Tag Archives: #amwriting #amblogging

Highway Cafe April Blog Tour

I just love a blog tour and hop!

The arrival of April signals–in my neck of the woods–the arrival of Spring. Or as we natives call it, black fly season. You know: those pesky, annoying, pain-in-the-a** noseeums that swarm around your face, ears, eyes and cleavage?

God, I hate those bugs. I really do. Since I live in the woods I typically get inundated from the very first beautiful dry day we have to signify Spring, right up until Memorial day rolls around. Having an outside barbeque becomes aggravating, not to mention dangerous from everyone running into one another armed with cutlery to try and escape the odious little buggers. Gardening is a nightmare unless you are swathed from head to toe like an uber-mummy or rabid beekeeper. Trying to get in a little exercise walk outside becomes an occupation just to make sure you are doused in every bug repellant known to man– and those little PIA’s still swarm!

Every year I hope, pray, and offer up sacrifices to the Gods that this year–this year–we will be spared the invasion. And every year…we aren’t.

I don’t anticipate this year will be any different. Le sigh.

Oh well. At least I can stay inside and read a good book. And speaking of a good book ( shameless plug coming) this is my latest from Kensington/Lyrical. COOKING WITH KANDY

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Buy Links:  amazon

And…since this is blog tour that means GIVEAWAYS and prizes. I’ll be giving one luck winner an e-copy to COOKING WITH KANDY at the end of the tour. Click here for the link to visit other author blogs and to qualify for prizes and giveaways! And good luck! BLOG TOUR 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Musing on #Siblings

A few days ago, according to my oracle source, Facebook, it was National Siblings day, a day I have never celebrated and will never have the opportunity to.

I am an only child. My parents divorced when I was a little kid, each remarried quickly thereafter, and still I have no siblings, either step, or real. An only child between 4 “parents” and 8 grandparents shouldn’t necessarily be something any child would complain about. After all, you’re it. The only birthday that gets celebrated is yours; you get all the Christmas gifts; you never have to share toys, clothes, food, friends, a room. You never wear hand me downs, and all the school pictures displayed in the house on the walls are of you.

But….

Being an only child also comes with a lot of negative emotions. I never really felt connected to anyone in my family because there was no one around my age to contend or commune with. I was raised with grownups. Parents, grandparents, aunts and very old great-aunts and uncles. I was always the youngest human being in the room. Always. And I was raised in a time where children lived that proverbial seen but not heard edict so common during the era. If I had a problem, I had two choices: take it to a grown up or solve it myself. Since many of the problems I had encountered bullying in school and dealing with my alcoholic relatives, I really couldn’t take it to the adults in my family. Back then, you were taught not to confide in anyone but family, so taking a family problem to a teacher was like committing an act of homicide in my family! There were no safe havens for troubled kids with questions, and the Priests and Nuns in my church were mean with a capital MEAN!!

Being an only child wasn’t a picnic as a kid and as I get older, it only gets worse because as I age, so do my parents. I have four people who I am responsible for as they age, get infirm, and need to have decisions made for them. Decisions I have no one else to bounce off. A sibling would be a lifeline during hard decision-making times. AM I making the right choice? What do you think they would want? What’s easiest for them? All questions you can ask a sibling when dealing with your parents.  I have no one to ask those questions. NO one to help me make the correct decisions. No one to tell me what I’ve done is right, or wrong, or horrible.

Please, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining and feeling burdened by this. I’m not. I’m simply stating that if I had a sibling, making these decisions would be easier.

So. A little advice to those of you who are and have siblings.

  1. Cherish them. You may fight like wild animals and hate one another at times, but there is truly no one you are closer to than a sibling.
  2. Support them. There have been so many times in my life I needed someone I could go to in order to talk things through to decide if I was doing the right thing. Having a sibling trust your opinion and offer support is a gift from God.
  3. Have fun with them. My husband’s brothers and sisters are all in their 50’s and they still laugh, giggle, and enjoy one another’s company whenever they are together. Their shared history, the similar references they use, the memories, all make them happy to be around one another. Spend time with your siblings.
  4. Love their children. When you – God forbid- die, you’ll want people around your children supporting them, loving them, helping them to remember you. I don’t have that. There’s no one my daughter can turn to when I go who knew me when. Who can tell her what it was like when I was a kid, or what I was like.  Luckily, she has that with my husband and his family.

I didn’t write this to be morose, or give you a woe-is-me view of my life. I simply want people to understand that being an only child isn’t a bed of rosebuds and that having a sibling connection is one of the greatest gifts anyone can have.

If I was going to get a little Psych 101 here, I would tell you that the reason I write so much about large, loving families is because I always dreamed about being in one…yeah…pretty psych 101 profile, indeed.

Find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

My new series is about sisters – the 7 Laine Sisters in the Will Cook For Love books. Book 1, COOKING WITH KANDY is available here: kindle // Apple // Google //  Kobo //Nook

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Friends, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

On #Libraries, #Librarians, feelings of connection, and #books

Apparently, it’s National Library Week. This is one celebration I can get behind and actually enjoy. Enjoy writing about; enjoy celebrating.

I’ve mentioned many times before in this blog that I — for all intents and purposes — grew up in my local library. I was what was called ( during my youth) a latchkey kid, meaning, after school, I was on my own, home alone, because both the adults in my life had full-time jobs that didn’t let out until 5 or 6 each night. School let out at 3, so that meant five afternoons a week I needed a babysitter until I got old enough to be left on my own for a few hours, which in my case was at the age of 7.

I’m remembering what my daughter was like at 7 and am horrified that my mother believed it was an appropriate age for independent responsibility, but that’s another blog topic entirely.

Anyway….

Every day after school I would be dismissed after the bell and then trek to my local library to stay until it was time to get on home.

I loved the library.

I loved the safety of it.

I  loved all the books.

I loved loved loved the Librarians.

