Tag Archives: Humorous romance

Christmas in July…Bah Humbug??? Maybe not.

I’m going to be brutally honest and tell you one of the things I hate, historically, has been what’s called Christmas in July by the retail and commercial selling world. Christmas is Dec. 25 a winter holiday, so I have never understood why Hallmark and the Christmas Tree Shops, just to name 2, go bat-shit crazy during one of the hottest months of the year promoting the holiday shopping season.

Since I’ve published a Christmas-themed novel, though, my thoughts have changed. I now understand the WHY of such early promo. You want your readers to start reading and reviewing your holiday works so that when the actual dates roll around, the gift-of-a-book-buying public will choose yours, based on buzz.

I get it now. In spades.

Or maybe that’s in Christmas cookies(!)

For my Christmas in July, here’s A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS from The Wild Rose Press. The book is also up for a Contemporary  Romance Writers STILETTO AWARD this year. Keep your fingers crossed. I’m a finalist and the winners are announced on July 28!

Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your holiday appetite.

Blurb: 

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:

He came toward me and I could see every ripple of muscle, every action and reaction of his gait, every blink of his eyes, as it happened. Detailed, distinct, delicious.

The bright sun shone low due to the hour, but it haloed around his form, bathing him in light.

He looked like an angel.

A dressed-all-in-black angel, but an angel, nonetheless.

“Need some help?” he asked when he was within a foot of me.

I still hadn’t moved, my fingers cemented around the ladder rungs. I couldn’t feel them anymore. Merda, I couldn’t feel anything I was so numb from just looking at him.

But I could hear. My blood, as it river rafted crazily through my temples; my heart drumming like a heavy metal band in my chest.

And his voice. Mio Dio, his voice.

When I was six I had a terrible chest cold. Wheezing, choking on phlegm, unable to cough anything up. The doctor told mama to keep me warm and hydrated and the cold would ride itself out in time. Nonna Constanza, ancient even when I was a kid, scoffed and prescribed her own old world remedy. She sat me in her lap, cooing to me with her singsong voice and held a tiny shot glass up to my lips coaxing, “Tu bevi, Gia bambina. Tu Bevi.”

Drink, Gia baby. Drink.

She tilted the glass back into my mouth and I did. I drank every drop.

I don’t remember much after because Daddy told me I slipped into a mini-coma for about sixty-two hours, bombed out of my head from the anisette nonna had dosed me with.

But this is what I do remember. The amber colored liquor slipped down the inside of my mouth to the back of my throat and onward into my belly, tasting of melted marshmallows and warming each place it touched like a million little hits of heat popping everywhere inside me. When it reached my tummy it settled and dug in, filling my senses with the sweet flavor of mama’s Sunday morning caramel rolls and sugar.

That’s what his voice sounded like: warm and sweet, thick, delicious, and soothing.

My entire body relaxed when I heard it. My paralysis flew and my frozen-in-place digits melted.

He’d held my stare the entire time, never wavering, never becoming distracted by something else. He looked straight at me; just me. Like a missile dead-eye-aimed for a target.

“Here,” he said, moving in closer, so close I could make out the actual color of his eyes now. I’d thought they were dark and from far away and they were. But seeing them now, face-to-face, I spotted little flecks of yellow and slivery shards of gold mixed into the center and surrounded by a ring of deep, rich, mink.

If his voice was warm and soothing, his eyes were hot enough to singe, and mama mia, I wanted to be burned.

Buy LInks: Amazon //WRP // Nook // Kobo //

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

Am I the only one who thinks this is funny?

I had a little epiphany the other day when I was banging away at my NaNoWriMo word count goal. I was in a particularly lighthearted scene and the descriptions the first person character narrator were giving had me laughing out loud in my attic. Truly, this was some fine comedic, descriptive writing. The epiphany came when I asked myself, “Am I the only one who might think this is funny?”

people-laughing-cartoon1

 

I admit freely my humor is a little skewered and all over the board at times. I laugh at the slapstick of Benny Hill, the snarkiness of Jerry Seinfeld, the crude bathroom jokes of the Red Neck Comics. I can laugh at my own witticisms as well, but I never know if what I am writing is as funny to the reader as it is to me. After all, we all think our children are the brightest, most intelligent and most beautiful kids in the world ( mine is, actually) so I think it’s the same with our words and humor.

