Tag Archives: Contemporary romance author

A little present from me to you…

In just a few weeks my next Lyrical Shine book A SHOT AT LOVE, bk 2 in the Will Cook For Love Series, will be released. To whet your appetites ( like that pun??!)  I’m going to start posting little snippets and excerpts of the book every few days. Today is day one.

First, here’s the back cover blurb:

Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .
Look for exclusive recipes in each book!  
 
Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .

With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love . . .

Now….meet Gemma Laine, for the first time, through Ky’s eyes:

That’s her.” The officer pointed to a police vehicle in the middle of the barricaded street a moment later. “Name’s Gemma Laine.”

A woman stood next to the vehicle, a cell phone at her ear, her back to him. Tall, maybe as tall as he was, and slender, her back tapered down to a minuscule waist, her legs clad in tight, faded jeans. When she turned Ky almost stopped midstride, the questions he intended to grill her with jumping out of his head. His breath caught as he simply stared at the loveliest woman he’d ever seen.

Hair the color of midnight, straight as a board, fell to just below her shoulders, blowing back from her face in the gentle afternoon breeze. Blunt, chopped bangs fringed a pair of large, bright blue eyes. Plump, coral-colored lips moved as she spoke into the phone and for a brief, hot second, Ky wondered if they’d taste as delicious as they looked.

Her gaze stayed on him as she spoke.

“I’ve gotta go,” she said into the phone. “Yeah. I’ll call when I’m done. Love you, too.”

“Miss Laine?”

She tucked the phone into her back pocket.

“I’m Special Agent Pappandreos. I need to speak with you about what you saw.”

“Special Agent?” Those delicate brows furrowed under her bangs. “Like, FBI?”

Jesus, where does a woman get a voice like that? Whiskey laced with honey and rolled into one smooth pitch.

“Yes. I understand you witnessed the shooting? You photographed it?”

She nodded. “I was working when it all started. I took a series of shots while it was happening.”

His gaze flicked to the camera she held in one hand.

“I need to see those pictures.”

His first impression of her height had been correct. She was maybe three or four inches shorter than his six-foot-one frame. As she moved closer, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight at attention. She smelled as good as she looked and his nostrils flared from the scent of sweet cherries blended with some hot exotic spice.

“It all went down so fast,” she said. “But I got some good shots.” Handing him the camera, she added, “Press this button to advance.”

PreOrder Links:

Amazon //Apple //Google // Kobo // Nook

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

A visit with #author K.K.Weil

I lovelovelove when I get to find out a little more about my Wild Rose Press author sistahs! Today, author  K.K. Weil pays me a visit and she’s talking about herself ( yay!) and her new release Some Whisper, Some Shout, from WRP. Sit back and learn a little about this talented author

K.K.,  The Writer

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? So far, I’ve written contemporary romance and romantic suspense. I didn’t set out to write in these genres. I just wrote whatever stories were in my head, and they happened to fall within those parameters. But I’d love to write a dystopian novel, too. I’ve got one looming in my head and have started fooling around with it, so maybe one of these days.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? I used to write every day, but this year I went back to teaching, so I’m juggling both. It definitely takes more time, but I love doing both, so it’s worth it.

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write in my family room, sitting on the same spot on the couch every time. Eventually, there will be a big dent in the cushion, but it’s not there yet.

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I like certain background music when I write. I actually have a playlist with songs from about 6 albums that I shuffle every time I write. They’re all somewhat mellow – jazz, blues, Nora Jones, Alicia Keys.

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I love writing about important topics. For this book, I knew I wanted to write about the homeless. There are so many organizations doing wonderful things to help the homeless, I wanted to incorporate that in my book. Jolie’s creperie offers a buy one-donate one program, where people can help feed the hungry if they want to.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? It depends. For Some Whisper, Some Shout, the plot came first because I knew I wanted to write about this topic. But for my book Shatterproof, I fell in love with one of the characters from my previous book, At This Stage, and I just had to create a story around him so for that one, character came first.

