Tag Archives: Contemporary romance

Dedications. They mean more than you think…

Do you read the dedications in the front of books? I do. I think it’s cool to try and figure out why the author decided that  person was the one to whom the book, the author’s baby, was deserving of a praise-filled mention. After all, it was the author who wrote it, not the person it is dedicated to. The author put in all the blood, sweat, tears, and work into the story. Shouldn’t they, by rights, dedicate it to themselves?

Okay, that’s a dumb question, but I think you know what I mean.

Do authors choose the person to list the dedication based on something they might have done for them? Helped them with research, maybe, so the mention is like a thank you, then? Or perhaps the idea for the story came from the person it is dedicated to? Could it be the dedicatee is somehow connected to the book? Is it their story told from a fictional viewpoint?

Is the dedicate-ee a lifelong friend who suffered through the endless revisions, deletions, and plotholes with the writer? Or is it a loved one whom the author wanted to publically acknowledge?

So many questions, and I’ll bet each writer chooses a dedicatee for a different reason.

All of my books have been dedicated to someone in my life I love. My first book I assigned equally to my husband and daughter, the two halves that make my heart whole.

I’ve dedicated another book to my best friend – a woman who not only has supported me through my endless attempts to establish a published writing career, but one from whom I have learned so much  about life, sharing, and unconditional friendship.

I have a Christmas story coming out this year I’ve dedicated to one of my wonderful sisters-in-law because the family in the story could be her own. It isn’t – but it could be, and I knew she’d appreciate all the humor, pathos, and family love woven into it.

So, if you’re a writer, how do you choose who dedicate your work to? Let’s discuss…….

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, is dedicated to my mother.

Blurb:

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with Joyce Holmes

On this beautiful April Sunday, I am very pleased to introduce you to  another of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, author Joyce Holmes.  Joyce hails from British Columbia and is living the writing dream. She recently “sat” down with me for an indepth interview and graciously gave me – and now you!  – a glimpse at her newest release, Visual Effects.

Here’s Joyce.

Joyce – The Writer Questions

  1. What drives you to write? I love telling a story – creating believable characters, giving them tough emotional issues to deal with and then helping them find their way to a happy place.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance, partly because I enjoy dealing with real people in real-life situations, and partly because I’d have no clue how to write anything else.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I’m a voracious reader. I read all romantic genres and every type of other fiction, as well. I even occasionally read non-fiction. And cereal boxes, bus advertising…
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I don’t follow a schedule unless I’m under deadline. I’d love to write every day, but sometimes real life doesn’t let me. I do ‘writer stuff’ every day, though. Promotion, social media, research, whatever is the priority at the time.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?Years ago, I converted my smallest bedroom into an office and that’s where I write. My laptop sits on an old desk and there’s a small table next to it, where I keep notes and research papers that aren’t on the computer. Two tall bookshelves, overflowing with books, and a filing cabinet take up most of the remaining space.
  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? When I had kids at home, I was quite good at filtering out the noise, but I’m noticing more often now, noise distracts me and I need quiet, especially if the scene isn’t going well.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I listened to music on occasion when I first started writing, but not for some time now. Sadly, it’s become another noise that distracts me.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I had just come back from a trip to LA, so I had the film industry on my mind, and that’s the backdrop for my story. As for the plot, it evolved as it went along. A few of the plotlines were taken from my life experiences and given their own twists.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually the characters come first. I have to know them quite well before I can put them into any given situation, although their personalities sometimes make a bit of a transformation to suit the plot as it develops.
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Slow, slow, and slow. Oh, that’s only one word? Okay, then, slow, methodical, and obsessive.

Joyce, The Person Questions:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’ve climbed Grupo Nohoch Mul, a pyramid in Mexico. I have bad vertigo and it’s quite the climb, so it’s a proud accomplishment for me.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Guy James, and I was thirteen. It was only puppy love, but it lasted a long time. My first real love was my hubby, at age eighteen, and it’s lasted a lot longer.
  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…. My first date with Hubby. It could use a do-over or three
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?Boxers, but not the baggy kind.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? This is going to sound weird, but I don’t use many beauty items. About the closest I could get is my facial cream.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Tenacious, loyal, softhearted.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Something silly, like Call Me Maybe.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I’ve read many great characters, but no particular one jumps readily to mind. So, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I’d love to spend time with my current character, Jesse Devlin. I think he’d be a lot of fun to hang with. He could take me sightseeing in his vintage Porsche, stopping for a stroll along the Santa Monica Boardwalk; maybe go dancing…

