Tag Archives: #amwriting #amwritingromance

#LASR #SaturdaySeven

Romance tropes are fun to read. Truly. I mean, who doesn’t love a secret baby, or a Women in jeapodary story? Things are tired and true for a reason, folks!

So, in no order, here are my seven favorite romance tropes to read:

  1. Second Chances. There’s really something so powerful about giving someone a second chance at anything: life; health; love. These stories take a relationship that failed – for whatever reason – and then allows that relationship to bloom anew. The h/h don’t have to start where they left off – and really, shouldn’t. A new day and a new depth to their love evolves. Truly, Madly, Yours by Rachel Gibson is a good example of this trope.
  2. A marriage of Convenience. Even though this trope gets used a bunch in historicals, it can also be used in contemporary’s if written the right way. The Weekday Brides series by Catherine Bybee and The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst are good modern day depictions of this trope. 
  3. Friends to Lovers. The first book I read with this trope was Emma by Jane Austen. Emma and Mr. Knightly are social friends, having known each other for years. When their friendship takes a wrong turn and then a right one to love, well, all I can say is that Austen was a master of romance writing for a reason.  In my own book. There’s No Place Like Home, I have two friends, Moira and Quentin,  use this trope. There’s something so wonderful about falling in love with your best friend! you share a lifetime of past memories, being with the other person is comfortable, and the love that blossoms is familiar. Love that!
  4. Opposites Attract. Who doesn’t love when two people who on paper seem so wrong for one another are in reality so perfect! Prime examples of this trope that are really good depictions are Bet Me, by Jennifer Cruise and Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas 
  5. Fake relationship. Lovelovelove this one! A good explanation of this trope ( but not the only one!) a girl’s been recently dumped by her boyfriend ( or she dumped him) and now needs a date to a wedding so she doesn’t look like the only girl in her crowd without a significant other. Good examples of this trope are Julie James’  A Lot like Love and Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis
  6. Enemies to lovers. A prime example of this trope is both the h/h want the same thing, say a job. They are each vying for it, trying to outdo the other, hating that the other exists. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is perfect for this trope.
  7. On-the-Run ( aka Women in Jeopardy) Anytime a guy has to protect the girl and take her on the run to do so well, that story is just rife with lots of sexual tension and intrigue. I used this trope with my Will Cook For Love novel, book 2 A Shot At Love.


Filed under Uncategorized

#Writinggroups: My happy place!

When I started my journey to publication in 2014 I realized pretty quickly I didn’t have a support group around me. Oh, I had – and still have – plenty of friends who thought it was great that I was going to try and get a book published. They cheered me on, boosted me up a bit. But I had no one – no single person – I could talk one-on-one to about the process of writing. I had plenty of people who wanted to read what I wrote but no one close to me who would be able to give me a professional, capable, knowing critique. And I certainly didn’t have anyone in my realm who knew about the business end of writing, publishing, and what needed to be done to get the word out their about your work.

Since I’m a plotter by nature, and that means I really really really think things through, thoroughly, before I implement them, the one way I could see to solve this dilemma for myself was to find a writing group. None existed in my town for romance writers, but I found one with a plethora of writing tastes so I decided to visit one of their meetings.

Best thing I ever did because it taught me exactly what I DIDN’T want in the way of a writing group. I won’t go into detail because it’s a little emotionally and ego-deflatingly painful to even remember that night, but I learned a great lesson: Like needs Like. If I was going to write romance, I needed to be around other writers who had the same passion and desire to read and write the genre as I had. This little group I’d just visited looked down their snotty and pious noses at me for even considering to write something as plebian ( one member’s word choice) and morally corrupt  (another’s!)  as romance.

See why I never went back?

Next step, find a group of romance writers. Easy peasy. I googled RWA, found out about the local chapter in my state, emailed the membership person listed and was invited straightaway to the next meeting. Which I went to. And I’ve never looked back.

These writers were my sistahs. My tribe! At that very first meeting, I learned sosososo much about the publishing industry  I had never known before that my head was spinning by the time the meeting was over.

And they were NICE! SO nice. And welcoming. And knowledgeable. And wicked smart, snarky, and funny.