I loved the quiet.

Like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, all I wanted to do was read. I wanted to be transported to other places, live lives that weren’t my own;  be loved and cherished like a princess and rule a kingdom with wisdom and grace. I could be anything I wanted to be and I could explore everything. It was in the library that I discovered my imagination and my joy of storytelling.

Once I was through the library doors each afternoon, after a 15 block walk along city streets from my school, I’d let out a sigh, safe in the knowledge that nothing bad could happen to me here. I was secure now, protected. Bad people didn’t come into the library, only good ones. People who wanted to be educated,  and who wanted to escape from their everyday, boring lives and live richer, happier, more exciting ones. The library wasn’t the place where the bullies who tormented me in school “hung out.” I was free from the cruel insults, tormenting taunts, and physical violence that had become my daily life at school.

The Librarians all knew me by name and were my first, actual, REAL teachers. I learned facts in school. The Librarians taught me about life. They’d recommend books for me to read and once I was through the kids’ section selection, they moved me onto what would now be called YA ( young adult) novels. I may have been 8 or 9 years old, but I was reading about the lives of pre-teens and teenagers, living in their shoes as they drifted through life, and getting a feel for what was to come my way once I was their age.

The Librarians talked to me about books, asked me my opinion on ones I’d read. They actually valued my thoughts. They showed me the strength there is in knowledge and the beauty there is in imagination. They fostered in me that desire to tell a tale, tell it well, and change a reader’s life. They taught me how to be entertained, and in so doing, how to entertain. They taught me how to gather knowledge, the beauty there is in research, and how to prioritize. To this day, my home library follows a basic Dewey Decimal system. To some, that may be a bit extreme. But to me, it is a real tribute to the librarians who helped form my mind and fed my soul.

In the library, we spoke in hushed tones and whispers. We used the original inside voices. In my house, the voices were more often raised than hushed, loud than peaceful, tormented than quiet.

In the library, I found myself…as a girl, a person, a student, and, ultimately, as a writer.

Every day I thank God for the women and men who worked and still work in local libraries. They are unsung heroes to countless children and adults. Where some may think that the previous statement is a tad theatrical, it isn’t to me. The Librarians I knew as a child were my heroes. They kept me safe, loved and cared about me, and opened a world for me I never knew existed.

Heroes, every last one of them.

So, help me celebrate National Library Week. Support your local libraries by donating old, in-good-condition books, attend book sales and fund drives and become a Friend of the Library.  Encourage your children and grandchildren to get Library cards and to use them! Often and with enthusiasm.

Finding your local library is just a Google search away!

 

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Literary characters, New Hampshire, research, Strong Women

Why I need to see my characters before I write them

I love a good vision board – especially for one of my own books. Since my writing tends to fall out of a visual tendency, I make vision -or story- boards for each of my books. Knowing what the characters actually look like while I am writing about them helps me “see” the story as it unfolds from their eyes and viewpoints. For instance, here’s the board I worked with for my October 2017 release, A SHOT AT LOVE:

You can see how I envisioned Gemma Laine and Ky Pappandreos, plus how I categorized aspects of their lives, such as photography info for Gemma and law enforcement stuff for Ky.  I sent their pictures to Lyrical when I was asked how I “SAW” my hero and heroine looking. I think they did a great job with portraying my vision on the cover:

This is my working vision board for the third book in the series, tentatively titled CAN’T STAND THE HEAT”

This book has  few more integral characters, but the H/H look like Grace Kelly ( Stacy Peters) and Pierce Brosnan ( Nikko Stamp)

I’m currently working on 2 more books in this series. and the first one, (working title: IT STARTED WITH HIS KISS) looks like this:

You can see I don’t have too much filled in yet, but I will….no worries.

More about vision boards and how they help writers in tomorrow’s edition of PEGGYJAEGER.COM

In the meantime, did you know that COOKING WITH KANDY, book 1 in the WILL COOK FOR LOVE SERIES releases next week on April 4?? Here’s a little sumthin’ to whet your romance-reading appetites.

Sugar and spice and everything sexy make the perfect recipe for romance in this brand-new series by Peggy Jaeger. Look for exclusive recipes in each book!

Kandy Laine built her wildly popular food empire the old-fashioned way—starting with the basic ingredients of her grandmother’s recipes and flavoring it all with her particular brand of sweet spice. From her cookbooks to her hit TV show, Kandy is a kitchen queen—and suddenly someone is determined to poison her cup. With odd accidents and threatening messages piling up, strong-willed Kandy can’t protest when her team hires someone to keep her safe—but she can’t deny that the man for the job looks delicious. . .

Josh Keane is a private investigator, not a bodyguard. But with one eyeful of Kandy’s ebony curls and dimpled smile, he’s signing on to uncover who’s cooking up trouble for the gorgeous chef. As the attraction between them starts to simmer, it’s not easy to keep his mind on the job, but when the strange distractions turn to true danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep Kandy safe—and show her that a future together is on the menu. . .

Excerpt:

“Clock stops at five-thirty,” she told him, spying the way he glanced at the empty desks. “That’s a rule I never break. No matter how busy we are, or what our deadline is, I make sure everyone up here is out by then.”

“Why? I would think in this business long hours are the norm.”

“Everyone deserves free time, time with family, time to wind down. I won’t have people working for me when they’re exhausted, or thinking about the soccer game they’re missing for their kid. No one’s productive then. I like everyone to be rested, fresh and on the ball. I realized early on it was the way to bring out the creative, productive best in people.”

“But you don’t adhere to your own rules.”

She leveled a gaze at him. “That’s because I’m the boss. I thrive on deadlines and do some of my finest work when I’m exhausted.”

The slow grin that spread across his face made her stomach muscles giddy-up again.

“I bet you give great holiday bonuses,” he said, rocking back on his heels.

Because it was true, she smiled.

“My office is in here.”

