Tag Archives: The Wild Rose Press Author

An #interview with #Author Saffron A. Kent; #TWRP

In a week of FIRSTS, here’s another: my very first interview with an NC-17 story teller. Saffron A. Kent is a Wild Rose sistah, and her debut novel, A WAR LIKE OURS has gotten some pretty amazeballs reviews. Saffron is the first to tell you the story she wrote isn’t for everyone. It’s raw, and tormented, and really like nothing you’re used to reading when you think of any lines of the romance genre. And because of that, she’s making a name for herself in the literary world. Saffron sat down recently to answer my interview questions and agreed to let me give you a little glimpse into her world. Stick around after the piece, because she’s sharing something from A WAR LIKE OURS with you.

Here’s Saffron….

Saffron, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write? Reading. I am a big reader and love to read tons of things. And the more I read, the more I want to write.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary and erotic romance. Mostly because for me, emotional growth and internal conflict are what attract me to romance. So I like to focus on character’s internal journey without getting distracted by external plot points. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in external conflicts. Without them, we have no story. But I like to keep things focused on emotional journey.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? All of them except suspense. As I said, I’m more of an emotional story person and I feel suspense takes away from the romance. Nothing against the subgenre though.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? Yup. Every single day, especially when I’m heavily involved with a project. I think it keeps me motivated. The more I write, the more I want to write.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I like to write in bed (LOL!). I like to be comfortable and if I’m going to spend hours writing, I’d rather do it in my soft bed. Other than that, I have this great armchair that is just fantastic to spend hours in. So that’s my second spot.
  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I need totally quiet. Maybe that’s why I miss out on listening to music while writing or writing in a coffee shop. It’s a dream of mine to write at a table by the window and be this dreamy kind of writer! But so far it hasn’t happened. I get distracted easily so I need the quiet.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? Nope. Can’t. It’s very hard for me. But occasionally when I really feel like being a rebel, I listen to whatever I’ve got saved on my playlist.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I was watching this movie, The girl with a dragon tattoo. I was struck by the hardness of the character and her history so much. The protagonist starts dating girls and is skittish of men because of a horrific incident in her life. It was very intriguing to me and I wanted to explore such a character, hence, Madison came into being.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character, always. For me, characters make the plot. They need to be active, engaging and continuously evolving throughout the story.
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Plotter (I need to know what’s going on; I can’t do on the spot writing). Re-writer (I think I re-write almost every scene at least twice. So I re-write the whole book twice, no matter what. Nothing is good enough for me). Perfectionist (It goes back to point 2. Unless I’m happy with something I can’t even show it to my beta readers. I won’t. And to make me happy, it takes a long time).

The Person Questions:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’m a fan of chocolate cheesecake. Love it!
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I was fifteen I think. It was a guy from school.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. The day I got the email from TWRP that they will publish my book. Oh Gosh! I got that email in the middle of the night, the editor had just finished it. She wrote me this raving email, saying she simply has to publish it because the story is so different and unique and fresh. I couldn’t sleep after that. I was laughing, crying. It was insane.
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers. Definitely more manly to me.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? It would be my Apricot scrub. I love that thing so much.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Anxious, awkward in social situations and totally talkative at home.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Any song by Lana Del Ray. I adore her. She is my go to artist when I’m down.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I’d hang out with Hermoine from Harry Potter. She is bookish and a nerd. I’d love to go to a library with her and talk about books all day.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound: The gurgle of coffee maker in the morning. It means the coffee is ready.
  2. Least favorite sound: The fire brigade sound. I think for obvious reasons. It’s loud and it never fails to make me anxious. I’m always like, what’s going on? Is it me?
  3. Best song every written: Summertime sadness by Lana del Ray
  4. Worst song ever written: Ugh. Too many to count. I know this would make people hate me but I don’t like Justin Bieber so… any song by him.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Daniel Day-Lewis among many others and Michelle Pfeiffer, again among many others.
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) I want to be Gillian Flynn for one day. I just want to see inside her mind and you know, how it works. It’s genius. Whatever she writes is pure gold for me. I love her.
  7. What turns you on? Sense of humor.
  8. What turns you off? People with huge egos or over-confidence
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) Are you not wearing a bra. LOL! I had this top on that was kind of revealing and I don’t why he thought I wasn’t wearing a bra. Ugh. That was the worst. I was so embarrassed.
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day? Coffee in the morning, lazing around in bed with a book and my husband all day. Eating pizza. Watching Netflix when I’m done with the book.

 

Blurb:

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A liar…

Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret.

A hater…

After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him.

A forbidden kiss…

But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy.

Please Note: This book is intended for mature audience. 18+ ONLY.

Excerpt:

A liar…a hater…a forbidden kiss…

My arm had begun to feel numb. I forgot to breathe as I looked at him. He could really hurt me. I knew this in my heart. He could really do it. My fear kicked into high gear. Please no. I didn’t think I could go through that again. Turned out people like me could be scared of some things, too. Surprise, my subconscious chanted, weakly.

I tried to free myself. “Let me go.”

He brought me even closer and puffed his stale breath on my face. I fought hard not to gag. His chest wasn’t touching mine, but one deep breath and it would brush. I stopped breathing.

A soft flick, a caress resonated on my skin where he’d grabbed me. It was so soft that it could’ve been air touching my skin, but I knew it was him. He was circling his thumb on my arm. My heart pounded, furious, afraid, and with a tinge of excitement. In the next second, the caress was gone like I’d dreamt it.

I struggled harder. “Let me go!” And then I broke down and uttered a word I hadn’t spoken like I meant it in a long while. “Please.”

 

Buy Links: Amazon // B&N // WildRose Press

 

Bio supreet3

Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer. Wanna-be Poet. Lana Del Ray & Gillian Flynn Worshiper.

My stories are grey-shaded and NC-17. I write what I love to read. And what I love to read is always twisted and angsty and emotional. My characters desperately need therapy. They tend to kiss a lot too, among other naughty things.

I LOVE to chat with readers about reading and writing so come follow me! FaceBook // Twitter // Pinterest // Website

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

A visit with #author Gary Guinn; #TWRP #mysterywriter

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This is a first for me. Actually 2 firsts. One, I’m introducing you to a male author today – something I’ve never had the pleasure or opportunity to do before, (yay!) and two, he doesn’t write romance – but mainstream mysteries and thrillers (Yay, squared!) Gary Guinn is a fellow Wild Rose Press brothah, not sistah, and he’s got a new book out titled SACRIFICIAL LAM.  He graciously answered all my nosy questions recently and agreed to be featured here today. After the interview, he’s sticking around to give you a little sneak peek at his brand new release. So, let’s get to know a little more about Gary….

Gary Guinn,  The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write?

I wish I knew. The rewards are there. When someone tells me about their emotional reaction to something I’ve written, it makes me happy. A woman once told me she gasped when she read a particular passage in my first novel. That felt really good. But there have to be intrinsic motivations that keep you coming back day after day, sitting there alone, pecking out words in a narrative. For me, the most intrinsic motivation is a beautiful line, in which the language itself makes me smile. When later I read a passage I wrote, and that little emotional bubble of joy trickles up my spine, it makes me want to sit down at the computer and do it again.

  1. What genre(s) do your write, and why?

I write both mainline literary fiction and mystery/thriller fiction, and occasionally I write poetry. I write literary fiction because I like to get lost in the language and let a couple of characters go wherever their yearnings take them. No formulas, no expectations except that they will act like predictably unpredictable human beings. I write mystery/thriller fiction because I love working out the plot, creating the thrill of discovery, the intensity of the action scenes.

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  1. What genre(s) do you read, and why?

I read the same genres that I write, and mostly for the same reasons. I read Louise Erdrich and John Irving to get lost in their beautiful language and to fall in love with their crazy characters. I read Georges Simenon, Colin Dexter, and Hakan Nesser to be mesmerized by murder and the quest of the inspector who finds the murderer. I have a special affinity for what is called Nordic Noir, the dark Scandinavian crime fiction that reflects in its ambiance the land in which it’s written.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I try to write every day, but I average maybe five days per week. I wish I were an early morning person, who got up before the house stirred and wrote for two hours in the beautiful silence. I do get up fairly early every day, but there are other things I do to start my day—yoga, exercise, Tai Chi. And so I might get a little writing in before lunch, but most days I write for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and if I’m really in the flow of a piece, might write into the evening. I do have to stop for Happy Hour, of course, even then.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

            My writing space looks pretty traditional. Being a retired college English professor, I have a study, with bookshelves covering most of the walls. Desk by the window. Persian rug covering most of the floor. There’s not much wall space because of the bookshelves, but on the little bit that is available, I have a black-and-white print of the Eifel Tower. Hanging at the corners of the second window, a Keffiyeh I brought back from an archeological dig in Jordan and my old doctoral Tam, the only piece of academic regalia I kept when I retired from teaching.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision?

            I prefer total quiet. Occasionally I put on music that reinforces a particular mood for a scene I’m writing. But I usually have no trouble filtering out extraneous sounds, except for excited conversation with loud laughter.

