Tag Archives: #Mfrwauthors

Words to live by…..#MFRWauthors

There are sooooooooooooo many ways this blog title could go. I think the movers and shakers and powers that be at #MFRWauthors and MFRWorg. do that intentionally: give you a title that’s up to YOU — the writer — to interpret.

Do I tell you the words that I try to live each day by? Justice, fairness, romance, HEA?

Do I tell you my favorite combination of words that get me through the day? My inspirational, motivational quotes?

Do I offer you some of my favorite book titles and books that lend themselves to making my life better?
See? It’s hard to interpret just exactly what’s meant by this title.

So, I’m gonna throw a dart at the wall and tell you a couple of motivation, inspirational quotes that I try to live each day by, and that I hope will inspire and motivate others.

Ready?
#1 

— people say I’m a hardass. I think that quote proves it, no?

#2 

Always do better once you know how to. Always.

#3

Another way to put this one is: don’t be a lemming, be a leader.

#4 and this one is a shout out for everyone, not just me:

–and for all the doubters and haters out there, #5

It’s gonna be fun to see how the other authors participating in this blog hop field this title! Click on their links below and see.

5.
Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance

Managing my writing time….

I’ve mentioned before that I’m blessed and lucky to be retired so I can write whenever I want, for how ever long at a stretch I want. This usually adds up to 5-9 hours daily, depending on everything else in life that needs to be taken care of : laundry, grocery shopping, exercise.

But….there was a time not too long ago where that wasn’t the case. I worked outside my home at a job I detested, so writing was relegated to the back burner. During that time I’d sneak a few minutes before getting ready for the day to jot down a few lines of dialogue. Or I’d bring my lap top to work me so and take a solitary lunch so I could finish a scene. My menopause insomnia ( don’t laugh. It’s a real thing!) was good for one thing and one thing only: I used my inability to sleep to write in the middle of the night when everyone else was dreaming. My first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, was completely written between the hours of 1 and 3 am.

My husband worked, my daughter was out of the house, so it should have been easy to eek time out of the day to write. But it wasn’t because, you know….life.

Balance is a hard work for some people and for me it’s one of the most difficult concepts to accomplish. I never felt like I was giving my all to anyone or anything when I was working and writing. I am in awe of writers who have small children, volunteer at their school, plus work and have husbands/wives they need to care, in addition to homes that need to be tended. And by tended, I mean cleaned! Those writers truly have super powers that I do not possess. They can write a book, bake cookies for the school fund raiser, prepare nutritious meals for dinner, and everyone has clothes to wear, even on laundry day.

These writers have found their inner balance between writing and life.

I never did. It was only when I retired from that despised job that I was able to finally devote the time necessary to each part of my day and not feel as if I was cheating some aspect of it along the way.

So the title of this piece is Managing my writing time. I’m doing pretty well now that I don’t  have any place to be during the day light hours – and by that I mean I don’t have to go to a job location. All my friends still work, so there is no one I can get into Thelma and Louise trouble with during the day and the last time I went out to lunch on a weekday was way back in the beginning of the summer. I have no life, really, and I think I’m doing just fine!

Find out what the other authors in this blog series do to manage their writing time because they all have, you know…lives! I don’t! heehee

6 Comments

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

My bad habits…

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

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

You get it.

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

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

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

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

But still. 90-95 percent is great.

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

It’s exhausting.

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

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

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

10 Comments

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

Open doors…or closed doors?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fast forward a half century.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,

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

 

16 Comments

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

2027…

Because I have a scientific background, I’m a planner. That’s why I classify myself as a plotter for writing. But I digress….

I plan. For everything, Disasters, worst case scenarios, major illnesses, disease, pestilence, and plague. I have enough non-perishable food to last through the next zombie apocalypse, and if we get hit with a nucelar warhead, we’ll have clean water to drink..and douse ourselves in (!) So it’s no secret I’ve got a plan for the next ten years of my career.

Originally, when I started writing full time in 2015, I had a 5 year plan. I exceeded all the goals on that plan by 2017, so I broadened and increased it to 10 more years at the beginning of 2017.

Here are a few things on that new career plan:

Get an agent

Have at least 1 NYTimes and USA Bestseller, if not more.

Have a movie made out of one of my books – a good movie, at that, None of this wrecking the story by putting it on film crap!

Have at least 2 books per year, if not 3, published every year

Make enough money to hire a personal assistant who will do all my web media. ( since you all know how much I hatehatehate self marketing!)