What 3 words describe you, the writer? Pantser, creative, grateful (that I get to do this thing I love so much) (Peggy here: I lovelovelove those 3 descriptions!!)

 

K.K., The Person

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I always eat my pizza crust first, because I like it the least, but I leave a tiny piece in the middle to use as a handle while I eat the rest of the slice. Now my daughter does the same thing. I think I corrupted her.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains. I had his name scribbled all over my binder in junior high.
  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 my son was born. My daughter came 3 years before, but there were complications and she was in put in the NICU (which obviously put a damper on the day). She ended up fine, thank goodness, but the day my son was born went seamlessly, and I compared it to my experience with my daughter, so I was just ecstatic for days. I wish everyone could have an experience like that.
  4. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Mascara. I love long lashes. Maybe one day I’ll give in and experiment with falsies.
  5. What three words describe you, the person? Serious, creative, principled
  6. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Oh God, no one would want to hear that. But if I had the opportunity, I’d sing The Devil Went Down to Georgia. I love songs with stories. Besides, we could each be/play a character.

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

 

  1. Favorite sound – Ocean waves crashing
  2. Least favorite sound – Whining
  3. Best song ever written Nights in White Satin, Moody Blues
  4. Worst song ever written So many, but maybe Baby by Justin Beiber
  5. Favorite actor and actress So hard to choose. Maybe Colin Firth. Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Any author with complex novels, because I’d love to be able to see their thought process, like Ayn Rand, Tolstoy or J. K .Rowling
  7. What turns you on? Dry humor
  8. What turns you off? Selfish behavior and bragging
  9. What’s your version of a perfect day? Being in a foreign country with my husband, exploring the places the locals go all day and night and having a delicious dinner with a couple glasses of wine.

Peggy here: It’s been fun getting to know K.K. a little better. And now for some more fun stuff. Here’s the blurb and an excerpt from her recent novel Some Whisper, Some Shout.

Blurb:  Some Whisper, Some Shout

Devices. Jolie’s got tons of them. Coping mechanisms that ensure she’s not falling victim to the mental illness that’s taken hold of both her brother and father. Helping the homeless gives Jolie much needed consistency. But when a stranger struts into her Jersey Shore creperie, writing cryptic songs on napkins and then disappearing, her world becomes anything but routine.

Reed can play the soul out of his saxophone, but he’s hiding something. Why else would he reveal so little about himself, or plan one secluded, albeit eccentric, date after another? And what’s in that backpack he carries everywhere? Then again, with her distressed brother missing, an estranged mother returning home, and a feisty grandmother acting weirder than usual, Jolie can’t decipher whether her suspicions are valid or dangerous delusions.

When inexplicable slashings of the homeless occur in her otherwise safe town, Jolie’s devices begin to fail.

Excerpt:

Reed’s bag sat on the floor next to me. I wasn’t in the habit of snooping. I’d never wanted to pry into the life of a guy I was dating before. Then again, I’d always gone in with my eyes open and my information gathered.

And no one else had been so intentionally evasive.

I scooted a few inches on the couch toward the bag. It was zipped shut so I couldn’t even sneak a peek. I’d have to very intentionally open it. I leaned over, a centimeter at a time, as if someone was recording me and I was trying to be sly. In my own home. How silly. My hand fell to my side, closer to the bag. My nail scratched at the couch, creeping its way toward the zipper. My stomach knotted into itself and my palms got clammy. I wiped one against the couch. This was very unlike me. Besides, I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for or if I wanted to know the answer.

Before my hand could make its descent from the couch to the backpack, the bathroom door opened. My hand flew into my hair and I sat up straight. Rigid even.

“Forgot my stuff.” Reed strutted toward me, in all his shirtless glory, with his shorts undone and hanging. He leaned over, scooped the backpack, and withdrew to the bathroom. He didn’t notice the plank of wood rammed down my back or the word guilty scribbled across my forehead.