She pushed through another set of doors and preceded him in.

While he took in the surroundings Kandy wondered if he saw the room the same way she did. She’d chosen this space simply because of the windows. A corner office, it had full-length, floor to ceiling matted glass surrounding the outer perimeter of the office on three sides. Her view was of downtown Manhattan, an unobstructed visage of Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty.

The interior design was her own and she’d gone for comfort and ease in the furnishings. Three couches circled one another in the center of the room, and in the middle sat an impressive glass table, currently covered with files, paper, magazines, and a few fabric swatches. A grandfather clock sat, unwound, on the far wall, the hour hand stuck at nine, the minute hand at twelve.

A large, cherry wood desk faced the windows, not the inner room, complete with two computers, a laptop, and two printers on a pull-out stand next to the desk.

“Interesting.” Josh gazed around the room. “I assume the reason your desk faces this way is for the great view?”

She lifted her shoulders to her ears and then brought them down again. “Why waste it by having my back to it?”

“Good thought. What’s up with the clock?”

She glanced over at it. “That’s the exact time my first book went on sale.”

“So, what? Time stopped for you then?”

“No. The way I see it my life started precisely at that moment.”

His eyebrows rose. “Says a lot about what you expect and want out of life.”

“Don’t read too much into it,” she said, unaccustomed embarrassment washing through her. Without even knowing her he’d hit her personality right on the head. “The clock also has sentimental value. It was Grandma’s.”

Kandy moved to the couches. “Come on, have a seat. Let’s talk specifics.”

Josh sat opposite her, leaned back into the couch, crossing one long leg over the other.

“I’m going to say this once because I feel we should get it out of the way,” she started. “I don’t think I need a body guard, and I don’t think anything that’s happened recently can’t be explained away. I find this whole situation of having someone follow every move I make unnerving. I’m not used to it. Not used to working this way. I don’t want to have to stop every five minutes to explain where I’m going, who I’m going to be meeting with. I just go. I have too much to do in a day to worry about someone keeping up with me.”

When he nodded, she continued. “I’m willing to go along with the entire scheme until you prove there’s really no reason for it, which I think you’ll discover pretty quickly. But I won’t be hampered in going about my day in any way. Understand?”

Buy Links: Amazon //Nook // Kensington/Lyrical // Kobo // Apple // Google

available in e-copy and Print on Demand ( POD) fro Amazon and Kensington.

 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

#InternationalWomensDay2017; #StrengthknowsNoGender; My Super power is that I’m a Woman!

As a woman, a mother, a mother of a woman,…today I will embrace the celebration of National Women’s Day 2017. Today I will remember what it means to be a woman and all the wonderful things that go along with that. Things that only a woman can do, like give birth. Hey, men can’t…just saying.

But in celebrating I will also remember the things that women can’t do.  There are still parts of the world where women can’t choose for themselves who they will marry, or even if they want to get married. There are still countries where women can’t drive, go to school, walk about free in public. There are still places where women are viewed as the property of the men and are treated and abused as such. And there are still governments that would rather see a woman die, shamed and vilified than give birth to her eight  ( or more) child.

I grew up in the time Title IX came into effect. Prior to that, girls sports in schools weren’t funded.

My mother grew up in the time where if she didn’t want to have a baby she had 2 choices: don’t have sex, or procure an illegal abortion.

My grandmother grew up in a time where she was struck down and beaten in the streets by men when she protested for the right to vote for the leaders of HER country.

That’s just three generations of women who saw the need to effect change for the better. And did.

My daughter lives in a world where she knows no limits on what she can do with her life. She has the benefit of education, status, choice. What she still doesn’t have is equal pay for equal work. And if things keep going the way they are currently, she will lose even more of those hard-fought RIGHTS the women who came before her died for.

Today, in 2017,  I proudly stand on the shoulders of the courageous, fearless, determined women who came before me. Who fought convention, misogyny, and hate. I won’t forget them or their struggles.

And I will continue to fight –EVERY DAY — to ensure that they didn’t die in vain.

But today…today I will celebrate my gender. Tomorrow..well, tomorrow is another day.

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, female friends, Life challenges, Strong Women

#Release day for #author Kari Lemor’s WildCard Undercover; #LyricalPress

interview2

In a week of firsts, I’ve got another one today. Author KARI LEMOR  is visiting me and she’s a fellow Kensington/Lyrical Press author, my new publisher. Kari’s new book WILDCARD UNDERCOVER releases today and she is super stoked. She’s having a huge facebook party today to promote the book as well and I’m pleased to be joining her. Click the link so you can stop by. There’ll be prizes, interviews, and lots of fun stuff going on all day.

Sit back and learn a little about my new writing sistah.

 

Kari Lemor,  The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

The voices in my head. And my muse who never leaves me alone and constantly pings me with new ideas that won’t go away until I do something about them. The characters themselves will sometimes haunt me in my sleep until I agree to write them. It can be very annoying trying to make them shut up.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?

I write suspense and contemporary. Suspense because I love adding a little (okay, maybe a lot) of danger to my stories. It gives us the hurt/comfort that my romantic soul craves. I write contemporary because I’m too lazy to do any kind of historic research.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

It might be better to ask what I don’t read. I was never much for Historical until Julia Quinn spoke at a conference I was at and we got a free book. I was hooked. But it’s not a genre I read as much. Same with paranormal. Not my thing unless it’s my Critique Partner, MA Grant, because she can WRITE!! And make me like it. She’s got a new M/M fantasy series that she’s working on that I am in love with. Who’d have thought? But mostly I love contemporary with every day people. Keep those sheiks and billionaires away from me. Totally can’t relate to that. I want the boy next door or a law man or firefighter. Someone who’s good with their hands…in many ways!!