I can’t really get a gauge for the funny to others, so I’m going to put a few lines I’ve written here and hope if you read it, you will let me know if it is funny, falls flat, or makes you have to pee with glee.

Here goes:

laughinggirl

#1 “Don’t worry, Frankie,” my Aunt Ursula said. “Joey’s a bull. He’ll make it.”“Yeah,” Aunt Gracie chimed in. “Remember when Uncle Vito had his coronary at the racetrack? Doc’s had to shock him four times, but he pulled through. Joey will, too. Our family’s made of strong stock.”

I kept my mouth shut because Uncle Vito was currently confined to a nursing home, an after effect of his massive coronary. He was pretty much brain fried, drooled constantly and had an annoying habit of playing flash the sausage with any female who entered his room, family members included.

 

#2 When my brother Gianni pointed out she was carrying Daddy’s baby, Mama went ballistic. It took the aunts, Gia and me to finally calm her down. Still fuming, we managed to get her upstairs, into her cotton nightgown and then with a large shot glass filled with Sambucca, into bed and settled. Aunt Gracie was going to spend the night and watch over her to make sure she didn’t go crazy and drive to Delphina’s condo and do something.

And by do something, I mean gut her like a fish.cartoon-business-woman-laughing-and-pointing-by-ron-leishman-5100

# 3 My Uncle Sonny knew a guy, who knew a guy, who ran a talent agency, though. Unfortunately, all the out of work actors employed at Skippy Goldstein’s Star Emporium were booked for live appearances. Cupids poised to deliver candy grams; Little Devils set to bring naughty lingerie gifts and boxes of confections to wives, girlfriends and mistresses. Skippy told Uncle Sonny he should have booked way in advance to which, the family story goes, Uncle Sonny lifted Skippy out of his chair by his ugly skinny necktie and told him he’d better come up with a genie—and fast—or his relatives were going to have to dig through the Meadowlands marshes to recover his body.

Uncle Sonny’s an intense guy.

So….Laughing? Cringing? Peeing? What?…….Let’s discuss…..

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Life challenges, NaNoWriMo, Romance, Strong Women

A visit with Linda O’Connor

Today I’m hosting fellow contemporary romance author Linda O’Connor. We recently found out we were inches away from one another at RWA in NYC last month, both of us working at the Literacy Signing for the Nora Roberts Foundation. After interviewing her, I realize we share a lot more than just that chance encounter! Here’s Linda:

Linda O'Connor author

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Peggy! It’s my pleasure. Now…

What drives you to write? I have a story to tell, lessons to teach, places to be, people to meet. . . wait what was the question?

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance stories with humor– I like when the heroines are strong characters. Maybe their life would be better with the hero, but they do okay on their own, too.

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read contemporary romance with humor or anything that Nora Roberts/JD Robb writes. I usually read for relaxation so I’d rather not read something sad.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I set aside two days a week to write without interruption (and if I can get away with not making dinner those days, even better). I’m a physician and work part-time at an Urgent Care Clinic, but any other time I can sit down and write, I do.

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? We live on the water so I like to sit so I can see (and hear) it. Outside or in our living room with my laptop both work.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I prefer silence. It’s hard to filter out questions about the laundry, dishes, lost articles… usually the interruptions come right when I’ve thought of the perfect line.

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No, I prefer quiet.

How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’m a genius.

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? I have an idea for the beginning, middle, and end of the story and then develop the characters.

What 3 words describes you, the writer? I’m still learning.

Now for the personal, nosy stuff!

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing. I don’t drink coffee.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I married my first love! We met at the hospital when I was a 4th year medical student and he was a third year ophthalmology resident. I think he liked my eyes.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. Oh that’s a hard one… well actually last Thursday was pretty fun.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Gee, commando would mean less laundry.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Sunscreen.
  6. What three words describe you, the person? I love leftovers.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? You lost me at “If you could sing”.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it be, why, and what would you do together? I’d hang out with Eve and Roarke in 2060. Driving a flying car would be a blast, and I’d like to try out that healing wand they have.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound – my husband’s voice (especially when he says “I’ll make dinner.”)
  2. Least favorite sound – wind chimes
  3. Best song ever written – Be Real by The Jaded Gentlemen
  4. Worst song ever written – I don’t think there is a worst song ever written. Even if I’m not fond of a song, there’s probably another audience who enjoys it.
  5. Favorite actor and actress – Mark Kratky, Chilina Kennedy
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I actually like being me.
  7. What turns you on? Humor
  8. What turns you off? Prejudice
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) It’s been a while since I had a first date, but I only have memories of charming men and a lovely time. Now, if you’d asked about the second date . . .
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Writing from 8am – 3pm, bicycle ride, swim, someone else making dinner.