I should have been disappointed. My snooping opportunity had passed. Instead, a cool ocean breeze seemed to blow through the room. I guess I didn’t want to know as much as I thought.

Buy Links:  Amazon // WildRose Press // B&N 

A little more about K.K. 

K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is also a teacher. She enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.

You can connect with K.K. here:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Blog // Instagram // Goodreads 

 

 

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

#RWA17…the reason I go every year

So, of course, the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, are the Workshops I took at RWA 17. Between coloring, fangirling, attending the book giveaway signings, I did – actually – sit in on a f ew lectures and learn some things.

IF you have never had the opportunity to hear Damon Suede speak, I pity you. First, his voice is like a warm blanket thrown over your body on a cold day. Warm, rich, soothing. Second, he is a wealth of amazeballs information about character development, what makes people-characters tick, and what their motivations/conflicts/individual characteristics should be. Damon comes from a theater ( and life!) background and really helps you get into your character’s mind set, feelings, and persona just as if you were portraying them on a stage. I’ve already listened to his 2 hour workshop twice since I’ve been home because I purchased the flash drive of the conference classes. Each time I’ve heard something new and fresh I will be using in my next books!

Three uber talented and mega published romance authors, RaeAnne Thayne, Jill Shalvis, and Sarah Morgan gave a workshop on Contemporary romance in today’s marketplace.

They each have very different writing styles and ways of telling a story, but they also know their market. Thier stories are character and situational driven, and they bring into each one a perfect little snapshot of the contemporary age, without isolating themselves to this moment in time. Case in point: you can read one of their books from five years ago and even though things have changed in the tech world and the world in general, the stories told are still relevant and topical to today. That was my takeaway from this talk. Write the here and now, since I write contemp/romance, but make it relevant for the future as well. It’s all in the characters and how they are motivated towards their HEA. Love these three authors!

 

Another workshop with a trio of amazeballs and prolific writers, was one titled Fifty Shade of Funny with writes Jennifer Probst, Lauren Layne and Rachel Van Dyken. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture while I was in this workshop because I was fangirling like a two year old over Jennifer and Lauren and forgot!!!! I di remember their takes on what constitutes “funny” in a romance novel was very insightful, though, so that’s something ( heehee).

My absolute favorite workshop was the last one of the conference: The Neuroscience of high-impact Love scenes, presented by the amazingly brilliant, funny, and speedy-talker, Emily Foster. I wasn’t able to hear her speak when I was at the NECRW conference earlier this year because she was presenting at the same time I was, so when I saw her name listed on the RWA17 conference sheet for presenters, I knew I just had to attend her lecture. And, yowza, am I glad I did.

  

As a nurse I figure I have a pretty good idea of how the human body and the mind work. Yeah…not so much in reality. Emily gave me a completely different spin – a neuroscientific one – about how the body responds to desire and arousal, and how the mind is the major player in the difference, not the body’s reactions. Blew. My. Mind!!! Again, I played this lecture back once so far – but plan on listening to it, again and again, to make sure I get the character’s reactions to all things sex, correct!

These weren’t the only lectures I attended, but they were the highlights. There was sososososo much to do, sear, and hear at the conference I had to pick and choose wisely. Another reason I am so glad I purchased the conference recordings. I missed a bunch of really fabulous workshops and presentations because I needed to be elsewhere at the same time. Best $$$$ I’ve spent in a while, too.

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A visit with #author Jennifer Wilck

 

Happy August first. Since it’s a brand new month I thought I’d introduce you to a brand new author. Jennifer Wilck may not be a debut author – just check out her impressive Amazon page – but she is a new writing sistah to me, courtesy of Wild Rose Press, so I wanted to find out a little bit more about her. And boy, did I like what I did!!! Read along and discover some of the fun things about this fab author, and stick around – she’s giving you a taste of her newest WRP release, ADDICTED TO LOVE.

