Tag Archives: contemporary romantic fiction

#HolidayBookSale Donna Simonetta and A SWEETER SPOT

One of my favorite Wild Rose Press sistahs, Donna Simonetta, is having a book sale just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. A SWEETER SPOT is on sale right now! Below is a little preview to tempt you! And believe me…you want to be tempted. I loved this book so much that I reviewed it!

 

A SWEETER SPOT

Blurb:

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

 

Excerpt: 

An errant curl had escaped her grandmother- approved French Twist, and she tucked it behind her ear. She smiled and said, “I am. I’m Magda Horvath. Bethanne and her family are the only ones who call me Maggie. That’s how I know you are who you say you are. Even without the photo I.D.” She picked up the wallet and tossed it to him. He caught it one-handed and tucked it into the rear pocket of his shorts.

“Sorry. Do you prefer being called Magda?”

She rolled her eyes. “As long as you don’t call me Elizabeth, or any of its corresponding nicknames, I don’t really care.”

“Okay,” he drew out the word. “I don’t know why I would ever call you Elizabeth, but since it means that much to you, I’ll be sure I don’t. How about I go with Maggie? You look like a Maggie to me.”

He squatted and held out his hand to the dog. “Who’s this little cutie?”

Maggie readied herself to intervene in case Petunia snapped, as she sometimes did with strange men. “Oh! Don’t do that. She doesn’t like…” She abruptly stopped talking as Petunia walked to Jeff, sniffed his hand, and wagged.

Jeff seemed to realize the wagging was an invitation to pet her, and he scratched Petunia behind her ears. The little dog wagged so hard that Maggie was afraid her back end was going to break off, and her one eye was closed in bliss. As Magda watched her dog bask in Jeff’s attention, she had no doubt he could use those big hands to bring any woman to a state of bliss.

When he smiled up at her, his eyes crinkled, and Maggie could swear her heart stopped for a moment. He wasn’t handsome in the way Pierce was—all delicate bone structure and whippet thin. Combined with his baby-fine blond hair, Pierce was almost pretty. Jeff was all man. Tall and muscular with his messy brown hair that looked in serious need of a cut. He wore a sloppy T-shirt and olive colored cargo shorts, but the baggy clothes did nothing to hide the hard body underneath. His nose was just a little too big and a tad crooked, as though it had been broken. His tan skin stretched across strong cheekbones, but it wasn’t the kind of orange tan you got in a booth. It was the tan of a man who spent a lot of time outdoors. But it was those gray eyes, with the little laugh lines around them that really drew her to him. They were full of intelligence and kindness—now that he knew she wasn’t a trespasser.

“She doesn’t like what?”

Magda shook her head in amazement, “Men. She’d been abused before I got her, and she doesn’t usually like men.”

He grinned as the dog rolled on her back to reveal her belly for rubbing. He obliged, and winked at Magda. “Maybe she’s just been around the wrong men.”

Her and me both. Magda felt her knees go weak at his playful expression. Cold fish, indeed! Watching this man pet her dog had her hot enough to melt the zipper on her skirt.

Buy Links:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // B&N // Amazon UK // KOBO //

Bio:

Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read––contemporary romances filled with heart, heat, and humor, like the books of her favorite romance writers, Susan Mallery and Jill Shalvis.

A Sweeter Spot is the first book in the Rivers Bend trilogy, which is set in a fictional small town, populated by quirky characters. But if you prefer a big city setting and a little fantasy mixed in with your romance, try Angels Fly. A heartwarming story, set in beautiful San Diego, about getting a second-chance with your first love, with a little help from some unlikely guardian angels.

Writing is Donna’s third career. She has worked in the business world, which she decided it wasn’t for her. So she went back to school to get her MLS degree, and worked in a school library, before deciding to pursue writing on a full-time basis. Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

 

You can connect with Donna here:

Facebook //Twitter // Goodreads // Amazon // BookBub

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Open doors…or closed doors?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fast forward a half century.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,

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

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

 

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

What’s in a title? A lot more than you think, #MFRWauthor

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I’m sure this is an easy feat for most writers, but not for me. I agonize over book titles. Are they too long? Too short? Do they convey the correct theme of the book? Do they even convey the theme of the book? Will it be a memorable title, or one that is easily forgotten in the myriad of published books these days?