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound: A child’s laughter
  2. Least favorite sound: Knuckles cracking
  3. Best song every written: Imagine by John Lennon
  4. Worst song ever written: All those rap songs full of swear words and nasty lyrics.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Keanu Reeves (Because of his looks, not his acting) and Julia Roberts (Because she’s so real)
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): My little dog. I’d love to know what she thinks and what she sees.
  7. What turns you on?: Tenderness
  8. What turns you off?: Negativism
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “Sorry I’m late. I forgot.” (Needless to say, that first date was also our last.)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?: Getting all my kids and grandkids together with my hubby and me, and doing something fun. Hearing them laugh and watching them enjoy being with each other.

 

Blurb:

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Drey Winston is a fierce competitor who enjoys challenging her mind and body. But when it comes to her heart—no one ever gets close enough to compete for it. Having grown up believing she was an unwanted burden to her parents, she prefers to keep her feelings well hidden. Just when her hard-fought goals are finally within reach, the audacious Jesse Devlin comes along to breach her carefully guarded defenses.

After a disastrous marriage early in life, Jesse Devlin prefers strings-free relationships. Confident and outgoing, he gets along well with women, but his natural charm can’t seem to penetrate Drey Winston’s aloofness. While attempting to win her over, he’s the one who ends up losing his heart.

Can this commitment-phobic bachelor convince the stubbornly independent woman he loves that his feelings—and hers—are the real deal?

Excerpt:

Jesse leaned against a tree to draw in a few deep breaths. As he straightened, he plucked his ball cap off his head and wiped his forearm across his brow, then hooted a victory cheer. “Hard work’s over. Time for the reward.”

He dropped the cap onto the sand and emptied his pockets into it. Then he pulled his T-shirt over muscled shoulders, dropped it onto the sand on top of his cap, and made quick work of his footwear. Drey stared in disbelief as he beelined down the beach and ran straight into the low surf. When he was hip-deep in the water, he slipped smoothly beneath the surface. He reappeared several feet out and turned to wave.

“Join me,” he called. “The water’s great.”

“Not a chance. The ocean is cold in summer, I can only imagine how frigid it must be today.”

“Wuss,” he scoffed and splashed water in her direction.

Shivers that had nothing to do with feeling chilly shot through Drey as she watched him emerge from the water a few minutes later. Rivulets ran down his chest, following the ridges and planes of his brawny body. Wet shorts clung to muscular thighs.

He ran his hands over his face and then shook himself like a playful pup. “You don’t know what you missed. Nothing like a dip in the salt chuck to get the heart pumping. Well, almost nothing.” He stalked deliberately up the beach toward her, and the look on his face made her back away, but she didn’t react fast enough. He caught her up in his arms, laughing at her shrieks of protest.

“Lemme go, Jesse. You’re cold. Come on, Jesse, lemme go. You’re getting me all wet.”

“That’s the whole idea. Get you wet and me warm.”

She gave him a firm push in the wrong direction as she sprinted down the beach. “Not if you can’t catch me,” she threw over her shoulder as she went.

Buy Links:

Wild Rose Press      Amazon          B&N

 

Author Bio:

Holmes_Headshot

Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. The award-winning author is happily living her dream of being a stay-at-home writer. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.

You can find Joyce here:

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with author M.S. Spencer

Today is a real treat for me because I get to introduce you to a prolific writer and a very interesting woman, M.S. Spencer . Ms. Spencer recently stopped by for the Peggy grilling ( read: nosy interview!) and her answers are as fascinating as her bio. Stick around because she’s giving us a view of her latest book The Penhallow Train Incident, and you’ll want to read this gem.