Here’s Jennifer…..

the Author

  • What drives you to write?An inability not to? I have stories and voices in my head, dying to be written down.
  • What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?I write contemporary romance. I love writing about people falling in love and I have no faith in my ability to create other worlds or time periods. So for me, contemporary makes sense.
  • What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? My favorite genres of romance to read are historical and military. I love the alpha heroes in military romance and as for historical, I love everything about the 1800s—the dresses, the customs, the houses. That’s the time I’d go back to if I could time travel, so reading about it makes me happy.
  • What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?I try to write every day during the week, and my daily word count goal is 1,000 (that started when I participated in my local RWA chapter’s version of NaNoWriMo). Usually, I get blogging and marketing out of the way in the early-ish morning and then I write starting around lunchtime and going until late afternoon.
  • Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I have a laptop, so I can write anywhere, and often wander—walking around helps me focus and getting up and moving keeps me from getting distracted. I wander from my dining room table to my family room sofa to my desk and back. If it’s nice out, I’ll sit outside on my deck as well.
  • 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? That depends. When I’m home by myself, I write in total quiet. When my kids are home, I tolerate a little noise, although I often look around and think to myself, “Am I really writing this sex scene while they’re doing their homework here?” But in general, the quieter the better.
  • Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No, I can’t because I’ll start singing along, and then writing the lyrics down. J
  • How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP is book 3 in a four-book series. I came up with the series idea while writing book 1. It’s a group of four men (one per book) who are wealthy beyond wealthy, but who pool their money and invest in charity projects. The hero of the first book was a loner, but I had to give him people to talk to, so I started thinking about what friends he would have, whether he would distance himself from them too and why or why not, and the series idea was born.
  • Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character always comes first. I’m always curious about why people behave the way they do. So I come up with who and why and then fill in the rest. And I have a thing for tortured heroes, so my method lends itself well to that.
  • What 3 words describes you, the writer? Must have chocolate. Oh wait, are you talking about professionally? Tortured heroes rule. (Peggy here: Both are fabulous!!!)

the Person:

  • Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’m an only child, and I totally wing it when it comes to sibling issues between my two children.
  • Who was your first love and what age were you? A boy in my first grade class. He used to give me presents that he stole from his sister.
  • 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…. Probably the last time I was with my grandma.
  • Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Can I choose all three?( Peggy here: yes, you can!!)
  • If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be?It would have to be makeup, because I can’t give up my hair products—my hair is awful as is, and that’s after I use them!
  • What three words describe you, the person? Kind, loyal, funny

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

  1. Favorite sound: Rain on the window
  2. Least favorite sound: Wind
  3. Favorite actor and actress: Emilia Clarke & David Tenant
  4. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Ruth Bader Ginsberg—her intelligence and wit amaze me.
  5. What turns you on?: Humor and compassion
  6. What turns you off? :Hate
  7. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I don’t remember the words because they were slurred—he was drunk. It was not cool.
  8. What’s your version of a perfect day? Surrounded by my family/close friends, spending time together, laughing

 

Blurb: ADDICTED TO LOVE

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Excerpt:

“What are we looking at?” she whispered out of the side of her mouth, pursing her lips together and giving him an insane urge to kiss them.

“What?”

“I assumed since we’re standing here you must be looking at something, and I wanted to join in the fun. Or did you not realize we weren’t moving?”

Her nostrils flared and she bit her lip. Dan realized she was trying not to laugh. Now he really wanted to kiss her, to capture her mouth with his, to make her his own. Before he could act on it, his stomach growled.

“Was that yours or mine?” She looked at him, an eyebrow raised.

His lips twitched. His breath hitched. He couldn’t keep his amusement to himself any longer. It bubbled in his chest, and he let it out as he shook his head.

“Okay, while I am older than you, I’m not old enough to be senile. Yet. So yes, I did know we weren’t moving. But thanks for that. And yes, my stomach growled, because I’m hungry. Except I think I need to put eating on hold for a moment, because what I need more than anything else right now, what I’ve needed all night long in fact, is to kiss you.”