Like I said: MY SISTAHS.

Four years on and I still think of them that way. We celebrate each other’s publishing victories and share chocolate and wine when rejections come in. We talk about life, and love, and kids, and romance, and sex. But most of all we talk about writing. How we write, what we write, what we want to write. How to make what we’ve written better, what to leave in a manuscript and what to send to the shredder.

Every single time I leave one of my meetings I am energized to go home and write for hours on end – and I usually do. While I’m driving home plot lines and story arcs fill my head or character traits I need to incorporate into my current heroine sprout up. Once, I plotted an entire novel during the 90-minute drive home from a meeting. The fact that I didn’t crash and die because I was so preoccupied just verifies in my mind the fact that I have Guardian Angels watching out for me.

If you’re like me and you need knowledgeable people to discuss with, bounce ideas off of, or pick the industry minds of, then joining a writing group geared to what you write is – in my mind – the best way to do all those things. One of my favorite days of each month is the day scheduled for my local RWA meeting.

This is an actual picture of me when I’m gearing up for a meeting!!!

When I’m not at a romance writing group meeting, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me


Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

A little slice of writing Heaven…

When I decided to write full time after having my first book published, I knew I needed a spot of my very own. A space just for me to escape to and write away. I’m lucky enough to live in a huge house with a finished attic. It has 2 rooms and one was used as a playroom for my daughter when she was a child. The other is basically a storage room chockablock with Christmas decorations, suitcases, furniture no longer is use. You get the idea.

Since my daughter moved out of the house I decided to use her former playroom as my “office.” And that term in a loose one. I had an old desk that I situated near the window in the room which overlooked part of our woodland property. Since I live in the woods, this seemed like the perfect place to write.

Not so much. After a few weeks of writing full time -and sticking to a fairly inflexible writing schedule of 8-10 hours a day, this position proved not so wonderful after all. You see, even though my nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away geographically, our backyards abut. The neighbor has two very large, very NOISY dogs who spend most of their days outside, fenced in, in the backyard. The fenced in portion is a mere 200 feet from my property line so I could hear the dogs barking LOUDLY ALL DAY LONG.

Can I just say: I lovelovelove dogs. But these two? Not so much.

I needed a new space to write in peace and quiet.

“What about the other room?” hubby asked when I told him my dilemma?

I hadn’t considered it before because the room was, as I’ve said, a storage room. A hovel. A hoarder’s paradise. To use it, the room would not only need to be culled, it would need to be redone because the walls were plain sheetrock and the floor, well, there wasn’t much of a floor.

“No prob,” said hubby. Can you see why I adore this man?

First, I cleaned everything EVERYTHING! out of it. Did I say hoarder? What’s worse than a hoarder?

Then, hubby got to work. He plastered the walls then painted them in two colors I’d requested – muted sage and buttercup, and then laid a new floor. The entire project took three weeks because he could only work on it during the evenings when he got home from work.

This office was a real office, not just a desk. Now I had a desk, a few bookcases, and plenty of room to store all my book swag, books and all the accouterment that go with marketing and publishing.

Oh, and there’s a window in this office too that I put my desk in front of. I get to watch the seasons change daily since it overlooks our forest. When I’m daydreaming I get to observe the deer, squirrels, chipmunks and birds frolic and play in front of me.

It’s the perfect place for me to just drift away and ….write.

The best part? Since it’s on the opposite side of the house I never hear those damn dogs barking anymore.

Le sigh. Perfection.

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to read about the writing rooms of the other authors in this blog.



Filed under #Mfrwauthors

Let me brag for a minute…..

I hate doing this….braggin’ on myself. I wanted to write about my daughter and her first marathon but I already did that. So, I decided to brag on the one piece of good professional news I’ve gotten lately.

I came in 3rd place in the long contemporary category in the 2017 Pages from the Heart Contest.

YAY, me!

The last 2 times I entered an unpublished piece in this contest I  finaled as well and both those books went on to be published by Kensington/Lyrical Shine: Cooking with Kandy and A Shot at love ( which was originally titled Gemma’s Greek.)