Here she is:

M.S. Spencer, The Writer :

  1. What drives you to write? As anyone knows who writes, it’s unavoidable (although Samuel Johnson thought anyone who wrote except for money was an idiot). I can’t go for long without writing something, even if it’s poetry.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Romantic suspense/murder mystery. I like a plot-driven story with some twists rather than just a straight romance.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? When I read any fiction, it’s usually mystery or humor. When I’m writing (which is every day) I read history and biography. Otherwise I get confused J
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everydayI write every day for several hours, in the morning (about 9 to 11:30) and then late afternoon. In between I generally waste time.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? My study. I live in a Florida bungalow. While most of it is white and blue and red, my study has all the antiques—a beautiful mahogany desk, Dutch sink, and grandfather clock. It looks out on a tiny patio with a fountain. I can see the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico while working!         M. S. Spencer Study

 

  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 tunnel vision? Yes, once I buckle down—usually about an hour before cocktail time.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No. I am easily distracted and like to concentrate on the story.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? My current WIP, The Ghost Hotel, is a mystery/romance set in Sarasota, Florida. While rummaging around on the internet I came across a news story about the “ghost hotel”—a Ritz-Carlton started in 1926 by John Ringling (of circus fame) and never finished. It sat in ruins from 1926 to 1964 and was—naturally—dubbed the ghost hotel. What better to find there than a ghost?
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Actually, setting comes first, then plot. The characters have to fend for themselves until about the third chapter, when they can make a good case for both what kind of people they are and what their names should be.
  2. What 3 words describe you, the writer? Distractable, flexible, odd.

M.S. Spencer, The Person :

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! Just one? Lessee—I studied Arabic for seven and a half years & just barely scratched the surface of the hardest language to learn there is.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I’d say Steve Schreiber in 6th grade—he convinced me to take my hair out of the braids (it fell to my thighs) and taught me sign language.
  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…. Not counting my wedding day (which could have used a little makeover)? Probably the day I galloped my roan stallion Farid across the Egyptian desert under what would be the nose of the Sphinx.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers—a little mystery is nice & it makes his legs look thin.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I don’t use much makeup (70s type) so there’s nothing I can’t live without.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Introvert, curious, generous.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Believe me, he wouldn’t want to sing with me—even my baby granddaughter doesn’t want me to sing.
  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? OMG no question—Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice—I’d just sit and listen to her speak those perfect sentences.

Bonus round

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

Favorite sound: A coloratura soprano singing an aria (Lucia di Lammermoor’s murder scene)

Least favorite sound: Rap beat.

Best song ever written : Nessun dorma (Puccini, Turandot)Worst song ever written

Worst song ever written:  Puberty Love from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Favorite actor and actress :  Peter O’Toole and Judi DenchWho would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead: )Benjamin Franklin because he was at the center of the incredible, exciting, amazing foundation of America.Benjamin Franklin because he was at the center of the incredible, exciting, amazing foundation of America.

What turns you on?: Good manners.What turns you off?

What turns you off? : Bad manners.

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) I almost married your sister.

What’s your version of a perfect day? Two different days—one sunny & beautiful at the beach; the other very rainy where I can sit and write all day.

The Penhallow Train Incident

Penhallow Train Incident by M. S. Spencer

A corpse on a train, hidden treasure, and the search for the Queen of Sheba’s tomb make for romance and adventure on Penobscot Bay.

In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust.
The Penhallow Train Incident is set in the fictional town of Penhallow. Midcoast Maine sits right about where the state begins to change from heading due north to “down East.” The land is quite different from the southern beaches or the North Woods. Fronting Penobscot Bay, it is a region of lakes, farms, small villages, and lobstermen. Most people have lived there for generations, and refer to anyone who moves to Maine from elsewhere as “from away.” Our heroine Rachel Tinker and her hero Griffin Tate are both from away, but when a series of murders roils their adopted town, they spring into action.

Excerpt:

Without thinking, Rachel blurted out, “Are you after the money?”

Noreen’s eyes opened wide. “Me? Money? What money?” Her expression morphed into sly. “Nah. I broke up with John back in Belize. He wouldn’t share. Said I’d run through all his cash, but I didn’t believe him.”

“So why did you come up to Maine?”

Noreen dropped Rachel’s arm. “It’s here. I can feel it. His stash.”

I’m thinking consistency is not her strong suit.

As if sensing Rachel’s sentiment, Noreen shook her head. “I had nothing to do with any robbery anyway. John told me he’d inherited the money. I’m entitled to half his stuff, you know. I’m his wife.”

“What about Hannah Sundstrom?”

“She’s dead, ain’t she?”

The fact that Hannah wasn’t yet dead when Noreen married Pinkney didn’t appear to enter into her calculations. She’s waded so far into the swamp of lies she doesn’t know she’s drowning. “What about John?”