Win a RITA ( or 2)

There are more things, but I didn’t feel I needed to share everything.

So…check back in 2027. Until then, I’ll be working on my plan.

Check out the other authors in this blog challenge and see where they see themselves in 10 years. This should be fun!’


12.

10 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

A fiery Artist and a Horse Whisperer find love in Passion’s Palette; #MFRWBookHooks

PASSION’S PALETTE, book 5 in the MacQuire Women series, releases on 8.4.17.

Blurb: Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Excerpt:

Standing before her, his hands in the back pockets of his jeans, he wore a look of bashful sheepishness. “I guess I owe you an apology,” he said, tilting his head to one side. The sun was full force on his face, one eye winked closed from its glare.

“You don’t look apologetic. You could have told me you were David’s partner,” she said, cringing when she heard the whine in her tone, “instead of allowing me to believe you were one of the moving men.”

“Now, hang on a sec,” he said, moving closer to her. “You were the one who assumed that. I never told you I was one of the movers. In fact, you never gave me a chance to tell you who I was. You just assumed. Incorrectly, it turns out.”

“You could have said something,” Serena blurted, her lower lip pouting outward.

Links: Amazon // Wild Rose Press

Check out the other authors in this Book Hook Blog Hop:

 

7 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, female friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Choices, choices!

 

Paperback, ebook or audio?

Which do you like best? I’m going to answer that question backward. Why? Just listen…

I’ve never been able to listen to an audio book without my attention wandering.

When we first moved to New England ( and even still to this day) we would travel to NYC to visit relatives frequently via car. My husband is the main driver in the family, so I have always been relegated to the front seat passenger side. You can only talk so much in a car before it gets: distracting, boring, tiring, so that means I usually need something to pass the 4+ hours ( without traffic) it takes to get to our destination. I tried listening to audio books when we first started these treks. Five minutes in my mind would start to wander or drift, or I’d slip into sleep. Just listening to someone’s voice – no matter how riveting the book was reported to be – was mind numbing to me. So, not a fan of audiobooks.

 

I had an original Kindle. You know, like ten years ago when it costs $300+ dollars!!

Again, I purchased it mainly because we travel so much and carting heavy books around, because I like to read hardbacks, was getting to be too much in luggage weight. I took the Patricia Cornwall book Scarpetta to England and the flight attendant said I had to stow it because it was so heavy! SO the Kindle seemed perfect. And I do love my Kindle. I have my account and the app uploaded on all my devices from phone to computer to iPad so I am always able to read wherever I am.

But….

There is just something about a book.

I love the way a library and an old book store smells. No, not musty and damp!!! But like you just sense down to your bones the millions of words and pages living in those places. I like holding a book, especially if I’m sitting down in a cozy, favorite chair, by a  warm fire on a cold day. I fully realize it’s wicked easier holding a Kindle when you are standing in line waiting to get on an airplane, or on the subway, and that’s another reason I love my Kindle: ease of holding. If I read my Kindle before bed, though, my brain tends to not shut down easily. A battery of psychologists did testing that postulated this is because the pixels and the other cyber stuff of devices forces your brain to stay awake by stimulating it. Reading a regular book, on the other hand, is calming to your brain.

Ahhh, a book….turnable pages filled with inky thoughts and ideas…something solid, that has weight – both in ounces and substance(!)

SO for me, it’s never really a contest – a real book all the time. ( With Kindle a close second!)

Stop by the other authors in the Blog Challenge and see how they like to read….

9 Comments

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

Books are my thing…

I can go in so many directions with this blog choice. My favorite books to read over and over; the type of books I like to read; my favorite genres and subgenres. So many avenues to explore. Sooooo, I guess I’ll tackle them all and see what happens.

I. My favorite books to read over and over. I’ve read Gone with Wind 42 times.

I know…I’m a little obsessive. But every time I’ve read it as an adult I find something fresh or a connection I didn’t see before.

I’ve read Pride and Prejudice 27 times.

In fact, I’m re-reading it right now!

I”ve read the Thorn Birds 16 times. I only saw the miniseries once, so that tells you how much more I like the book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve read each Harry Potter book twice. The first time along with my daughter, the second time on my own.

And because I find reading the JD Robb IN DEATH series is like taking a master class in writing a series, I’ve read each of the 45 books at least 3 times. You do the math on that one!