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

A little more about Jennifer:

When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary) and now I’m a published author. My first book, A Heart of Little Faith, was just declared a Finalist in the Fiction: Romance category of the 2016 Best Book Awards.

In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I run youth group activities, train the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently.

You can connect with Jennifer here:  Facebook // Twitter //Website // Blog // Pinterest 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

One week from today!

Join me and many other Romance Authors next Saturday, July 29  at the Dolphin Resort in Walt Dinsey World for a mega book signing.I’ll be there from 3-5pm EST with copies of COOKING WITH KANDY and A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS to sign.  The money that’s paid for the books goes to the Nora Roberts Foundation for Literacy – so you not only get to meet your favorite authors, you get to support Literacy too! How cool is that?!!

 

Can’t wait to meet you all!

 

 

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RWA – from a different viewpoint

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

Here’s the text:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ego-boosting stuff to be sure.

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

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

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The Declutter Challenge…

Recently on Facebook, I saw a post that was shared hundreds of times called THE DECLUTTER CHALLENGE,  a 30-day challenge to get rid of clutter and stuff in your life. A random sampling of the days’ tasks includes: purging 2 kitchen cabinets (day 7); cleaning out your wallet (day 9) and your purse ( day 10); cleaning out the freezer ( day 18); donating unused toys ( day 25). The challenge ends on day thirty with the simple task of CLEAN. I guess what you clean is up to you, but I took it to mean, clean your house.

This challenge, naturally, got me to thinking about how I could declutter my writing.  All writers have catch words or phrases they like to use, especially when writing dialogue. If we actually wrote how we spoke, the readers would be bored out of their gourds. For instance, would you seriously want to spend money on a book where every dialogue started like this:

#1. Hey, Bill. How are you?

#2. Fine, Jim. How are you?

#3. Can’t complain. How’s the family?

#4. Doing well. Yours?

#5. Same, same. So how, about those Red Sox?…

you get the idea. This is drivel. We may speak like this in real life, but in fiction, it’s a death knoll.

So that’s one way to declutter your work: check the dialogue. Can you get the idea across without all the folderol of “hi, how you doing’s?”

Another way I know I personally clutter up my writing is by using too many extraneous words to convey my thoughts. A quick search of my current work in progress yielded this:

the use of THAT – 89 times

the use of To her/to him/ for her/for him -56 times

the use of adverbs ( the bane of my writing existence) 91 times. EEK!

I really need to work on decluttering these words, don’t I! Hee hee

Other things that writers should declutter are phrases like “seemed to,” “tried to,” “began to.” Writing is much stronger and moves quicker when sentences are declarations and use an active tense.

For example: Her natural, spicy scent seemed to surround her body.

Better example: Her natural, spicy scent of ginger and peach, surrounded her.

Other words that can probably be eliminated a fair amount of time and still allow the sentence to convey what it needs to are:

move, push, reach, bring, pull, went, brought, press and came( to denote going  or coming from somewhere)

It’s a good practice to utilize the SEARCH for options in your word processing program to nit pick and eliminate words you use excessively after your first draft is written. This will make the editing process more about the story line and capturing what you intended to say instead of needing to remove excess words.

Oh, about that 30-day Declutter challenge. yeah, I survived for three days. Then I was exhausted. Maybe I should develop a 12 month declutter challenge. You know…do one thing a month instead of 30 in 30 days? Thoughts? LOL

When I’m not decluttering my life and my writing, you can find me here:

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

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Life challenges, Pet Peeves, Strong Women, Uncategorized

I’m a word banker…#MFRWauthors

I retired from my long time job in 2015 when I got my first book contract. So many people asked me at that time, “What are you gonna do with yourself now that you don’t have to go to work every day?”
Hello!!! After informing them that I was trading my hated job for a life long dream job and explained that I would now be writing full time, they still said things like, “But surely you can’t write all day?” and “But what else are you going to do to fill your days?”