“John? He’s still in the slammer, ain’t he? I have a free hand.” Her face darkened. “Or I did, until you and your precious Marx started sticking your honkers where they don’t belong. Damn you! Now I’m on the sheriff’s radar again.” She reddened. “If he lets John out, I’m screwed.” The woman grabbed her arm again and squeezed painfully. “It’s all your fault. Why couldn’t you just let well enough alone?” Her voice rose. “Why are you persecuting me? I never did nothing to you. You Yankee snobs and your self-righteous hi-de-hos. I hate all of you.”

Rachel took a step back and Noreen lunged forward, baring her teeth. “Don’t you run away, bitch. You need a lesson in minding your own business, you do.” She drew closer, her hands balled into fists. Rachel took another step backward, but her right heel hit a stack of wood and she fell over. As she tried to push off from the rolling logs, Noreen loomed above her. “This’ll teach you.” She drew her arm back and smashed her fist into Rachel’s nose.

Everything went black.

Buy Links: Wild Rose Press // Amazon // iTunes //ARe //Bookstrand // Kobo 

 

About the Author

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Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. She has two fabulous grown children and a perfect granddaughter, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Here’s where you can find M.S. Spencer

Blog// Facebook // Twitter // Google+ // Goodreads // Pinterest //Amazon Author page //

 

OTHER BOOKS BY M. S. SPENCER

Romantic suspense and mystery, they are available in ebook and print from The Wild Rose Press, I Heart Book Publishing, and all fine on-line book stores. For more information, visit http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com/p/my-books.html

Dear Philomena: Love, Lust and Murder on Chincoteague Island

Mai Tais & Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance)

Triptych

Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press:

The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower (an Old Town Romance)

Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders (an Old Town Romance)

Whirlwind Romance

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A visit with Kat Henry Doran

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a fabulous author. Serendipity introduced us, and it’s been a real pleasure getting to know her and her writing work. Kat Henry Doran recently sat down and got the Peggy grilling ( read: nosey questions!). Kathy_LCRW_2

Author Interview Questions:

Kat, The Writer, Questions

  1. What drives you to write? Creating a logical and intriguing story based on the age-old question, “What if . . .”
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? For the last few years I’ve stuck with straight [meaning no suspense or mystery or h/h in jeopardy], fairly sweet [meaning no overt sex acts but plenty of tension] romances. For me they are fun and take me out of myself.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? Romantic Suspense. I want to see how the experts like Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown plot things out and create plausible endings.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? I write when I can which is not everyday. Plus, I need to feel the compulsion to write and that unfortunately doesn’t strike very often anymore.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. In the living room on my love seat with files of notes, reminders and magazine or newspaper articles beside me. The TV is running so I can watch my favorite shows or old faves in videos. Right now I’m on the seventh or eighth rerun of “Spotlight”. The plot and actors captivated me from the first viewing. Each time I watch it I see something new.
  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 tunnel vision? See my response to #5.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write? It depends on the story and charcters. With one novella I wore out a Best of Gershwin CD. With my WIP I’m doing Motown girl groups.
  1. How did you come up with the plot line/idea for your current WIP? It was during a visit to one of my favorite places on earth: Saranac Lake, NY, a small tourist town in the Adirondack Mountains, best known for successful treatments and cures for Tuberculosis prior to the development of anti-tubercular meds and is a few miles from Olympic history [1980 Miracle on Ice]. I drove around to familiarize myself with favorite haunts, took more than a few pictures and realized I had to set my next book in this place. Within hours I’d found the perfect location for the heroine’s home and place of work, a few secondary characters, and places for her and the hero to dine, shop and take their son to play.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? Characters. Always. Because if I don’t fall in love with them and respect them, there’s no reason for a book. For me, everything else is built around the characters.
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Imaginative, dreamy and driven. (Peggy here: love that description!)