The book that came in third this year is book 1 in my new Bridal series, so if history runs true to form…….you can finish that thought because I’m afraid if I say it’s gonna get published I’ll jinx it…

Duh! I just jinxed it!

Let’s see what the other authors in this #MFRWauthor blog hop have to brag on….







Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, MFRWauthor, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

A few words here, a few words there….#NaNoWriMo2017

I just realized NaNoWriMo 2017 is half over as of today. Thirty days has September, April, June, and November…. so yeah! Half way.

I know I’ve been plugging along and I’ve been checking on some of my NaNo writing buddies and they all are as well. I’m usually not so far in a novel as I am right now, something  I wanted to stop and think about for a moment.

I write fast. Like I talk, only without the hand gestures. ( heehee), but this year I’m halfway and already at over 40,000 words. You  need a 50,000 minimum to be an official Nano Winner. The NaNO predictor tool says if I keep my current word count up, I’ll finish by this Saturday, Nov. 18. That would be the fastest I’ve ever gotten words on the page for this event.

So what have I done differently this year to write so much faster?

Is it because I was so well prepped with an outline before I started? Nope. I always outline.

Is it because I’m so pumped about this new series that I can’t wait until I sit down to work each day? Kinda, but not the real reason.

So what is it you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.


In the past ( like up until last month, Heehee) I sat at my desk for hours on end writing, thinking, cyber trolling, writing and thinking some more. For hours. Literally. This year I’ve been plagued with some heavy arthritis and other joint issues and injuries which make sitting for long periods painful for me when I finally get up. So I’ve been writing in times sprints of a half hour to 45 minutes every day. I write for, say, a half hour, then get up and do life stuff ( laundry, cook, run errands) then go back to writing again for about 45 minutes, then life stuff ( gym, channel surf, watch Real Housewives episodes – don’t judge me!) and then back to writing again. I’ve been uber productive doing this, evidenced by the word count. I think my brain  wants to write when I sit down because it’s been denied that while I’ve been life-stuffing. The words flow out and onto the laptop at record speeds and amounts.

Who knew productivity could be so high when times are limited? Well, probably a lot of people – like the ones who work full time and have to do NaNo in their sparse free time, but I certainly didn’t. I’ve always written under the edict BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE. (BICFOTKW)

Usually, I have a cramp in my butt at the end of the day from sitting so much. Not this month.



When I’m not writing or doing life stuff, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me


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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NaNoWriMo, Romance, Romance Books

How just a few words can make all the difference in your psyche!

It’s Friday and around here that usually means an entry in the #MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge. This week’s topic was Meet my Pets. Since I have no pets, I didn’t see the need to write anything. So that left me with a bit of a blog hole.


You all know my newest Lyrical Shine release, A SHOT AT LOVE, dropped on 10.3.17. I’ve been involved in a busy blog tour for the past month promoting it. Well, the reviews have started to shower in an I can’t believe how amazing they’ve been. Truly. Hearing readers I DON’T PERSONALLY KNOW praise the book has been so ego inflating at a time when my fragile little psyche has been battered and bruised.

Let me ‘esplain.

I have one more book for Lyrical, CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, due to release on 4.3.18 (available for preorder right now — shameless plug).

After that….I have no more book contracts. I’ve been writing up a storm and trying to get the next book sold, but so far, nada. Since I started this journey in 2015 I have never NOT had a book contract coming down the pike. This is a new experience for me and one, I will admit, that has me terrified. I retired so I could write and PUBLISH full time. I’ve been doing my end of the bargain….now I need a publisher to help me along that track. The added insult is that I still haven’t been able to get an agent. If I had one, I feel, navigating this publishing quagmire would be easier. But… what can you do? This is me, shrugging with acceptance.

Now, during this soul sucking time, my reviews have been coming in. Truly, peeps, these kind words have inspired me, strenghtened my resolve to keep writing, and put a smile in my heart. This one came in yesterday and I’m still tickled pink about it:

“Thank you for writing another great story, Peggy Jaeger!

Who remembers Alias, the TV show starring Jennifer Garner? Well, I was such a HUGE fan of Alias and Sydney Bristow.

