Tag Archives: #readromance

I get to do this and call it research! #ILoveMyLife

So yesterday I went to a bridal expo.

Hold the batphone, you say. Aren’t you married? Like, for a thousand years?

Yup, true.

Then why did you go to a bridal expo? you ask.

Research, I say. Research.

Let me ‘esplain.

For NaNoWriMo this year, I’m penning a new romance series about a family in the wedding business. To add some truthfulness into the narrative, I said to myself, “Self? Why not contact a wedding planner?” And then when I was driving to the gym the other day, I happened to hear a commercial about an upcoming bridal expo at one of my favorite places in New Hampshire, Alyson’s Orchard.

As soon as I got home I emailed the manager of Alyson’s.   I introduced myself, told her I wasn’t a bride-to-be (Not even close!) but that I wanted to do some bridal industry research for my new romance series. Luckily, she said, yes, I could come to the expo!

It was so much fun. I met some very lovely wedding planners, got some ideas about what’s involved in putting together a dream wedding nowadays – since I did get married a millennium ago, things have really changed –  and basically had a blast talking all things bridal with the vendors at the expo. One of my favorite people? Wedding officiant Jane E. Rokes. We talked for quite a while on all things officiant-related.

God, I love research!!!!

When I’m not out doing fun stuff, er I mean, gathering research, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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

#Goodreads #giveaway

T’is the season. Well, the shopping season. If you want to get a quick jump start on your holiday gift getting and you feel lucky, enter my GOODREADS GIVEAWAY for my Holiday book A  KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. From 11.1-11.10 You can enter to win one of 5 signed copies ( USA residents only because, you know…shipping!) of the printed book and I’m including some special Holiday presents along with the books. SHHHHHH! only the winners will know what those are.

Think you might want to enter for a chance? Well, here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to whet your appetites:

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. Daddy told me later 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.

Or if you don’t want to enter the giveaway but would like the book to gift to yourself, a friend, SEVERAL FRIENDS (HeeHee), here are the buy links for the places you can find the book:

Amazon // Wild Rose Press // Kobo // Nook //

And if you need to find me, I’m usually here:  Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Character Interview: At Last in Laguna by Claire Marti #WildRosePressAuthor

Today I’ve got a real treat for you all. Another one of my favorite Wild Rose Press sistahs, Claire Marti, has a brand new book out, AT LAST IN LAGUNA, and today, she’s brought along her uber-hot hero, Brandt Dempsey, for a sit down chat. Grab a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy hearing about At Last In Laguna and a special someone there….

Brandt Dempsey where are you from? Laguna Beach, California

Tell us a bit about AT LAST IN LAGUNA:

It’s the story of how my best friend Nick’s little sister Alyssa jolted me out of my resolve to treat her like a surrogate baby sister. Little did she know that I avoided her not just because Nick’s the closest thing I’ve got to a family, but I come from a rough past and simply didn’t deserve a beautiful, intelligent, perfect woman like her.

What did you think the first time you saw Alyssa Morgan?

It was more than a decade ago and she was only seventeen years old. She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous like she is today. She was tall and painfully skinny, with these thick coke-bottle glasses that obscured her striking gray-blue eyes. Almost. I remember making an extra effort to be kind to her because of her shyness and nervousness around me.

What was your second thought?

Once she felt more comfortable around me, I was surprised at her sarcastic sense of humor.

Did you feel it was love at first sight?

I don’t know if I believe in love at first sight. When I saw her again when she returned to Laguna after college, my jaw dropped. The awkward teenager blossomed into an elegant woman. A red alarm sounded in my head: stay away! Her brother Nick is my closest friend and I couldn’t jeopardize our relationship. He’s like an over-protective father from the 1950’s, probably because they lost their parents when Alyssa was only fourteen and he’s her only family. So, I did my best to ignore her.

What do you like most about Alyssa?

That’s a tough one. Her compassion and warmth draw me to her. Her kisses. Well, let’s just say I wish I was kissing her right now.

How would you describe her?

She’s incredible. Her independence and wit impress me and her natural beauty and warmth blow me away. She’s a creative, talented interior designer with an intuitive sense in all she does. I feel like she “gets” me, if that makes sense.

How would she describe you?

The best-looking guy in Laguna. Kidding. More likely she’d say I was a stubborn pain in the butt.

Why are you building Tearmann House?

There’s a whole demographic of people who the system fails. I want to help the women and children who have nowhere to go and/or need a short refuge to get back on their feet again after tough times.

What is your biggest fear?

You’ll have to read AT LAST IN LAGUNA to find out.

Blurb:

Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits.

 

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?

Excerpt:

What was his deal this morning?

She’d give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.