Kat, The Person, Questions:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I am a retired nurse-paralegal, currently recovering from total hip replacement surgery. I could not walk without the aid of a cane and heavy duty pain killers for most of 2015. Today I can do almost anything—except dance the samba—and am completely pain free. It is wonderful and I’m so grateful.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Bill and I was 15.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? The day Bill and I broke up. It’s been 50 years or more and I still think of him. We’ve seen each other over the years—family weddings and funerals—and he’s as attractive now as he was then. I would explain what went wrong, why it happened, then ask him to forgive my thoughtlessness.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers or briefs? Boxers never fail.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? My nightly facial mask.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Sober. Loving. Relentless.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Who is Jimmy Fallon?
  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? Vince Flynn, now deceased, wrote political thrillers featuring an ongoing character named Mitch Rapp. The way Mr. Flynn’s mind worked intrigues me. I’d have a long discussions with him on my three chief concerns:
  1. Mitch’s wife turned into a real buzz kill shortly after they married and began issuing ultimatums left and right. She needed to die much sooner than she did.
  2. Mitch’s attitude needs a major league adjustment—either from the POTUS [President of the United States] or the Director of the CIA.
  3. Mitch needs a woman in his life. Someone with a brain and a mouth. Maybe an ER or ICU nurse who values her career as much as he does his and who is comfortably living on her own without the need of a man with a super ego, yet offers the great Mitch Rapp exactly what he needs. Maybe she could deliver the needed adjustment. Actually, I’ve just described myself back in the day. Sigh.

 

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound. My grandchildren just goofing around.
  2. Least favorite sound. My grandchildren whining.
  3. Best song every written. Rhapsody in Blue.
  4. Worst song ever written. It’s a Small World After All
  5. Favorite actor and actress. Currently it’s Liev Schreiber, with Daniel Craig a close second, and Dame Judy Dench.
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? The Pope. I’d fix a few Cardinal wagons over in the Vatican, you betcha.
  7. What turns you on? My husband’s smile.
  8. What turns you off? Persons in power abusing those in a lesser position.
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date. “And then I did this.” OR “Did I tell you I . . .”
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Sleeping late and waking on my own not to an annoying alarm clock. Coming to the living room and finding a pile of crossword puzzles to work on. Having an unending supply of fresh, dark roast iced coffee at my elbow. The Food Network or Say Yes to the Dress are playing on TV.

 

VENGEANCE IS MINE, Kat’s newest book

Blurb: 

Vengeance_front

            Ever fantasize about going back to study hall to confront the school bully? The mean girls? The brainless jocks who made your life miserable?

For Dru Horvath, former gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winner; Rafe Archangeli, the Scourge of Summerville who is the recently appointed head of a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe who recreated herself with an A-list modeling agency, the opportunity to exact vengeance is too good to pass up.

            Will they find vengeance against those who tormented them?

Or something more important?          

Buy Links

Create Space:             www.CreateSpace.com/5939143

*Amazon:                  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1522757694

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/1522757694

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1522757694

http://www.amazon.de/dp/1522757694

http://www.amazon.es/dp/1522757694

http://www.amazon.fr/dp/1522757694

www.amazon.it/dp/1522757694

 

 

Biography:

Legal nurse consultant, forensic nurse examiner, victim advocate. Kathy Cottrell has been there and done that, many times over. Writing under the pseudonyms of Kat Henry Doran and Veronic Lynch, she travels to the wilds of Northern New York State, the wonders of mother nature at her best on the shores of Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River to create stories of strong women and the men who love them.

When not writing she’s sewing – and occasionally serving as chauffeur to the four best things in her life: Meredith, Ashlin, Owen and Kiernan.

Join Kathy, Veronica, and Kat at:

email: WildWomenAuthors@yahoo.com

blogs: www.WildWomenAuthorsx2.blogspot.com

www.ApronsWithAttitude2.blogspot.com

www.Goodreads.com/author/show/4496125.VeronicaLynch

http://www.Goodreads.com/author/show/2905614.Kat_Henry_Doran

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What I meant to say…..

In my never-ending desire to improve the way I write, I’m reading a fabulous  little gem titled How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell.

Now, I’m known for good dialogue. I make it a daily habit to listen to the conversations going on around me, and yes, that means I’m nosey! But it’s not just for nosiness’ sake.

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Every conversation I eavesdrop on teaches me something new about syntax, style, word choice, personality, and character. I use all of that info into creating the best character dialogue I can.

Recently, I spent over two hours on three lines of dialogue between two characters. I wrote it every which way I could think of, making it more complex with each word I eliminated, and finally deciding it was perfect as stood.