        7. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

Fairly early in my career at the university, a disturbing incident occurred, which stuck with me through the years. Three of my colleagues at the university, who were all liberal, progressive professors like myself, received anonymous threats couched in violent terms. The university was a very conservative place, and liberal professors like ourselves were in a real minority and sometimes found teaching there an uncomfortable fit. At the same time, we felt a sense of purpose in being the source of divergent, more open, views in the areas of politics, social issues, and religion. The threats created a tense environment, and though nothing could be proved, there was a pretty strong suspicion of who was responsible. As it happens, nothing further came of the threats, but that situation became the kernel for developing the series of mystery/thrillers featuring English professor Lam Corso, a liberal who teaches at a small, conservative southern college. Sacrificial Lam is the first in the series. The second, which I am about halfway through, has the working title A Lam to Slaughter.

         8. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

I would say usually character comes first. In most of my short fiction and in my four novels, I begin with a character that intrigues me and build a plot around the character. The reason is simple. I find certain people, and certain character types, fascinating. When I come across someone who grabs my attention, and when that person sticks in my mind and keeps popping into my thoughts, then I have a character for a story. I begin to imagine that character in a situation, and the story builds from there. The exception to this rule is that for several of my short stories I have been attracted first to a news story that becomes the catalyst for a work of fiction. The best example of that is a story published in Carve Magazine about ten years ago, titled “The Scar.” It grew from a newspaper story about a pickup truck that ran off a curb and drove through the back wall of a country church

         9.What 3 words describes you, the writer?

        Rational, Patient, Empathetic (Peggy here: I think those are fabulous qualities for a professor!!)

Gary, The Guy

1.Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!

            I brew beer. Good beer, all-grain, from scratch. I hand-grind the malted barley. For my two grandkids, I brewed a strong beer, a barley wine, that will age until they come of age, at which time the family will celebrate their birthday by drinking it. Of course, I have to drink a bottle once a year to be sure it is progressing satisfactorily.

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  1. Who was your first love and what age were you?

Truthfully, the first woman I remember being in love with was the oldest of my three older sisters. She was beautiful, popular, the homecoming queen, the whole nine yards, and my best friend and I, who were six years old at the time, were always asking her for a kiss. When she left home a year later, I was broken hearted.

Then there was my second grade teacher, Mrs. McElvane. Every boy in the class was in love with her. Many years later, her daughter was a student in one of my first-year English classes at the university, and when I met her mother at a school function, my heart still fluttered just a bit.

But when it comes to a real first love, the one that made me toss and turn and sigh at night, it was the typical high school sweetheart story. Pursued her, had to beat out my best friend for her, spent every waking moment with her or wishing I were with her. We planned our lives together, named our kids. Then we graduated from high school and, like most high school sweethearts, drifted our separate ways. ( Peggy here – as a romance writer, I can see 3 potential books from these answers. Bravo!

  1. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one– you’ll have to live it over and over and….

For our twenty-fifth anniversary, my wife and I spent a month in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District in England and in Paris and the surrounding area and finally the French Alps. One of the days in the Alps, I might be able to live again and again. We stayed in the little town of Chamonix, at the base of Mont Blanc, popular with skiers and climbers, the highest mountain in the Alps and marking the border with Italy. We spent a full day in the mountains, ascending to the Aiguille du Midi, a stark, forbidding, and stunningly beautiful peak, by cable car, then descending halfway again by cable car and hiking along gorgeous mountain trails, stopping for a picnic lunch with broad views of the Chamonix Valley, and finally descending in time for dinner and wine at an outdoor café in the village. Our room at the little hotel opened out onto a small balcony with Mont Blanc rising across the valley. As dusk settled over the mountains and the lights of the village came on around us, we might have agreed to do it again. And again.

          4. What three words describes you, the person?

Rational, Introverted, Impatient (grandkids call me Grumpy Granda)( Peggy here: awwwwwwwww!)

          5. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

           6. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?

I love this question. Thanks for asking it. There are so many beautiful characters in fiction who have stuck with me for so many different reasons. John Irving’s character Owen Meaney, with his strange voice and crushing guilt. Nicole Karuss’s character Leo Gursky, from The History of Love, waiting to die, trying to connect with the son who doesn’t know him. Lewis Nordan’s unforgettable alter-ego Sugar Mecklin, living in Arrow Catcher, Mississippi. The list goes on, but I’m convinced that, if I were going to spend a day with one of my favorite characters, it would be with one of three great detectives—Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret, or Hakan Nesser’s Inspector Van Veeteren, or Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse. All impatient, thoughtful, quiet people, they catch the killers more by sitting in a pub drinking beer and thinking than by chasing them through the countryside. I’d choose Inspector Morse because he drives an old restored Jaguar and listens to recordings of the great operas. We’d sit in an English country pub and drink draft beer, then drive to the station listening to Verdi’s La Traviata.