Titles can, in all truth, make or break a book. Would you have read any of these books if these were the titles?:

  1. The High-Bouncing Lover
  2. The Last man in Europe
  3. The Dead Un-Dead
  4. Mistress Mary
  5. Nothing New in the West
  6. Wacking Off
  7. The Don’t Build Statues to Businessmen
  8. The Kingdon By The Sea
  9. At this point In time
  10. Private Fleming, His Various Battles

I was a bit surprised at a few of them, and I can in all truthfulness say I wouldn’t have read any one of them except for the Dead Un-Dead, because I think it was a cool, really out-there title. To see the titles these books were actually published as, scroll down when you’re done reading.

You can’t, apparently, trademark a  title. I found this out when I wrote my third book, FIRST IMPRESSIONS ( which, BTW was the original working title of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) and did a  search to see how many books with the same title there were (423). My second book I called THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. 366 other authors also called their works of fiction that. SO, how the heck can I can up with a title that (1) hasn’t been used before, and (2) will make the random reader interested in it enough to pick up the book and check it out? Again, no easy feat.

I used to make lists, pages of lists, with book titles. Even then, choosing just one was torture.

I’m so lame at coming up with my book titles I  left the naming of my second book in the Will Cook For Love Series from Lyrical/Shine to the editors. They came up with A SHOT AT LOVE. When you read the book you’ll know it’s the perfect title, but I didn’t have anything even close to that I was working with! Thank God for the people in the know who really really really know what they are doing.

Naming your book is an awful lot like naming your child. You want to give it something with character, essence, personification, and beauty. And your book, to the writer, is your baby, your child, your creation, so you don’t want to let it down by giving it a crummy moniker; one that will inspire ridicule and laughter. Honestly, I pity the poor children of celebrities who have been named after fruits, compass directions, and astrological projections. Sad.

See? You probably thought the title was the easiest thing to come up with.  I bet you didn’t know how hard it really was to name a book? Well…at least it is for me!

Here’s what the above titles were actually published as, and thank goodness they were!!!

  1. The Great Gatsby
  2. 1984
  3. Dracula
  4. The Secret Garden
  5. All Quiet On the Western Front
  6. Portnoy’s Complaint
  7. Valley of the Dolls
  8. Lolita
  9. All the President’s Men
  10. The Red Badge of Courage

When I’m not agonizing over naming books, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

Since this is a 52 week blog hop challenge, here are some other authors who are also taking about how they name their books today. Stop by and check out their blogs.

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, First Impressions, Kensington Publishers, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women, The Wild Rose Press, There's No Place Like Home, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

An #Interview with #author C.B. Clark…

 Today I’m introducing you to author C.B. Clark who paid me a visit a little while ago. I gave her the usual author interview and her answers are not only illuminating but insightful.
cherishedsecretschristineC.B.  has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator, teaching students from the primary grades through the first year of college. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.
Please enjoy this interview and stick around because C.B. is giving you a little taste of her newest release, CHERISHED SECRETS.
C.B. : The Writer 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

Evolving Romance reader….

When I was a teenager ( 175 years ago!), my taste in, and selection of, romance books was a tad different from what it is today. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers were my top reads back in the day and this little sheltered Catholic girl learned a whole lot about love, sex, and romance ( you thought I was gonna say Rock and Roll, admit it!) from those talented writers. In a world before the Internet, cell phones, reality TV and fame for fame’s sake, these books educated me in the ways of seduction, foreplay, and the real difference between men and women. Being transported back to the times when manners mattered, words could be used to seduce or slay, and women came to a marriage bed untouched and unknowing was fun to read.

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Flash forward to the present day and I’m invested in, and now  read a, different kind of romance story. While Regency tales of naughty noblemen and lascivious Lords are still fun for me to loose myself in, I know all about sex now, firsthand (!) so my eyes don’t need to be opened from reading about it, and I have a different perspective on what I want to read in today’s romance book.

Contemporary romantic fiction runs the gamut from sweet (no sex) tales of Amish women finding their true loves, to mild ( some sex, bedroom door closed) stories of women embarking on new life challenges; from sensual (sex with bedroom door wide open) stories of women discovering the meaning of their lives, to spicy (LOTS of sex in every place imaginable!) tales of women who are discovering their sexual – and personal – identities.

The common denominator in all the books I like to read now? The word contemporary.

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I lovelovelove reading about present day women of any age who are struggling, trying to make a better life, wondering if they will ever find their own happily ever after. Contemporary women in the here and now are my tribe. They live their lives with passion, fight for the ideas they believe in, aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and would do anything for, and sacrifice everything for,  the people they love. The men they let into their hearts may not always be deserving of such a place of honor in the beginning of the tale, but by the end of it, my contemporary girls have brought about a profound change in them – and in herself – that it facilitates their lifetime love. Their own happily ever after.

The contemporary romances I read – I will freely admit – run from sensual to spicy. Unlike when I was growing up, women can have sex freely these days without the dread of being burned at the stake ( don’t laugh – it happened), without fear of being abandoned by family and society, and without worry about getting pregnant – although this last one is a popular romantic trope to this day ( the unplanned OOPS baby).  They can engage in behavior that at one time would have lead to their banishment from society, their public censure, and their economic downfall. And they can have fun doing it now. Some of my favorite books to read are romantic comedies where the laughs equal the sexy parts, measure for measure.

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In my youth, the heroines I read fell into a very small category: ladies of noble birth or not. No in between. No shopkeepers, governesses, scullery maids.

Today, the heroines I read about are brilliant doctors, powerful lawyers, CEO’s of their own companies, tech executives. They are  nurses, teachers, veterinary techs, bus drivers, race car enthusiasts, television producers. And they are stay-at-home moms, policewomen. writers. They are all the women I know.

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So, in the past several decades I can truly say I have evolved as a romance reader.

But I have to admit I still love a Regency rake!

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Since I love contemporary romances, here’s where you can find the ones I write – stories about strong women, the families who support them, and the men  who can’t live without them. Amazon author page

 

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.

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 3 Wishes, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Summer reading – the beginning….

Someone who read a recent blog of mine blog asked me “why do you re-read your old writing texts and “how to” books over the summer? Didn’t you get enough out of them the first time? Did you miss important stuff? Instead of answering the question directly, I asked this instead: “Haven’t you ever read something – a book,or an article – that was just so good you read it again just for the pleasure of it?” The answer I got back was typical of most people: “No. Once I read something, that’s it. I’m done.”

A sad, but a very common occurrence among  people. Most people will see a movie more than once if they like it – this is evidenced based fact: look at how many movie DVD’s are sold each and every day, not rented. Or, they will listen to a song endlessly. But to re-read a favored book? Not happening.

I’ve read Gone with the Wind  13 times. Cover to cover. And I could read it again tomorrow if I had the time to devote to it.

I’ve read To Kill A Mockingbird 8 times. I can quote descriptions and dialogue when prompted.

Last year I re-read every “In Death” book by J.D.Robb again, starting with the first one in the series, Naked in Death and finishing with the most current one, straight out. I didn’t read anything else until I finished all of them. Re-reading the list in order, the way it was written, was very powerful for me.  I could see and watch how J.D.Robb grew her characters with each book, building on their personalities, using their individual backgrounds to advance the plot and the series characters themselves. It was  like taking a master class on how to develop character and plot arcs effectively. I gleamed so much valuable information and writing development wisdom from re-reading the series that has helped me enormously with my own writing.

To me, re-reading a favored book is more pleasurable than seeing a favored movie over and over again. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve seen The Birdcagat least two dozen times – and every time I laugh while I quote the dialogue! But to spend time to re-read a book, one that gave you such treasured hours of pleasure, one that, every time you read it, you learn something new, or find something new from, something you didn’t see before, is to me one of life’s most wonderful ways to spend a few hours.

Re-reading my writing craft books and texts brings me the same pleasure, because every time – EVERY TIME – I find something, some tidbit, some phrase of wisdom, I didn’t see when I read it the last time. And to me, that is time so valuably spent.

What’s your favorite book? When was the last time you read it? Why not get reacquainted and read it again? Believe me, you’ll be happy when you do.

here’s my current favorite book, and LOOK! – it’s mine! It was just recently voted THE BOOK OF THE WEEK over at AuthorShout

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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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, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Writing Relationships…

During your writing career, just as in life, you will forge and develop many different writing relationships with people who will – hopefully- help you advance. Literary agents, Editors, Publishers, Book Promoters, Publicists, Marketing Analysts, and certainly not the least, Readers. All of these people are important to you, but in my opinion, one of the most important connections you will make is with your Editor.

My editor was instrumental in getting my first book published. She supported me, guided me, and encouraged me through the –at times – very daunting process of having a debut novel go to press. She was the voice of reason when I questioned “why” and the sounding board when I asked, “how come.” Together, she helped me give publishing birth to five works ( 4 books and 1 novella). During that time she wasn’t only my editor, but she became my friend. One I will treasure for the rest of my life.

It is a fact of the publishing world that editors come and go from publishing houses. Career advancement, the desire to take a different literary path, or even to have children and take care of  a family means a publisher – and a writer -will lose their favored editor.

This has recently happened to me. The void that is left behind in my heart is cavernous. This person was my very first professional editor. She was the person who saw something in my writing, who went to bat for me and basically helped make my dream of becoming a published author come true. With patience, professionalism, and kindness she guided me through that first thrilling but harrowing publishing experience, and she has been there championing me and directing my steps every inch of the way. She was the one I could turn to when a scene was not playing out the way I wanted it to. She was the one who showed me the light when the creative bulbs dimmed and I was stuck in POV nightmares. It was to her eyes I looked when something just didn’t sound as good on the page as it did in my head. In my professional writing career, I liken her to my fairy godmother. She, quite completely, made my wishes come true. I will miss my editor as I would miss a child who has left for college or a friend who moves far away.

The editor I am assigned to now is just as professional and kind. My relationship with my publisher is a wonderful, solid partnership and I look forward to many more professional collaborations between myself and my new editor.

But there is something about your first…..

My debut novel, SKATER’S WALTZ ,wouldn’t have come about if not for my editor. If you’re interested in seeing what a professional editing job she did, here’s the 411.

SKATER’S WALTZ

Figure skater Tiffany Lennox is busy with rehearsals for an upcoming ice show when the only man she’s ever loved comes home after a two-year overseas stint. She needs him to see her for the woman she’s become and not the child he knew to ensure he stays home. This time, for good. With her.

perf5.000x8.000.inddFor all his wanderlust and hunger for professional success, Cole Greer returns to New York wanting nothing more than to rest, relax, and recover. He is delighted in being Tiffany’s hero and has a special place in his heart reserved for her. But faced with the oh-so-desirable woman she’s become, he starts questioning his determination to keep their relationship platonic. When forced by the television network to go back on assignment, Cole—for the first time in his life—is torn between his career and his heart.

Available here:

Amazon //  Wild Rose Press //  B&N

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, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Editors, Family Saga, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Almost Showtime…

I bet you were thinking this was going to be another blog entry about Keene DANCING WITH THE STARS. Wrong!  The showtime I’m referring to in the title is my own showtime – or more specific – my new writing schedule.

Today is my last day of work AGAIN!!! and from 5 pm tonight onward I get to live my dream AGAIN!!! of being a full-time writer. You all know I retired last year, and within 4 months got asked to “fill in”  because the girl that took over my job…well, let’s just say she didn’t work out. Because I had designated 2016 as the year of “yes” (Thank you, Shonda Rimes and insert the sarcastic tone right here) I felt I couldn’t say  no to my old employer because, 1. it was the year of saying yes and not the knee-jerk no’s I always gave; 2. I didn’t want my former patients to suffer, 3. this is, after all my husband’s business and it didn’t feel right to say no, and 4. it was only supposed to be for a few weeks until they found a replacement.

Fast forward 4 MONTHS – yeah! 4 -freakin’-months – and I finally said “no more.” It was a little more forceful than that, and may have been peppered with an expletive or two…or ten… but today I am done. Finito. Basta. No more.

So, starting bright and early tomorrow morning ( and by that, I mean the middle of the night because I still suffer from that damn chronic insomnia) I get to spend the days, all the glorious days, writing once again. And thank you, Jesus, it’ just in time because I’ve got three deadlines for this year all lined up with actual DATES!! Heaven help me.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t worry. I’m fine. Just chained – intentionally – to my desk, my fingers splayed across the laptop keys, my brow grooved into two lines resembling caterpillars on my forehead, deep, deep, in writing mode.

The zone is calling and 5 pm can not get here soon enough…

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dancing with the Stars, Life challenges, Project Graduation, Romance, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Truth in Fiction…good or bad?

Yesterday I visited my lovely and talented Wild Rose Press sistah Angela Hayes with a blog piece about reality. Well, it was my reality, really. I wrote a piece about the birth of my daughter, the accident I’d had on the day she was due and how I used that little piece of reality to drive the plot of my new book The Voices of Angels.

This got me to thinking…how much personal information is too much when you’re using it as a springboard to your fiction?

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Case in point. Using one of my books again, First Impressions, I wrote a simply heartwrenching scene about the death of a much-loved family pet. It took me three days to write because every time I sat down to do it, I started bawling. My editor even wrote me after reading it to tell me she thought it might be too emotional for readers and might turn them off to reading the rest of the book.  She thought I might want to temper it a little. I had to give that some serious, serious pondering and consideration time. In the end, I left the scene written as I had originally for two reasons. 1.) I knew that any reader who had a pet could and would sympathize with the feelings the heroine was experiencing from the death, and 2.) my own 18-year-old cat had recently died, so I knew every emotion I wrote was real and raw. Just this week I had someone I know who’s read the book tell me they were bawling their eyes out on a beach on vacation when they read that part. I asked how did they really feel about the scene. Did it turn them off? Make them not want to read ahead? And was told “I kept imagining my own cat dying. The scene was so real! I felt every emotion Clarissa did. I finished the book that night!”

Manna from heaven to a writer.

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Now, I’d never use something grossly personal about myself or someone I know in my writing – too much potential embarrassment, not to mention lawsuits, could come of  doing that. But there have been things have had happened in my life that I will slip into a scene or a plot. I think in some way doing this lends more credibility to the work. Truth in fiction stories always seem to grab me by the throat and not let go until I finish the book.

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So, writer friends….how much is too much reality for your fiction? Truth in fiction…good, or bad? Let’s discuss….

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, Life challenges, Literary characters, MacQuire Women, research, Romance, Romance Books, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A funny little thing about dialogue…

So my new editor ( and don’t I still love saying that!!) sent me an email asking me to change a few things in my next book. No worries. Her suggestions make a ton of sense and I know I can pull them all off successfully. One of the things she asked me to do was turn up the sensuality level a little. Usually, this wouldn’t be an issue for me. I can write sensual. I like writing sensual. It pleases me to write sensual.

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Here’s my problem. Without giving away the plot, the hero is someone totally forbidden to the heroine, or so she thinks. These two would never have sex. EVER, EVAH!!! Not until the revelation scene would she even consider it. So. How can I turn up the heat level without, you know, them doing sensual and sexual…. things?

Well, the best way I’ve found is to  amp up the dialogue between them. Flirty, innuendo-filled speech will certainly spice up a scene or two, no? Especially when my girl is so conflicted about the whole thing. She is trying to fight her mounting feelings for the guy because she really truly believes he is forbidden fruit in every sense of the term. You will see why when you read the book!! No spoilers here AT ALL!! Words have a great deal of power and our spoken words to one another can do wonders for a scene.

Hidden meanings, hidden agendas, using terms in a different way in which they are supposed to be used can all increase the tension and the sensuality in a scene.

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So, today I wrote 27 pages of mostly dialogue. I won’t use it all, heavens knows. But most of it is pretty good and serves the purpose it was intended for. At least I think so. Hope my editor does, as well.

Until this new one is released into the book reading world, here’s my newest for your enjoyment!

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.

Available here:

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Literary characters, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor