Tag Archives: #amwriting #amblogging #amlearning

5 things I could not live without…

We’ve all played the game if you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you have to have with you in order to survive?

The routine answers are fresh water, toilet paper, shelter.

I think if you ask millenials, they’d say their iPhones and electronic devices before anything else.

But, assuming you have the things you need ( water, shelter, etc). what would be the 5 things other than the necessities you could not live without?

For me, the answers are easy.

#1 Diet Mountain Dew.  I’d need to have my daily fix

#2 My skin care products. I’m not going anywhere without my RetinA, sun block, body moisturizers, and eye cremes

#3 unlimited paper and pens. I can’t be stranded without something to write the tale of my deserted island experience about on.

#4 Flashlights with long lasting batteries. I don’t like the dark. Or things that crawl and creep in the dark, like on a deserted island.

#5 My kindle, loaded with 5000 books. Hey, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be bored, so books are the best friends that you can take anywhere!

What are the 5 things you couldn’t live without??

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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Another jam-filled day at #RWA2019 #RWA19 for this little #romancewriter

So, yesterday was another info-fun packed day. It started with a workshop on marketing strategies for a 12 month period that blew me away!!! If I can do one fourth the things the instructors suggested, I should see a real uptick in sales for 2019!

My mouth to God’s ears, peeps!

I was thrilled to be part of the INDIE BOOKSIGNING next. I brought print copies of DIRTY DAMSELS with me and I am delighted to report they all went!!!

The last Golden Hearts Awards luncheon came next and I am thrilled and overthemoon-delighted to say a dear writer-friend BETSY GRAY won for her unpublished manuscript LOVE ON THE BOOKS. I clapped and cheered so hard, my mascara started running and I had to go back to my room to fix my face!

 

 

After that emotional time I was off to to the INDUSTRY MARKETPLACE where I hung out with my publisher of the WILD ROSE PRESS, Rhonda Penders. She was giving away tons of swag and books and one of the prizes was my Deerbourne Inn Novella, HOPE’S DREAM, in POD form!!! Since it’s exclusively a digital book, it was fabulous to see it in print.

 

 

Another few classes on how to make INSTAGRAM work effectively for you and then dinner at the KENSINGTON BOOK PARTY!

These were our door prizes this year and I have to tell you I lovelovelove them!! I’ll be signing this award winning book ( Can’t Stand the Heat) at the Kensington book signing on 7.26.19 so come and see me to grab your copy!

… I was just about pooped after all of that, so I had a hot date with my comfy pillow~

Until next time ~ Peg

 

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More vacation, plus a little work.

Known as the subway in America, we took the Tube or the UNDERGROUND many places in London. Unlike American subways, though, the English tube system is clean, on time, economical and fast. I felt safe every where we traveled underground, something I never feel in American trains.

One day we found ourselves in Kensington Palace. Made famous as the place where Princess Diana chose to live after her divorce, the palace in an actual apartment complex ( for Royalty!) but we were able to tour around certain parts of the building and get a feel for what it felt like when Kings and Queens resided there. There is a Diana exhibit on the ground floor, so of course, we all had to see it.

We took a bus ride around the city on one of the several beautiful days we had and I was struck with all the beautiful flower arrangements around the city streets.

Dinner one night was in 22B Baker street, home of none other than SHERLOCK HOLMES

On our last day we toured St. Pauls’ Cathedral, as famous for Diana and Charles’ wedding as it is for all the famous people buried there, one especially who is near and dear to me: FLORENCE NIGHTENGALE

And, of course, as happenstance would have it, I had a book release while we were vacationing. More about that tomorrow.

Until Next time ~ Peg

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A little #sneakpeek at DIRTY DAMSELS

I’ve got a new book release going livelivelive on July 2 – just in time for Summer Beach Reading season. While my cover is being finalized by the talented graphic artists at Limitless Publications  I’ve been doing a little graphic work of my own and have made some Book “Teasers” to share to get people interested in the book. Remember that Influencer post from yesterday, peeps? Hee hee

Here are some of the graphics I designed:

I’m kinda proud of myself, you know? I deal in words, not pictures, so for me to make these was hard work and made me use creative muscles I’m not used to using.

Once the cover is set in stone, I’ll share that, along with preorder links. Just know for now the Publication date is 7.2.19 and the pre-order date will probably be about a week earlier.

I’ll keep in touch, never fear!

~Until next time…. ~Peg

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#LongandShortReviews #Wednesdaybloggingchallenge 6.5.19

Today’s topic is BOOKS THAT NEED A SEQUEL and…..I’m lost.

I have a feeling I know the books  most people think need sequels, but I’m not so sure.

The Catcher in the Rye – I’ll be honest – I hate this book. But…I can see people wanting to know what happens to Holden when he ( finally) grows up.

Gone Girl. Want to know if she had the baby? If she was ever sent to prison?

The Handmaid’s Tale. The HULU show makes you believe the story continued after the end of the book. But Atwood hasn’t written a sequel yet and I’m not sure the way the TV show depicts what happens in Gilead is what she’d like to happen.

To Kill A Mockingbird. Want to know if the town changes it’s opinion of Boo based on how he’s treated by Scout and Addicus? Or if the racist attitudes of the town folk change with time and wisdom?

Charlotte’s Web. Want to know what happens to Wilbur and the gang after Charlotte’s “babies” appear?

In all honesty, most books that are standalones are standalones for a reason ( in my humble opinion). I’ve gotten closure on them. We all saw how miserably a sequel fail, esp. if not written by the original author. Anyone remember SCARLET, the supposed sequel to Gone With The Wind? Yeah, I don’t either.

Just sayin’..

Let’s see what books the other authors in this challenge think need sequels: L&SR

Until next time ~Peg

 

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#L&SR #wednesdaybloggingchallenge I don’t JUST write, you know!

This week’s topic is Your Favorite Hobby and why.

Folks, this one wrote itself.

I was a kid in the 1960’s ( I know: I’m ollllllllllld!) and one of the fun-est things to do on craft day at school was decoupage.

Decoupage  (noun) the art or craft of decorating objects with paper cut-outs.

As a kid it was sososososo much fun acquiring and stocking up newspapers, magazines, comic books, even old catalogs, and cutting out pictures, items, images that I loved just so I could them glue them to things like shoe boxes, jewelry boxes, pictures frames, and give them as gifts. I was between the ages of 5 and 10, so in those days, these were the extent of my gift-giving persona.

Nowadays, I do better.

Nowadays, I decoupage old steamer trunks that I find at rummage sales, and in second hand stores.

I’ve decoupaged 5 trunks over the past 3 years and have 2  more waiting for me to find some free time. When they are complete, I give them away as gifts to people around me who ask. My daughter has 2, my BFF has one, and I’ve got the other 2. This one is sitting in my office behind the couch I use to take naps in when the words aren’t flowing as fast as I want them to.

You can see a cut out of my first book SKATER’S WALTZ on the top of this one! The book just celebrated it’s 4th book birthday on Monday and is on sale until 3.15 for just 99cents an ecopy. ( hee hee, shameless plug, sorry. Had to!)

This is the entire top of the picture above it and if you have really good eyes, you can see a cut out of my second book THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. I’ll give you a hint – it’s to the right ( your right as you’re looking at this) of Judy Garland.

Anyway, self promo over.

A trunk usually takes me anywhere from 1-2 months to complete, depending on the amount of damage the trunk has when I acquire it. The longest I’ve ever taken is 4 months because I had a trunk with an internal removable shelf. Both the inside of the trunk and the shelf had to be repaired, then papered, then decoupaged. I did the internals first, then proceeded to the outside.

That trunk is my favorite to date and holds sososososo much stuff I can’t stand it!

So. That’s my hobby. What about you?
Let’s see what the other authors in this blog hop do when they’re not writing away: L&SRBlogChallenge

And as always, look for me here when I’m not decoupaging, writing, or doing the other 7689 things I need to do daily:

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

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

and the link to my recent interview on NewHampshirePublicRadio

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A chat with my #WildRosePress sistah, Jennifer Wilck

 

It’s always a good day when I have one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs visiting me. Today, Jennifer Wilck drops by and I finally got her to answer my author interview questions. Hee hee!! She did a great job, too! And Jenn’s got a new WRP book out titled LEARNING TO LOVE that she’s giving us a little taste of after the interview, so stick around!

Jennifer Wilck, The Author 

What drives you to write? The voices in my head. No, I’m not crazy, but characters pop into my brain demanding their story be told. Plus, I like taking control of something and making things work out exactly as I’d like.

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance because I like setting things in the current time and world, and then improving upon reality.

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I love reading historical romance because I’m fascinated by history and what life was like hundreds of years ago.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? Schedule. Ha! That’s funny. I try to write every day, and in a perfect world, I do. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect, so it doesn’t always happen. But when all the stars align and everyone cooperates, I typically get business-stuff done in the morning (blogs, marketing, etc.) and then write until my daughter comes home from school in the afternoon. At that point, if she doesn’t need me for anything, I’ll do some more writing or editing until it’s time to get ready for dinner. 

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I’m kind of a nomad, actually. With my laptop, I can go anywhere, so while I start at the dining room table while I eat breakfast, I move to the couch or onto the deck in the nice weather, or sometimes my desk. As long as I have a window I can look out of to see the trees and flowers, I’m happy.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision? I prefer quiet, so I don’t listen to music or have the TV on in the background. I can filter out background noise if I’m sitting in Starbucks or Panera, though. Actually, sometimes writing there is really good because it forces me to concentrate on what I’m doing and not on what’s going on around me.

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is a four-part series about men who are philanthropists and the women who challenge them. It’s a damaged-hero trope and I love working on it. The idea came to me while my oldest daughter and I were away on college visits in Boston. I’m not sure what happened, but we were sitting in our hotel room while she completed some homework, so I took out my laptop and started to write. Five thousand words later and she said she was hungry for dinner.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually my characters come first. They’ll start talking to me in the middle of a scene and I’ll have to flesh it out. Once I see that it can work—it doesn’t always—then I’ll figure out the character’s backstory and motivation and create a story around it.

What 3 words describe you, the writer? OMG, you’re limiting me to three??? Pantser, emotional, quick.

Jennifer, The Gal 

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I always look at the dessert menu first when going out to dinner so I can plan whether or not I want to leave room.

Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Teddy and I was in elementary school.

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say one of the vacation days with my husband and two girls. We always have a great time together.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? All three?

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I guess concealer. That way everyone would see how tired I actually am and maybe come up with a solution?

What three words describe you, the person? Friendly, snarky, caring

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Well that would never happen because I can’t sing. J But if I had to pick, maybe “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. Or a girl-power song.

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Dumbledore. This world needs fixing and I’m starting to think he’s our only hope. Plus, you know, magic.

Peggy here – I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

  1. Favorite sound—my daughters’ laughter
  2. Least favorite sound—whining
  3. Best song every written—that’s way too hard! I love Christina Perri’s Thousand Years, though
  4. Worst song ever written—um, some of the rap songs my daughters’ listen to
  5. Favorite actor and actress—George Clooney and Catriona Balfe
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)—Christiane Amanpour. I think she is fascinating and I’d love to experience her life for a day.
  7. What turns you on?—humor and intelligence
  8. What turns you off?—ignorance and bigotry
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)—Is that what you’re wearing?
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?—spending time with my family without conflict, just enjoying each other’s company and doing something together.

And here, as promised, a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from LEARNING TO LOVE

Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the-charts intelligence, frizzy hair and rounder-than-socially-acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return.

Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father’s law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion.

When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can’t possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?

Excerpt

What the hell just happened? She wanted to be friends.
The only kind of “friend” he wanted to be with her had “boy” attached to it. No, that wasn’t true. He enjoyed her friendship because he loved talking to her, hearing her opinions, sharing himself with her.

But he was becoming more attracted to her. So far, they’d only kissed, but that one kiss, that unbelievable kiss, haunted him. His lips still burned where they’d touched hers, his insides still turned to jelly when he thought about it. In fact, he’d been hoping there would have been more kissing in her apartment once he’d apologized for his gaffe.

But she’d focused on their arrangement and her overreaction, and here he was pulling away from the curb into rush hour traffic.

She thought he was dating her only to impress his father. If he were one hundred percent honest with himself, he’d acknowledge the partial truth in that statement. But the more time he spent time with her, when he wasn’t royally screwing things up with her, the more he wanted to move beyond their arrangement.

His head was another matter. It was still focused on not making a fool of himself, on maintaining the right reputation, on spinning the right message.