Bonus round

  1. Favorite sound: The silence after I mute a commercial (Peggy here: my husband agrees!)
  1. Least favorite sound: A sitcom through the hotel room wall
  1. Best song every written: Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin
  1. Worst song ever written: Christmas Don’t Be Late, by Alvin and the Chipmunks
  1. Favorite actor and actress: Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca; Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.
  1. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or

dead)

            Barak Obama because now that I am no longer president I could forget about the world and spend the day with Michelle at the beach and then take her out to dinner at a great little restaurant at the end of the pier and eat lobster sautéed in butter and garlic and drink a really good Pinot Noir and then walk the boardwalk hand in hand and then, well, and then see where it goes from there.

  1. What turns you on? The moment just before my lips touch her earlobe and then her neck. (Peggy here: are you sure you’re not a romance writer???!!!!)
  1. What turns you off? Belching
  1. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date: My mother’s coming with us.
  1. What’s your version of a perfect day? An island. Yoga on a deserted dock before breakfast. An egg, bacon, onion, cheese omelet with fresh pineapple and coffee. A walk on the beach. Reading a good book under the palm trees, the fronds moving gently in the breeze off the sea. Lunch from a street vendor—jerk chicken, grilled plantain, rice and beans, beer. A nap. Writing on the front porch of the cabana, a cold beer at my fingertips. A dinner of Red Snapper sautéed in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, with maybe a touch of Allspice, and a good Merlot. Watch Casablanca for the hundredth time with my wife. A few minutes back on the front porch, a fingernail moon with Venus close by. Bed.

SACRIFICIAL LAM

Blurb:

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When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off. A liberal activist teaching at a small Southern conservative college, he’s used to stirring up controversy on campus. It’s just part of the give and take of life. Even when violently attacked, Lam is convinced it has to be a mistake. He can’t imagine anyone who would want to kill him for his beliefs.

When his home is broken into and his wife’s business vandalized, Lam is forced to face facts. The police can’t find a single lead. Lam’s wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan must examine their marriage, faith, and values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by a different set of beliefs.

What will it cost to survive?

Excerpt:

The sudden shock of something hitting him hard from behind knocked him into the bike and the rack. His glasses fell to the pavement, and his stocking cap came down over his eyes. His first thought was that someone had tripped and fallen into him, and he pushed away from the bike rack, sat up, and turned.

He shoved his cap up, but without his glasses, he saw only the shape of a person standing over him and reaching down toward him. “That’s okay,” he said, “I can get up all right.”

When he rolled to one side to try and stand, a sharp blow struck him in the back of the ribs, and he grunted in pain and went to the pavement face down.

A distorted, almost metallic voice said, “You don’t get it, do you?”

“Jesus!” Lam groaned through gritted teeth. “Get what?” The pain in his ribs and the strange sound of the voice disoriented him.

Then came the kick to Lam’s thigh, and he yelled with the pain. “What the hell are you doing?” But he knew the answer to his question as soon as he asked it. This was it. Someone was attacking him. No matter what he had thought or felt over the past few days, the threat had not been real until that moment. Fear shot through him at the sudden clarity that this person was carrying out the threat. He said between tight breaths, “I’m Dr. Corso…from the English Department… Settle down and…we can clear this up.”

The distorted voice said, “You think I don’t know who you are? The mighty Lambert Corso, who thinks he can stop the earth from warming? Well, suck it up, and take what’s coming, Dr. Corso.”

Lam patted the pavement for his glasses, but he was grabbed by the back of his coat collar and jerked up and thrust hard back down on the ground. His head bounced on the pavement, stunning him. He kicked out at the dark figure, who picked up a bicycle that wasn’t chained and slammed it down on top of him. Lam roared at the pain, the bike pedal digging into his stomach. The attacker threw the bike out of the way, grabbed the front of Lam’s coat, and punched him hard three times in the face before he could raise his arms in defense.

When he dropped Lam back to the pavement, he said, “You dodged a bullet Friday afternoon. My bad. I won’t miss this time.”

And then the attacker stepped away and waited, breathing hard. Another shock of fear and clarity ran through Lam. The car had been trying to kill him. He’d been a fool. He thought of Susan, sitting with the boys on the sofa, watching TV and sipping a glass of wine. He couldn’t let go of her, he couldn’t bear to leave her and the boys, the thought of himself lying dead in an empty parking lot. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He had imagined dying hundreds of times—cancer, car wreck, drowning, plane crash—but never this, beaten to death by a lunatic who didn’t like his politics.

A desperate sound, short, high, and strained, broke from him. Blind without his glasses in the dark, he was helpless, but he refused to lie there and be killed without a fight. He tried again to stand. But as he struggled to his knees, a blow to the side of his head sent him sprawling against the bike rack, and he thought he was passing out.

The voice came again, “Time’s up, Lambert.”

When Lam looked up, the man stood above him with something—a knife Lam thought—in his hand. The voice said, “You were warned.”

Laughter came from the far end of the parking lot, and a girl’s voice yelled, “Last one to the bike rack buys the lattes!” Racing footsteps echoed on the pavement.

A split second later the figure standing over Lam slipped the knife into a side pocket, turned, ran over the lip of the hill behind the cathedral and was gone.

Buy links:  Amazon // B&N // KOBO // TWRP

Book Giveaway

BIO

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Gary Guinn taught literature and creative writing at a small private college for more than thirty years. His short fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. His first novel, A Late Flooding Thaw, was published in 2005, and his second novel, Sacrificial Lam, is scheduled to be released March 3, 2017. He loves traveling, dogs, and brewing beer.

You can connect with Gary here:

Website // FaceBook // Goodreads // Twitter

 

 

Peggy here: Gary, thanks so much for agreeing to be tortured – I mean INTERVIEWED  – today! It was my pleasure hosting you and getting to know about a fellow Wild Rose Press writer. Be well and happy writing!

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Filed under Alpha Male, Author, Literary characters, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Thankful Authors

Since it’s the holiday season and it means so much more than just running around and trying to find the perfect gift, fellow author — and writing friend — Angela Hayes has invited me to post a blog to her ThankFul Authors website. Angela hosts a wide variety of authors each year who try to express just why they are thankful for all the blessings in their lives. Here’s the link to my post for today. It kind of explains why I write about the strong women I write about. And why I will continue to do so….hopeyou enjoy it.

here’s the link: THANKFUL AUTHORS 2016

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Writing Pet Peeves, Part Trois…

We all have pet peeves (something that a particular person finds especially annoying.) As a writer, I have a gaggle of them, all related to writers and writing.

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I have seen every single one of the following in either a book – or several!- magazine articles, and on-line. In no particular annoyance level order, here are the ones I feel are the most egregious:

  • IRREGARDLESS is not a word. You mean, REGARDLESS, when you write: without paying attention to the present situation; despite the prevailing circumstances.  Ex: Regardless of what you have done, I will always love you.
  • LITERALLY means it actually happened. Not that it FIGURATIVELY happened: FIGURATIVELY means: departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical:  EX: gold, in the figurative language of the people, was “the tears wept by the sun.”
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  • IRONY does not mean something that is unexpected. IRONY means: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result: EX: the irony is that I thought he could help me.
  • It’s I COULDN’T CARE LESS not, I could care less, which means you actually DO care!
  • YOU’RE means you are. YOUR means: with the person or people that the speaker is addressing: EX: what is your name?
  • A LOT is ALWAYS 2 words, not one. ALWAYS!!
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  • You BEAR weight with your BARE hands
  • you give TWO things TO someone else. In addition, you give it to me, TOO. Got it??
  • You LOSE your keys if your pants are LOOSE.
  • THEY’RE means they are. THERE is a direction or a place ( THERE it is!!!) THEIR denotes one or more people ( THEIR noses were red from the cold weather)
  • If you try to form a contraction of COULD HAVE it is not could of. That is because there is no contraction of COULD HAVE. It is, simply stated, COULD HAVE.

So, those are actually most of my writing pet peeves. Tell me yours. Let’s discuss……

In my most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, not one of the above pet peeves is present! Promise!

Blurb:

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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.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Pet Peeves, research, Romance, Romance Books, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press

Writing Pet Peeves, Part Deux – Mea Culpa

So yesterday I put up a piece about  my number one pet peeve and I heard from A LOT of you. On facebook, via my email, I even had one phone call. Based on those responses I have two mea culpas to offer.

#1. I, in no way, shape or form, meant to slam writers who are self-published. I was making a dig about big publishing houses and the apparent lack of fact checking and it came out wrong – much to my embarrassment and chagrin. Every self-published author I know spends countless hours on self-editing, in addition to paying for professional editing, to ensure their work has no mistakes. I know this. So I apologize ten thousand times if I offended any and all self pubbed writers. I truly do.

#2 I heard from many of you that your dictionary definition of PRONE was, to lay flat. That is true. It is. BUT, the continuation of the definition is: to lay flat COMMA face downward ( to lay flat, face downward.) That comma is there for a reason, folks!!! When you get a back massage, you are prone. When you are sleeping on your stomach, you are prone. When you are a sniper and hidden in a blind waiting to strike, you are prone.

The reason I was on such a rant yesterday was because I read this line in a new book: “(THE HEROINE – I won’t name her!) was prone on the bed. (THE HERO) wrapped her legs around his waist and bent to kiss her on the lips.” Now that you know the true definition of prone, picture this sentence. The heroine is face down – according to the author (Prone, remember?). Her man wraps her legs around his waist ( PICTURE THIS, PEOPLE! Her butt is facing him) and kisses her on the lips. How? Did she spin her head around like in the Exorcist???

Get it??!!

Okay, no more rants. If you write prone as a movement and you mean the character is on their back, just know if I read your book, I will be disappointed in you ( I’ll still love you, but I’ll be disappointed!)

My next blog will feature the top most annoying writing pet peeves. ( Mine and every other author’s!)

In my most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, no one is prone.

Blurb:

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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.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Writing Pet Peeves

Okay, this may be a rant – sorry if it sounds like one.

petpeeves4

I’m reading the brand new release of one of my all-time favorite authors and I found a mistake a fact-checker should have caught. This is the second time in a week I’ve found this particular mistake – the other was in an older book by a different fav author.

What the heck has happened to  fact checkers in the publishing industry? These are not self published books where I would expect to find errors – these are from two of the BIG 5!! Here’s the mistake – remember: it’s the same one I found in two different books: both writers used the word PRONE to denote a person lying on their back, face upward. WRONGWRONGWRONG!!! SUPINE means lying face upward, prone means lying face downward. Why does this bother me so much, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

When I was in nursing school in the late 1800’s (!) we used to write our nursing notes by hand. It’s all done electronically now. I wrote a note once on a comatose patient that read  “Pt. appears comfortable and is lying prone in bed.” I got reported to the Director of Nursing by the patient’s doc and a written warning note was placed in my academic file. Why? Because the patient had a tracheostomy tube and was on a ventilator and there was no way on God’s green earth he could have or should have been laying prone ( which means on his stomach) because he wouldn’t have been able to breathe. And the reason I got written up was because if the patient’s family had ever sued, the legal chart would have gone into evidence and court and I would have looked incompetent ( as would the hospital) for placing the patient in position that obviously could have killed him. The note should have read : “Pt. appears comfortable and is lying supine in bed.”
Here’s the easiest way to remember the difference ( if you don’t have a dictionary handy) “When you are SUPINE you are looking up at the PINE trees, ergo, you are on your back. When  you are PRONE you have you face pointed downward, or as I remember it: Face PLANTED downward.

Got it??

I’ve got more writing pet peeves, but this is enough negativity for one day. Do you have any? Let’s discuss, because I know there are thousands!!!!

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Editors, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books

Dedications. They mean more than you think…

Do you read the dedications in the front of books? I do. I think it’s cool to try and figure out why the author decided that  person was the one to whom the book, the author’s baby, was deserving of a praise-filled mention. After all, it was the author who wrote it, not the person it is dedicated to. The author put in all the blood, sweat, tears, and work into the story. Shouldn’t they, by rights, dedicate it to themselves?

Okay, that’s a dumb question, but I think you know what I mean.

Do authors choose the person to list the dedication based on something they might have done for them? Helped them with research, maybe, so the mention is like a thank you, then? Or perhaps the idea for the story came from the person it is dedicated to? Could it be the dedicatee is somehow connected to the book? Is it their story told from a fictional viewpoint?

Is the dedicate-ee a lifelong friend who suffered through the endless revisions, deletions, and plotholes with the writer? Or is it a loved one whom the author wanted to publically acknowledge?

So many questions, and I’ll bet each writer chooses a dedicatee for a different reason.

All of my books have been dedicated to someone in my life I love. My first book I assigned equally to my husband and daughter, the two halves that make my heart whole.

I’ve dedicated another book to my best friend – a woman who not only has supported me through my endless attempts to establish a published writing career, but one from whom I have learned so much  about life, sharing, and unconditional friendship.

I have a Christmas story coming out this year I’ve dedicated to one of my wonderful sisters-in-law because the family in the story could be her own. It isn’t – but it could be, and I knew she’d appreciate all the humor, pathos, and family love woven into it.

So, if you’re a writer, how do you choose who dedicate your work to? Let’s discuss…….

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, is dedicated to my mother.

Blurb:

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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.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Into the mind of a writer…

I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into what I do during the day, from a writing perspective. Writing’s not all rainbows and unicorns, with award winning phrases tripping from your tongue and onto the keyboard all day. Nope. It’s hard work, lots of thought, and some days you wind up with more deletions than written saves.

When I work, I already have the gist of the story plotted out. I also make a vision board now for each new book for a number of reasons. One, it helps me to remember what the characters each look like so I don’t have to continually look back at my character notes to make sure I give them the same color eyes and hair from day to day. Two, it keeps me focused on the current story I want to tell. Without the board in front of me, propelling me to keep writing the story, I have a tendency to open up other files and work on other things…or troll through pinterest…or facebook. None of those are productive. Third, it actually helps me with the character dialogue. When I see the characters in front of me, I can actually hear how they talk, see how they move their mouths, listen to the way they phrase words, how their faces contort and twist  and move, and I can envision the dialogue speaking from their lips.  I know that sounds…well…weird…but it’s true for me.

Here’s a glimpse of my current vision board for my newest work in progress, book 2 in my cooking series.

visionboard

If you look closely you can see pictures of my hero and heroine, and on either side of the board are images that pertain to each of them. Yes, it’s a lot of work – some may call it plain busy work – but I am a visual person. I see things in their entireties and individually much easier than having to conjure them up from my imagination. This board keeps me on track, focused, and prevents me from making character mistakes.

So, that’s a very tiny glimpse into my day.

Yeah, I know…I have a great life!

When I’m not writing -and even when I am! – you can find me here:

Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

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A visit with Joyce Holmes

On this beautiful April Sunday, I am very pleased to introduce you to  another of my Wild Rose Press sistahs, author Joyce Holmes.  Joyce hails from British Columbia and is living the writing dream. She recently “sat” down with me for an indepth interview and graciously gave me – and now you!  – a glimpse at her newest release, Visual Effects.

Here’s Joyce.

Joyce – The Writer Questions

  1. What drives you to write? I love telling a story – creating believable characters, giving them tough emotional issues to deal with and then helping them find their way to a happy place.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write contemporary romance, partly because I enjoy dealing with real people in real-life situations, and partly because I’d have no clue how to write anything else.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I’m a voracious reader. I read all romantic genres and every type of other fiction, as well. I even occasionally read non-fiction. And cereal boxes, bus advertising…
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I don’t follow a schedule unless I’m under deadline. I’d love to write every day, but sometimes real life doesn’t let me. I do ‘writer stuff’ every day, though. Promotion, social media, research, whatever is the priority at the time.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?Years ago, I converted my smallest bedroom into an office and that’s where I write. My laptop sits on an old desk and there’s a small table next to it, where I keep notes and research papers that aren’t on the computer. Two tall bookshelves, overflowing with books, and a filing cabinet take up most of the remaining space.
  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? When I had kids at home, I was quite good at filtering out the noise, but I’m noticing more often now, noise distracts me and I need quiet, especially if the scene isn’t going well.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? I listened to music on occasion when I first started writing, but not for some time now. Sadly, it’s become another noise that distracts me.
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I had just come back from a trip to LA, so I had the film industry on my mind, and that’s the backdrop for my story. As for the plot, it evolved as it went along. A few of the plotlines were taken from my life experiences and given their own twists.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Usually the characters come first. I have to know them quite well before I can put them into any given situation, although their personalities sometimes make a bit of a transformation to suit the plot as it develops.
  1. What 3 words describes you, the writer? Slow, slow, and slow. Oh, that’s only one word? Okay, then, slow, methodical, and obsessive.

Joyce, The Person Questions:

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’ve climbed Grupo Nohoch Mul, a pyramid in Mexico. I have bad vertigo and it’s quite the climb, so it’s a proud accomplishment for me.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? His name was Guy James, and I was thirteen. It was only puppy love, but it lasted a long time. My first real love was my hubby, at age eighteen, and it’s lasted a lot longer.
  3. If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. My first date with Hubby. It could use a do-over or three
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?Boxers, but not the baggy kind.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? This is going to sound weird, but I don’t use many beauty items. About the closest I could get is my facial cream.
  6. What three words describes you, the person? Tenacious, loyal, softhearted.
  7. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Something silly, like Call Me Maybe.
  8. If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? I’ve read many great characters, but no particular one jumps readily to mind. So, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I’d love to spend time with my current character, Jesse Devlin. I think he’d be a lot of fun to hang with. He could take me sightseeing in his vintage Porsche, stopping for a stroll along the Santa Monica Boardwalk; maybe go dancing…

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound: A child’s laughter
  2. Least favorite sound: Knuckles cracking
  3. Best song every written: Imagine by John Lennon
  4. Worst song ever written: All those rap songs full of swear words and nasty lyrics.
  5. Favorite actor and actress: Keanu Reeves (Because of his looks, not his acting) and Julia Roberts (Because she’s so real)
  6. Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): My little dog. I’d love to know what she thinks and what she sees.
  7. What turns you on?: Tenderness
  8. What turns you off?: Negativism
  9. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): “Sorry I’m late. I forgot.” (Needless to say, that first date was also our last.)
  10. What’s your version of a perfect day?: Getting all my kids and grandkids together with my hubby and me, and doing something fun. Hearing them laugh and watching them enjoy being with each other.

 

Blurb:

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Drey Winston is a fierce competitor who enjoys challenging her mind and body. But when it comes to her heart—no one ever gets close enough to compete for it. Having grown up believing she was an unwanted burden to her parents, she prefers to keep her feelings well hidden. Just when her hard-fought goals are finally within reach, the audacious Jesse Devlin comes along to breach her carefully guarded defenses.

After a disastrous marriage early in life, Jesse Devlin prefers strings-free relationships. Confident and outgoing, he gets along well with women, but his natural charm can’t seem to penetrate Drey Winston’s aloofness. While attempting to win her over, he’s the one who ends up losing his heart.

Can this commitment-phobic bachelor convince the stubbornly independent woman he loves that his feelings—and hers—are the real deal?

Excerpt:

Jesse leaned against a tree to draw in a few deep breaths. As he straightened, he plucked his ball cap off his head and wiped his forearm across his brow, then hooted a victory cheer. “Hard work’s over. Time for the reward.”

He dropped the cap onto the sand and emptied his pockets into it. Then he pulled his T-shirt over muscled shoulders, dropped it onto the sand on top of his cap, and made quick work of his footwear. Drey stared in disbelief as he beelined down the beach and ran straight into the low surf. When he was hip-deep in the water, he slipped smoothly beneath the surface. He reappeared several feet out and turned to wave.

“Join me,” he called. “The water’s great.”

“Not a chance. The ocean is cold in summer, I can only imagine how frigid it must be today.”

“Wuss,” he scoffed and splashed water in her direction.

Shivers that had nothing to do with feeling chilly shot through Drey as she watched him emerge from the water a few minutes later. Rivulets ran down his chest, following the ridges and planes of his brawny body. Wet shorts clung to muscular thighs.

He ran his hands over his face and then shook himself like a playful pup. “You don’t know what you missed. Nothing like a dip in the salt chuck to get the heart pumping. Well, almost nothing.” He stalked deliberately up the beach toward her, and the look on his face made her back away, but she didn’t react fast enough. He caught her up in his arms, laughing at her shrieks of protest.

“Lemme go, Jesse. You’re cold. Come on, Jesse, lemme go. You’re getting me all wet.”

“That’s the whole idea. Get you wet and me warm.”

She gave him a firm push in the wrong direction as she sprinted down the beach. “Not if you can’t catch me,” she threw over her shoulder as she went.

Buy Links:

Wild Rose Press      Amazon          B&N

 

Author Bio:

Holmes_Headshot

Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. The award-winning author is happily living her dream of being a stay-at-home writer. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.

You can find Joyce here:

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

 

 

 

 

 

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Let’s talk whirlwinds….

Not the meteorological ones, but the whole writing/publishing/marketing ones. The kind I’m in right now.

First, a disclaimer: I AM NOT COMPLAINING! This is not a blog rant. It is merely a message, a little insight perhaps, into the mind ( and world) of a trying-to-be-famous-middle-aged-romance-novelist-who-is-learning-the-ropes-one-step-at-a-time.

So. I had a book released on February 8, titled 3 WISHES (  A Candy Hearts Romance). There were 40 of us who had CHS titles released from January 3 until February 12. Because of that large number, there were endless blog visits, promos, cross-promo and other avenues for advertising,  we all took part in. And  because of all that, I didn’t get a great deal of my own writing done, especially when I booked my own intense 2 week blog/publicity tour that required me to write a separate essay and visit 10 of those blogs, daily. I know. Add that to the rest of the promo stuff and it is safe and true to tell you I was mentally exhausted. Thrilled with the promo and sales, but dog-tired.

That brings us to the present. I have a new release, THE VOICES OF ANGELS coming out this Friday, 3.11.16, and am in the throes of another promotion frenzy.  Truly – A FRENZY!!! I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I like to repeat things when I am stressed: I want to be the kind of writer who, one day, will have people who will do my marketing for me. And by people, I mean REAL PEOPLE, EXPERTS, and those who KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING (!) so I can just sit happily in my attic and ….write the days away without having to worry about tweeting hourly, putting up facebook posts, connecting on Goodreads ( although I like this!) or tracking novel rank. I want to write, not market. I know I sound like  a whining brat and I apologize for that ( hey, that rhymed!).

Le sigh.…someday. Again – just as a reminder – I am not complaining about any of this!!!!

well…maybe just a touch.

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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