     4. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I have a full time day job (groan) so can’t always put coherent words on a page after that. But I always do something related to writing each day. Reading, networking with other authors, promo, editing. I try and do all my new words on weekends and vacations. I’m a teacher so I get lots of time in the summer.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

Now that my kids are all grown and moved out, I actually have a nice office. My son painted it a lovely shade of peach for me (my favorite color). I always have some pretty smelling candle lit and my little water fountain going and my salt lamp turned on. I have tons of books in a series of book shelves that I made myself with wooden crates. And my desk is even made of wooden crates as well. Everything in there is just snuggy and cozy and makes me feel so good.

  1. 6. 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 tunnelvision?

I can’t have it too noisy. When my kids were younger I would put a classical channel on the computer while attempting to write. Now I just like the sound of my water fountain gurgling. I definitely can’t write in a coffee shop or somewhere public though I love being outside in the summer and hearing the sounds of nature.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?  No, although I could if it didn’t have words but I really love the silence especially after being in a noisy classroom most of the day.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

This book actually started as a dream. Not the whole thing, but the first scene. My heroine grabs the hero and kisses him and then accidentally pushes him in the pool. I was intrigued at what was happening and wouldn’t get out of bed until I figured out why they heck she had done that. Then I had to get out of bed and scribble about ten pages of notes. I didn’t actually start writing the story though for about another 5 years.

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

I’m not sure which comes first. Usually, I get an idea of a character and something they are doing. I probably don’t have a full deep knowledge of who they are or exactly what they are doing but I have a basic premise. Then I start fleshing them out and as the story unfolds so do they. Sometimes they’ve surprised me with a few facts.

  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Goal-oriented, determined, verbose

Kari, The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

My great (x 5 or 6 ) uncle (Joachim Murat ) was married to Napolean’s sister Caroline

        2. Who was your first love and what age were you?

This boy named Jim who sat in front of me in History class in college. I was around 20. That was a long time ago and he’s still my only love (and husband for 30 years.

       3.  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….

The day after my first child was born. I was still in the hospital being waited on. They brought her to me and said she was hungry. I held her and drifted off again (tired from labor and delivery) and she stopped crying. When the nurse came back in I said I hadn’t fed her. She said, “I guess she just needed her mom.” Thinking of that moment still makes me cry.

      4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? I’m liking these new boxer briefs.

       5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? If I had to give something up… I guess it would be concealer. I’d use the face powder instead to hide my bags and dark eye circles.

       6. What three words describes you, the person? Loyal, maternal, gregarious

       7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? No one would ever ask me to sing.       Take my word on this one. My children beg me not to. But if I could sing with Jimmy Fallon, then Paradise By the Dash Board Light. Fun song!

        8.  If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together? Hmmm, maybe Pollyanna because she’s always so perky and glad. We’d go fishing and picking berries and just hanging out in a sunny field relaxing.

 

Bonus round

  1. Favorite sound – water, any kind, ocean, lake, waterfalls, stream.
  2. Least favorite sound – the ice cream truck. Talk about an ear worm
  3. Best song every written – Desperado by The Eagles
  4. Worst song ever written – anything rap that talks trash about women
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Joe Flanigan and Kate Hudson
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Peirce Brosnan’s wife. Because …duh!
  7. What turns you on? Dads with their kids
  8. What turns you off? Intolerance
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “Oh, I figured it out” (the plot twist of the movie we are watching – and then proceeds to tell me) And yes, this happened on a date.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Bar Harbor, Maine, sitting listening to the ocean or Jordan Pond with the sun beating down and a cool breeze keeping it from being too hot. Top it with a good book and I can’t think of anything better.

Kari’s newest book  WILD CARD UNDERCOVER releases today!! Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your reading appetite:

All that glitters in Miami is not gold . . .

kari1

Lured in by a bad ex-boyfriend and the moonlight of Miami, Meg O’Hara is trapped in a nightmare situation, waiting tables for a crime boss and fearing for her life. When undercover FBI agent Christopher Shaunessy offers her a way out, she seizes it. Getting the goods on Salazar Moreno might not be easy, but she’ll do anything to be freed from her servitude and Moreno’s sexual advances, even if it means moving in with the charismatic agent.

Chris Shaunessy pretends to be Meg’s lover in order to keep her safe, but he steels his heart against further involvement. Passion has no place in the sordid world of organized crime. And yet, the closer they get to cracking the case, the stronger his feelings for the spirited waitress shine. It’s a dangerous game he’s playing, and taking Meg in his arms for real could prove a fatal misstep . . .

Excerpt:

“Does that man never have a day off?” Margaret Kathleen O’Hara grumbled, grabbing her tote bag and sarong to move surreptitiously along the chairs by the pool. If the hotel manager saw her here again she’d be toast. He’d more than toss her out. Threats to call the police had been thrown at her for months now. Although in her case, that might be a better deal.

With her eyes trained on his location and the Miami sun beating down on her exposed skin, Meg backed along the water’s edge attempting to leave the area before he spotted her. She needed to shower the chlorine out of her tangled hair and change for work soon. He looked in her direction and she rushed behind the closest object. It was six-foot-plus of blond-haired gorgeousness. The man’s eyes were glued to something on the upper deck. Her boss was sitting there with one of his expensive bimbos. Did Blondie like that type? Maybe he wouldn’t notice her little game of .

She leaned around him, ducking back when she saw the Pool Nazi still present. Getting caught was not an option. She already owed more than she could ever repay.

“Are you okay?” Forest green eyes stared down at her, puzzled. Would he buy that she was simply looking for shade? He was big enough to provide it.

With strong hands, he reached for her shoulders and Meg reflexively batted them away. She got enough of people groping her at work. Scorching curses froze before erupting from her mouth as the hotel manager moved, staring in their direction. Her mind kicked into overdrive, scrambling for a way to hide in plain sight.

“Sorry,” she squeaked. Grabbing the man’s head, she planted her mouth solidly on his. Short, thick strands of hair tickled her fingers. Firm lips yielded no resistance to the increased pressure of her mouth. Better make this look good.