The next day I changed it all around and you know what – it was even better!

nosiness

Scott Bell’s book is filled with motes of dialogue genius like this: “Every word, every phrase that comes out of a character’s mouth is uttered because the character hopes it will further a purpose. The character has, in short,  an agenda.”

WOW!

I truly have never looked at it that way. I mean, I knew it was true, and hoped I could pull it off on the page, but seeing it so succinctly and eloquently put has turned this little gem into literary gold for me!

Knowing what dialogue is supposed to convey in the scene you are writing is another important facet to think about. None of us wants to be accused of writing tired coffee-talk dialogue. You know: the kind where you write,” Hey, what’s new?”  “Nothing. You?” “Same old same old.” “Yeah.”

Can you spell BORING??!! Dialogue should amp up the scene, convey what you want the characters to convey, and make the reader want to read further.

So to my writing friends out there – and you know who you are – how are you at dialogue? Good? Lousy? Always looking to improve? What are the ways you can guarantee your dialogue does what it’s supposed to? let’s discuss…..

And since we’re talking… here’s my newest:

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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The last thing Carly Lennox is looking for as she sets out on her new book tour is love. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine show based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is an ambitious man-and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else, and as he tells her, he’s a patient guy. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. No. Carly is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him- may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

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

 

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Why I need a wingman…

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Today I am attending an event where I will be selling ( hopefully!) and signing my books. The 2016 Monadnock Women’s Expo is being held at the Zorn Dining Commons at Keene State College from 10 am until 2 pm and there are over 40 vendors hawking their wares, one of which will be me. By myself.  Alone. Solo.

This is the first time I have attended such a huge event for a signing and I will be at my table all by lonesome. The thought is absolutely terrifying. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you….

First of all, I have to get dressed up and by dressed up I mean I have to wear my hair fixed in a  style other than my typical messy bun or ponytail. Then I have to wear makeup, which as I am getting older, I find cakes more into those lovely little wisdom lines around my eyes and mouth like nobody’s business. Then I have to find something in my wardrobe that actually fits and looks good. Two almost impossible tasks at this point because menopause has put twenty pounds on my already chubby frame, and I haven’t shopped for any kind of clothing in over three, almost 4 years. Purses and shoes don’t count because you can be a size zero or 22 and they always look good. My dressing room looked like a tornado and hurricane Hazel both blew through it last night as I pulled almost every article of clothing from my closet and tried it on desperately hoping to find something, ANYTHING, that would fit.

SO, hair, makeup and clothes that fit aside, I’m also terrified of being alone at my table because: a – I am afraid no one will stop and see me, buy a book, or have me autograph one and I will look like a total loser, and b – I am terrified someone will stop at my booth and ask me questions and want to purchase a book which I will have to autograph and then charge them for. And see, this is the biggest thing terrifying me: I have to ask people for money to pay for something I wrote and then take it, hoping they will like what they have purchased and not rant on Goodreads about what a waste of money the book really was.

Whew! I wrote that last paragraph without drawing a breath!

So, now you know my nasty little secret: despite giving an air of confidence and self-assurance to one and all sundry, I am really just a mass of nervous, anxious, neurotic jello ( can a food be neurotic??) wanting to please, hoping I will, and horrified I won’t.

And this is why I need a wingman: someone who will take the money and usher the next person on. Say a prayer for me – or several, maybe even a novena – that I don’t totally f**k this day up, and that I survive unscathed to write about the experience in the next several days.

Pathetic, thy name is Margaret-Mary.

This is the book I’ll be selling:

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

Blurb:

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The last thing Carly Lennox is looking for as she sets out on her new book tour is love. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine show based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is an ambitious man-and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else, and as he tells her, he’s a patient guy. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. No. Carly is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him- may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

 

Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

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

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Meta- what??!!

So at a recent NHRWA chapter meeting, this really cute guy named Mike came and talked to the group about Social Media and Internet marketing. Did I mention he was cute? He was also a treasure trove of technical info that, for a total tech-NO savvy writer such as me – opened my eyes to how valuable social media and the internet can be to someone in my profession.

The very first and most important thing we need as writers in today’s cut-throat market is a website that has key words and phrases congruent with “searches” that will bring people to our site. One piece of key info I didn’t know was that Google is responsible for 67% of all searches on the internet. That’s 2/3 of all – ALL – searches being conducted. As a romance writer I need to know which words or phrases are the most beneficial to get my site, my books, my name, the first thing to pop-up on a search.