And here’s the fun stuff:

Perfectly Reasonable

 

 

PerfectlyReasonable (600)_edited-3 (1)

Love what you do and do what you love. Sounds perfectly reasonable, but chances are, you’ll find your passion in the last place you look . . .

Margo MacMillan finished medical school, but in the process, her self-confidence and self-esteem took a beating. So for the sake of self-preservation, she’s stepped away from medicine to re-group. In the meantime, painting soothes her soul and pays the bills.

Trace Bennett set his sights on a medical degree and has to prepare the perfect medical school application. His big plan is to paint his condo for a little feng shui divine luck. When Margo shows up to paint, he realizes he’s found exactly what he’s looking for. He just has to convince Margo to share more than the art of medicine.

She’s got it. He wants it. It’s Perfectly Reasonable.

Biography:

I’ve been writing romance novels for four years and sincerely thank Debby Gilbert at Soul Mate Publishing for the ultimate encouragement to my writing – with the leap to publishing. I have many titles including Doctor, Mom, and proud Canadian, but “Linda O’Connor – hereinafter called the Author” on the SMP contract was one of the sweetest.

Contemporary romantic comedies are my favourite novels to read and write. I balance writing with my work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons (luckily grown and capable of throwing together a decent meal, in a pinch). I like to keep active and cycle, cross-country ski, skate, walk with my husband, or dance every day.

Laugh every day. Love every minute.

I love connecting with readers.

Book Trailer: 

Website: 

amazon author page: 

Goodreads author page

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor

Twitter: @lindaoconnor98

 

Thanks for hosting me, Peggy! Listen Girl, this has been an absolute delight! I swear, we’re dopplegangers, only you’re the smart, pretty one!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Romance, RWA

Is This When the Miracle Happens? by Cheri Allan

My guest  blogger today is author Cheri Allan.

web site cover All or Nothing

I met Cheri Allan at NHRWA a little over a year ago and I was immediately taken with her open, easy, friendly and FUNNY personality. When I was lucky enough to read her first book, Luck of The Draw right before it was officially released, I realized she writes exactly the same way she does everything else in her life: with fun, heart, warmth and joy.  Her newest book,  All or Nothing, book 3 in the Betting on Romance series, is dedicated to her beloved mother, whose birthday is today – Happy B’day!! Today, Cheri’s blog is titled Is This When the Miracle Happens? Read  along and find out….

There are two facts about me you should know: I have successfully crammed a loveseat into the back of a Chevette, and my final grade in high school geometry was 103%.

I share these two little factoids not to brag (okay, maybe a little. I even got the extra credit questions right!), but because it was with this inflated sense of mastery over spatial thinking and physics that I approached a particularly difficult application of ice and water shield several years ago. (Think rubbery sheets of contact cement.) Dearest Hubby and I were weatherproofing our newly framed dormer before the summer T-storms hit again. I was leaning through the narrow rafter cavity with a piece of ice and water shield (sticky side out) attempting to reach in a direction that would require: a.) one of my elbows to bend backwards, b.) my arms to stretch another 6-8 inches, and c.) me to develop x-ray vision that would allow me to see through a 2 x 12 rafter. I had struggled for probably ten minutes or so at this task when DH leaned close to my ear and whispered, “Is this when the miracle happens?”

I dissolved into convulsions of laughter and ended up sticking the ice and water shield to my forearm (which, BTW, I don’t recommend) because it was perfectly clear that as much as I stretched and pushed and struggled, the physics of the situation where not going to change.

In ALL OR NOTHING, self-made tech millionaire Ian McIntyre has just returned from filming a reality dating show. Unfortunately, he did not find a match. This is an ice and water shield moment for the show’s producer who spends the rest of the book trying to bend her elbows backwards getting Ian to fall in love and choose a fiancée so the show’s ratings don’t go down the toilet.