An electric current skittered over her skin causing her heart to race. Maybe too good? Slowly he pulled her closer with his muscular arms. Her eyes flew open and she broke the connection. His hair-covered chest was too close for comfort. And much too tempting. Distance, she needed distance.

Her eyes darted around, seeing no signs of the manager. A sigh escaped. Time to make her exit as well.

“Sorry,” she mumbled again, looking up. Big mistake. The stranger’s curious eyes captivated her. They were soft and tender and filled with something she could…trust? If she still had any of that left in her. His hands were gentle as they held her. A tiny smile played about the full lips she’d brazenly kissed. She couldn’t believe she’d done it. Her mother would be appalled. But it had worked.

The chlorine scent from the pool faded into the background as sweat and suntan lotion wafted off the man’s damp skin. Her stomach did cartwheels followed by a few back flips. Dangerous.

“Let me go,” she hissed as reality returned. She gave a swift shove at his well-defined pectorals, rushing to get past, to escape from this distraction and the possibility of being caught. Her head whipped around at the sound of a splash and water droplets from behind. Gorgeous was just breaking the surface of the pool. Had she pushed him that hard?

“Oops.” No time for apologies. He looked like the forgiving type. She had to blow this joint before the Pool Nazi came back. Grabbing her fallen sarong, she ran across the deck to hustle inside the luxury hotel.

“Damn.”

The manager stood sentry near the front door. A crowd appeared at her back making that way impossible. The stairwell to the left would have to do. She’d go up a few floors then down to the side entrance. She wrapped her sarong around her as she carried out her plan to avoid being seen…and caught.

Meg should stop coming here to use the pool: this proved it. Sneaking in was adding to her already hellish life but swimming always helped work out the stress and the pool here was more accessible than any other on the strip. Pretending she had money to stay in a place like this, rubbing elbows with all the beautiful people, yeah, that got her through too. She’d learned the best times to come and not be seen. Well, for the most part. It was well worth the risk to get away from her dump of a room and its enchanting neighborhood. She’d leave this all behind her soon. She kept telling herself that. Had to believe it for her own sanity.

Footsteps behind her pushed those thoughts away. Her bare feet padded silently along the lushly carpeted hallway. Heart racing, she ducked into the ice machine alcove, her sigh echoing in the silence. She glanced down. Her bag? She must have dropped it as she rushed off. How had she not realized? It couldn’t have been the threat of being arrested. Or the crooked smile of the handsome stranger she’d kissed. The one with the kind eyes and gentle hands. No, she couldn’t allow herself to be led astray by a pretty face. Not again.

She continued down the hall, her trip cut short when someone grabbed her by the arm and spun her around.

* * * *

Buy Links: Amazon // Kensington // B&N

Bio

Kari Lemor grew up as one of those kids who read all night under the covers.  Once she had her first glimpse of a romance novel at age 12, it was all over. Romance was in her blood.
It would be many years before the stories that ran rampant in her head finally drove her to put words to paper, though. She wrote self-indulgently for the first few years and only recently began penning stories to share with others.
She still writes stories that are self-indulgent but hopes others might get some enjoyment from them too.   Now that her children are all grown and have moved out, she uses her spare time to create stories of love and happily ever after romances where heroes ride to the rescue of damsels who have already saved themselves.
She lives with her husband in a small town in New England dreaming of warmer weather.  But only if it’s near the ocean.

You can follow Kari here:  website // facebook // twitter // Pinterest // Goodreads

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books

A visit with #author Stacy Gold; #WildRosePress

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February has been an amazeballs month for me to introduce you all to some fabulous new authors. Today I’m hosting writer Stacy Gold, as she talks about her writing life and gives you a peek into her upcoming release JUST FRIENDS. From a writer who writes about strong women, I can tell you I love a writer who says about herself “I write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels,  packed with strong, independent women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors.” LOVE THAT!

Sit back and learn a little about Stacy…

Stacy Gold,  The Writer

  1. What drives you to write? I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself on paper (or screen). As a teen, it was mostly essays and poetry. Until a couple years ago, I made a living as a copywriter, journalist and marketing strategist, so all my writing was non-fiction and most was either promotional or educational. However, I did get to write a number of articles for outdoor sports publications over the years, and loved that. Nowadays I have stories and characters in my head just dying to get out. And I relish having the opportunity to change a reader’s life or perspective for the better.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?
    I write steamy, outdoorsy, contemporary romance with strong heroines who kick ass at sports and activities like skiing, mountain biking, kayaking and backpacking. Why? Because these are the kind of women I enjoy hanging out with in real life. And because I believe including these sports adds an extra layer of dynamics to a story. Putting people in tough situations in the outdoors shows you who they really are, deep down inside. It lets me test their mettle in interesting ways. It’s what I want to read, and definitely what I want to spend all day writing.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?
    Steamy contemporary is one of my favorites (go figure), but I also enjoy YA and historical. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi over the years, but haven’t dipped into much of it in the romance genre—yet. Basically, if the writing is good, the story interesting, entertaining, or believable, and the characters compelling, I’m in. If it’s got hot sex, even better.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?
    My hubby works a 9-5, so I do my best to sync my schedule to his. That means I write pretty much every weekday, but take the weekends off so we can get outdoors and play in the mountains together. Much of my inspiration comes when I’m about as far from a keyboard as I can get, so from a certain perspective you could consider even that writing time. The other day, on a hike with my dog, I figured out a plot issue and some dialogue for the short story I’m working on. So I dictated it into my phone and kept hiking.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I have my own office with high ceilings and tall windows that let in plenty of natural light, and includes three different workspaces: my treadmill walkstation, a sit down desk with a yoga ball, and a folding Ikea couch. Though if the weather is nice I like to sit on my porch to work, or take the dog and head to a coffee shop patio.
  1. 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 tunnelvision? At home I generally prefer silence, though sometimes I’ll play music with no lyrics. When I’m in the right mood though, I can get super inspired in a coffee shop with the hum of conversation and music as background. The sound of birds singing and the wind in the trees also works well for me.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?
    For the most part, I find music distracting. Particularly if it has lyrics. My brain just keeps trying to pay attention to what they’re singing because I’m a lyrics-driven music listener. If I do listen to music, it’s most often jazz or Wyndham Hill recordings.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?
    Like most of my ideas, it popped into my head one day, fairly fully formed. My brain is a bit like one of those old supercomputers—I put data and information and experiences in, and it works in the background for days or weeks. Then, at some random point, it spits out an idea that I like. Sometimes I start writing immediately. Other times I keep turning it and playing with it in my head for a bit until I’m inspired to write the opening scene and outline. Many of my best story ideas come to me while I’m skiing or mountain biking.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? A little of both. When a story idea hits me, it might not be fully formed, but I have a pretty good idea of who my characters are, and who they’re going to become, as well as the major plot points or beats. Usually, the first chapter comes out in one big rush like it’s been stored up behind a dam and I’ve just opened the floodgates.
  2. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Fascinated, dedicated, quirky