This is invaluable information, folks, for any writer who wants to sell a book.

Another point he made was telling our group the power of Google Analytics. You can glean so much knowledge about your readers and your website visitors from this, and also who will be more likely to buy your type of book than another.

Informational gold, people. Gold!

I will admit this freely – I am a facebook junkie. Mike ( did I mention he was cute?) is a big proponent of using FB as a marketing tool. This, at least, I had some idea about! You can reach so many people  through FB, it’s crazy. But crazy-good. One of the points I learned about FB that I had no clue of before this little lecture? You should always LIKE and SHARE your own posts. Right away, and then several hours later. So for instance, suppose I post this blog at 7 am. I should like and share it then and again at noon because the FB news line will roll with it, thereby getting people to see that “Oh, PJ liked this, let me take a look!.” That person may not have been awake at 7 am when I did the original post, so I missed out on a potential “looker” at that time.

Again, gold, people. Informational gold.

There were a whole bunch of other goodies Mike gave us, too many for me to list in a quick blog. But he has published books of his own on this stuff, so you click here and see what he’s published:  Mike Dolpies. p.s. Did I mention he was cute?

Stuff like this is the reason I never miss an NHRWA meeting.

Now, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t hawk my own stuff?
Here’s the newest release:

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

Blurb:

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The last thing Carly Lennox is looking for as she sets out on her new book tour is love. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine show based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is an ambitious man-and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else, and as he tells her, he’s a patient guy. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. No. Carly is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him- may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

 

Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

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Location, location, location…

A few days ago I wrote a blog piece about the use of reality and real situations in fiction writing.  I’ve taken events that have occurred in my life and added them to the lives of my characters at times when I needed something to propel the story forward. I realized this morning I do the same thing when I set the locales for my books.

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I’ve lived in 3 places long term in my life: New York ( and 3 of the 5 boroughs), Wisconsin and now New Hampshire. Three very diverse places in so far as culture, weather, and language go. Language, you say? Well, yes. There is a world of difference between the way a New Yorker “tawks” and a Wisconsonite speaks. But that’s a blog for another day…

Today I am talking about setting and local. Every book I have written ( all of them!!) have been in either NYC, or New England. Why? Because those are the places I know best. Why not Wisconsin you ask? Well, I’ll tell you….I just don’t know why I’ve never penned a book set there. Maybe in the future…maybe.

I lovelovelove New York. I am at heart a “city girl” and if you know what that term really means, you are from NY, too! Setting books there is fun, scary, and fast-paced because NYC is fun, scary and fast-paced! The books set in NYC have all given the readers a little glimpse of the exciting city.

nycgirl

I adore New Hampshire and New England – especially in the autumn. Four of my MacQuire women books are set in New England and all of them, as well, highlight the terrain. The weather may be unpredictable on the best of days, but there is nothing NOTHING as beautiful as a New England Autumn.

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So, here’s the question of the day ( you had to see this coming!) In your writing, do you have go-to locales, or do you find places to it switch up, places you’ve been, or only dreamed about? Let’s discuss….

And while we discuss, here’s a shameful plug for my book that releases tomorrow THE VOICE OF ANGELS, set in ( surprise!) NYC AND New England!!

 

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Blurb:

Can she trust her heart to love again?

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Available at:  Amazon /// The Wild Rose Press///  Kobo ///  Nook

Find me here:

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Let’s talk whirlwinds….

Not the meteorological ones, but the whole writing/publishing/marketing ones. The kind I’m in right now.

First, a disclaimer: I AM NOT COMPLAINING! This is not a blog rant. It is merely a message, a little insight perhaps, into the mind ( and world) of a trying-to-be-famous-middle-aged-romance-novelist-who-is-learning-the-ropes-one-step-at-a-time.

So. I had a book released on February 8, titled 3 WISHES (  A Candy Hearts Romance). There were 40 of us who had CHS titles released from January 3 until February 12. Because of that large number, there were endless blog visits, promos, cross-promo and other avenues for advertising,  we all took part in. And  because of all that, I didn’t get a great deal of my own writing done, especially when I booked my own intense 2 week blog/publicity tour that required me to write a separate essay and visit 10 of those blogs, daily. I know. Add that to the rest of the promo stuff and it is safe and true to tell you I was mentally exhausted. Thrilled with the promo and sales, but dog-tired.

That brings us to the present. I have a new release, THE VOICES OF ANGELS coming out this Friday, 3.11.16, and am in the throes of another promotion frenzy.  Truly – A FRENZY!!! I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I like to repeat things when I am stressed: I want to be the kind of writer who, one day, will have people who will do my marketing for me. And by people, I mean REAL PEOPLE, EXPERTS, and those who KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING (!) so I can just sit happily in my attic and ….write the days away without having to worry about tweeting hourly, putting up facebook posts, connecting on Goodreads ( although I like this!) or tracking novel rank. I want to write, not market. I know I sound like  a whining brat and I apologize for that ( hey, that rhymed!).

Le sigh.…someday. Again – just as a reminder – I am not complaining about any of this!!!!

well…maybe just a touch.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Blurb:

Can she trust her heart to love again?

Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Available at:  Amazon /// The Wild Rose Press///  Kobo ///  Nook

Find me here:

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Reality check….

writingfebruary

Sometimes I get inspiration for  a writing blog from the universe and sometimes I go in search of a topic. I found today’s little meme when I was Googling Reality in your writing.  And it’s perfect.

As a fiction writer my brain is continually turned to the “on” position as far as making stuff up goes. Fiction writer, remember? But there are times when something has either happened in my life, or I’ve seen a report on the news, or someone tells me a story and I just think “Wow. I can use that in a book.” The pitfalls of knowing a writer, being their friend or spouse,  is that this may happen more times than you think.

Truth.

So, here’s why today’s cartoon is so perfect for what I wanted to say. In my new book releasing on March 11 from the Wild Rose Press, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, my heroine – a writer –  pens a book about the experiences people have had with what they say are Angels. Her addition to the book is the birth of her daughter. I’m including a little bit of it here so you can reference what I’m talking about: Just for a starting point, Carly is being interviewed on a morning chat show and has been telling the host ( my wonderful hero, Mike !) about a car accident she had that propelled her into labor with her daughter. The baby is in distress and Carly is given the option of two anesthesias because she needs an emergency C-section -a spinal injection where the baby will be  out in 30 minutes, or general, where they can take her from her body in less than five. She bases her decision on something she hears and tells Mike about it this way:

       The spinal, the doctor said, was the safer choice for the baby. I was beyond exhausted from the labor and the stress of the accident and I didn’t know which way to go. My husband left the room to speak in private with the doctor, when out of nowhere a small voice whispered in my ear to take the general. I turned my head, but I was alone. The doctor came back a second later and I told him I’d made a decision. After I woke from the surgery, he assured me I’d made the correct one.”

Mike uncrossed his legs and leaned in closer. Even though he’d read the excerpt from the book the night before in preparation for the interview, hearing her tell the story in her gentle, melodic voice had a hypnotic effect. He wanted to hear more. “What did he mean?”

Carly’s smile turned sad. “Well, my baby had been lying on her umbilical cord. The accident must have shifted her position. At birth, she had no pulse or reflexes. The doctor couldn’t get any kind of response from her. After five minutes of resuscitation efforts, though, she started to perk-up. If I’d opted for the spinal and waited for it to work, he wouldn’t have been able to save her, because too much time would have elapsed between the injection and the operation. With the general anesthesia, she was born in less than five minutes. So the little voice in my ear helped me make the right choice.”

Now, to tie this little excerpt together with today’s theme: that story is true. I know because it happened to me. I had an accident the day my daughter was born – my 120 pound dog knocked me down while I was out walking her and, because I had her leash wound around my hand, she dragged me on my belly for a good twenty feet before help arrived. My body instantly went into labor, the baby was in distress, and the choice of anesthesia was given to me. The story about the voice in my ear is true as well.  I did hear someone whisper into my ear to take the general when my husband slipped into the hallway for a second – and I was left alone.

I wrote about that experience in several magazine articles for years after my daughter was born. When I wrote Carly’s biography I knew I needed an inciting event for her new book, so…

I bet you can guess today’s question without even thinking, but I’ll ask it anyway: have you ever used a real life event  that happened to you, a loved one, or a that you heard on the news, etc, in one of your stories? Let’s discuss….

THE VOICES OF ANGELS, available 3/11/16, pre-order now at THE WILD ROSE PRESS or AMAZON

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