than the toxic relationship guy had for a year on me. We flew to BOSTON, a town I’d never been before.

Act 2: Beautiful day in Beantown. Cool weather, sunny day. We played tourist. Went to the  USS Constitution and the naval museum. We toured Liberty Hall and walked some of the Freedom trail. We walked around Faneuil Hall. We ended up in the North End and had a delicious dinner at a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant that served the best food ever!  We talked for hours, non-stop. We flew home on the midnight flight.

Act 3:  Married for 31 years.

Most romantic memory ever! Best date ever! Best boyfriend/husband!

Click here to see what some of the other authors in the blog hop consider their most romantic memory.

And remember, you can always find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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#MFRWauthor Blog Challenge. Character profiles

I’ve talked a great deal about how much of a people watcher and relationship voyeur I am in previous blogs on my website.  I have to admit, people watching is the best way for me to develop characters. Watching how strangers  act, listening to how they talk and treat others, how they speak, the gestures they make, all go toward making a character more life-like on the page.

But what happens once I see and know the character I want to write about? Well, then I do an indepth profile of them using a worksheet developed by ONE STOP FOR WRITERS and authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. One Stop is a paid membership service to their on-line support system which lists thousands of characteristics inherent in the human personality. Many of you may have heard of their breakout book THE EMOTION THESAURUS.

I own this book in print and believe me when I say it’s dog-eared, yellow markered up, and used almost daily. I also own an ecopy of it so I can always have it with me when I’m working and not home. To go along with this book I also have copies of the others in the series:

      

Each of these books is an excellent, must have reference book when writing anything emotion-worthy and characteristic-driven about your characters.

I also have a Book Bible for each book I write that lists all the characters, their physical characteristics, their relationship to one another, and their GMC’s. Because I write so many book in series, this is a fabulous way for me to ensure I never give a character green eyes in chapter one and brown eyes in chapter 8. Plus, if I’ve killed off their beloved cat in backstory, I can’t show them petting the cat in chapter 2. My mind is so chockfull of “stuff” that trying to remember each detail is just a wee bit of  a hardship for me. Having it readily available at a few taps of my fingers is paramount in keeping everything flowing smoothly.

Character profiles have come a long way since the times when just listing the physical details was the only thing important. Readers are invested in their fav characters and series and have looooooooooooong accurate memories when it comes to the minutia. If you have any doubt of that just ask anyone who is a long time soap opera watcher about the backstories of any of the main characters. They will give you chapter, book, and verse in major detail. Why do you think it’s called a “show Bible?” ( see what I did there? Bible…chapter, book, verse?)

Heehee.

Since this is blog hop, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

AuthorBlogHop

Looking for me? here I am:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

and one last shameless plug: Check out my new AUDIOBOOK version of 3 WISHES, available now at Audible // Itunes // and Amazon.

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Books are like children: I hate to pick favorites…but

How is it possible this is week 17 in this blog challenge??? I used to laugh when people said “time flies,” but you know what? No lie!! It does.

Anyhoo.

Today’s challenge is to write about your favorite romance genre to read or write.  Mine is the same for both. I am a dyed in the wool contemporary romance lover, writer, devour-er. There are sosososos many fabulous Contemporary authors out there to choose from to read ( me among them. HeeHee!) that I’ve never gotten tired or bored once with finding new talent and storylines to inhale. And by inhale I mean, READ.

I’m a live in the present kinda girl – in life and books, apparently. Planning for stuff gives me agita. I’ve never been one to live in the past. I have a hard time suspending my disbelief of vampires, warewolves and ghosts. I’m not into whips, chains and ball gags ( I actually gagged thinking of that last one), and time travel gives me a headache. Although I have a friend who writes time travel really well and makes it easy for me to understand.

So that leaves me with the here and now. Reading about people living in the world today, with all the struggles, problems, and conflicts that abound from doing so is pleasurable to me. I like knowing that a gal who could be me is finding her way in life and love. Not to knock any other genre because they are all fab, but contemporary is it for me.

Let’s see what the other authors in this blog hop are saying: links

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#MFRWauthor If I know you…be prepared to be written about!

This week’s blog post may get me in a little hot water with some of my friends ( who may not be my friends anymore after reading this! heehee).

I will admit, most of the characters I write about are complete creations of my own. I’ve said I’m a people watcher and characteristic voyeur, and I am. I watch strangers all the time when I am out and about and then think up story lines for them that work their way into my writing.

But….

There are some people I personally know who have such defined characteristics, quirks, or ways of speaking that I just haven’t been able to NOT put  them in a story.

For instance: I have a friend who is a marathon runner. Obsessively a marathon runner. Some of  the things she does to train I attached to a character in one of my books who runs. I’m not gonna tell you which book or character, but I know my friend knows which it is because she nailed me on it. In a good way. She was actually flattered. Dodged a bullet on that one, folks!

I have a fringe acquaintance who is a real P.I.T.A. when it comes to always having the last word. No matter what subject we are discussing, what the context, or even if he/she knows nothing about it, he/she will always, ALWAYS need to have the last word. It’s almost pathological. I’ve written a character with that trait and you know what? The person didn’t even recognize themself when they read it. Pathetic.

I know a man who has the annoying habit of saying “yeah, huh?” after every sentence. It doesn’t even make sense in some usages, but he does it anyway. You know sure as the sun shines in Poughkeepsie I’m using that in a character. Soon, too!

I heard Jackie Collins give an interview once where the interviewer asked her where she got her inspiration for all her Hollywood heartthrobs and heroines. Jackie had always said she never based any of her characters on one specific person but an amalgam of people. In this interview she slipped and said, ‘The character based on Madonna–” she stopped herself from saying more, snapped her fingers, and then said, “Oh, fudge, I swore I was never gonna say that!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happens to us all.

Since this is a blog hop, head on over to the other authors participating to see how they deal with real people and the characters they create.

 

 

 

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#MFRWauthor How I celebrate completing my manuscripts…

Is there an author alive who doesn’t love the words THE END? Who doesn’t get excited and thrilled and relieved and a swelled ego at finishing something as monumental as a fully-formed book? Well, yes, there is.

Me.

Let me ‘esplain it to you Lucy.

As everyone knows by the now, the title of my website is Writing is my Oxygen. This is because to me, if I don’t write everyday I feel like I die a little inside, just like if I didn’t have air to breathe, I’d die. So when I’m writing a new book I feel alive, energized, filled with positivity and purpose. I literally live and breathe my characters, their story, go through all their trials, tribulations, conflicts and dilemmas. When the story is complete, the resolution, well, resolved,  and the h/h have their HEA, I feel elated. For about an hour. Then I get sad and morose because these people who I’ve lived, breathed, and loved for months no longer need me.

Le sigh….

So, instead of celebrating with a bottle of wine or the purchase of a spa day, I tend to do what I do all the time when I am sad. I emotionally eat.

Gorge, really.

Like, really.

Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies by the truck load

Hershey’s kisses by the case.

Iced Cream Cheese pastries.

Anything and everything chocolate I can get my hands on.

It’s kinda sad and wicked gross.

When the sugar high wears off ( because eventually it does) and my pants are so tight again no amount of gym-trecking can really help, I step back ( okay, waddle back, if we’re being honest!) and evaluate the situation. In due time I realize I need to suck it up. Like my daughter no longer needs me for guidance, thoughts, or emotional counseling because she’s a grown ass woman, my characters no longer need me, either. When this epiphany happens I usually do double workouts at the gym ( pastries, you know?), drink buckets of water to flush the sugar from my system, and then………look for new characters and plot lines that need me.

Thus, the life of a writer.

Since this is a blog hop, some of the other authors in this series probably celebrate in much more constructive and fun ways than I do at the completion of a manuscript. Check them out.

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#MFRWauthor blog challenge: What I’ve learned from my worst review…

There’s an old saying: reviews are like_______; everybody has one.

Now, if you’re like me the word you wrote on that line was one I really can’t use in a public blog, heehee, but it rhymes with ashmoles. The word that I’m replacing it with is opinions. Think about it. Everyone has an opinion about something, and a book review is really just the person who’s writing the review’s opinion on the work. Like in every day life, some people agree with you, some people do not. It’s the same for reviews.

I’ve read glowing, absolutely the best book you will read all year reviews on books I truly thought were horrible.

I’ve also read soul sucking, pass this one by people reviews on books I lovedlovedloved.

It’s all a matter of opinion. Unfortunately, in the business I now find myself in of writing and publishing, those opinions can mean the difference between a month of good book sales and one of disaster. I have  strong ego. Truly. Ask anyone who knows me. It takes an awful lot to rip me down emotionally and lay me bare, so reviews never hurt me or my feelings. I know not every book is for everyone because I know not every book is for me. The reviews I take exception to are the ones that were written by mean spirited, jealous little trolls who you know didn’t even finish the book because their reviews were full of mistakes and incorrect plotline summations. Trogdelytes who’ve never written a word of fiction, painted a picture with a well formed sentence, or won an award for ANYTHING, much less writing. Pissants who can’t put a constructed thought on the page in a way that conveys meaning to anyone reading it. Morons who……

Okay, so rant over. Sorry about that. Back to  the topic.

What I learned from the worst review I ever received was to laugh it off. I wrote a Valentine’s day story a few years back called 3 WISHES. The story was about CHLOE and MATT. I put their names in caps so you’ll remember them when I tell you this quick synopsis story of the review.

In the book, CHLOE AND MATT are the hero and heroine. I had a subtle subplot revolving around Chloe’s parents ( Francesca and Joey) and an affair Joey had that forced him to leave his family. Did you read the word subplot in the last sentence? I used Joey’s defection from the family as a way to introduce who Matt really was in the story and how he connected to Chloe. A reviewer on Goodreads rated my story a 1 ( A 1!!!) and said I wrote the wrong book. The story of the parents was where the real emphasis should have gone.

Look up the word stunned in the dictionary and you will see a picture of my face when I read that review.


                                           (Not really my face!! heehee)

But, Really? I could understand if the chick didn’t like the story, but to tell me, THE AUTHOR, that I’d written the wrong one? Really? When I could speak again I wanted to write the hag– I mean the reader– a letter saying if she thought I’d written the wrong story then she should go ahead and write the one she wanted to read, because 3 WISHES was ALWAYS CHLOE and MATT’S story. Always.  And just FYI, the individual who wrote that I penned the wrong story is not a writer herself. I never wrote the letter. There was no need to. Once people who had read the book got a gander at that review, it kinda instigated a little reviewer backlash against the chick, primed with vile slings and arrows aimed straight at her.

God, I lovelovelove my readers!!!!! The ones who will defend me, lay down their literary swords for me, and take on the trolls. They are, simply, the best.

So, again, back to the main point here. What I learned from the worst review I ever got was to laugh off the negativity, leave the person in God’s hands, and delight in the fact that I’m getting paid to live my dream life while that bad reviewer….isn’t. ( those of you who know me know I could have gone bat-shit crazy with that last sentence, but I refrained from doing to. Proud of me? heehee)

Sine this is a blog hop made up of AUTHORS who have all probably had at least 1 bad review, hop on over to their sites and read their posts for today.

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#Research…a necessary evil or funfunfun to do?

I love trivia. The more arcane or weird an item of info is, the better for me. When TRIVIAL PURSUIT first burst onto the world stage in the 1980’s no one wanted to play against me. Le sigh…..

Because I like knowing weird trivia facts, I lovelovelove research. My characters are all over the map with regards to their careers and knowledge bases. I’ve had doctors, veterinarians, tv producers, writers, lawyers, and artists, just to name a few. And for every book and different career choice, I’ve had to do a little research to ensure I was staying true to not only the character, but how their career fit in with the plot line.

Some of my favorite pieces of info that I learned from researching my books are:

  1. a cow has 4 stomachs
  2. the gestation period for a horse is 11-12 months
  3. a Coroner doesn’t have to be a medical doctor.
  4. the first digital camera was invented and used in 1975
  5. milk chocolate tempers between 87 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. White chocolate is really a chocolate derivative made from cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids
  7. the basic cake recipe for almost every baker is simple to easy.

Writers need to get things right in their work. In the past, publishers had fact checkers to make sure when an author added a piece of info into their story it was correct. Not so much anymore. But now, with the information needed at our fingertips, anyone can and should be a fact checker simply by using Google.

There are two reasons I am so anal about research. One is from a writing viewpoint, the other as a reader. A few years ago I read a book by a very well known and well paid romance writer who said that the hero was wearing Bausch and Lomb Blue colored contact lenses. At the time, I was a contact lens technician and KNEW B&L made no such lens. As a reader I was disappointed in the writer and the publisher for not fact checking that. (FYI, B&L now does make a blue colored lens in their disposable brand of lenses. Back when this book was written, they did not and would not for several years.)

The personal reason I am such a devout researcher has to do with my first book. It was about an ice skater who’d won  2 Olympic gold medals. When I was describing her winning routine, I spelled the move she made as A-X-L-E. Now, I skated for decades myself, but never knew the word when used in this skating context was spelled A-X-E-L. An agent I’d sent the manuscript to also happened to be an ice skater on the side. When she saw how I’d misspelled the word, she wrote me back that she never read the rest of the book because that mistake questioned my credibility as a writer of the subject to her. Lesson learned. The hard way.

So, research. Fun or tiresome? You already know my answer.

Since this is a blog hop, lets see what the other authors have learned from their book research:

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, MFRWauthor, Newsletter, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

My Cinderella Story; #MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge

I wasn’t relegated to sweeping, dusting, cooking, and being a house-maid, and I didn’t have a magical fairy godmother (just a wonderful editor-godmom), but my road to publication started with a contest and ended with a contract.

In the end of 2014 I entered the first romance writing contest of my life. I’d written my first romance novel and wanted to see if it had any chance of being published traditionally. I loved the book but I wasn’t sure anyone else would and I entered the contest, basically, for feedback. The contest called for the first three chapters, so that’s what I sent. And then, I simply forgot about it. I was still working full time, menopause was kicking my chubby tush, and I was uber busy in my personal life.

Four months after entering, I received an email from the contest chairperson telling me I’d won my division. Included in the email were my scores by the various judges and comments they’d made. Once the shock at winning wore off, I read all the comments and felt like I had a shot a getting published. A day later another email arrived from Rhonda Penders, the publisher of the Wild Rose Press. She was the final judge for my entry. She wrote that she’d liked what she’d read and asked if I had a completed manuscript. Boy, did I! Could I send it along to her? Boy, could I! So I did.

Two months after that I received another email from the editor Ms. Penders had assigned the book to, to be read. Condensed version here of the story : they were offering me a contract to publish.

When I scraped myself off the floor and stopped crying, I said YES. And that’s how my first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, came into the book reading world.

Three years later and I’ve had 11 books published and have just signed 2 contracts for 5 more in the next 2 years.

Story-book ending much? Yeah. Big-time!

Since this is a blog hop, hop on over to these other authors to get their  contest experiences.

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, MacQuire Women, MFRWauthor, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press