Stacy, The Person 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I speak fluent French, and thanks to my Mom hold dual citizenship with Switzerland.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Robbie, when I was 17. He was the man that made me realize I was worth loving and deserved to be treated right.
  3. 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…. Oh my gosh. Seriously? Just one? My hubby and I have been on so many amazing adventures together on rivers and trails and mountains, I have trouble even picking one season or sport, let alone one day. Okay, maybe the day Mt Baker had about six feet of fresh snow, and we drove for five hours (normally a three hour drive, max) to get there because the roads were as bad as they get in the northwest. At the ski area that day, one of the chairlifts was only open if you had an avalanche beacon, shovel and partner. Lo and behold we did, so we got to ski never-ending bottomless powder together all day long, then enjoyed dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant before heading back to our condo for a relaxing evening. Perfection.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxer-briefs or commando.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? My awesome Re-Curl curl cream. It allows me to have perfect, scrunch-and-go hair every day and I never have to spend time with a blow dryer or curling iron. Or rollers. I used to do that full head of rollers every morning back in the eighties, but I definitely don’t prioritize anything to do with hair or makeup, and haven’t in thirty years. The sweet southern women I worked with growing up in Atlanta would be appalled.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Funny, adventurous, caring
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Anything by Neil Young. I love his Neil impersonation, and Neil’s songs are generally in a key I can sing without anyone cringing too much.
  8. 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? Galadriel from Lord of the Rings because I have always been fascinated by the elves: their long lives, their wisdom, their willingness to sail away to another land. I’d want a tour of Lothlórien and an extended chat over dinner to hear about all the things she’s seen and done in the course of her long life.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound – My husband’s voice (Peggy here: awwwwwwwwwwwww!)
  2. Least favorite sound-Siren
  3. Best song every written—Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Gets me every time.
  4. Worst song ever written—Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Sirus. I was a cocktail waitress in a pool hall when this came out, and it got played way too much on the jukebox.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead)- Honestly, it’s confusing and difficult enough just being myself, without spending a day as someone else. If I had to pick, I guess I’d choose Misty Copeland. I danced for years but never on pointe, and she makes it look so beautiful and easy.
  7. What turns you on? Laughter
  8. What turns you off? Negativity
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “Are you my brown-eyed girl?” Nope. My eyes are green.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleep in until eight or eight thirty, have a morning quickie, enjoy a delicious breakfast of grits and eggs courtesy of my hubby, then, depending on the season, ski two feet of untracked powder or go paddling or mountain biking, followed by a nice soak in a natural hot spring, love making, dinner al fresco and dancing. Yep. That would be perfect.

 

Stacy’s newest release, JUST FRIENDS  is Available for Pre-Order Now (Release Date March 3rd, 2017)

Blurb

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Taya Monroe is trying to pick up the pieces of her failed writing career and broken life after walking out on her cheating fiancé. The last thing she needs is a serious relationship. The last thing she wants is a fling. Then she runs into an old friend and ski partner—the one man she always wanted who never wanted her.

Ski Patroller Jordan Wiley is a single dad with zero time or energy for dating. When he reconnects with Taya, his attraction to her is even stronger than before she left him behind for a career in the city. But with a young son to think about, he’s determined to ignore his feelings. Again.

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

Excerpt:

My eyes followed the curve of his lips. They weren’t thin, and they weren’t full either. But they had a kissable shape that begged me to trace their subtle contours with the tip of my tongue. To nip. To explore and taste.

Not that it would ever happen. Not again. I had proof of that.

We’d kissed once, on a drunken night years ago, right after he’d split with his long-term girlfriend. It started out toe-curling, but ended when he pulled away and made it clear he wasn’t attracted to me. At least, not in the way I was attracted to him. Mortified, I pretended it was the alcohol and vowed never to let him know how much I wanted him.

A good vow to remember. Especially now, when I needed a friend more than anything else. Definitely more than I needed a romantic distraction.

“It’s great to see you.” His words, and his smile, flowed over me like liquid caramel.

“You too.” The connection between us buzzed in me like high-tension power lines. Same as always. So powerful I couldn’t understand how, or why, he didn’t feel it too.

Our noses were inches apart. I tasted his breath, minty and sweet, and licked my lips in anticipation of a kiss I knew would never come. Some habits die hard. I was determined to choke this one until it gave up the ghost.

Buy Links: Wild Rose Press // Amazon // B&N

A little more about Stacy Gold

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Compulsive tea drinker. Outdoor sports junkie. Lover of good (and bad) puns.

Stacy Gold gave up her day job as Communications Director of a nonprofit mountain biking organization to write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her stories are packed with strong, independent women, and the men who can’t resist them, finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. When Stacy’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dog.

