Category Archives: RWA

Week 2 of the #BookTour wrap-up

Just in case you missed any of the tour stops for week 2, here’s a listing with links. Be sure to drop by, leave some love, and be entered for a chance to win an Amazon GC at the end of the tour.

Monday, October 2 Danita Minnis

Tuesday, October 3 Up ’til Dawn Book Blog

Wednesday, October 4 Hearts and Scribbles and Nickie’s Reviews and Interviews

Thursday, October 5 Nancy Fraser

Friday, October 6  Fabulous, and Brunette   and Two Ends of the Pen

 

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

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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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

#RWA17, Fan girling….it’s a thing

At 57 years old, you’d think I’d be beyond hyperventilating when I see a “celebrity.” Yeah…not so much.

My very first RWA in 2014 I actually burst into tears when I met and spoke with Nora Roberts. Not one of my finest, adult moments, but there was truly so much emotion stored up in me concerning her that when I actually got the chance to speak to her, I lost it. Like a two year old. She was gracious, lovely, and held my hand. I don’t think I washed it for 2 whole days!!!, but that might not be true because I blacked out after meeting her! and have no memory of the rest of the day!!

You can just make out the tears still wet on my cheeks in this picture her lovely assistant, Laura, took.

Anyway.

Fan girling. Yeah, it’s a thing.  A real thing. Even though I’ve been to 4 RWA conferences and 1 RT, I still get a little queasy butterfly feeling in my tummy when I see my writing idols casually walking around a hotel as if they were, well, normal people, not romance icons. Here are just a few of my absolute meet-favorites from this year. And I’ll tell you honestly, I really struggled not to cry when I met each of them.

First, one of my newest favs, Lauren Layne.

 

If you haven’t read any of her Wedding Belles series, or any of the Stiletto books, get yourself over to Amazon and get a bunch. You will not be disappointed.

 

Next, the amazeballs, uber-talented Jennifer Probst. I actually carted her book WRITE NAKED with me to Orlando because I knew she was going to be there and I simply had to meet her to autograph it.

I sat in on one of her workshops as well, but don’t ask me what she said. I was too busy pinching myself because I was sitting in the same room with her!

And look what she wrote to me!!!!!!

 

Okay, this next picture makes me giggle every time I see it! The incredible, sweet, absolutely lovely and funny Jill Shalvis was sososososos gracious when I basically interrupted her from eating at the Rita’s and begged – yes begged – for a picture.

 Can you see how giddy I am??!!!

And at the Literacy signing I bothered, er, spoke, to her again when she was with another of my favs, and Jill’s BFF, RaeAnne Thayne. Honestly, these two women are graciousness incarnate!!

 

last but certainly not least, I was able to “hang” with another of my favorite authors, Marianne Rice, who was attending her first RWA. We were having a good natured contest between us to see how many “big names” we could get to take selfies with us. Marianne WON, hands down!!! She got the fabulous Rachel Gibson!!!!  And Susan Elizabeth Phillips!!! Le sigh….maybe next year.

So, don’t ever be upset or embarrassed if you’re a fan girl, because we’ve all been there!! Some of us still are, despite our —ahem--senior ages!

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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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Bad Wifi makes for an unhappy blogger…..

So the last time I blogged I was waiting for my flight to leave, bound for Orlando, Fl, and RWA 2017. The wifi in the airport was primo. 

After a long, hot, sweaty, and annoying wait for my shuttle car to arrive at airport pickup, I finally arrived at the Walt Disney Resort- Dolphin Hotel. Answer honestly: does this look like a dolphin?

Doesn’t it kinda look like a nice pufferfish? You know – the ones that kill you by injecting tetrodotoxin into your bloodstream if you eat the wrong part of it??

This is the sister hotel, the Swan.

Yeah. Aptly named, I think.

Anyway, I digress….

I arrived safe – sweaty – but sound, checked in and went to dinner with some of my chapter mates from NHRWA. To bed early and then a big day to start the conference off with a bang. Right away Wednesday a.m. I registered to make myself official.

This is me, all official:  Sorry that my eyes look crossed. I never know where to look when I take a selfie! Hee hee.

 

After checking in I happen to spot one of my writing besties, Marianne Rice and the amazeballs RaeAnne Thayne, so of course we had to have a picture!

A few workshops that first afternoon and then an evening to network. The Swan/Dolphin resorts are linked to what’s called The Disney Boardwalk, so a few of my chapter mates and I again went to eat. Lots of walking and eating at this conference! I got in my 10,000 steps a day, PLUS. It’s Dinsey, so of course, we paid through the teeth for a simple Italian themed dinner, but, oh well. Like I said, it’s DISNEY!

I’m going to do individual blogs for the next week or so to let you know some of the highlights of the trip. Here’s some hints: the blogs include using your creative brain – and not for writing, and total fan girl moments that changed my life!! Hee Hee. Hope you’re intrigued.

Off, now, to do six loads of laundry then grocery shop for the week because, you know….life.

You can find me here now that I’m home:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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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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RWA – from a different viewpoint

Today, I’m over on the Contemporary Romance Writers blog talking about the upcoming RWA conference. I’ve include dthe text here if you don’t want to follow the link.

Here’s the text:

A few weeks ago, I blogged about what to do if you’re attending the Annual RWA conference for the very first time. Being a first-time attendee can be daunting and overwhelming. So many fabulous courses to choose from; the amazing publishing spotlights; the free books, oh Lord, the free books. That moment when you realize your favorite author of all time is in the same elevator as you.

It’s all heady stuff and those of us who are conference veterans know the feeling well. Which is why I want to concentrate on us old timers today and what I think our responsibilities should be when we attend the conference.

My very first RWA was in San Antonio in 2015. First timers are given an actual stick-on to place on their name badges stating they are first timer conference attendees. Like everyone else, I attached my badge banner after registration. I was standing by an escalator nervously trying not to look conspicuous and awkward in my solitariness the next day, when author Shirley Jump approached me and introduced herself. She stated she was an RWA Board Member and asked how I was liking my first conference. She asked what I wrote, was I published, what chapter did I belong to, all questions that engaged me in conversation and put me at ease. She was absolutely charming, lovely, and (if you’ve never seen her) gorgeous. She made me feel so special, I went about the rest of the day feeling less like a fish out of water.

Knowing that she took the time to reach out to me, a total stranger, to welcome me to RWA and to encourage me to take advantage of the parties, courses and workshops, gave me such a feeling of acceptance and belonging.

The next year, as a seasoned conference attendee now (LOL) I remembered that encounter and did the same thing Shirley did: I reached out to several people who had first timer banners on their badges. I introduced myself and then engaged them in conversation about their experience the same way Shirley had.

It felt marvelous to reach out that way. I met three women who were much the same age as me, who were at that point in their lives where they wanted to devote themselves to their writing more and were attending the conference to network, see what was happening in the industry, and take advantage of some of the fabulous workshops and courses. They even asked me advice on publishing. Imagine. Me!

Ego-boosting stuff to be sure.

Every year since then I’ve made it my business to connect like that with first timers. And every year I’ve made more writing friends because of it.

Every one of us who write has at one time or another felt that solitary, awkward, what-am-I-doing-here feeling. RWA is a supportive community of writers in all phases of their publishing careers and we should embrace one another on all those levels. A smile and a word of encouragement go a long way when someone is feeling out of place or overwhelmed. So, I’m challenging all of us RWA seasoned members to reach out this year to a first-time conference attendee and welcome them into the community we all love so much. You just may make a novice writer’s day. And conference.

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