It turns out that the kind of woman Ian asked to be matched with isn’t the woman he needs (big surprise!) And it takes a loveable puppy, some persistent paparazzi and one spunky heroine to get him to see he needs to approach things differently. Cue the triumphant music and happy ending as the hero and heroine run through a sunny field toward one another…

You see, sometimes the miracle happens (don’t ask me how I got that loveseat in that car) and sometimes it doesn’t, but as writers we have a tendency to continue to shove and twist during those difficult times waiting for the fairy dust to sprinkle down from the heavens so our elbows will bend backwards and the scene will work. Chances are good, though, that we won’t suddenly realize we’re double-jointed, and it will take a whisper from outside ourselves to see that we need to take a new tack.

This is where I admit the third fact: If it weren’t for my lovely, talented and painfully honest editor, you would probably throw my book at the wall. In ALL OR NOTHING, I had a plot line that was not working. I knew this, and yet a part of me still hoped that, somehow, I’d pull it off. (Shh! Don’t say anything! I just need to stretch a little more!) Enter my editor who said (and I quote): “WHAT?!” If she’d had a red Sharpie, my manuscript would have been glowing. She hated this plot line and told me the two (Or twelve. Really, I lost count.) reasons why readers would go on to hate me and my heroine if I left it in.

She was right, of course. I was struggling so hard to make it fit, I wasn’t able to step back and see that it would never work. Once I pulled that plotline, all sorts of things fell neatly into place… like a loveseat into a Chevette.

This whole experience has reinforced for me the VITAL importance of having a critique partner, a plotting group, a good content editor or simply an honest friend to point out when persistence has morphed into stubbornness. Anyone that knows me knows I’m an optimist. I believe in happy endings and true love and that, somehow, the sticky pieces of life will magically fall into place. (Ta-da!) The reason I believe so strongly in these things, though, is because I surround myself with those who have the courage to whisper the truth in my ear when it needs to be said so I can reach my goals another way.

Now, I’m excited to share ALL OR NOTHING with the world, because I know it delivers the magic of a happy ending (with only fictional joint pain.) And I hope, if you do throw the book at the wall, you do so out of convulsions of laughter.

It does make me wonder, though… If I had left that ugly, unsympathetic plotline in, would you have thrown your book at the wall? How far does an author/character have to go to make you lose all respect for them to the point they become unredeemable? Depending on your answer, I may have to send my editor an extra large bouquet of flowers to thank her…

Join my mailing list at http://www.cheriallan.com and be entered to win an ‘All or Nothing Gift Basket’ full of goodies and books from New Hampshire. Drawing to be held April 30th! But don’t wait. Download your copy of ALL OR NOTHING today! Just $2.99 for a limited time.

 

 ALL OR NOTHING (A Betting on Romance Novel, Book 3)

web site cover All or NothingWhen finding Mrs. Right goes oh, so, wrong…

Self-made tech millionaire Ian McIntyre has suffered through a reality dating show only to return home to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, empty-handed, swarmed by paparazzi, and hounded by a Hollywood producer determined to deliver a Happily Ever After. But then his home is invaded by a sexy, snarky local staging it for the season finale, and Ian finds himself more interested in the cute and scrappy hometown girl dusting off his action figures than the audience’s favorite southern belle.

Auto mechanic Bailey Adams grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and is struggling to patch together enough odd jobs to buy a garage of her own. When the Golden Boy of Sugar Falls entangles her in his disastrous season of Happily Ever After, they both discover that some long-held dreams are only as ‘real’ as ‘reality’ TV. Now, with the deal on her dream garage in jeopardy and her unlikely love affair with America’s favorite geeky hunk playing out on national TV, Bailey must decide if she’s willing to risk it all for love… or be left with nothing.

**Mild sexual content; Mild language; No violence**

 

EXCERPT 

“Then take off your coat and avoid hypothermia.”

Her bottom lip jutted out. “You first.”

He shrugged out of his parka and hung it on a hook by the door, raising one eyebrow as he did so.

She took another long drink then tugged her coat off and hung it next to his. Melting snow dripped onto the floorboards beneath it. Stubborn woman.

“Your lovely flannel shirt is also soaked,” he said.

“Yeah, like I’m falling for that.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. I’ve seen lumberjacks make flannel sexier than you do.”

He didn’t know why he was goading her, but he felt on edge… wet, chilled and restless.

“Like you could resist me if I were standing naked in front of you,” she said.

She paused, as if she weren’t sure how those words came to be floating in the air between them. But there they were, raining down over him like hot sparks. Heat flooded through him, and he could feel his blood pumping. He watched her, the air crackling with awareness. The fire in the stove popped and something tumbled inside. His heart thudded in his chest at the word ‘naked.’