 

After a magical day on the slopes, a snow storm traps them in an avalanche of chemistry neither can deny. Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?

You can connect with Stacy here:

Facebook // Twitter  // Instagram // Amazon // Goodreads // Website

Special Offer

Enter to Win a $25 REI Gift Card and be the First to Know About Contests, Freebies & Releases by Joining the Gold Club!

http://stacygold.com/goldclub

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with #author DeeDee Lane; #TheWildRosePress

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It’s so much fun for me as a reader – and as a writer – to discover new authors to me, because I can then introduce them to you! Today I’m hosting Seattle-based author DeeDee Lane, one of my Wild Rose Press sistahs. DeeDee writes historical fiction ( love that!), time travel and westerns. Wow! Can you say “prolific?!”  Here’s a gab fest I engaged her in recently. Learn more about this fun writer, and stick around because she’s giving you a little taste of her newest selection, My Traveling Man, which is out TODAY!!

DeeDee Lane, The Writer:

  1. What drives you to write? This changes for me quite often so I’ll answer what is driving me right now. I believe empathy and kindness are a muscle, something each of us has to practice every day. Right now entering someone else’s Point of View is giving me a chance to see the world in a new way, to practice empathy, and how I can be kind to myself, and kind to others. So right now, writing is a pretty selfish past time!
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why? The Slip in Time series is historical fiction, time travel, and western. I chose to write in this combo genre because it gave me the chance to research the Old West and explore how a contemporary woman would survive/thrive in the past.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Pretty much all. I’ve often been a judge for the RWA Golden Heart contest and I always ask for a different category so I can stay up on what’s going on in the Romance world. I can’t say, “All” because I don’t read erotica which is probably a shame because I know some pretty amazing erotica writers out there!
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I write best in the morning, by the afternoon I need to switch to things like this blog, updating my web site etc.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? The best thing about where I write is I have a huge L shaped desk; which means room for my computer, a pile of books, notes to myself, a stack of binders, and my office supplies. Also, I am addicted to collecting pens when I go to writing conferences so I have three cups jammed full of pens on my desk table top!
  1. 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 tunnelvision? Not quiet but pretty quiet. I just read about some noise canceling head phones a writer I like uses, might give those a try.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No music, I get too distracted. I often do have a few songs I feel connect to my heroine…something she’d listen too.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’m super suspicious so don’t talk about my current WIP – I know! Weird huh…even my husband and my besty beta reader don’t know what it’s about. Of course my husband can sort of tell by the stack of research on my desk! (Peggy here – not weird at all! I don’t like to talk about my current works either.)
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Ohhhh good one. When I really connect to a character she is most often in the middle of some situation, some problem, some conflict so it really happens simultaneously. I know I’m onto something when I have a hard time not thinking about the character!
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? These are the three words I WANT to describe me as a writer: Exciting, emotional, satisfying. (Peggy here: I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head with these words – they DO describe you!)

Dee Dee, The Person:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I have never seen the Giant Tin Foil Rooster but it is on my list of not-to-be-missed-road-side-attractions!
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Paul (sigh) I was 8 and we wrote notes to each other that said, “I love you, do you love me? Yes, No, or Maybe – circle one.”
  3. 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….I just watched two Christmas movies that had the same theme and I wouldn’t do it – no way, no way!
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs!
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Oil of Olay face moisturizer….I’d cry if I had to give it up.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Thoughtful, funny, scattered
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? “Suddenly Seymour” from the musical Little Shop of Horrors. (Peggy here: OMG! I lovelovelove that musical!!)
  8. 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? Sherlock Holmes of course, we’d smoke a pipe, have a spot of tea with Dr. Watson, welcome a mysterious weeping widow wearing a black half veil and telling an improbable tale, then together we’d crack the case!

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound – Kitchen Timer – Baking is done! (Peggy here: Yummo! I’ll be right over)
  2. Least favorite sound– My mother crying
  3. Best song every written– “Summertime” From Porgy and Bess
  4. Worst song ever written “Who let the Dogs Out” (sorry U of Washington Husky fans)
  5. Favorite actor and actress– Meryl Streep and James Spader
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Barack Obama – I want to know what his world looked like when he was US President. I would want to feel the weight of his responsibilities to our country and the world.
  7. What turns you on? Kind acts done for the sake of kindness
  8. What turns you off? Racial slurs, hate language, hate actions
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “This won’t take long, right?”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sunny, ocean, my husband, my family coming over for dinner in the evening, singing, sand, lots of laughs.

 

Blurb:

My Traveling Man ( is the fourth installment in the Slip in Time Series)

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Alice Hanstrom prefers books to people, facts over feelings, and in her world, “adventure” is just a word in the dictionary. That is until the night she braves shadowed hallways of the Cowboy and Western Museum in pursuit of a long-lost diary. Her search of an antique covered wagon halts abruptly when the museum slips Alice back in time.

Thomas Bristol is an experienced wagon master. On a daily basis he deals with cholera, exhausted oxen, and river rapids on the treacherous journey to Oregon Territory. But he’s completely flummoxed when a mysterious woman appears in Big Blue River.

On the trail, Alice and Thomas strive to balance his love of roaming adventure and her desire for predictable orderliness. As the wagon train reaches Independence Rock, the sparks between them catch fire. But can such different people become equal partners in love…and can their love survive the slip in time?

Excerpt:

Alice bent her lanky frame forward to squint at the notation scratched in the corner of the diary—scribbled in a different hand, less confident, childish.

I’m hiding Mama’s last diary in our covered wagon’s secret hidey hole ‘til she’s in her right mind.

The wagon mentioned was in the museum’s storage basement, two floors down. Alice’s stomach fluttered and hopped. Every part of her yearned to find the “hidey hole,” be the one to find the diary not just write about it afterwards. Before she could talk herself out it, Alice exited the research library to set off down the darkened corridors of the Cowboy and Western Museum. Her footsteps made soft thwacks on the marble floor. She, Alice Hanstrom, intrepid scaredy-cat, was on an adventure. How thrilling, how positively mind–blowing, how…. Alice flinched away from a creaking noise to her right.

