Tag Archives: New England

#BookPromo: At First Blush

Today I’m happy to welcome and help promote my dear writing friend, Marianne Rice and her new release, At First Blush

Book Blurb:

Alexis Le Blanc enjoys her simple life in Crystal Cove, Maine. After taking a chance on romance and getting rejected, she has given up on love. Now she devotes all her time to running her family’s winery, Coastal Vines. She wants to keep it small and traditional, but her parents have other ideas—hence why they hire some big-shot marketing executive from Napa Valley to rev up business.

When Benito Martelli shows up in her family’s tasting room, she’s more than stunned to discover he’s the man who wined and dined her the night before. Alexis is beyond peeved at his deception in trying to get into her good graces for the sake of making money on her winery. At first, she wants nothing to do with him or his big business ideas, but she’s pleasantly surprised when they come to a compromise, and even more surprised when she gives in to the sparks between them.

Unfortunately, things don’t go quite as planned and Alexis is faced with complications she never could have predicted. Promises and secrets unravel, and she must decide if love and wine are as well paired as she hoped.

 Buy Links:

Amazon // iBooks// Kobo // B&N

 

BIO:

Marianne Rice writes contemporary romantic fiction set in small New England towns. She loves high heels, reading romance, scarfing down dark chocolate, gulping wine, and Chris Hemsworth. Oh, and her husband and three children. You can follow her all over social media, and keep up to tabs with her latest releases on her website: www.mariannerice.com

You can connect with Marianne here:

Facebook // Amazon // Instagram // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest // Book Bub // Book + Main //

 

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Home, hoarse, happy and inspired…

This past weekend I was thrilled and delighted to attend the first ever Fall In Love With New England Readers and Writers conference in Manchester, NH. and from the moment I arrived until I got back in the car to head for home I had a non-stop moving, talking, chatting and party-ing few days of fun, laughter, and friendship ( new and old!)

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I’m planning a bigger blog post about the events of the weekend itself set for later this week, but for now I just wanted to say the following stuff. Please bear with me..or not; up to you!

I’ve said many times how I’m like a hermit when I’m in writing zen mode. There are actually days that I won’t leave the house, so intent on whatever it is I am working on – be it a first draft, editing, or making sure galleys and edits are correct. During the winter it’s almost as if hibernate, like a new species of bear: Ursus Americanas Writerus. (Grammarly won’t let me BOLD the last two words because they are made up!!) But you get the picture – I don’t leave the house and I don’t talk to anyone, at all, all day long. A quick goodbye to hubby in the a.m. and then nothing until a How was your day? in the evening. This is my life, peeps. And I’m happy – not complaining.

But attending a reader/writer event such as FILNE is such a soul-empowering and enriching occurrence, I have to admit it out loud ( or on the laptop, as it were!) Meeting other romance writers who are at the peak of their careers or just starting the climb, speaking with them, learning from them, giving advice and imparting wisdom to them is such a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Every conference I go to I learn something or make a new writing friend. At this conference, I learned a few new things, but  I made DOZENS of new writing friends and readers of romance, too!! And they liked me! They really, really liked me. I’m starting to channel Sally Field, here, so I’ll make this short and sweet…

For a writer – of any genre – getting out and meeting others who are as passionate about writing as you are, or readers who are passionate as you are about what you write (!) is something I would never deny myself. SO for all the hibernators out there, here’s a little tidbit of advice: get out of the house! Go to a conference! Interact with other humans who like what you like to read and write what you like to write.

This has been a Public Service Announcement from your friendly romance writer, Peggy Jaeger. (HeeHee)

Thank you, and good night!

 

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Fall In Love With New England…

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So, this weekend I’m going to be at the FALL IN LOVE WITH NEW ENGLAND readers and writers conference. Those of you who know me personally know that autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year and the picture above gives you a pretty good idea of why! The colors are beyond gorgeous, the air is crisp and clean and has a tinge of cinnamon and apples floating in it, and we get to wear sweaters and boots!! Yeah, I’m a little obsessed with my sweaters and boots, I’ll admit.

This is the debut year for this conference and is promises to be a goodie. Lots of informative classes and courses, giveaways, and chances to meet new authors and readers of romance. There’s also a book signing that’s opened to the public on Saturday from 2-5. I’ll be there, signing away and giving out Halloween Candy.

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If you’re in the area on Saturday, drop by, say hello, have some candy and BUY A BOOK!!!! LOL.

I’ll give you all the 411 when I get back next week. Be well and if you’ve never been in New England during the autumn, you really don’t know what you’re missing!

When I’m not at conferences and book signings ( be grocery shopping, etc….!) you can find me here:

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Location, location, location…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Blurb:

Can she trust her heart to love again?

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

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

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

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A visit with Author Cheri Allan

I am so pleased to have talented author and my NHRWA chapter mate CHERI ALLAN visiting me today. She’s got a brand new release out – Book 4 in her Betting on Romance series, DEAL ME IN and  today, she’s talking about what’s involved with writing a series, what to avoid, and when to say – sigh – goodbye.

Here’s Cheri…

              Don’t Kill Grandma and Other Tips for Writing a Series

DEAL ME IN, my newest humorous contemporary romance, is the fourth and final book in my ‘Betting on Romance’ series. While I won’t claim this makes me an expert on writing series books, I’ve learned a few things along the way. (Pack snacks. Travel with friends. But I digress.) So, in the spirit of ‘do what I say and not what I do’ I thought I’d share some of my tips and observations for others.

  • Is it a series? What kind? First, know what you’re writing at the outset, because there is a difference between a serial (one story arc told in many parts) and a series (stories which may or may not stand alone but each having a unique story arc and conclusion.) My books are stand-alone novels interconnected by characters and the fictional setting of Sugar Falls, NH. Each book has its own couple, story arc and secondary plot lines, which make this a loosely connected series. However, I do have four match-making, poker-playing grandmothers who appear in each novel. Some authors choose to have a series arc–an overarching plot line–that carries through the series and resolves in the final book. I chose not to do this for two reasons: a.) that’s a heck of a lot of plotting for this pantser and b.) I didn’t want my debut stories linked too closely together in case I decided to pop off in another direction after book two. Promising a series resolution that never comes would be worse than never planning one to begin with. Happily, this also leaves me open to add another book in there at a later date. Keep those options open, people!
  • Who’s on first? It was about book three that it occurred to me that despite how intimately I knew my characters as I wrote each book, by the third book, I couldn’t remember a random character I’d mentioned in book one and now wanted to refer to. Now, I keep a master list of every character that appears in each book and a short phrase of who they’re related to or other distinguishing feature. Not only does it keep me from naming too many characters Ed (a distinct possibility), it saves a lot of flipping through old books trying to remember what I’ve named someone’s pet dog. (Max, as it turns out.)
  • My hero: Ned? Speaking of throw-away names, be careful of what you name those characters you think are only popping on screen for a moment. I was very cavalier in the first book about naming secondary characters only to realize by book two one of them would be a future hero. And I didn’t entirely love his name. (It was fine, but it was no ‘Levi.’) I’ve made peace with that, but unless you want a hero named Ned, choose carefully. Or be prepared to come up with a charming nickname.
  • Let each book have its own voice. You may be the ultimate plotter with color-coded sticky notes and a series bible with sheet protectors (you know who you are), but I’m here to tell you that over the course of writing two, three, or four books, your writing voice will find its rhythm, but your books may not always cooperate. When you think about it, it’s only natural that each book will have its own character. The story with the shy heroine or nerdy hero will have a different vibe than the one about the tough and snarky girl or wounded hero with PTSD. DEAL ME IN gave me heart palpitations half way through writing, because I realized this story was naturally more emotional than the others. Yes, there’s humor and grandmothers, but it has its own tone. And that’s okay. My voice is consistent, and unless I pop out of subgenre and introduce werewolves into my contemporary romance, readers will be okay with it, too. I’m growing and changing as a writer with each book, and so are you. Don’t sweat it.
  • But don’t kill grandma, either. There’s a limit to how much you can deviate from reader expectations. If you’ve set up a series where the reader feels safe, amused and somewhat insulated from the ‘real world’ (for instance) be careful how much of that real world you allow to intrude into your story arc. It may feel like you need to shake things up by series end, but if you deviate too far from established reader expectations (Werewolves! Ebola outbreak!), you’ll hear about it. I could, for instance, never bring myself to kill off a grandmother. These characters represent enduring friendship and unconditional love, and they’ve been there, shepherding other characters and my readers through four books with their poker, meddling and homemade cookies. They deserve to ride into the sunset on golf carts sipping cocktails, and I plan to let them.
  • Know when it’s time to say goodbye. For the very reason I can’t kill off grandma, I knew the length of this particular series was finite. They won’t live forever! I also don’t want the story premise to grow stale. That being said, I’ve grown fond of Sugar Falls, and with every fictional event and landmark I’ve brought into being, I’ve grown to love spending time there. So, I will. With a new But without grandmothers this time. They’re off playing with their great-grandbabies anyway.

So, tell me, what have you learned from writing your own series? As a reader, what is it about series you enjoy? What makes them feel stale? Discuss!

BLURB:
Is the game of love worth the price?

Deal Me In cover kindle

Grace McIntyre never planned to lose her virginity in a seedy motel to the hottie with the eagle tattoo, but she knew he was The One–until a heart-wrenching goodbye proved he wasn’t.

Despite three tours of duty and one heroic mountain-top rescue, Army veteran Jeff Dayton no longer dreams of a career in search-and-rescue. Two years ago, his politically-ambitious sister needed help spiffing up the family image to win a seat in the state senate, so Jeff returned home to Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to walk the straight-and-narrow and take a job as a small-town cop. Now his tattoos are covered, his rock-n-roll father is under wraps, and Jeff should be bored out of his mind… but he never figured on reconnecting with his free-spirited high school sweetheart, Grace McIntyre.

Grace and Jeff have managed to dance around their rocky past since he’s come back to Sugar Falls, but when they’re both assigned to the town’s Harvest Festival planning committee, their attraction sparks to life, igniting both old passions and burning regrets. New revelations help them see each other in a new light, but it takes a small-town festival calamity–complete with a llama petting zoo, a female empowerment “demonstration,” and Jeff’s rocker dad on the main stage–to force these two to let go of the past and find the strength to forgive. Because half the fun of the game of love is winning… and the other half is deciding to play.

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

BUY LINKS:

Amazon ///Kobo /// Nook // Google Play  //

Bio

cheri

Cheri Allan writes hopeful, humorous contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, five 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.

 

 You can find Cheri here, or as she calls them, at her STALKER LINKS:

Facebook // Facebook,Author // Twitter // Website  //GoodReads

 

 

BETTING ON ROMANCE ( Books 1-3)

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Book signing reflections…

On Saturday, Sept. 26th I had my very first official book signing event. I know! booksigning1

It was wonderful seeing so many friends and a whole bunch of people I hadn’t connected with in a while. My heart was overflowing with the love and support that came my way for those 3 hours. It was hosted at Kristin’s Bistro and Bakery  in downtown Keene on one of the most beautiful Autumn days we’ve had so far. You all know I lovelovelove the Fall and  New England is without doubt the best place to be on the planet during the time of year. While I was able to visit with friends – new and old – Marsha (Kristin’s lovely mom) kept the chocolate chip and cranberry scones and cider coming and I swear I gained 5 pounds just from inhaling the delicious aromas wafting through the establishment.

booksigning2Sales were amazeballs, but aside from that, it was wonderful the amount of people who came out to support a local writer. After the radio interview I did on WKBK with Dan Mitchell on Thursday, I really did hope I’d get a good turnout, and I did. Never let anyone ever discount the power of the radio or word of mouth. It works.

So what did I learn from my first official signing I can take with me for the next one?
First and foremost, don’t be so nervous! I woke up that morning with a pain in my stomach like I was in labor again.  I couldn’t eat, my hands were shaking and all I could feel was a sense of doom – no one would show up, or people would and would laugh at me. Why? I have no idea, but it was running through my head the whole time. When I saw the first few people who came in were dear friends I hadn’t seen in a while, I started to feel a little less nauseous. The gig started at 11 and by 11:30 I was able to breathe again normally.

Second, thank everyone, even those people who just stop and take a free scone and don’t buy a book! Manners matter and the perception of how you conduct yourself, even with people who aren’t fans, is important.

Third, be gracious. I heard from several woman this phrase, “I’m so proud of you!” I kept thinking, “Why? I haven’t cured cancer or done anything noble.” The declaration was usually followed by another statement like this: “You took something you had a passion for and made it happen. Not many women take a chance like that.” This surprised me because most of the gals saying it, I consider movers and shakers and risk takers.

Fourth, have food and drink available for your guests. The scones were – no surprise – a big hit, but I heard so many people say how nice it was to have apple cider on a Fall day. Thank you again, Marsha, for your foresight!

Fifth, make sure you have all your media stuff  like bookmarks, postcards, business cards, available. A few people came in to Kristin’s just to get their daily baked goods, coffee, et al. They weren’t there to see me ( silly fools!),but several did stop and listen to me talk to someone I was signing for, then took a few business cards, or post cards with them, so perhaps they’ll get home and look me up on one of my media sites, and decide to give one of my books a try. ‘Nuff said.

Last, learn that it’s okay to promote yourself. I truly do not like talking about myself. It makes me feel…conceited somehow.  But if I’ve learned anything these past 6 months, it’s that as a writer in this present time, you  need to self promote as much as you can. How you do it -graciously and without being obnoxious – is as important as the need to do it. Writing is a crowded society right now. To stand out you have to write something good and be willing to put yourself out there to sell it.

All in all it was a wonderful day. Next one is the New Jersey chapter of RWA conference in October, where – Yippie – I’ll be signing again. Hopefully, my nerves will be much less then. We’ll see….

FirstImpressions_w9816_2_85FIRST IMPRESSIONS available now!!

Amazon    The WIld Rose Press   Nook

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