“Try me,” he finally said.

 

AUTHOR BIO : CHERI ALLAN

Cheri Allan writes humorous, hopeful contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden. Betting on romance… because every woman deserves to get lucky.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Betting-Romance-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B00VO56WMU/

Barnes & Noble/Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s?store=allproducts&keyword=cheri+allan

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/all-or-nothing-62

You can also find Cheri Allan on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and (when she can figure it out) Pinterest. All three Betting on Romance books are available at most major on-line retailers and http://www.cheriallan.com.

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Filed under Characters, Dialogue

A Visit with Author Cheri Allan

 One of the pleasures of joining a writing group is  meeting talented, lovely, funny, and supportive people who love the same thing you do: writing. When I joined the New Hampshire Romance Writers of America chapter in 2013, one of the talented, funny, lovely and supportive writers I was delighted to meet was Cheri Allan. Cheri is one of the warmest people I have ever known. Her constant smile and positive way of looking at the world make her such a delight to be around. She is the kind of person who will turn your really bad day into a sunny, bright one. I’m so thrilled she accepted my invitation to guest blog today since her brand new book, STACKING THE DECK has just been released. Part 2 in the Betting on Romance series,  Stacking the Deck tells us the story of Liz Beacon and Carter McIntyre. At the end of Cheri’s blog entry is a except from the book.
Stacking the Deck cover image kindle cheriphoto 
Who said coming home is easy?
Author Bio:
Cheri Allan writes hopeful, humorous contemporary romance. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.
 
Cheri loves to hear from readers!
E-mail her at cheri@cheriallan.com.
Friend her at facebook.com/cheriallanauthor.
Or, visit her website and blog at http://www.cheriallan.com.

                Who Am I?  Authors in (Identity) Crisis

When Peggy first invited me to guest blog I immediately leapt at the chance to promote the release of my newest romantic comedy  Stacking the Deck and then I went into panic mode. WHAT. TO. WRITE? This is not, of course, much different than the typical day as we authors sit down at our keyboards, but having been through this blog tour/book release drill once before (thereby rendering me a veritable expert <snort!>) I wondered what NEW thing I had to write about. (Also a typical worry of authors on a daily basis.)

Which, if you are prone to distractibility (squirrel!) led me to thinking about how I wanted to portray myself to all you lovely people. And THAT, my friends, is what we authors struggle to master as much as the writing itself.

Let’s face it, we are fans, followers and social media friends with dozens of bestselling authors whose news feeds are filled with witty, pithy posts and pictures of adorable kittens, sexy men and sexy men cuddling adorable kittens. But… what if that isn’t us? What if we are allergic to cats? (Perish the thought!) Or we feel vaguely uncomfortable when we have a nearly naked man pulling on his underwear on our computer screen when our under-18 kids walk by? (“I’m doing research!”)

We’re told time and again we must develop a “presence” on social media, to “build a platform,” to “engage our readers.” As a writer, this feels like a blank page. A great and wonderful, horrible and magical blank page. I can be anything! we tell ourselves. AN-Y-THING! We whip out our hair dye and Photoshop manuals and practice our French just in case… well… who knows! We have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves! How cool is THAT? We do it every day with the characters in our books, why should we, ourselves, be any different?

Except we aren’t characters in books. We’re more like fan fiction. The basic character and backstory are already there. We can’t wash them away. We have to work with who we already are. I mean, I enjoy dress up as much as the rest of you, but I’m here to tell you, that taking on a social media persona that doesn’t feel like ‘you’ will eventually not ring true with readers or with yourself.

Figuring out how you want to portray yourself to the larger world is not so much about putting on airs as it is peeling off layers  to get to the core of who you are.

Because your image is, fundamentally, your voice. YOUR voice. What makes YOU write the books of YOUR heart and turn phrases with just the right elegant finesse to make your heart beat a little faster with excitement. You can’t fake the ‘you’ you present to the outside world any more than you can successfully copy someone else’s voice.

On the other hand, this doesn’t give you carte blanche to let it all hang out. No. No one needs to see the down and dirty, unshowered, ‘haven’t eaten food that didn’t contain unpronounceable chemicals and/or chocolate for a week because I’m on deadline and this is how I roll’ you. No. Neither do people want the ‘I’m stepping on my soapbox’ you. Because we can’t throw rotten vegetables over the internet, the mudslinging ‘you’ will have to rant in person.