Buy Links: Amazon  // Wild Rose Press //

A word about the author…

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DeeDee Lane is a Seattle author and a member of Romance Writers of America. Her mystery scenarios and characters turn up on boat cruises and many corporate and private events around the Puget Sound. She and her husband love to go on road trips especially if there’s time to check out a tin foil rooster or the largest truck stop in the world. Originally from central Wisconsin, DeeDee was raised on a Century Farm.

DeeDee’s novella MY GAMBLING MAN received third place in the Paranormal Short category of the International Digital Awards (IDA)

Connect with DeeDee here:

Amazon 

Peggy here: This was such a fun interview. DeeDee, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you! Much luck with your continued writing and congrats on release day for My Traveling Man.

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

I #write words, but I see images; #Pinterest

Strange blog title, I know. It  kinda reminds me of “I see dead people.LOL But there’s a reason behind it, so let me ‘esplain it to, Lucy.

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I’m a very visual person. I’m one of those people who sometimes think their dreams are real and have actually happened because they are so vivid and fully detailed. (I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that statement, but I digress.)

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I was actually that (weird) kid who enjoyed going to art museums. I could spend hours – and did – strolling along hallways and chambers chock full of art from every time period, decade, and century. The colors, the way light was used, or the absence of it; the way the artist positioned a hand in a portrait, or the background in a scene. Just looking at those beautiful portrayals and representations of life was awe-inspiring for me. And got my creative storytelling mind revving.

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Images help my writing in ways that are too numerous to describe. Suffice it to say, I see a book in my head before I ever type a word into my laptop. If I wrote science fiction my world-building would the size of a dictionary before I ever got to the plot. So, because I’m such a visual person,  I love PINTEREST. 

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Really, what did we ever do before Pinterest? I do remember saving fashion magazines for months on end when I was working on a story just so I could troll through the pages to find perfect depictions and portraits for my characters and settings. Other than that, I had no place to search.

Pinterest is to a visual person what words are to writers. Both are necessary for creativity to blossom and grow. And you can find anything on Pinterest. Anything.

I use it as a shorthand form of a storyboard for each of my books. Seeing what my hero and heroine, plus the ancillary characters look like, helps me describe them better in the story. I usually have several pictures of my h/h in various setting and with different expressions, just so I can write them vividly enough that you can see them clearly in your reading mind. I do the same thing with settings, buildings, even rooms.

Check out my newest board, Rick and Abby. I’m currently adding to it daily, so it’ll get filled up fairly soon, but I’ve got a good idea of Rick ( boy do I!) and I’m working on Abby. This is a wonderful way for me to make my characters come to life in my mind and on the page. Again, a shrink would go to town with that last statement, but you know what I mean.

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If you don’t know Pinterest, you should. Especially if you’re a writer.

‘Nuff said. Gotta go pinning….

When I’m not trolling through Pinterest, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And just to see who really reads my posts: The first person to tell me in a comment here who the guy in this picture is will win an e-copy of one of my books of your choice. This should be illuminating…

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

The #Tao of NGUNGI

Strange title, right? Don’t worry, I’ll explain it.

See this picture?

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My wonderful NHRWA Chapter President gave me that little tag. It says BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS. I keep it taped on my office bookshelf and look at it every so often as a reminder. Currently, I’m editing 2 books for 2 different publishers and starting to feel a little, shall we say stressed, about things like deadlines and plotholes, so I’ve moved that tag to my laptop ( as you can see in the picture) as a constant reminder of why I must press on despite wanting to play hooky or go watch a Housewives marathon for the day.

And that leads me directly to the Tao of NGUNGI. Remember a few years – okay, several years – back when The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was published?

taopoohAt the time the literary world praised Hoff’s use of the word Tao, which means: (in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order.  At its core, Tao, literally, means The Right Way. In describing Winnie the Pooh’s life as the end all be all of happiness ( and I’m taking a little literary license in describing it this way), Hoff showed the world that it’s okay to simply…be. Be who you are; be what you are. Pooh goes through life with a simple mission: get honey. Everything he says, does, and feels; every friend he makes and interacts with,  revolves around that goal. And he is happy. Eternally, internally, fundamentally, happy.

Well, I’ve developed my own Tao over the years and it’s gotten me through some pretty miserable, soul-sucking times and events: the Tao of NGUNGI, which means Never Give Up Never Give In.

Too many times in my 56 years I’ve been faced with decisions that required me to choose between two opposing thoughts or ideals. If I walked one path, my personal happiness would be forfeited; if I chose the other, the happiness and well-being of those around me would suffer. The Tao of NGUNGI has helped me center my decisions by showing me that by never giving up a desire/dream/wish and never giving in to criticism/skepticism/ridicule, I can–ultimately–have everything I want without sacrificing my ideals, desires, principles, or the happiness of others.

Do you know how powerful that makes me feel? And I don’t mean it externally. No, it’s internal power I’m referring to. I have a favorite saying that people who know me get a little tired of hearing, but it’s a reminder of how I  keep the TAO in perspective: “Sometimes, you have to draw a line in the sand, and sometimes, you have to cross over it.” The TAO has helped me know when to do which.

So, reading this back I realize it’s getting a tad lofty and out-there-y which wasn’t my intention with this post. No, my true intention was to get you to see that no matter what your dream/heart’s desire/wish in life is for yourself, you should never, ever, EVAH give up on it. Don’t give into the external nay-sayers. Don’t give in to the internal voice that tells you your wishes are pipe dreams that won’t come true. And never give up. Ever. EVAH.

The Tao of NGUNGI.

‘Nuff said.

When I’m not waxing existentially, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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