I remember thinking at the time that people, for lack of a better word, can be really stupid. But that’s another blog… This one concerns word counts and I told you the story above as a precursor.

I approach word counts like I approach a job: all in. What that means for me is that I have a minimum goal I have to reach every single day that I write ( and I write every single day) before I can do anything else. You wouldn’t just leave a job in the middle of the day to go grocery shopping, or to have lunch with friends. You’re working. You have a job to do and you get paid for it.  That’s my approach to word counts.

Every day I write 2000 words minimum in whatever book I am currently working on, my WIP ( Work in progress). After that 2000 is done, I then decide if I want to keep going, or do the stuff I need to do to, you know… adult. Like, grocery shop, laundry, ironing, clean the house, do banking, pay bills. Even take a shower!

The fact that I’m blessed with chronic insomnia (and I never thought I’d hear myself say that was a blessing!) helps. I can get so much written between the hours of 3 and 6 am every day, that’s it ridiculous. My entire first book SKATER’S WALTZ was written during these times.

Word counts are, to many writers, a bane. A necessary evil. If they set a goal and then don’t make it, they feel many things: unworthy, like a failure, inept.

To them and all writers, I say STOP! Word counts are simply ways of tracking what you have written.  Only during the month of November if you participate in  NANOWRIMO should you worry about how much is “good enough” to write every day. Creativity can not be forced. And it shouldn’t be. If you write 6 words or 6ooo in a day, so be it. Those 6 words are probably the best you’ll wring from yourself, so good. Yay. 6 is better than none, right?

Now, you’re probably thinking, “but she said she writes 2000 every day before she does anything else, and yet she’s telling us not to worry about how much we write?” Correct. I am. But that’s what I need to do. Every writer, like every book and every story, is different. I know a contemporary romance writer who sets as her goal 100,000 words per month. If you take a month at 30 days, that means she has to write 3,333 words every single day no matter what. She has an assistant, so she doesn’t need to do the mundane things like social media updates, laundry, and grocery shopping. Lucky her. Most of us don’t have assistants, though. So again, whether you write 6, or 6ooo words a day; 10000 or 100000 per month, word counts are individualistic.

And necessary. Oh, so necessary. Don’t try to compare yourself with others when it comes to word counts. Like I said, everyone is different. As long as you write – and what you write is good – then, so be it.

Because this is a writer blog hop, click on some of the other authors here to see how they approach their writing word counts…or even if they have them!!

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books

#Celebrating some good news.

Just found out that my Wild Rose Press book from last Christmas holiday season A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest from the Contemporary Romance Writers RWA chapter! I’m one of 3 finalists in the Contemporary Romance – short division.

Can you just say “YOWZA!!!”

I am uber-stoked. A KISS came in 3rd in the NECRWA 2017 Reader’s Choice awards, and now this!!! My little romance writing heart is all aflutter today. And probably will be until July 28 when the winners are announced at RWA2017.

Yikes! I need to get to the gym so I can fit into a nice dress for the announcements…

See ya……………………

But before I go, if you haven’t read A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS yet ( and why not???) here’s a little taste:

With Christmas just a few weeks away, Gia San Valentino, the baby in her large, loud, and loving Italian family, yearns for a life and home of her own with a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. The single scene doesn’t interest her, and the men her well-meaning family introduce her to aren’t exactly the happily-ever-after kind. Tim Santini believes he’s finally found the woman for him, but Gia will take some convincing she’s that girl. A misunderstanding has her thinking he’s something he’s not. Can a kiss stolen under the Christmas lights persuade her to spend the rest of her life with him?

 

Excerpt:

At twenty-four I still lived under my parents’ roof, had no full-time paying job other than helping my father with his business books and those of a few of his business associates, and my love life was nonexistent.

It wasn’t that I didn’t get asked out or date. I did. Often. Plus, I was perpetually being set-up by the aunts and uncles. I’d had a steady boyfriend all through high school, but we went our separate ways when we each left for college. My choices had been limited in recent years to guys I met in college–who were all looking to score, not forge a lifetime commitment—and then in accounting school who were, for lack of a better word, boring and absorbed either in numbers theory, finding jobs after graduation, or in just getting into my pants. The men my extended family routinely set me up with were mostly thick-necked, uneducated, wiseguy wannabes who wanted a conventional Italian bride they could keep barefoot, pregnant, and cooking.

So. Not. Me.

I needed to make some decisions about my life and make them soon. First, pass the exams and get licensed. Then, look for a real job so I could afford to live on my own. This one might be the hardest to accomplish since my parents were old-school thinkers who believed girls should stay home until they were married. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go from their house to a husband’s house, and never experience what it would be like living on my own.

Lastly, I wanted to find the one special guy I could commit to. A guy who’d be family oriented like me, want kids, the minivan, a house in the ‘burbs, the whole family-comes-first-and-always mentality I’d been breastfed on.

I wasn’t too picky. Obviously, I didn’t want him to look like a troll, but nice looking wouldn’t hurt since I’d be spending eternity staring across the kitchen table at his face. A good-paying job would be nice in a career where I didn’t need to worry he’d make one wrong move and wind up as fish food in the Meadowlands marshes.

Don’t laugh: have I mentioned my Uncle Sonny?

BuyLinks:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press//  Kobo // Nook

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

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#RT2017 day 1, reflections

Yesterday was the first day of RT in Atlanta, and it was an abbreviated day. No morning sessions, or parties, or anything until 2:30 pm. I got my name tag, figured out all the rules and regs about the book signing, etc. I look a little cock-eyed in this picture, but I’m official, so that’s all that matters.

Since I’ve never attended an RT convention before, I attended what was called  RT CONVENTION VIRGINS. Yeah. It’s just like it sounds. A packed room full of people ( writers, readers, bloggers, industry folks) who have never….experienced RT before. You thought I was going to say something dirty, didn’t you? Admit it!. Anyway. It was an hour filled with stuff you need to know to have a good RT experience. The number one thing all the presenters said that will make your experience memorable and worthwhile? Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Yeah…I know. Maybe it’s the nurse in me but I thought this was just something common sense-y everyone knew.

Apparently not. Stories of people fainting while standing in line or getting urinary tract infections ran the gamut during the talk. Okay. So, of course, I drank. A lot. But I do anyway.

The next thing on my agenda was something called Naughty and Nice. Hosted by a bunch of authors, it was supposed to be an hour of mingling with cover models, sampling Peach bellinis, and tasting dark chocolate. I say supposed because I never got into the event. The one thing I wish the VIRGIN committee would have told me was that you need to line up, like, an hour before the event starts ( hence the fainting, dehydration, yadayadyada). I got to the event space at 4:50 for an 5:15 start and already the line was into the next state. They only admitted 150 people and I was, like, number 482. So, yeah…didn’t get that experience.

Two sessions down and I’m feeling a little…let down. But not to worry. CINEMA CRAPTASTIQUE was on the agenda with the amazeballs Damon Suede. This one was a blast, peeps, especially since I helped stuff goodie bags for the participants and was able to include some of my swag!Anyway, the movie that was watched was the turkey GLITTER starting Mariah “I’m a DIVA from Hell” Carey. Damon ran commentary the entire time the movie was on and I can tell you I needed to change my underpants when I got back to my room because I laughed so much I peed a few times! ( all that f**king water to keep hydrated!)

Today is jammed packed as it’s the first full day of the event. I’m meeting with a potential Literary agent, attending a few classes and then a big party tonight that my publisher KENSINGTON is co-sponsoring called ROMANCE ROCKABILLY. I’m sure I’ll have lots to tell about that on tomorrow’s blog!

I’ll be posting pix and live Tweeting during the event so you can find me here if you’d like to experience RT life vicariously!!:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor