Tag Archives: Peggy Jaeger

A Christmas Anthology

So I’m pretty stoked right now because one of my Christmas books, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights, is featured in the Wild Rose Press Anthology A HOLIDAY PROMISE.

Here are the buy links that I’ve got so far and below are the blurbs for the books included in the boxed set.

Amazon  // Wild Rose Press //

In Mistletoe by Tammy L. Bailey 
Incredible circumstances leads Grace Evans to Mistletoe, Washington where she finds herself at the mercy of the town’s number one bachelor, Ayden McCabe. While Grace needs help finding her sister, Ayden is looking for a fake girlfriend for the holidays. When they strike up a deal to help each other out, the last thing they expect is to fall in love.

The Christmas Tree Wars by Robin Weaver
In the town’s Christmas Tree Contest, Suzette wants to beat high-profile socialite, Katarina Snodgrass. Spence James has returned to Merryvale, and she’ll need his help to win. As they work together, their attraction begins to sizzle. But Suzette’s promise of a tinsel bright holiday turns to coal when Spence’s NYC girlfriend arrives unannounced. Suzette is determined to ignore her broken heart and beat Katarina. Even if it means collaborating with a man who now seems more like Santa’s nemesis than a Christmas angel.

A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights by Peggy Jaeger
Gia San Valentino longs for a husband and bambini she can love and spoil. At her parish’s Christmas Festival she meets a guy who has all her requirements for perfect-man status: tall, sweet, good looking, and from a big Italian family. A miscommunication has her believing he’s the new parish priest, though, and her happily-ever-after hopes evaporate because he’s the proverbial forbidden fruit. Or is he?

Christmas in Kissinger by Misty Simon
ABSOLUTELY NO RETURNS OR EXCHANGES when going home to Kissinger for a wedding. But Jocelyn Moreland has no idea Sam Locke will turn her life upside down.
Logan West has DESIGNS ON A DAME and her name is Adele. When she catches the bouquet and he the garter, he discovers a holiday wedding is the perfect place for a first date. And Mason Nottingham may have messed up his life. But MAYBE THIS TIME, he’ll get his Christmas wish and show Paige he’s ready to make amends.

Christmas at the Rekindle Inn by Lori Waters
Seven days in December at a lovely Vermont inn sounds like the perfect Christmas present to Mary until she finds out her soon to be ex husband will be there too. The Rekindle Inn is the last place JT wants to spend his Christmas vacation but a battle of wills has him on a plane to Santaville faster than the time it takes to unwrap a candy cane.

Breakfast with Santa by Carol Henry
Mark Logan-aka Santa—can’t keep his eyes off Katelyn Sullivan in her sexy elf outfit, which brings back feelings better left hidden. After all, he only returned to Lobster Cove to keep his two-year-old son safe from kidnappers, not to rekindle an old romance. Katelyn Sullivan, conflicted with her renewed feelings for Mark, flies to Norway to reaffirm her feelings for her fiancé. But will uncovered secrets be the key to their happiness, or their heartache?

I feel like I’m in pretty great company for this holiday season!!! And wouldn’t this boxed set make a great gift for the romance reader on your gift list?? Think about it! Hee hee


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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Just in time for #ValentinesDay

A few years ago I was part of a Wild Rose Press series called the CANDY HEARTS. Each little novella told a love story centered around the candy sweetheart candies. This year, WRP has decided to do a series of boxes sets of those Candy Hearts books and I’m in the first one OUT TODAY!!!

The collection I’m in is called BE MY HERO and you can order it here. 

A quick little synopsis of each book is below. Get yours today and get a jump start on your Valentine’s Day love!!

 3 Wishes by Peggy Jaeger 
Valentine’s Day is Chloe San Valentino’s birthday. Her birthday wish list for the perfect man: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, but this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

Say Yes by Katie O’Sullivan
Darby Malone has trouble saying no. Hosting a children’s Valentine party at her recently renovated gallery is the last straw, and the last time she intends to say yes to anything. That is, until she meets Ben.
Ben Phillips’ life has been empty since his wife died, his paintings the only thing giving him solace. Can he convince Darby to give him a chance – and to consider him for more than just a place on her gallery walls? Will she give him a place in her heart as well?

You & Me by Stephanie Kepke 
Forty-year-old Alex Spencer has given up on love. Her life revolves around her daughter, sixteen-year-old Josie, even if Josie wants nothing to do with her.
But with Valentine’s Day looming, Alex’s former high school sweetheart, Billy Leibowitz, has been invading her thoughts. Now Candy Hearts are arriving in the mail. Is Billy sending the Candy Hearts? Will this finally be her chance at happily ever after?

One Kiss by Misty Simon 
The last place Lorena Weber wants to be on Valentine’s Day is a singles party. She’ll give it an hour —two, tops. But she didn’t plan on seeing the one man who had turned her world on its side New Year’s Eve.
Caleb Manning got coerced into attending this ridiculous party by a co-worker. His plan was to stay for an hour. That was until he recognized Lorena across the room and had to see if that one kiss was only New Year’s Eve magic or something more.

Dare Me by Debra Druzy
For wedding stylist Misty Morningside, mixing business with pleasure is a professional no-no. That is, until she runs into wedding photographer Adam Wright at a Valentine’s Day event. Dare they set aside business for one night of pleasure?

Ask Me by Laura Strickland 
Leo Rankin attends the library’s Blind Date With a Book and finds himself competing for the last remaining book. Wild child Gerri Webb is not his usual type. Yet he feels an immediate, sizzling attraction and agrees to share the book and its accompanying bag of candy hearts.
The whole idea of a Blind Date With a Book is to go off genre, so Gerri doesn’t mind when their flirty conversation suggests they unwrap each other rather than the mystery book. When a candy heart advises, “Ask Me,” she asks Leo back to her apartment. She never expects button-down Leo to hit all her buttons. Can one night spent off genre translate to real life?

Chill Out by Jana Richards
Renata Cabral needs to hide for the weekend. Her cousin’s Valentine’s Day wedding means she’ll face embarrassing questions from her large, extended family, questions she’s not ready to answer. So, she invents a work-related excuse and escapes to a friend’s lakeside cottage.
Noah Brownlee is ready to mend his broken relationship with his brother. When a friend offers the use of his lakeside cottage, Noah arrives in the middle of a blizzard with his English Mastiff, only to find the place is already occupied by a woman with big brown eyes and quirky sense of humor.
As the blizzard rages, can the candy hearts predict love?

You can find me here if you need me :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Romance, Romance Books, WIld Rose Press AUthor

#Predators&Editors #voting polls are open…Help a #writer out!

The 2016 Predators and Editors Voting polls are open and I’ve got 2 books nominated in the ROMANCE category. L ast year I came in third and I’d really like to elevate that status this year because something like this is a great way for writers to get their names out to people who otherwise wouldn’t know them.

If you have a few minutes please consider voting for either A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS or THE VOICES OF ANGELS, both in the ROMANCE category. I’ve included the links here: 



Thanks for any and all support. Keep a writer working!!!

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

Final Week of CandyHearts releases…


It’s the final week of the Wild Rose Press Candy Hearts Romance series. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to authors Barbara Burke, Nancy Fraser,  Doreen Alsen, and, well, me,  and our releases today NOT2NIGHT,  ONLY YOURS, OohLaLa, and 3 WISHES. And remember to enter the Wild Rose Press RAFFLECOPTER at the end of this blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire.

NOT2NIGHT by Barbara Burke



When ARP warden Molly sees a light shining through the darkness of London on a cold winter’s night in the middle of the blitz she’s infuriated with the careless American who struck it. Doesn’t he know there’s a war on?

Guy’s just trying to find his way through a maze of unlit streets. He’s very sorry and Molly reluctantly forgives him. When he accompanies her on her nightly rounds the two learn about each other, themselves and whether it’s really possible to fall in love in only one night – especially when there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.


They stood silently. Slowly her hand came out of her pocket to rest on the top of his arm. The other one reached up to gently touch his cheek. He could see the glint of her eyes, those impossible brown eyes, as she gazed up at him gravely.

“Are you going to kiss me?” Her cool British voice gave him no inclination of how she felt.

“Is that what you want?” Guy wasn’t sure what he would do if the answer was no.

She didn’t reply, and he took that for her answer. Quickly he undid the clasp on her helmet and pulled it away, letting it drop to the ground without a thought. Free of its weight, she tilted her face up, her lips dark and full in the black night, and settled more deeply into his grasp.

It was invitation enough.

He bent his head toward her.

Her lips were soft and cold. Willing, but tentative. Her arms circled his neck, and he pulled her to him more tightly, body to body despite the thick winter clothing they both wore.

The night suddenly got a lot warmer.

The kiss didn’t last long. It was too sweet to be sustained, and they were too new to the sensation to change it into something more. As soon as Guy sensed Molly withdrawing, he broke it off.

But he didn’t release her. And she made no move to pull away.

“Was that a mistake?” he asked.

“No.” Molly sounded quite sure, and Guy’s heart soared. But then she continued, “However, repeating it might be.”

Buy Links   Amazon    The Wild Rose Press

About Barbara

Barbara Burke

Barbara Burke’s peripatetic life means she’s lived everywhere from a suburban house in a small town to a funky apartment in a big city, and from an architecturally designed estate deep in the forest to a cedar shack on the edge of the ocean. Everywhere she’s gone she’s been accompanied by her husband, her animals and her books. For the last fifteen years she’s worked as a freelance journalist and has won several awards. She was a fan of Jane Austen long before that lady was discovered by revisionists and zombie lovers and thinks Georgette Heyer was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. She lives by the philosophy that one should never turn down the opportunity to get on a plane no matter where it’s going, but deep down inside wishes she could travel everywhere by train.


Find Barbara here: Facebook

ONLY YOURS by Nancy Fraser


Everyone expects Rebecca Winston to marry her high school/college sweetheart, Garrett Langley. The problem is, the flame’s gone out on their romance. They’re still best of friends, but only friends. When Garrett’s father has a heart attack, his older brother Wyatt (an L.A. attorney) returns home for the first time in years. The attraction between Rebecca and Wyatt is immediate.

Can Rebecca expect her family and, especially, Garrett to understand that her desires have changed and turned toward Wyatt?

Can Wyatt get past the feeling that he’s poaching his younger brother’s girl?


Wyatt pressed down on the accelerator, pushing the sports car a little harder, skirting the legal speed limit for the boulevard leading to her parents’ home. The purr of the finely tuned engine echoed through the tight confines of the car, setting her pulse on a complementary rhythm. Soft jazz played in the background, its melodic tones sinking into her senses, ratcheting up her heartrate yet another notch.

Before she realized it, he’d pulled the car to stop in her parents’ driveway.

“Home sweet home,” he said. “Or, at least I assume you still live with your parents. I guess I should have asked.”

She bit back an outright laugh in favor of a more ladylike chuckle. “Yes, I do still live at home. According to my mother, it’s the proper thing to do.”

Wyatt hopped out and came around the back of the car to open her door. Her mother would have been proud of how she’d waited for his assistance. Usually, she opened her own door before Garrett could get there.

“Would you like to come in and say hello?”

“I’d better not. I’ve been given an order to relay to the cook. I wouldn’t want Christina to have to wait for her supper.” He took hold of her elbow, as he had in the hospital. “I’ll see you to the door.”

Another round of sparks shot up her arm. She pulled away and took two steps forward. “It’s not necessary.”

He caught hold of her wrist and turned her to face him. His dark gaze flared. “Thank you for coming to see Pops. He obviously adores you.”

“It was my pleasure.”

She was about to pull from his grasp when he tightened his grip, stopping her in her tracks. “My brother’s a lucky man.”

Her cheeks flooded with warmth. “Thank you.” He smiled and her heart did a little flip inside her chest.

His deep voice softened to a mere whisper. He released her wrist. “You’re welcome, Re…becc…a.”

She swallowed, smiled and dashed to the porch. By the time she turned back toward the drive, Wyatt had already climbed into the car and cranked the engine. The way he’d said her name, drawn out and distinct, had reminded her of a cat unfurling its lazy body in front of a raging fire.

And her with no extinguisher in sight.

Buy Links   Amazon    Wild Rose Press

About Nancy:


Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy will release her 25th book in 2016. She is currently working on her next Rock and Roll novella and two new erotic romance novellas.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Find Nancy here: Website // Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Amazon

Ooh La La by Doreen Alsen


Aspiring choreographer and dance teacher, Simon West is walking along the hall in the college where he teaches when he gets knocked over by klutzy, two left feet, accounting professor Veronica Cooke. Simon wants to get to know the beautiful woman who ran him down, but how will she react when she finds out his alter-ego is a super sexy cowboy at an upscale exotic dancing male revue and that he makes ends meet by taking off his clothes?


Her eyes were a dreamy shade of blue, the greenish blue of a calm sea. Her nose was small and straight in the middle of an oval face. Pretty. Very pretty.

“Yes,” she said. “I came to apologize for running you over. Unfortunately I’m Queen of the Klutzes.”

“Okay.” He held out a hand for her to shake.

“Simon West. How did you know where to find me?”

She smiled and nodded at the Barrett University Dance T-shirt he wore. “I went to the Dance Department office and asked. I’m Veronica Cooke. I hope I didn’t hurt you.”

“You didn’t. Hurt me, that is.” Since when did he babble? Since now, he guessed. He had a hard time thinking around her. He wanted to reach out and touch her cheek to see if her skin was as soft and smooth as it looked.

“Well, good. You’re a wonderful dancer. I wish I had that talent.” She glanced at her watch. “I’ve got to get to my office hours. It was nice to meet you.” She turned to leave.

He didn’t want her to. He found he very much wanted her to stay. Here. With him. “Um, do you have time to get coffee later?” He wasn’t dancing at Hardbody that night.

“I might. When?”

“Around four?”

“Four sounds great. Where?”


“Okay. I’ll see you then.” She gave him one last smile and left.

He indulged himself and watched her trundle down the hall. “I think I need to get to know you better, Veronica Cooke.”

Buy Links  Amazon    WIld Rose Press

About Doreen:


Doreen has wanted to be a writer her whole life but took a detour into being an opera singer and choral conductor. She realized that maybe she should spend more time writing when creating the back stories was more fun than actually singing them. Plus her romance lovin’ heart couldn’t take all the dead bodies littering the stage at the end of the performance. She is still an active conductor and is regularly found waving her arms around in front of singers.

Find Doreen here: Website



3 WISHES by Peggy Jaeger ( that’s me!!)


Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.


At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

Buy Links:  Amazon   Wild Rose Press

About Peggy:


Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1, 2 and 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

FInd Peggy here: website // twitter // facebook //goodreads // pinterest

Enter the Wild Rose Press RAFFLECOPTE for a chance to win a Kindle fire. Clink on the http://link

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Author, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor


Someone asked me the other day how I come up with the titles to my stories and novels.  They are all different and don’t really follow a common thread. Book titles, I feel, are like your children’s names: you want them to be unique, but not so unique they become albatrosses or points of ridicule. I discovered through research  (okay, through Google!) there is an entire industry devoted just to this: how to pick the correct words to capture a reader from the get-go; the word combinations never to use in a title; the words that have the most impact on sales.

I know some writers who use song titles for their books and expound on them in the story.  I love this idea. I know another author who writes down every combination of a phrase based on what the book is about until the perfect title presents itself. I also love this idea.  Some experts say never to have more than one word or two at the most in the title so that it grabs the reader’s attention.  Long winded names can be turn offs to people glancing at the book rack in Barnes and Noble. The key, advertising executives always say, is “short, punchy, and memorable.”The original working titles for my favorite all time book, Gone With The Wind, were Tomorrow is another day and Ba! Ba! Black Sheep.

Now would GWTW have been such a mega hit if it had one of those titles? Who knows. I certainly don’t think the movie would have done as well with the sheep title, do you?

To Kill a Mockingbird was called Atticus before Harper Lee – thankfully – changed it.

And my favorite title change – more about why in a bit – was Pride and Prejudice. Austen originally called it First Impressions.

Now my titles are usually the first thing that pops into my head when I’m working a new plot through. I don’t try to be cute or fancy or erudite. I just “see” the title in my head, and that’s it for me. I’ve never had an editor or even a reader tell me the work was mis-named or would have been better suited to some other title. Maybe this is arrogant on my part, and okay, I’ll agree with that. They are, after all, MY titles. But again, just like when  you name a child, you want the title/name to be a reflection of your thought and love. You want it to be able to convey something of what the book is about when you are trying to capture a potential reader’s attention. Skater’s Waltz has two words and is actually a piece of music. There’s No place Like Home, has 5 and it’s a sentence in one of my favorite movies, The Wizard of Oz. My third book, which I am thrilled to announce just went to contract, is First Impressions. See now why I like that Austen changed her title?

Titles are like names. They should be individual, coherent, and special. They should capture a reader’s attention and their desire to want to read more. Think of your favorite book titles. Do they fit in with this thought? I know mine do.


Filed under Characters, Dialogue

Exercise your writing muscles…

At the recent RWA 2014 conference, Nora Roberts made a statement that resonated with me as writer who currently has a different, full time,  paying job. When asked if she ever took a vacation or time off from writing, her response was, “Writing, to me, is like exercising your body. If you go a few days without doing it, your muscles start to get weak and break down and then you need to start building up again to where they were when you left off.”


Read that statement again. It’s such a simple declaration, but it makes so much sense.

Because I can’t write all day everyday due to my work obligations, there are sometimes days that go by where I won’t write anything more than a few emails. On the days I can devote to my writing, I find I need to reread and edit what I’ve done before I can go forward. This is because I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing the story. Life intervened, work took over, and my time was not my own to devote to what I love.

Several years ago I broke my ankle and wasn’t able to go to the gym for 8 weeks. When I finally did get back there, all the progress I had made in my arm and stomach muscles before the accident, went the way of the dinosaur and I was a hot flabby mess again. I needed six weeks to get back to the point I was at before my ankle sidelined me.

Not being able to write in a timely fashion does the exact same thing. I loose the progress I’ve made and need to refresh my writing muscles – and my brain and creativity – in order to move forward.

I always knew Nora Roberts was my writing mentor – even though she doesn’t know it – and this point drove home just why she is such a special woman. Not to mention an AMAZEBALLS writer!

My goal for the next month is to write something everyday in my WIP no matter how much time I can devote to it. 30 minutes or 8 hours. Anything is better than letting my writing muscles go slack.

If this resonates with you, drop me a line and let me know. Visit my new page on Facebook : Peggy Jaeger, Author too.

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Building your Author Platform

Until a year ago I’d never heard this term before. What the heck is an author platform? And more importantly, why was I being told I needed one if I wanted to be a successful author?

In the barest sense of the word, a platform is something you stand up high on – like a stage – to be heard by people surrounding you. An author platform, therefore, is how you get heard. Makes sense. In the not too distant past, editors at publishing houses and the houses themselves promoted your book. They did the advertising, arranged author book signings and tours, morning chat show visits to let the world know you had a new work out and arranged for you to be interviewed by trade and popular magazines. Not any more. The houses themselves now run very low budgets for all these things so it is basically up to the author to sell their book to the public, unless you hire a publicist, which can be costly. And let’s face it, you want more than just your family and friends to read your book. You want to reach a wide audience and build a fan base so that when your next book comes out, you’ve already got willing readers who will put down the dollars to buy your work.

And how do you do that? How do you generate the buzz needed to inform people about your book? How do you sell that book? How do you reach the multitudes of readers you want to reach? By having An Author Platform.

In a really good article by Ali Luke “Why You Need an Author Platform – And how to Get one, she outlines three key ingredients in how to accomplish this from your laptop:

  • build a website
  • get a really strong and involved email list
  • use social media to the fullest

By doing just these three cyberworld things you can potentially reach more people than by attending any number of author signings or speaking engagements. A quick internet search drummed up over 100 articles on how to use social media to build your platform and all of them say the basic  three things that Luke does.

So, if you’re a media virgin, get going. If you dabble a little on Twitter or use Facebook to catch up with friends, go deeper and use it for announcements. There is this saying I  heard a few weeks ago: “You have to realize if you are talking to one person on facebook, you are really talking to hundreds.” Unless you have unbelievably rigorous security settings, this statement is true. Pinterest, LinkedIn, any number of sites will get you coverage. And a website is an absolute must these days.

In today’s world we live and exist on our computers, laptops, smart phones and notebook devices. We do business on them, we keep in touch through them. Why not make that work for you by helping you build that much needed and wanted fan base.

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Finding your “Voice”

What makes your favorite author your, well,  favorite author? My answer has always been  the writer’s voice. By this I mean how the author structures the sentence, the story, the plot. About.com defines a writer’s voice like this:

  • Voice is the author’s style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character; or
  • Voice is the characteristic speech and thought patterns of a first-person narrator; a persona. Because voice has so much to do with the reader’s experience of a work of literature, it is one of the most important elements of a piece of writing.

I can pick a book up off a shelf and read the first page and know instantly that it is a Nora Roberts work. Her descriptions of setting, the way her characters speak and engage with one another, even her backstories all define how she writes. The same is true for Jodi Picoult and JayneAnn Krentz.  Their writing styles define them for me and when they come out with new books I always know I am in for a literary treat.

When I write a first draft I free write it – which means I  have my story plotted out, but I write it as I would “tell” it to someone. In fact, many times I use my Dragon program and speak the book onto the page. The grammar is not perfect, the punctuation is disjointed, there are too many words for the same thing,  and I like to head hop, but this is how I “speak.” When I go through the editing process,  I fix the grammar, adjust the punctuation, delete a lot of wordy sentences, and try to fix the head hopping. This last thing is the hardest task for me for me, but I muddle through. What I’m left with is my way of telling the story. My voice. When I write in first person – with me as the narrator – you can really hear me. I’ve had people that know me personally tell me they actually heard my voice in their head when they were reading the story and boy, is that a major compliment! When I write in third person, I try to find the narrator/character’s voice through their descriptions of things, events, and emotions.  All this adds to my voice. Just as my real voice is very characteristic of me, my writing voice is as well.

Think about the authors you read and enjoy the most. I would bet the reason you like them – aside form the great stories they tell – is how they tell the story to you. Their voice.


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Panster? Plotter?

A few months ago I was asked at a writing meeting if I was a pantser or a plotter. The question threw me for a moment because I’d never heard the term panster before. The question meant, do I write using a designated plot line or do I wing it and write – literally – by the seat of my pants. After some thought I realized I do a little of both.

I’ve always been the kind of person that needs direction and focus.  Maybe it’s because I’m a nurse and have a scientific, logic based education. But when I look back over my life I see I’ve always been the type to want to know where we were going, when  were we going to get there, and then what were we going to do. I’m not an aimless ambler, walking about for the beauty of the walk. I like to know where I’m headed and have a course plotted. GPS was made for people like me.

It’s the same with my writing. When I have an idea for a story or a character, I imagine what will happen  and then decide how and where I want to take it/them. I write everything down, every plot point I can conceive, and I always know the ending before I begin. Now that’s easy with the romance stuff: the ending is always the happily ever after tag line. But when I write my mysteries, I always know “who-done-it,” why, and how before the words fly off my fingers and into the laptop. I do allow road stops and tours occasionally ( the pantser part of me) but I find I am more productive when I have an  end goal in sight.

I know the writers who are strictly pantser-prone will say that I take the fun out of the adventure. Not knowing where you are headed is half the fun, they will tell you,  because you get to navigate through twists and snares and struggles along with your characters. But I do that anyway because – hello! – I created those twists and snare and struggles! Sometimes, though, I will admit that the plot is revised when a point arises that I didn’t think of and should be dealt  with.

So, are you a pantser or a plotter or a combo like me?

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Ideas, Inspiration and Flashes of Brilliance!

Yesterday, I had a road trip to NYC from home, and then back last night. 400+ miles in less than 12 hours. I forgot to bring a book with me to pass the time, so I was forced to just stare off at the speeding cars around me and ponder. Great word, ponder. It means: to think about or consider.  Well, I was thinking about the fact that I had to clean my house from top to bottom on my weekend off, and I’d already lost a full day because of the trip. With an inward groan – because I don’t like having to clean my house – I asked my fairy godmother  to consider sending me a cleaning lady. Now, I knew one wasn’t going to magically appear and have my house all nice and tidy by the time I arrived home. I may be imaginative, but I’m not crazy! What did appear, though, was a full born story, in living color, complete with character names and conflicts.


For the rest of the drive, while the torrential rain poured down and the speed maniac NYC/Connecticut drivers flew by, I plotted out the story. And here’s the kicker: from out of the pages and plot line of that story, fell a sequel. Double Wowza!

I’ve mentioned before that my story lines usually start with a character. This was the first one EVER  that sprang up fully formed, and had the characters already tailored for it. I ‘m being truthful when I say I did not have to do one iota of character development in my head. I could actually see the characters standing in the front of my mind, heard their voices, and knew  what they were going to say, to whom, and how they were going to say it.

Is there such a thing as triple wowza??!!

Maybe when I go back to NYC in two weeks I’ll forget to bring a book again. Who knows? Quadruple wowza, maybe??

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