But listening to his head was probably what had gotten him into this mess in the first place. As unbelievable as it might sound, it was time to follow his heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon // Apple // B&N 

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT JENNIFER

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Connect with Jennifer here:

website // facebook //FacebookReader Group // Newsletter // Twitter // Instagram // Book Bub

 

 

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What do you click on? #MFRWauthor week 43

The prompt for this week’s blog is MY FAVORITE APP.

Until about 4 years ago I didn’t even know what an app was. I thought it was an abbreviation all the cool kids were using for appetizer or appointment. No lie!

Now I know what it means ( I think!) so I really am in with the cool kids. I will admit I had to email my daughter before writing this blog just to make sure I was getting the APP definition correct.

Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m tech-NO-savvy.

If you’ve ever read my blog posts – not just the MFRWAuthor ones on Fridays – you know I typically sign off with a cutsie saying and then this:

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

I feel like I need a self-help group when I say that.
Me: Hi. My name is Peggy and I’m a Pinner. 
The group: Hi Peggy!
Hee hee.
Truly though, there is nothing more fun for me to do when I want to waste ( not a good word choice, peeps) an hour trolling through all kinds of celebrity pix, holiday themed gifts, DYI stuff, even book recommendations.  Recently, I took my mother to the hospital to have her first cataract surgery and I brought my iPad with me because I knew I had a couple of hours of waiting ahead of me. The entire time she was in pre-op holding, through the surgery, and until her ophthalmologist came and brought me to her room, I was pinning.
Here’s a secret – and I’m totally outing myself here: while I was writing this blog piece, I was scrolling through Pinterest boards looking for cute apron sayings for an upcoming book about a an InnKeeper. This is the board I was saving everything to: Maureen’s Aprons.
Maybe I really do need a support group: P.A. (Pinners Anonymous)
Hee hee
Let’s see what favorite apps the other bloggers in the group like best: MFRWauthor
And at the chance of being redundant: When I’m not pinning you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me
Hee. Hee.

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Where do I Begin? #MFRWauthorBlogChallenge Week 42

So, last week we discussed when to end the book. This week it’s how to begin it. Or more importantly, where to begin it.

I’ve heard from several traditionally published authors that most editors despise a prologue. They find them wordy, too backstory-laden, and don’t do much to push the story forward or get readers engaged.  They think most prologues are too much tell and not enough show. The editors feel  writers should be able to weave all the story details they want to tell before they tell the actual story, into the actual story and not weigh down the beginning with details that could be divulged elsewhere.

There’s something wise about this, I think.

But….

The very first book I had published, SKATER’S WALTZ, had a three page prologue that showed my heroine winning her first Olympic gold medal. I felt it set up her emotional makeup and allowed the readers to know a bit about why she was the way she was when the book opened in chapter one.

 

My editor ( whom I lovelovelove with all my heart) didn’t agree. For all the reasons I gave above she felt we should nix the prologue and start the story in chapter one. Since this was going to be my first time being published I bowed to her wisdom, bit my lip, and agreed to trash the first 3 pages.

Did I regret it? At the time, yeah. Do I now? No, because she was right. The book started where it needed to start. And I was able to incorporate those winning moments into the story without any problem. Where I placed them actually made sense for the scene, too, so yay for that!

Fifteen books later and I still struggle with wanting to put in a prologue for some on my novels. It still feels right to me and I get all angsty about giving too much info away at the beginning and knowing when to pull back. Or thinking the reader simply needs to know these details now so they’ll understand where the story is going. I think I’d be a better writer if I remembered to simply tell my story the way it should be told – with the reader learning everything she needs to know as she is reading the book and not beforehand. Foreshadowing is a good literary tool when used effectively within the story. But too much is, simply, annoying.

Many famous and well-selling authors use prologues all the time and their readers don’t seem to mind. I certainly don’t. I like a good prologue because to me it sets the story up, let’s me know that something good ( or evil) is coming, and gives me a sense that the past events that happened to these characters is going to mold their story.

I’ll be honest and tell you I haven’t published a book with a prologue yet. Have I written them? You betcha. Published? No.

Maybe one day…..

Let’s see what some of the other authors in the blog hop think about prologues. MFRWAuthorBlogChallenge.

And, when I’m not struggling over whether to include prologues or not in my stories, you can find me 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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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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