II. The types of books I like to read. Well romances, of course! Duh! I’m such a sucker for that whole Happily Ever After thing. I love a heroine who’s snarky and a little obsessive; a hard worker, and a strong believer in family. Give me a hero who’s part alpha/part beta; one who can be a leader or a follower or both at the same time! He has to be committed on every level to the heroine – emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. Once he meets her there’s no one else he can envision himself with EVER! The same goes for the heroine. I love to cook and I love to laugh, so witty, engaging characters who eat like normal people and not super models getting ready for a photo shoot are my favorite people! I want to read about folks I could see myself being friends with. Make me laugh, make my cry, and feed my soul and I’m your reader for life.

III. MY favorite genre and subgenre books. This is gonna look a little like an Amazon key-word line! Stick with me here, folks: Romance-contemporary romance- foodie-humor -strong heroine- family. Let me esplan it, Lucy, in better terms.

Favorite genre: romance. Favorite subgenre of romance: contemporary romance. Elements of contemporary romance books – humorous stories about families with strong women. Add a dash of cooking into the mix and serve!

And just for full disclosure here, I also like the erotic contemporary romances of Jennifer Probst and Christina Lauren

   

and Regency romances ala Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt.

   

So, there you have it. My reading pleasures.

And because this is blog hop, click on over to these other romance writers to see what they consider their favorite books. You just might find a new author or series you’ll enjoy.


9 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Friends, Historical Romance, Literary characters, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

I’m a word banker…#MFRWauthors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 Comments

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

Elvis and Me

I try not to think too much about my childhood because it was…intense. And disturbing. And very lonely.

But, in the spirit of this challenge, I’m going to pluck a good memory out of the old storage banks of my aging mind.

For my twelfth birthday, my mother wanted to do something special. I had no friends, so a party wasn’t feasible. I don’t think at that time in my life she was talking to any of our relatives, so again, no family get-together was going to happen to celebrate my big day. She decided – and I don’t know how or why – to get tickets for me, she, and my step-father to see Elvis Presley perform at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

The King was on his comeback tour and my mother had been a fan in her teens. Strangely, I was too! I was a fan of his movies, his lively music, even his bless-from-God good looks. They didn’t call him “KING” for nothing!

We were on an exceedingly tight budget as I remember from those days, and my mother had to save for 6 months to pay for the tickets. 6 months. The tickets she was able to afford were the least expensive ones, at $12.50 each.  6 months to save a few cents or a dollar a week from her grocery shopping, using coupons to wiggle every penny she could to pay the $37.50 for the tickets. That should tell you how financially strapped we were. This was 1972.

Anyway…

She scrimped and saved and the big day finally came. We hopped the ferry from Staten Island, which was .25 cents per person each way ( so another $1.50 added to the budget) then took the subway uptown to 34th street. Believe it or not, I can’t remember how much a subway token was back then. It was a Saturday night show, so the Garden was packed. We were in the second to the last row in the last section of rows in the entire building. I could almost touch the Garden’s ceiling!  I couldn’t even see the stage. It looked like a minuscule postage stamp from our seats. There was no jumbotron so people like us could see Elvis projected in full form – it hadn’t been invented yet, can you imagine? You can’t go to any kind of venue now where they don’t have a jumbotron or two…or four.

Anyway…

We walked to our seats ( and it was a helluva walk!) settled down and waited for the show to start. No leftover funds for things like popcorn or souvenirs, but I didn’t care. I was at my very first concert and it was the King of Rock-n-Roll! My 12-year-old self was super jazzed. The lights dimmed, the crowd started to clap, and the music started.

It’s impossible to tell you how excited I was. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear him. Perfectly. Up to the day he died,  the man had a voice the Gods of music gifted to him. Deep and rich and perfect. At 12 I was too young to think of it as a sexy, purely masculine voice. At 57, I’m remembering it as just that. A hot blast of smoke and heat, raw and primal. God, I loved that man!

For over two hours Elvis sang, flirted with the audience, played a few instruments and generally made this the happiest birthday I’d ever had – and the happiest I’d have for the next decade and a half. Intense childhood, remember? (Teen years were worse.)

 

Anyway…

That’s about the happiest memory I have from my childhood and it was a doozy! Five years later the King would be dead. Generations of fans to come could only know him through the memories of his music, films, a few videos.  But I’ll always be able to say I saw him live. I saw the King of Rock-n-Roll. I experienced a little bit of musical history at a time when music and books where the only good things in my life.

Since this is part of blog hop, stop by some of the other author blogs below and read about their happy childhood memories.

 

 

 

17 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Strong Women