Gemma, the heroine, in this story reminded me of her. Gemma was so kick-ass, feisty, and strong. And Ky. Ky. Sigh. So dreamy and hot!

I loved the fast pace of the story. I loved the chemistry between Gemma and Ky. Each scene was so vividly described that reading felt like watching an incredible good action-themed tv show/movie.

I couldn’t put this book down. So, so, so, so good.

If you like your romance books with action/suspense/FBI-related arcs like I do, I would definitely recommend this book.”

Warms the cockles of my fragile little ego’s soul, it does!!!

So, enough bellyaching. Back to my WIP. Maybe I’ll have a Christmas miracle this year and be offered a 5 book deal from the publisher of my dreams…. maybe.

When I’m not being depressed ( not really, heehee!) you can connect with me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me


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

Favorite Book Quotes #MFRWAuthors

Last week we were charged with giving our readers our favorite quotes. Today, it’s our favorite books quotes. I actually quote from books a lot in my everyday life, especially when something happens that requires it. So, in no order, here are my favorite book quotes:

“I knew I could!” from The Little Engine That Could. Best book about self-motivation EVAH!

Has there ever been a better expression of love than Pooh to Piglet, in Winnie the Pooh?

I read The Lord of the Rings a million-bazillion years ago but this quote still resonates.

Everyone who knows me knows what a HUGE J.D. Robb fan I am. There are simply too many fabulous quotes throughout the IN DEATH series for me to choose my favorite, but here are some of my favs because they all go to the character of Eve Dallas.


From my spirit guide to the romance world, Jane Austen, I give you these: 

Genius. Pure genius.






I can’t wait to see what favorite book quotes are listed for all the other fabulous authors in this blog hop. Click on the links below to visit them.



Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

My bad habits…

oh, peeps, there isn’t enough space in one blog posting for this topic as it applies to me!

Quick look at some of them: I bite my nails, I stress eat,  I emotionally eat, I eat when I’m bored ( you get it: I EAT!) I have knee-jerk reactions to things, I’m impatient with people. The list goes on and on and…..

You get it.

So, instead of picking one of my own terrible character flaws to expound on in this piece, I’ll stick to a bad writing habit. (It’s easier and less demoralizing!!!)

The worst writing habit I have is that I am not focused. I tend to flit from project to project, book to book, plot to Pinterest, continually, taking forever to finish one thing.

Every night I make a list of the writing things I need to get done the next day. The list usually has between 5 and 10 items ranging from: finish current WIP plotline, to write Friday blog piece, to everything I have to post onto HootsuiteInterspersed into those writing necessities are things like: do laundry, go to bank, iron. Here’s yesterday’s list:

And every day my list is completed to about 90-95 percent. I rarely have 100% done because…you know….life.

But still. 90-95 percent is great.

Yeah, it’s not, really, though. The 90-95 percent stuff that gets done, does so in drip and drabs. When I should be working -totally invested in- my current wip, I will write a little, stop, do one of the things ( or more) on the list, then MAYBE get back to my writing again later on. After errands….laundry…..lunch.

It gets frustrating at times that I can’t just sit down and focus all my attention on the one thing that I want to, namely, just write.

Is this procrastination? Distraction syndrome? Or is it just the flitting and meandering mind of a woman whose husband claims “has too much time on her hands?” HeeHee

I truly don’t know. My mind never rests, never stops, never says, “Whoa there, Nelly. Let’s focus on one thing at a time.” NO. My mind is like the genie in the Disney Aladdin, in constant motion, never calming, never taking a breath, always in motion, going from one thing to another.





It’s exhausting.

And you know what else it is?
Me. That simple.

So, bad habit, curse, or just the way I’m made, my mind will continue to meander. My thoughts will continue to jump from one thing to the next with lightning speed. My focus will remain….un. (Focused, that is!)

Want to read about other authors and their “bad Habits?” click on the links below and visit them. Leave some love. Or support. Or  encouragement….or, wait…is it raining? let me go look…..


Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Strong Women

Open doors…or closed doors?

My, my, my….there are so many ways to interpret what the title of this week’s blog challenge is. I’m going to go with the first thing that came to MY mind when I read it, namely, as a romance writer, do you write sex scenes openly, or do you leave them for behind closed doors?

The first actual romantic story I ever read was Pride and Prejudice. 

The sexiest thing about that book was its lack of sex. No hand holding, no touching except with gloves on and while dancing, no stolen kisses behind chaperone eyes. Lingering looks and side glances were the extent of the sexual tension shown. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it tension. More…expectation.

For hundreds of years after that book was published, the majority of romantic fiction remained the same. The hero and heroine fell in love, had their troubles, then got married. The End. The wedding night was never detailed; their children seemed to be sent from God as immaculate conceptions. You literally didn’t know how they got it on in the bedroom.

Even in the movies things weren’t shown. Remember the great staircase scene in Gone With The Wind?

A drunken Rhett scoops his wife, Scarlett, up in his arms and carries her up that grand staircase, the light fading behind them the higher he goes, his intent obvious. End of scene. Cut to the next morning with Scarlett lounging in bed, a girlish blush on her cheeks, and our imaginations left to run rampant on what occurred after the fade out and the bedroom door was shut in our faces. (Click here to see the actual filmed scene)

Fast forward a half century.

A little independent movie called The Devil in Miss Jones opened and sex – raw, in your face ( and every other body part) sex between two people…and even more than 2 people at once – was now on view for all to see and be…entertained by. It wasn’t shown in back street, urine smelling alleyway hole-in-the-wall porno theaters, but right on Main Street, USA movie houses. The people who stood in line for hours weren’t pedophiles or sex perverts ( although, I’m sure there were a few of those!) but everyday men and women, NORMAL people who were intrigued -and let’s be honest, titillated – about this movie and its usually forbidden subject manner.  It became an overnight cult classic that was accepted and viewed by the mainstream majority.

If you could watch sexual acts among consenting adults openly in the movie theater, sitting next to your neighbor, your boss, your politicians, even your doctor or dentist, why the heck couldn’t you buy a book and read about it openly as well?

Jacqueline Suzanne thought the same thing and wrote a little fictional tome called Valley of the Dolls.

 And while this wasn’t classified as a romance story but as literary fiction – nowadays it would be referred to as Women’s Fiction – it was a runaway bestseller and the major reason it was is because it talked about people having sex — and showing it!! All kinds of sex in all kinds of places – and I’m not just referring to locales, but to different orifices! (Orifi?)

Writers Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss thought the same thing. Why couldn’t you show the physical side of a relationship? In detail? 

This new openness about sexual acts opened that bedroom door and they invited us in. All in! Before those two burst on the romance writing scene, if you wanted to read about what consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedrooms, you had to go to a certain brand of book shop and wander in the erotica section because that’s where the books with sex were kept. Or behind the counter and you had to – blushingly – ask for them by name and author.

 Rogers and Woodiwiss made it acceptable for the average romance reading MOM to buy a book with detailed sex scenes in them at the town independent bookstore, or the local Walmart, Target, and KMart.

Once that bedroom door was opened, it hardly ever closed again. Sweet romances still sell – a lot – but the majority of romance books written and sold now all have open bedroom ( and every other conceivable place and room) doors.

I’m with the majority on this one. I like reading about open bedroom doors and I write about open bedroom doors. In its baldest sense, I have an open door policy for my writing. Pun intended. I read all genres of romance except pure erotica. I do, though, read and enjoy erotic ROMANCES because –HELLO!!!– romance is the major part of the equation. A really good writer can devise a “love scene” where you never even realize the physicality of what you’re reading as much as you do the emotions involved in the physical aspects of what’s on the page. And let’s face it, if you’re getting a little…turned on…both emotionally and physically by what you’re reading, that author has done her job. I long to be that type of writer!

To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,

“Sex is natural, sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun
Sex is best when it’s, one on one”

Now, there are a bunch more authors in this blog challenge who may have interpreted this blog title just a little bit differently than I have. Let’s hop over and see what they’ve come up with, shall we?



Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women