Category Archives: research

Rags to Riches; #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge

 

Today’s topic – WHAT I WOULD DO WITH A MILLION DOLLARS – is a timely one for me( And probably the rest of America, especially those effected by the Government shutdown).

I’d like to be humble and say I’d donate all of the million dollar windfall to varying charities; adopt a few families in need; give to my church so they can build a new, badly needed, kitchen. I’d like to be truthful and say I’d invest some of it so it could grow and I could help even more people.

That’s what I’d LIKE to say, but…

Let’s go on the premise that my church is set, the government is back to work, and charities are bursting from  holiday donations. Then, there really is only one thing I’d like to do with the money, and it’s a very frivolous thing, but don’t judge me. Please.

Let me explain…

My darling daughter recently got engaged. She’s an only child, the love of my husband’s and my own heart, and she’s truly one of the best people we’ve ever known. I’d like to take some credit for that, but I can’t because she is her own person and has been since she came from my womb! Any way. She recently got engaged to a man who loves her as much as we do and of course, as loving parents, we want to give her the wedding of her dreams. Well, the wedding of her dreams is estimated to be $ 375,000.00 all in, as she says. The venue is the major cost.

It’s Ellis Island.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, or have forgotten your American history, once upon a time every immigrant who came to these shores had to stop at Ellis Island in NYC to be officially documented. People from every nation passed through it’s doors, were examined by doctors, and then documented as visitors to this country. Many people were denied entry due to diseases they contracted and then carried from spending long ocean voyages  in cramped cargo ships, packed in like rats– all for the chance to be a free American. People were quarantined; families were torn apart; original names were changed to sound “more American” by the ones doing the documenting and registration.

Ellis Island is located in  New York Harbor.

It’s the location of the NYC/Hudson River 4th of July fireworks spectacular every year.

It’s also been declared a national Monument. So, in order to have a wedding (or really any event) there, permits must be obtained from the States of NY, New Jersey, and probably the National Government, too. Assuming those are granted, since the venue is a museum and on an island, not your typical hotel wedding site, everything has to be brought in for the reception.

And I mean everything.

Flowers, linens, chairs, tables, glassewear, food, people. And how are they brought in, you ask? Via a ferry from Manhattan Harbor. Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent a ferryboat? Yeah, I don’t either but I’m assuming it’s not a couple hundred bucks and a nice thank you to the ferryman!

The wedding planners that my daughter spoke with gave independent values to having her wedding there and they estimated that the cost would be that ridiculous $375,000.00 mark. There’s no way her father and I can afford that. I’m a little romance writer, happy if I actually get any amount of a royalty check every three months. My husband is entering retirement age and we’ve been planning for our own future so we aren’t left destitute and on the streets when the time comes ( exaggerating, folks, but you know what this economy and the stock market are like right now!)

But, if I had a million dollars…..

Hee Hee.

And talking about weddings ( shameless plug segue), my newest book DEARLY BELOVED is about a – wait for it –  wedding planner. Timely, no?

Available here: Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Kobo // Apple // Google Play // Books-a-million

See what other authors are saying they would do with a sudden cash influx on Long and Short’s Wednesday Blogging Challenge.

 

And you’re always able to find me if you need me, here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

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Filed under A Match Made in Heaven, author promotion, Contemporary Romance, Dearly Beloved, Long and SHort Reviews, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Why I love #Pinterest

When someone says they are obsessed with something I always take it to be a little over the top as a way of describing how much they like something. The word has been given a Kardashian-elevation in our current pop culture and like literally was a few years ago, the word has become cliched and, in my opinion,  annoying to hear.

The true definition of obsession states: an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind.

Well…I’m going to eat that proverbial crow here because there really is no other word that can adequately describe how I feel about my Pinterest page. I am, ( sorry, peeps!) obsessed with it.

I discovered Pinterest a few years ago when I was looking for pictures to give an actual face to my characters. In the past I’d torn-up fashion and celebrity magazines in my attempt to find the perfect depiction for the  fictional person I was creating. I had scores of notebooks with taped-in cut outs from those mags filling my office. Along came Pinterest and my cutting-taping-hoarding ways were finished!

I’ve made Pinterest boards for all the books I’ve written since I discovered this gem of a site. For the three books coming out between 11.5 and 12.12.18, I’ve been going hog-wild with pins. Here are a few you can click on to see what I mean:

HOPE’S DREAM Vermont Series

DEARLY BELOVED ( this book has quite a few boards attached to it:) Izzy’s Shower  // Nanny Fee // O’Dowd

CHRISTMAS AND CANNOLIS Baked with Love

I was talking to someone the other day about microwaves ( weird segue, I know, but hear me out) and what we did before we had them, like putting a pot on the stove with water to heat a baby’s bottle, for instance, or to actually turn on the oven to reheat leftovers for dinner. With the advent of the microwave,  heating and reheating got so much easier, that now I wonder how we ever actually survived with out it.

I think the same way about Pinterest. It’s made creating vision boards so much easier. Yes, they are virtual vision boards, not the old fashioned 3-D ones that we made from cutting and taping, but they’re so much easier to create now. And they take up no space in your office at all anymore since they are on the computer.

So…

My apologies to all those people I silently made fun of and gave an-in-my-head-eyeroll to when they said the word obsessed. I understand what you mean when you say it about something now.

I really do.

You can visit my Pinterest page and all my other obsessive sites here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

 

 

 

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Filed under Author Branding, research, Romance, Romance Books

#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

#GoddessFishBlogTour, Day 9, #CantStandTheHeat

Are you sick of me yet? hahah. No, really. I’ve got stops line up until April 19 so if you are….what’s that Demi Lovato song about being sorry?

Another 2-fer today. First, I’m over on Fabulous and Brunette talking about why it was so important to me to write a calm heroine for a change. Then, I’m over on Stormy Nights Reviewing and Blogging with a book excerpt. Stop by both places for a chance at the Rafflecopter.

And if you’ve missed any of the previous stops, here’s a list of where I’ve already been:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
March 28: Nana Prah’s Blog

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#GoddessFishBlogTour Day 8 #CantStandTheHeat


7 down – about 67,000 to go! hahaha. Just kidding ( kinda). Today I’m over at Nana Prah’s Blog  with a quick book excerpt. Stop by and take a chance at a $50 Amazon GC to be awarded at the end of the tour.

And if you’ve missed any of the stops so far, here’s a recap:

March 19: Romance Novel Giveaways
March 20: BooksChatter 
March 20: Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 21: Edgar’s Books
March 21: Christine Young
March 22: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
March 22: Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters
March 23: Unabridged Andra
March 23: BooksChatter – review
March 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams
March 27: Sorchia’s Universe
March 27: Rachel Brimble Romance
And I’ve still got 2.5 more weeks to go!!!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

Because I’m nosy…..


Week 4 of the #MFRWauthor 52 Week blog challenge brings us a topic that should be fairly easy to write about, because most of us didn’t spring from the womb with a pen in our hands and a publishing contract in our arms, but had other lives and occupations before being published. At least, I think we all did!! Maybe I should just speak for myself. Hee hee.

Anyhoo…

If I wasn’t devoting myself full time to writing, I imagine I’d still be employed as a Nurse, or a Contact Lens technician. But I’d like to take that thought a little bit further. If I couldn’t write AND I wasn’t a nurse/CLT/ what would I be doing? I think I’ve mentioned before how nosy I am. Several times, in fact. So nosy that I’ll talk to a rock. And the nice thing is that people never seem to mind my obvious inquisitiveness, especially when I preface a question with, “Now, I’m only asking because I’m nosy so don’t think you have to answer me if you don’t want to…”

Yup. They answer me. Every time!

So I think if I wasn’t a writer, I’d be a perfect Private Investigator.

I can see it now… Me, in a well-tailored black trench coat ( because Khaki washes me out!), thigh-high leather boots under the coat, and over them a large men’s white tailored shirt cinched in at the waist and that comes to mid-thigh. I can even see myself with a fedora atop my golden (Bottle blonde) hair, looking uber sexy and all mysterious as I grill bad guys and follow suspicious perps in cars with my own hot, fast, ride.

Everyone would, of course, talk to me. After all, I’m charmingly nosy. And sexy!

 

Jessica Fletcher’s got nothing on me.

Neither does Mrs. Peel.

I’d be the chick who discovers the identity of the master jewel thief, or where the hidden treasure is kept. I’d help the police solve the unsolvable cold case, or figure out who killed Major Barret in the solarium with a gun…oh, wait, that’s something else!

Hee hee.

I think I’d make a pretty cool P.I.

Now, I just have to find a trench coat on sale…..


 

Since this is a blog hop, hop on over to these other authors and see what they’d be doing if they weren’t writers. Wonder how many would be PIs


And when I’m not out being nosy, 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, research

I get to do this and call it research! #ILoveMyLife

So yesterday I went to a bridal expo.

Hold the batphone, you say. Aren’t you married? Like, for a thousand years?

Yup, true.

Then why did you go to a bridal expo? you ask.

Research, I say. Research.

Let me ‘esplain.

For NaNoWriMo this year, I’m penning a new romance series about a family in the wedding business. To add some truthfulness into the narrative, I said to myself, “Self? Why not contact a wedding planner?” And then when I was driving to the gym the other day, I happened to hear a commercial about an upcoming bridal expo at one of my favorite places in New Hampshire, Alyson’s Orchard.

As soon as I got home I emailed the manager of Alyson’s.   I introduced myself, told her I wasn’t a bride-to-be (Not even close!) but that I wanted to do some bridal industry research for my new romance series. Luckily, she said, yes, I could come to the expo!

It was so much fun. I met some very lovely wedding planners, got some ideas about what’s involved in putting together a dream wedding nowadays – since I did get married a millennium ago, things have really changed –  and basically had a blast talking all things bridal with the vendors at the expo. One of my favorite people? Wedding officiant Jane E. Rokes. We talked for quite a while on all things officiant-related.

God, I love research!!!!

When I’m not out doing fun stuff, er I mean, gathering research, 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 Author, Contemporary Romance, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#GoodessFishBlogtour…..El Fine!

Good Lord! What a month. And it ends today with a post at Long and Short Reviews. Stop by for a final chance at an Amazon GC and for a little more about my journey to publication at the age of 55!

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Filed under Alpha Male, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women

The end is in sight, #GoddessFishBlogTour

Today’s virtual tour brings me to the Mixed Book Bag. Drop by and see the five places I’d love to travel to learn about the native cuisine.

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women, Uncategorized

Today’s #blogstop….

Happy Tuesday! I’m over on Readeropolis today with another Q&A. Stop by, Leave love!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, romantic suspense, Strong Women, The Laine Women