The you WE want to see and interact with and get to know is still fundamentally ‘you’, but freshly bathed, and happy (generally) and sitting across from us in a coffee shop or in a park because we’re old friends, and we DO that sort of thing. And then you reveal those unique observations about life and love and friends and family and the shows you watch and the things that bug you… as friends. Because THAT’S the ‘you’ we readers want to know.

Let your public “persona” be the face of who you are when you are in the ‘zone’ of writing. That’s the real you. That’s the ‘you’ readers want to know and engage with. Maybe ‘you’ like kittens, pictures of sexy men, travel photos or talking about crafts. Whatever you enjoy sharing is the persona to share with the world, and the more you do that, the more ‘you’ in the larger world will mesh seamlessly with the ‘you’ you are everywhere else.

Now you all may be saying, “Ha! She’s talking about being real and honest and yadda, yadda but look at her PINK author photo! What’s that all about?” Well, I’ll tell you a secret about that photo. My critique partner HATES that photo with a purple passion. She thinks it’s cheesy and odd and not befitting my professional author persona. And while she has the looks and demeanor to portray a beautiful and glamorous author-self to the world. I am… pink. And I like being pink. When I look at my photo, it makes me smile in the way I do when I think of holiday lights and Dr. Seuss. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously. Maybe it isn’t glamorous or polished or sexy, but it feels like a more honest portrayal of who I am, at heart, than any glossy Glamour Shot ever could.

So, in the words of Dr. Seuss in Happy Birthday to You! come climb to the top of the world and shout with me: “I AM I!” Go ahead. It’s easy. And after we can grab a cup of coffee and chat about our books while searching the internet for random photos of sexy men cuddling kittens… because that’s how we roll.

Sharing time! Have you ever tried on a different public persona or image on social media? What happened? Did it feel “right” or like someone else’s hand-me-down you couldn’t wait to peel off when you got home? Tell us your story!

Amazon 1-click! http://amzn.to/1sCELnt
(Coming soon to B&N Nook!)
 
Stacking the Deck, Book Blurb:
 
Who said coming home is easy?
Liz Beacon has life all planned out—prioritized, color-coded and cross-referenced. She long ago traded in the geeky high school nickname, teenage pounds and dysfunctional family for a fab career, killer abs and a man every woman would envy. Okay, so her sex life is non-existent and her almost-fiancé is technically a coworker.  Life, if not perfect, is still on track. But then, Liz is called home to Sugar Falls, NH, to prepare her childhood home for sale. She’s spent ten years denying her insecurities and hokey lawn-ornament roots. There’s nothing she’d rather do less than face all she happily left behind, including her embarrassingly one-sided high school crush.
 
Carter McIntyre has sailed through life on his winsome smile… and by the skin of his teeth. A college drop-out with ADHD, he’s learned it’s safer to play the carefree charmer than step up and take over his uncle’s landscaping business. But then his class valedictorian returns to Sugar Falls and hires him for some home improvements. Now Carter’s wondering if it’s too late  to grow up, take a chance and win over the only girl who ever believed in him…
 
Luck of the Draw and Stacking the Deck, books 1 and 2 of her ‘Betting on Romance’ series available now in print and ebook. Betting on romance… because every woman deserves to get lucky.
Stacking the Deck, Excerpt:
He didn’t reply. Instead, he held her gaze, leaned closer and brushed his lips against hers. Soft. Warm.
 
Heavenly.
 
Her eyes fluttered closed and she clamped down on the impulse to drag him toward her and grind her mouth against his the way her body craved, fearing what might happen if she took even one tentative step down that slippery slope.
 
Instead, she let herself glory in the moment. Finally! Here! Today was the day Carter McIntyre kissed her again! Had she imagined it like this? His lips so incredibly warm? His breath melding with hers as his mouth parted ever so slightly? Journey playing ‘Open Arms’ in the background?
 
Okay, maybe there wasn’t a rock ballad playing on cue, but she made up for it by humming a soft moan of pleasure somewhere in the back of her throat as she let herself sink into the pleasure of this one, perfect kiss.
 
Just like the first time…
~ Cheri Allan 
Hopeful, humorous contemporary romance
Luck of the Draw  Available NOW in print and e-book! Amazon: http://amzn.to/1r1VePK 
Stacking the Deck coming October 21; Available for pre-order now! Amazon: http://amzn.to/1sCELnt 
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