Tag Archives: 3 Wishes

He said he wasn’t the romantic kind of guy, but…..

bloghop-valentinesday

So. You’d think the arrival of Valentine’s Day for a romance writer would make writing a blog concerning the day easy. I mean, come on. Valentine’s day is about love, for lovers, and just filled to the brim with romance-related themes. Should be a walk in the park for me to come up with a blog topic for a Valentine’s Day Blog hop.

Yeah…not so much.

valentinesday-2

Last year it was a piece of proverbial cake. Wild Rose Press had put together their Candy Hearts Romance series, of which, I was a participant with my novella 3 WISHES.  Easy peasy. This year I struggled a little until I finally decided to just tell you the story of my first V’Day with hubman. Shhhhhh! He doesn’t know I’m telling you this.

We were going steady ( I’m old and that’s what it was called “back then”) for just under 3 months by the time V’Day came around. We’d started dating two days before Halloween, which should have been a light bulb moment, but I digress…

My hubby–then boyfriend– is not what anyone, including himself, would call romantic, so I didn’t have any misguided hopes and wishes Valentine’s Day was going to be a biggie for him. I didn’t even think I’d get a present or a card or a dinner out because we were both so busy at the hospital and his time off was routinely spent trying to catch up on much needed sleep.

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The 14th rolled around and I had to work the day shift. He’d been on-call the night before but got off at 6pm. We hadn’t planned on seeing one another because I thought he was just going to go home and crash until he needed to be back at the hospital. At about 7pm a knock at my door had me opening it to him. He had a grocery-wrapped bag in one hand and a piece of folded looseleaf paper in the other. All I could think was WTF?? 

He handed me the grocery bag and in it was a package of Chips Ahoy cookies – my favorites – and then the looseleaf paper. He told me he remembered that the cookies were my favs so he’d bought them instead of candy or flowers.

chipsahoycookies

 

Awwww.

The looseleaf paper turned out to be a home-made V’Day card. On the front of it was a hand drawn ( by him) picture of what looked like a daisy. The inside said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Love La.” The best part of the “card” was the back. On a store bought card you’d see a price tag and the card copyright. On the one he’d made, he’d written for the price $1,000,000.00.

daisy

Awwwww, again.

Really. Could this have been any cuter? And did I mention I was 24 and he was 27 at the time? Not exactly kids, folks, but grown-ass people with careers! Needless to say, I was charmed.

That was s 34 years ago in 1983  and he still gives me hand made looseleaf cards for holidays like anniversaries and birthdays to this day. The cookies have been replaced by non-edible presents now since I’m on a perpetual diet, but they are always goodies! He may not be a classic romantic by other people’s definitions ( including his own) but that’s okay. I’d rather have someone who shows and tells me he loves me every day of the year than someone who goes overboard to prove it just one of 365 days.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from a romance writer who celebrates love every day of the year!

And……(shameless self promo here!) if you’re looking for a fun, flirty, and funny little V’Day tale, my novella 3WISHES has your name all over it.

Blurb:

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Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Excerpt:

At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

Buy Link:

Wild Rose Press  /// Amazon  /// Nook

To enjoy all the other fabulous authors participating in the hop, here are the links to their posts and websites:

1. The Perfect Time For Love ~ Casi McLean 2. Spunk & Hunks ~ Anna Durand
3. Love in the Month of February ~ Mary Morgan 4. Love Potions and Charms ~ Sorchia Dubois
5. He said he wasn’t the romantic kind of guy, but… ~ Peggy Jaeger 6. Love and War ~ Gini Rifkin
7. Sexy Chocolate Cakes ~ Kayden Claremont 8. 50 Great Date Ideas ~ Devon Mckay
9. Hearts Abound ~ Tena Stetler 10. Love Every Day ~ Darlene Fredette
11. Importance of Valentines Day ~ Maureen Bonatch 12. Souls Forever Bound ~ Judith Sterling
13. Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day ~ Barbara Bettis 14. A Romantic Valentine Dinner ~ Jana Richards
15. Steamy Romance Meets Spooky Suspense ~ Kathryn Knight 16. Book Bling ~ Elizabeth Alsobrooks
17. Sweet Romances ~ Katherine McDermott 18. Historical Heartbeats ~ Brenda B. Taylor
19. An Awesome Bewitching Author Valentines Day ~ Lisa Voisin 20. Idea City ~ Kitsy Clare/Catherine Stine
21. Welcome to the ABA Valentine Hop ~ Linda Nightingale 22. Bridie Hall YA Author ~ Bridie Hall
23. A Time For Love Valentine Blog Hop ~ Amber Daulton 24. ‘Out Of This World’ Romance ~ Hywela Lyn
25. Time Travel For Love ~ Karen Michelle Nutt 26. Valentine’s Day – A Family Tradition ~ Holland Rae
27. Historical Heartbeats

The authors are having a rafflecopter giveaway, too. Click HERE see the deets.

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

A #sale, a #ValentinesDay gift, and a good #romance

3wishessale

My lovely Publisher, The WILD ROSE PRESS is having a Valentine’s day sale and all the Candy Heart eBooks are now 40% off. My addition to the crew, 3 WISHES, is one of these! If you read A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights and enjoyed it ( I hope, I hope!) you’ll love 3 WISHES because it introduces you to the large, loving, and crazy San Valentino family.

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet you candy day appetite from 3 WISHES.

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Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Excerpt:

At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

Buy Links: The Wild Rose Press  // Amazon

And when I’m not out promoting sales, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under 3 Wishes, A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A necessary Evil…Reviews

As a writer,  just like any artist, you can live or die by the reviews of your work. I’ve had 5 books published since March 2015 and many reviews. Nearly all of them have been positive, but there have been a few that have stopped me in my tracks.

First, a disclaimer: I’m going to be honest and tell you I really don’t care all that much about reviews. I know you’re probably thinking I sound conceited or snobby or even elitist, but when all is said and done, I write stories for myself. I’ve said before if I’d never been published I would have been fine because I still would have written down all the stories in my head, despite the fact no one would ever see them but me. I write for me.  Me. The fact that other people like reading what I write is a humongous bonus to my ego, but in the end, I’m my biggest fan and critic.

Okay, that really does sound conceited, but I don’t mean it to!

So, on to the clunkers.

My Valentine’s Day book 3 WISHES was a simple boy meets girl-misunderstanding story. Chloe thinks Matt is taken and, to boot, has a baby on the way. A miscommunication that drives the story. Part of the plot included the issue of Chloe’s father’s affair with a much younger woman. One reviewer gave me a one ( 1) star rating because she said I wrote the wrong story. I should have centered the plot on the affair and not on Chloe and Matt and that it detracted from the story I wanted to write. Okaaaaaaaaay. How dumb does that sound? The book was a ROMANCE, not a woman’s fiction novel about infidelity. Now, a one star rating sucks, no mistaking that. But the real issue was the statement I’d written the wrong story. That one made me mad. It was my story. I wrote it the way I wanted. If this reviewer wanted a story about a cheating husband, SHE should have written one.

Okay, rant over.

Another reviewer for the same book said that it wasn’t funny “at all.” I put that in quotes because that’s exactly what she said. Okay, I realize not everyone gets every joke, every innuendo, every nuance of a pun.  People’s funny bones are tickled by different things, I get that. But she’s the only one who mentioned the humor in a negative way. All the other reviewers stated it was  funny and filled with amusing moments and thoughts. I guess my humor just didn’t work for her.

It’s a good thing my skin is thick, my ego solid, because there’s no such thing as a perfect review for every book you write. I’ll admit that even some of my favorite authors have written books that I didn’t like, but I didn’t put up negative reviews about them, and second guess their talent or story telling. I simply held my tongue and continued reading their newest books when they were released. One very real fact of life my mother drilled into me growing up is that if  you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut and  your opinions to yourself. SHUT THE  **** UP, in other words.

Not everyone is like going to like everything you write. Fact of life as an artist. But do you really have to tell the world how much you didn’t like something? Have we become a society that just panders to the negative, degrading and insulting one another’s work?

I sure hope not.

Now, having gotten all that off my chest, I’m going to open my ego for another round of  – hopefully – nice comments and let you know that my newest book THE VOICES OF ANGELS, is a Netgalley offering this month. If you are a  Netgalley member you might want to check it out. Click here for the link.

And, please, if you do read and review it – be constructively kind, not maliciously cruel. My ego is intact, but it’s still fragile at times. Thanks for  listening to me b***h.

 

 

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A little post-Valentine’s Candy…

I’ve had several readers write to me asking for Chloe’s candy recipes. Now what kind of a professional chocolatier would she be if she divulged all her secrets and recipes?? She was persuaded to give you all one, though, and I’ve listed it below.

You’re welcome, from Chloe!

Caramel Oreo Cookie

***I’m giving you the easy recipe for this one – you don’t have to be a chocolatier to make it. Just know in my shop I make and temper my own caramel and chocolate pieces. Chloe San Valentino

1 bag of Oreo cookies – the REAL kind, not the generic, cheaper kind.

1 bag of baking chocolate ( Baker’s semi sweet chocolate pieces is the best brand commercially.)

1 package Brach’s caramel pieces

1 bag of white baking chocolate ( again Bakers is the best)

Method:

1. line a huge baking sheet with parchment paper because nothing sticks to that.

2. Melt the white chocolate in a double burner under a very low heat until it is smooth, stirring constantly. The color will be slightly dull. Pour it into a decorating bottle or into a pastry bag and add a #1 or # 2 tip to the bag. You want a small round opening to drizzle the chocolate out.

3. At the same time you are melting the white, melt the baking chocolate in a double burner under a very low heat until the chocolate is completely melted and smoothy. Dip each individual Oreo  into the chocolate letting the excess drip back into the sauce pot. Place on parchment paper and let cool at least 15 minutes.

4. Once cooled, drizzle the oreos with white chocolate forming criss-cross, thin lines around the entire cookie. Place on the parchment paper again let cool at least 15 minutes. ( you may have to heat the white chocolate up a little before deorating – just put the bottle into the bottom of the double boiler to let it stay hot, or don’t put the white chocolate into the bottle or pastry bag until you are ready to drizzle. Either way works.

5. When all the cookies are decorated in white chocolate and the outer chocolate coating, melt the caramels using the double boiler method until they are smooth and shiny, stirring constantly. Once again, you can drizzle the cookies, but I use the prong ends of a fork because the caramel will harden by the time you get it in a pastry bag or decorating bottle. Let cool.

6. Eat..Enjoy..Share.

Love, CSV

New release 3 WISHES (A Candy Hearts Romance)perf5.000x8.000.indd

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her 30th birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Get it here: Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook//  Kobo //

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

 

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The benefit of having hobbies…

Some people I know who shall forever and always remain nameless, still consider my writing a hobby.

Yeah…I know. I’m surprised they’re still breathing, too.

Anyway. Writing, as you know, is like oxygen to me. I need to write in order to live, much the way I need oxygen in order to survive. It’s not a hobby, but a necessary facet of my life. A hobby, on the other hand, is nice, but I don’t need to have one to live.

awriter

This got me to thinking, though, that having a hobby is a…good thing, to quote Martha Stewart. Hobbies distract us from the mundane aspects of our work lives; they bring us a little fun in a day that can be fun-less and soul-sucking. Hobbies can clear our minds of the detritus and negative energy our work can bring, and focus us instead on something positive and enriching.

hobbies

Now, my writing gives me all those positive things I just mentioned. But it’s still not a hobby. Nor, is it in reality, work. Not for me. Writing is as necessary to me as water is to the balance of nature and all living things. Writing centers me; keeps my mind sharp, my memory intact. Writing makes me smile and laugh. Of course, when I’m writing something sad it can also make me weep and wail. Well, maybe not wail…but you get the premise. A hobby doesn’t do that. A hobby doesn’t make you sweat and toil, worry and wallow when you aren’t getting the thought you want just right, or the dialogue as tight as you can and still convey the essence of the words. A hobby doesn’t make you bleed emotions and rip your heart into shreds. A hobby doesn’t make you feel immortal or powerful or omnipotent.

So, don’t call my writing a hobby, because it’s not. It’s a…vocation; a calling; a mission. But  it’s not a hobby.

 

New release 3 WISHES (A Candy Hearts Romance)perf5.000x8.000.indd

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her 30th birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Get it here: Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook//  Kobo //

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

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Starting anew..

I’ve started a new series of books ( see my previous post about storyboarding) and this time I’ve invented an entire town in New Hampshire as the setting.

Scary stuff…but also a little exciting.

I wanted a town with a specific name ( no sharing details for you yet, peeps!!) because the name is integral to the stories and it needed to be made-up because I needed to have total control over the street names, store names, etc. Can I just tell you how HARD this was?!! To not only come up with the town’s name, but the street names to go along with the theme and then the stores, businesses, etc, to further it? My head hurt after an hour of planning. There’s a reason I didn’t go into municipal development, folks.

city

But, after a while, the names started flowing and I felt…okay, I’ll admit it:  omnipotent. Tycoon-ish.  I made a town, I named the streets, shops, roads and government office buildings. It was like playing Monopoly, but for real!

All the other stories I’ve written have taken place in actual settings; cities like New York; states like Connecticut. This time I wanted a New England feel, so, of course, I chose my home state of New Hampshire, the prettiest state in the east, and built the town somewhere between Concord and Peterborough. A large enough geographic divide that I could play around with it, but far enough distance between the two where I wouldn’t be stepping on another town’s toes. Does that make sense?

Anyway, this is kind of cool. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes out and together and what the reader response will be.

So, writing peeps… ever make up your own setting? How hard was it? Or, how easy? Let’s discuss…..

 

New release 3 WISHES (A Candy Hearts Romance)perf5.000x8.000.indd

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her 30th birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Get it here: Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook//  Kobo //

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

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

The art of Storyboarding…

On Saturday, my New Hampshire chapter of RWA was given a treat: our chapter President, Christyne Butler, gave us a masterclass on storyboarding. What is storyboarding? I am so happy you asked.

Typically used in visual media, a storyboard is defined as such: a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production. This helps the film people plot the story, frame by frame, sequence by sequence.

But writers use storyboarding as well.

Most books are comprised of chapters, scenes within chapters, and actions within scenes. Instead of framing the novel action by scene by chapter, writers approach the storyboard a different way. Christyne showed us her way, which is how her characters are plotted out. She boards each individual character and things that might pertain to him/her when she starts to write. She has a complete visual reference for the entire book at her fingertips when she begins to write her story. She must be doing something right because she is a multi-published, very popular author!

Now, when I plot a new story it looks something like this:

dashboard2 dashboard

I write everything out longhand once I find pictures of my  characters. I fill entire composition books with pictures, descriptions, motivations, and backstory. It takes a while, but so far it has worked for me. With Christyne’s method – a more visual one – it seemed like it was worth a try, so I did it. Here’s where I’m at after 2 days: ( those are my feet in the bottom of the photo – damn crop app didn’t work!

dashboard3

This is a three book arc. My heroines are on the left side of the board, my heroes on the right. Just from viewing this I can see I know a whole bunch more about my girls than my boys!! SO right away, this has become a valuable tool for me. Since I am character driven, I have pictures of my peeps, their bedrooms ( I always want to imagine where they sleep!), things about their careers – quotes or pictures of occupations, and the colors on their individual blocks are foils for one another. For instance, the top is black and white because those two love interests perceive everything emotionally in shades of black and white – no gray. My goal is to get them to the gray! I love assigning colors to characters because I think of them in shades of colors. It’s hard sometimes to explain how my brain works, but the black and white instance is the easiest way for me to get you to understand how I envision people/characters.

This is all after 2 days. I’m hoping ( wishing?praying?) to have it done this weekend. I’ve already written two chapters, but I feel as if now I’ll know my characters much better when I write the rest.

So, if you’re a writer, do you storyboard? Write out everything in longhand? Fly by the seat of your pants? What? let’s discuss……

New release 3 WISHES (A Candy Hearts Romance)perf5.000x8.000.indd

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her 30th birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Get it here: Amazon //  The Wild Rose Press // Nook//  Kobo //

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

 

 

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Final Week of CandyHearts releases…

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It’s the final week of the Wild Rose Press Candy Hearts Romance series. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to authors Barbara Burke, Nancy Fraser,  Doreen Alsen, and, well, me,  and our releases today NOT2NIGHT,  ONLY YOURS, OohLaLa, and 3 WISHES. And remember to enter the Wild Rose Press RAFFLECOPTER at the end of this blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire.

NOT2NIGHT by Barbara Burke

Blurb:

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When ARP warden Molly sees a light shining through the darkness of London on a cold winter’s night in the middle of the blitz she’s infuriated with the careless American who struck it. Doesn’t he know there’s a war on?

Guy’s just trying to find his way through a maze of unlit streets. He’s very sorry and Molly reluctantly forgives him. When he accompanies her on her nightly rounds the two learn about each other, themselves and whether it’s really possible to fall in love in only one night – especially when there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.

Excerpt:

They stood silently. Slowly her hand came out of her pocket to rest on the top of his arm. The other one reached up to gently touch his cheek. He could see the glint of her eyes, those impossible brown eyes, as she gazed up at him gravely.

“Are you going to kiss me?” Her cool British voice gave him no inclination of how she felt.

“Is that what you want?” Guy wasn’t sure what he would do if the answer was no.

She didn’t reply, and he took that for her answer. Quickly he undid the clasp on her helmet and pulled it away, letting it drop to the ground without a thought. Free of its weight, she tilted her face up, her lips dark and full in the black night, and settled more deeply into his grasp.

It was invitation enough.

He bent his head toward her.

Her lips were soft and cold. Willing, but tentative. Her arms circled his neck, and he pulled her to him more tightly, body to body despite the thick winter clothing they both wore.

The night suddenly got a lot warmer.

The kiss didn’t last long. It was too sweet to be sustained, and they were too new to the sensation to change it into something more. As soon as Guy sensed Molly withdrawing, he broke it off.

But he didn’t release her. And she made no move to pull away.

“Was that a mistake?” he asked.

“No.” Molly sounded quite sure, and Guy’s heart soared. But then she continued, “However, repeating it might be.”

Buy Links   Amazon    The Wild Rose Press

About Barbara

Barbara Burke

Barbara Burke’s peripatetic life means she’s lived everywhere from a suburban house in a small town to a funky apartment in a big city, and from an architecturally designed estate deep in the forest to a cedar shack on the edge of the ocean. Everywhere she’s gone she’s been accompanied by her husband, her animals and her books. For the last fifteen years she’s worked as a freelance journalist and has won several awards. She was a fan of Jane Austen long before that lady was discovered by revisionists and zombie lovers and thinks Georgette Heyer was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. She lives by the philosophy that one should never turn down the opportunity to get on a plane no matter where it’s going, but deep down inside wishes she could travel everywhere by train.

 

Find Barbara here: Facebook

ONLY YOURS by Nancy Fraser

Blurb:perf5.000x8.000.indd

Everyone expects Rebecca Winston to marry her high school/college sweetheart, Garrett Langley. The problem is, the flame’s gone out on their romance. They’re still best of friends, but only friends. When Garrett’s father has a heart attack, his older brother Wyatt (an L.A. attorney) returns home for the first time in years. The attraction between Rebecca and Wyatt is immediate.

Can Rebecca expect her family and, especially, Garrett to understand that her desires have changed and turned toward Wyatt?

Can Wyatt get past the feeling that he’s poaching his younger brother’s girl?

Excerpt:

Wyatt pressed down on the accelerator, pushing the sports car a little harder, skirting the legal speed limit for the boulevard leading to her parents’ home. The purr of the finely tuned engine echoed through the tight confines of the car, setting her pulse on a complementary rhythm. Soft jazz played in the background, its melodic tones sinking into her senses, ratcheting up her heartrate yet another notch.

Before she realized it, he’d pulled the car to stop in her parents’ driveway.

“Home sweet home,” he said. “Or, at least I assume you still live with your parents. I guess I should have asked.”

She bit back an outright laugh in favor of a more ladylike chuckle. “Yes, I do still live at home. According to my mother, it’s the proper thing to do.”

Wyatt hopped out and came around the back of the car to open her door. Her mother would have been proud of how she’d waited for his assistance. Usually, she opened her own door before Garrett could get there.

“Would you like to come in and say hello?”

“I’d better not. I’ve been given an order to relay to the cook. I wouldn’t want Christina to have to wait for her supper.” He took hold of her elbow, as he had in the hospital. “I’ll see you to the door.”

Another round of sparks shot up her arm. She pulled away and took two steps forward. “It’s not necessary.”

He caught hold of her wrist and turned her to face him. His dark gaze flared. “Thank you for coming to see Pops. He obviously adores you.”

“It was my pleasure.”

She was about to pull from his grasp when he tightened his grip, stopping her in her tracks. “My brother’s a lucky man.”

Her cheeks flooded with warmth. “Thank you.” He smiled and her heart did a little flip inside her chest.

His deep voice softened to a mere whisper. He released her wrist. “You’re welcome, Re…becc…a.”

She swallowed, smiled and dashed to the porch. By the time she turned back toward the drive, Wyatt had already climbed into the car and cranked the engine. The way he’d said her name, drawn out and distinct, had reminded her of a cat unfurling its lazy body in front of a raging fire.

And her with no extinguisher in sight.

Buy Links   Amazon    Wild Rose Press

About Nancy:

nancy

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in 2016. She is currently working on her next Rock and Roll novella and two new erotic romance novellas.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Find Nancy here: Website // Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Amazon

Ooh La La by Doreen Alsen

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Aspiring choreographer and dance teacher, Simon West is walking along the hall in the college where he teaches when he gets knocked over by klutzy, two left feet, accounting professor Veronica Cooke. Simon wants to get to know the beautiful woman who ran him down, but how will she react when she finds out his alter-ego is a super sexy cowboy at an upscale exotic dancing male revue and that he makes ends meet by taking off his clothes?

Excerpt:

Her eyes were a dreamy shade of blue, the greenish blue of a calm sea. Her nose was small and straight in the middle of an oval face. Pretty. Very pretty.

“Yes,” she said. “I came to apologize for running you over. Unfortunately I’m Queen of the Klutzes.”

“Okay.” He held out a hand for her to shake.

“Simon West. How did you know where to find me?”

She smiled and nodded at the Barrett University Dance T-shirt he wore. “I went to the Dance Department office and asked. I’m Veronica Cooke. I hope I didn’t hurt you.”

“You didn’t. Hurt me, that is.” Since when did he babble? Since now, he guessed. He had a hard time thinking around her. He wanted to reach out and touch her cheek to see if her skin was as soft and smooth as it looked.

“Well, good. You’re a wonderful dancer. I wish I had that talent.” She glanced at her watch. “I’ve got to get to my office hours. It was nice to meet you.” She turned to leave.

He didn’t want her to. He found he very much wanted her to stay. Here. With him. “Um, do you have time to get coffee later?” He wasn’t dancing at Hardbody that night.

“I might. When?”

“Around four?”

“Four sounds great. Where?”

“Sammy’s?”

“Okay. I’ll see you then.” She gave him one last smile and left.

He indulged himself and watched her trundle down the hall. “I think I need to get to know you better, Veronica Cooke.”

Buy Links  Amazon    WIld Rose Press

About Doreen:

doreen

Doreen has wanted to be a writer her whole life but took a detour into being an opera singer and choral conductor. She realized that maybe she should spend more time writing when creating the back stories was more fun than actually singing them. Plus her romance lovin’ heart couldn’t take all the dead bodies littering the stage at the end of the performance. She is still an active conductor and is regularly found waving her arms around in front of singers.

Find Doreen here: Website

 

 

3 WISHES by Peggy Jaeger ( that’s me!!)

perf5.000x8.000.inddBlurb:

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Excerpt    

At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

Buy Links:  Amazon   Wild Rose Press

About Peggy:

booksigngirl

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1, 2 and 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

FInd Peggy here: website // twitter // facebook //goodreads // pinterest

Enter the Wild Rose Press RAFFLECOPTE for a chance to win a Kindle fire. Clink on the http://link

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The Art of BALANCE

Can you juggle? I don’t mean balls or plates or brightly colored juggling clubs. Can you juggle your writing life, your personal life, your career/job life and your life in general and not drop the balls – literally – at every turn?

If you answered yes, please know I hate you. (Not really!)

If you answered no, please know you and I are simpatico; twins separated at birth.

After the New Year I was asked to come back to the job I retired from last summer to help out in a “crisis situation.” My first thought and reaction was that knee-jerk NO I’ve been trying to get away from this year and that I mentioned in a previous blog.

The crisis at work was real, and I knew the staff I loved like they were my own children were suffering, so I agreed to go back on a per diem basis with an expiration date stamped on my forehead and the ability to do some of the work from my home desktop.

To say they were ecstatic isn’t even close to their gratification. But I digress…

For the past few months I’ve been learning how to balance my life with the added plus of being able to write to my heart’s content all day. No longer have I had to plan my writing around family time, chore time, or work-outside-the-house time. I’ve been pretty successful at the balance. Food gets cooked, clothes are clean and put away in a timely fashion, and the house looks presentable. Plus, I’ve written two more books and edited three. Nice.

But I’ve been back to work for 2 weeks and that balance is starting to shift again to where it was before I retired. The house looks like it belongs in tornado-alley, I have several piles of laundry just waiting to get done, and last night we had leftovers for dinner – and I loathe leftovers!

My writing has suffered, too. I haven’t been able to do marathon sessions anymore, something I love because I hate to stop when the flow gets, well, flowing. I have two releases coming out in the next two months and the publicity and marketing stuff for those are taking up a huge chunk of my free time, so the time to create new stuff is getting overtaken.

One thing I am grateful for is the Candy Hearts releases this past month, because I got most of those blogs ready in December before the proverbial s**t hit the fan, so I can just upload them on the days they are scheduled for and not worry about a blog piece…like this one.

Last year was a lifetime away for me, so I’m at my wit’s end to try and figure out this life juggle balance act. I would greatly – IMMENSELY! – appreciate any and all tips on how to do this balance dance from those of you who have more to juggle than I do – like children still at home, and full time jobs  (not the per diem I have).

So, let’s discuss…..what works for you, what helps you balance writing with your life, and, sometimes more importantly, what doesn’t?

 

Coming 2/8/16  3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance)

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 Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

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Reviews – a Necessary Evil?

I’ve talked many times about how important reviews of your writing work have become to the present day author. The old sayings a review can make or break you and you are only as good as your next book seem to still be true. I heard a few days ago that Amazon uploads approximately 100,000 new books/novels/novellas/short stories per day, and even if that is remotely true, your ability to get your work “seen” by people who will buy it is crucial. And several excellent reviews can help you attain that goal.

But what about that bad review? A whole sea of 4’s and 5’s, with excellent comments and praise is sitting alongside that 3 –or even worse – 2 star evaluation. What happens then? Do people even consider it, since all the other reviews are glowing? Does a potential reader’s eyes glaze over it, not recognizing it? These are valid questions, but the one that always leaps to my mind is Why, if they didn’t like the book and had nothing – nothing – good to say about it, did they even bother to write a review?

I grew up in a time (in a galaxy far, far away it appears!) where I was taught “If you can’t say something nice or positive, keep your mouth closed.” It’s a practice I struggle with daily, but somehow manage to achieve. Most other people? Not so much.

You see rude comments everywhere these days: television commentators, political analysts, tweets, Facebook comments, music. Even reality tv shows that get the highest ratings are all about how the “housewives” or other cast members bash one another verbally. What the heck has happened to considering the other person’s feelings? When did treat others as you would wish to be treated fly out the window to fall to its civil death?

The internet has made anonymity and the ability to say any old mean thing that pops into your head a normal occurrence. There are no repercussions for rude comments; no responsibility for hurtful and just plain mean words; and no thoughts that you may damaging another person’s reputation – personally AND professionally.

Is it because the person writing and posting the poor reviews or comments feels powerful? Or are they so narcissistic they need to see their name plastered across the internet whether their comment is vile or not? And again, if you truly did not like the book, why waste your time reviewing it? Move on to another book you can like and say good things about. I have started and/or read hundreds – HUNDREDS – of books that I simply did not care for. Some I tossed down after the first few pages, forgotten, while I picked up another. Some I’ve slushed through only to find I shouldn’t have wasted my time. Those books never got a review or rating from me because (a) it would have been a waste of time for me to do, (b) even though I didn’t like it, someone must have because it made it to print, and ( c) as an author I know negative words can hurt, maim, depress, and cause physical pain and I would never want to be the cause of someone else’s feeling of grief or agony.

Am I the only one who feels this way? I’d love to hear from other writers – and even reviewers – about this. Do you post a negative review? If so, why? From authors, have negative reviews hurt you professionally?

And most importantly – how do you recover from, or steel yourself against – those horrible reviews.

Let’s discuss……

Coming 2/8/16 but avialable for PREORDER NOW:: 3 WISHES ( A Candy Hearts Romance) 

 Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Buy Links for 3 WISHES : On Amazon     From The Wild Rose Press

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