Buy Links:

amazon //  Wild Rose Press // Barnes & Nobel // Kobo // ibooks

A little about Claire…

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.

You can find out more, and connect with, Claire here:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads //

 

 

 

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

#MFRW author…My first love.

I know I say this every week, but this topic could definitely go in a couple of different directions. Let me throw a dart on the wall and choose the specific first love I want to write about today.

Hmmmmmm…….

Okay, first book boyfriend love. That’s a goodie.

You may be surprised to know it wasn’t Rhett Butler from Gone with The Wind,

   

or Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

even though those are the two romance books that set me on my chosen course. Nope. My first book dream lover was Brian Beldon

from the Trixie Beldon mystery series.

You all know I grew up in my local library from the time I was 8 years old. My librarian mamas were forever pointing me in the correct age group destination for books for me to read. I discovered Trixie Beldon and her family at the age of 9.

Brian Beldon, the oldest of the 4 Beldon kids, was 16 in the first book. He had movie theater good looks which were described as dark-eyed, dark-haired, and handsome, and he was the kid everyone looked to for guidance and advice. He was the one who always kept a cool head in the storm that was mischievous Trixie and her friends. He was the perfect older brother. I always imagined he would grow up to be a dashing doctor because he was forever giving first aid to his siblings and anyone else who was injured. I dreamed a little girl’s dream of someday growing up and marrying a doctor just like Brian.

To a nine-year-old myopic, overweight, and lonely girl, Brian Beldon was the epitome of innocent boyfriend first love. I was 26 when the series quit production in 1986. As happenstance would have it, in 1987 I married a dark eyed, dark haired… ( wait for it) Doctor.

Life imitating art? Or a really good wish? You decide, but whatever the reason, I have my very own Brian Beldon!

Want to find out who the first loves of some of the other authors in this blog hop are? Click on the links below and visit them.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Literary characters, love, Romance, Romance Books

#MFRWAuthors week 41…My Blogging Inspiration

Another week…another topic that could go a couple of ways. I’m going to take the easy route ( for me) and tell you what my blogging inspiration is.

Ready?

You. The Reader. The one who clicks on the link to my blog every day through WordPress or Google+ or Goodreads and actually READS it.

You, dear reader, are my inspiration.

Why, you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell ya.

You read what I write.

 

 

You make a thoughtful choice, everyday, to click on and see if I’ve uploaded a new blog with a new topic.

If it weren’t FOR you there would be no ME writing a BLOG.

Of course I could write it. But if it weren’t for YOU it wouldn’t be read and shared and retweeted and “Hearted” (I couldn’t find the heart emoji for Instagram!!!)

You inspire me to keep writing my blog everyday. Whenever I see the blog post shared, or liked, or whatever I know I am effecting someone’s life, either positively, negatively ( egads!), informationally, or spiritually.

 

 

So, based on this, I will continue to be inspired daily to write for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, that’s my take on this blog. I’m sure the other MFRW authors have different opinions, so why don’t you click on their links and see how they interpreted this little bit of blogging inspiration….

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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.

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance

2 weeks….

As promised previously, to ramp up interest for my Lyrical Shine 10.3.17 release of A SHOT AT LOVE, I’m posting little excerpts from the book. The last time you got to see Gemma for the first time through Ky’s eyes. Today, Gemma gives you a little glimpse of the FBI agent who pisses her off and turns her on at the same time.

Enjoy!

Gemma paced the small room for the hundredth time, her arms folded across her chest, desperately wanting to hit something.

No, not something. Someone. Agent Pappa-pain, or whatever the heck his name was.

For over two hours she’d been confined to this cramped, windowless, and drab room. During the first, she’d written, in full detail, everything she’d witnessed on the street corner. Agent Winters had guided her through the questions while she wrote the answers in her smooth, precise script. When they were finished, he’d left her, promising to return shortly.

            His definition of shortly was exceedingly different from hers.

With a heavy sigh, she plopped back down into a metal chair, arms still crossed.                        Agent Moron. Reconsidering, she added, a hunky moron, but one none-the-less.

Reconsidering, she added, a hunky moron, but one none-the-less.

She’d been speaking on the phone when she’d turned and seen him approaching her. Her first thought had been serious eye candy. Clad in a supremely well-fitted dark blue suit, he simply tore up the pavement on his way to her, those long legs striding with purpose and determination in each step. His face was a contradiction in origins. Deep, milk chocolate colored hair, cut just a bit too short for her liking, had soft, gold flecks framing his temples and the top of his head. His skin was a light golden brown, giving the impression he spent a great deal of time in the sun. Eyes the color of the sea at sunrise, so light green, they almost appeared crystal with the sun hitting them, were surrounded by jet-black eyelashes Gemma admitted she was jealous of. His face was angular, the jaw tapering into a rock solid V at its tip, a small crevice winking out right below his lower lip.

All-in-all it was a face she wanted to photograph, knowing just the way she’d capture it. The fact he’d yanked her along after him like an errant child got her dander up. Coupled with the way he’d carelessly held her camera made her want to kick some sense into him.

God, what a day.

PreOrder Links: Amazon //Apple //Google // Kobo // Nook

When I’m not trying to sell my soul in the weight of books (!) you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women

The best parts of each season….#MFRWauthors

I live in New England where in Autumn, there is no prettier place to be, so this topic may be a little skewered to the FALL for me!!

Let’s start with SPRING since by definition, this is the start of it all ( even tho the calendar says Jan.1 is!!)

For me, the best part of spring is the sense of ANTICIPATION I get. Flowers are starting to peek up from grass that is finally turning green. Daylight doesn’t disappear at four p.m. We shed our protective outerwear and begin to make plans for all the holidays to come – Memorial Day, The fourth of July, Labor day.

 

With SUMMER, I turn LAZY.

Mostly because I don’t like to sweat and the heat makes me clammy, so I tend to just not move much, hence, lazy. But….the days are longer and filled with …more. More of everything. More sunshine, more flowers, more ice cream, more vegetables growing in gardens, more reasons to relax.

AUTUMN, as I’ve said, is my favorite season.

Even though this is a season where things begin to wind down, I have to tell you the best part of this season is that I tend to RE-ENERGIZE during these months. When the leaves change and turn colors, I tend to clean out all the clutter from my house and life. I know I should be doing this in the spring ( they don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing!) but in the Fall, when I spend more time in the house and not outside in the heat, I fill the time with reorganizing, restructuring, and culling from my life, be it clothes that no longer fit, books I’ve read that need to be donated to the Library, or rearranging the furniture to satisfy my inner feng shui.

In Winter I turn to PLANNING mode. Since I hibernate, it seems like the best time to do this.

All the books I need to write for the next year; all the changes I need to make in my life in order to be a better person; all the things I need to do for the rest of the year that will lead to my happiness.

SO…what? You thought I’d write that the best part of winter is Christmas, gardening in Spring, picnicking in Summer, and apple picking in Fall? Well, duh! Of course those things are good. But for me, it’s not about the things, it’s about the feelings. Romance writer, remember? HeeHee

…and I’m sure my fellow #MFRWA authors have totally different takes on the best part of the seasons, so stop by their blogs and read all about it!

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Romance

So…my weekend

There really should be something done about lousy internet in hotels and conferences! I was at a fabulous conference this weekend and couldn’t blog about it because it took FOREVER to get connected to WiFi. Oh well…better late than never.

Friday night I took a master class with marketing guru Jane Friedman. It quite literally changed the way I view all the social media stuff I have to do as a writer who wants to get her book in front of strangers. For two hours she spoke about all the ways a writer can engage readers and get them to — not only visit their websites — but purchase their work.

First things first. Your website. You’re reading this so obviously you stopped here! But how did you find out about the website? Did you see a Twitter mention of it? Catch it in a newsfeed roll on my Facebook Author page? Or do you Follow me on WordPress? Since I don’t have a newsletter ( a major faux pas in Jane’s opinion), I don’t have a one-on-one way to let people know about new content on my site. I’ve debated for several years about having one because it’s just one more thing I have to do, but she says the benefits are worth it.

Next. The website content, itself. I don’t update my website frequently except for the blogs. My banner, headers, widgets, etc., are all pretty stagnant. And that’s the kind of traffic you never want: stagnant. You want your website to be fluid, moving, and new. So, Saturday morning between the hours of 1 am and 4 am ( since I never sleep. Damn this menopause insomnia!) I updated my website. I added a new category, changed the banner and some of the graphics, and posted new info on the pages.

Last. Your work. Or in my case, my books. It’s inconceivable to me that I never thought of this, but nowhere on my website was there a page for a reader to purchase my books. Not even a direct link except if I was blogging about the book. So, ta-da- new page. MY BOOKS lists all my work from newest to oldest, the covers, and all the buy links across the e-book network and traditional publishers. Whew! That was a ton of work but I think it’ll be so worth it in the end, especially when I start to see an uptick in sales.

Jane spoke of several other ways to drive traffic to your work that I’ll be discussing tomorrow. Today I wanted to focus on the website itself.

When I’m not attending conferences of updating my website, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding

10.3.17…..#ComingSoon

MY newest Trailer for A SHOT AT LOVE, releasing into the book reading world on 10.3.17

Buy links:

Amazon // B&N // Kobo //Apple i-books // Google

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Food lover, Foodie, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Laine Women