Tag Archives: Writing

My Greatest strength #MFRWauthors; #blogChallenge

This is one of the easiest blogs I’ve ever written. I didn’t even have to think because I really only have 1 strength – my perseverance, or to put it in terms I like to use, The TAO Of NGU NGI.

Perseverance is defined as: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Yeah, that about says it perfectly.

I’ve done several blog pieces on the TAO of NGU NGI and written of it often in interviews. It’s what keeps me motivated and inspired when sometimes the daily grind of life gets to me.

Basically, The TAO OF NGU NGI means “Never give up; never give in.”

I’m Irish, so the part about never giving up is genetic. Seriously! My Irish ancestors were sturdy, stalwart souls who faced famine, pestilence, religious persecution, and poverty of the most egregious sort. And they never gave up on the hope of a future at the end of a rainbow. Love that!

I’m the product of divorced parents, so the never give in part is the nurture part of my nature vs nurture upbringing! I never give an inch. In a childhood filled with bullies, substance abuse, and mental anguish, I never gave in to the negativity I was surrounded by. I never allowed myself to be engulfed in to its destructive storm. I simply never gave into any fight or disturbance, no matter how inconsequential it may have seemed. It’s been said of me by people who know me that I have a backbone forged in steel. Truth.

So, my greatest strength? Perseverance.

When I’m not persevering, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

Please visit the other #MFRW authors who are participating in this week’s 52 week blog challenge:


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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Strong Women

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

An #Interview with #author Brenda Whiteside.

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One of the best parts of being a blogger is that I get to read and introduce you to great authors and their work. Brenda Whiteside is an example of that. A fellow Wild Rose Press sistah, Brenda is a multi-published, successful author who not only writes romantic suspense but pens 2 blogs as well. The links for those sites are listed below. In December 2016, she had her newest book THE POWER OF LOVE AND MURDER released by WRP and after today’s interview she’s giving you a little bit to whet your reading appetites – and believe me: you’ll be hungry for more!
Sit back and learn about Brenda, the writer, and the regular gal.

Brenda, The Writer 

  1. What drives you to write? Good question, but I’m not sure I have a definitive answer. I think we all need some sort of creative outlet. I’ve been story telling ever since I have memories. I also drew and painted, and thought that was my main thing which led to a major in college. But a creative writing class turned that upside down. Now, if I go a day or two without writing, I feel less than whole.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Romantic Suspense is my current genre. I grew bored with straight romance. Villains are extremely interesting to write. Coming up with new devious behavior and various hero/heroine ways to deal with it keeps me writing.
  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read suspense, romantic or otherwise. And for the same reason I write it…the combination of good vs. evil, villain vs. hero/heroine.
  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I’m up at least three hours before my husband, FDW. Part of that time is spent writing and part dealing with promo and email. Once he’s up, and if he’s not fishing, we eat and run errands or walk. By mid-morning I’m writing again. I intend on writing every day, but it doesn’t always happen. Holidays really put a kink in my schedule.
  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? We’re full time RVers right now. If FDW is around, I normally write in the bedroom. If he’s fishing, I sit in the living room looking out on the forest.
  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? Mostly, I need quiet, yet if I’m really into it, I can go deaf to my surroundings.
  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? No. Music is one thing that distracts me. I find myself singing!
  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’m on book five of the series and the last planned book. I love creating characters (or letting them create themselves) and this series is character driven. When I set out to write a series, I wanted romance but also heavy suspense. I brainstormed the first book with FDW, and the rest of the series spun off those first characters.
  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? Character. I don’t really know why. Maybe I need the character to reveal the plot to me.

Brenda, The Person 

  1. Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I used to belly dance.
  2. Who was your first love and what age were you? I know there were little boys before my teen years, but I’d say my first love, I thought was love, was Ted Harpchak when I was fifteen. He was a base player in a band. He didn’t feel the same, and I shed many tears!
  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 first time I set eyes on and held my son. ( Peggy here: Awwwwwwwwww!)
  4. Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Briefs but not TOO baggy.
  5. If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Liquid makeup
  6. If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I can’t possibly answer this because I’ve never watched Jimmy Fallon. Am I weird? ( Peggy here: NO!!You are not weird!!)
  7. 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? Lucas Davenport of the Prey series by John Sandford. I was so hooked on that series. I would love to be able to keep a storyline going with the same character who grows and changes over years. Lucas is a hunk, a good cop, but not perfect. I would want to follow him around and learn enough to write such a well-rounded character.

Bonus round

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

  1. Favorite sound My granddaughter’s laughter.
  2. Least favorite sound Football on TV
  3. Best song every written Smooth
  4. Worst song ever written Mustang Sally
  5. Favorite actor and actress Matt Damon and Meryl Streep
  6. What turns you on? A good laugh
  7. What turns you off? braggarts
  8. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) You’re awfully forward, aren’t you?
  9. What’s your version of a perfect day? Up early. Two hours of intense and fruitful writing followed by breakfast cooked by FDW. Then a hike with FDW. In the late afternoon, a patio meetup with friends and wine. In the evening, dinner and a favorite show on TV, with FDW of course

Blurb: The Power of LOVE AND MURDER

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For thirteen years, Penny Sparks has managed to hide from the political powers who murdered her family. When she unwittingly exposes her true identity, not only is she marked for death, but the people closest to her risk meeting the same fate.

Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets his sister’s roommate, Jake believes Penny might be that someone who can help him find life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world.

With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender behind the murders of her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hope for a new life.

Excerpt:

Jake nodded, but all he could concentrate on were Penny’s last words before the officer appeared. When they were alone again, he threw up his hands. “What do you mean, go back to Phoenix? Why the hell would I do that?”

She turned her back on him, went to the open door of the bathroom, and lifted her clothes from the hook. Beneath the thin, hospital gown her spine was straight, her movements tight, as if coiled and ready to spring.

“Penny, I know how much she meant to you.” How much she meant to both of them. He wanted to hold her, share their loss. “I’m not leaving you.”

Untying the gown, she let it drop around her feet, and sidestepped out of the heap. She pulled the dark gray sweater over her head then stepped into black velvet jeans, refusing to make eye contact or speak as she sat on the green plastic chair.

This was killing him. The need to hold her, help her with her pain—his pain—rushed through him. Haltingly, he made his way to her, touched her head, and waited while she zipped her boots. “Penny.” She resisted, but he tipped her chin, forcing her to look up. “Come on, baby. You don’t have to worry about me leaving you.”

“You will.”

“No—”

“When I tell you the truth, you will.”

Buy Links: Amazon  Wild Rose Press   Barnes&Nobel

ABOUT BRENDA

brenda

Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the pines of Northern Arizona, the desert of Southern Arizona, and the RV life. Wherever she roams, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery, suspense, and the tangled relationships of life.

Visit Brenda here:

website // Facebook // Twitter //Roses of Prose Blog // Personal Blog //

Amazon //Goodreads

 

 

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Contemporary Romance, love, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

On #Snowydays and being a #hermit…

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We’ve been having quite a few snowstorms of late here in the northland. Accumulation has taken on a whole new meaning this year with regards to the snow mountains we’ve already amassed. And it’s only January.

It’s wintry days like this when I’m glad I write for a living. As I watch the continual downfall of white cascading from the sky, I take real pleasure in the fact I am sitting at my laptop clad in my pajamas even though it’s two in the afternoon. My hair is up in a messy knot, devoid of even the thought of a brushing. I wear no makeup, just moisturizer with anti-aging stuff ( hey! I’m on the southside of 50…I need it.) My feet are warm in my fuzzy, faux-leopard print slippers. Eventually, I will shower. And by eventually I mean sometime before my husband returns from work and I have to start dinner.

I’ve mentioned several times before I could so be a hermit if need be. Stormy days go by where I don’t leave the house once, even to get to the gym. At those times I use the treadmill and weights we have stored in the basement. I go without speaking to anyone but my husband for a few minutes before he leaves in the morning, to nothing more until he returns back home later that evening. I don’t answer the phone, leaving the old-fashioned machine to do the honors. There are days when I’ve said about 20 words in 24 hours. A solitary existence, perfect for the creative mind.

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And you know what? I love it. Love the isolation. Love the quiet. Love the natural beauty I can look upon through my window.

So. Snowy days and being a writing recluse….they’re good things.

At least for me, anyway.

While I’m being a hermit you can usually find me–if you need me–here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, New Hampshire, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

On #Pinterest, #IceCream and #epicfails….

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I lovelovelove Pinterest.  For a writer who plots ( like moi) it’s a visual dream come true. If you click on my personal link in the previous sentence,   you’ll see I use it for characterization, writing tips, plotting, and info I need for books about stuff I don’t know about, but that I want to use in the plot/story.

I also troll through recipes and how-to videos. I’m a kinesthetic learner, which means I learn how to do stuff by actually doing it. My husband and daughter can read a manual and put a truck together – or take it apart. I need to be shown how to do it because trying to follow instructional steps has never been my strong suit. I tell you this because I want to explain the title of this blog: EPIC FAILS.

I don’t drink coffee in the morning. I drink decaf tea at night in a ridiculous attempt to help dietdewme sleep. It hasn’t so far, but I digress…..

I don’t drink coffee for my caffeine jolt in the morning, I drink DIET MOUNTAIN DEW.  I know…don’t judge me! SO when I spotted a video how-to the other day about making Mountain Dew Ice cream, well, I simply lost my mind and knew -KNEW- I had to make it.

There were 4 ingredients: Heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk, DMD and food coloring.

Here are a few snaps of the process I took as I performed them according to the video.

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After the requisite 4-6 hours in the freezer, I tried a sample:

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I truly wish someone had been home with me to video my reaction when I tasted it. This is as close as I can come to thinking what I must have looked like:

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No lie…..

Le sigh.

Now I know why there is an official website called PINTEREST FAILS! Think I should upload mine to their site???

When I’m not attempting to try things NOT in my purview, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Life challenges, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#ReadingChallenges and why they are important…

 

goodreads_icon_100x100-4a7d81b31d932cfc0be621ee15a14e70Last year I officially read 150 books in the Goodreads reading challenge. I say officially because I actually read more like 250, but the extra numbers weren’t on my Kindle and I forgot to enter them into the challenge stats whenever I was finished.

My bad.

This year, I’ve signed up again and my goal -again – is 150 books. It will probably be more, but that’s okay. I’ll try to remember to add the paperback and hardcovers after I finish them.

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I tell you all this because I feel a reading challenge is an important undertaking no matter what age you are.

We all remember having reading lists over summer vacation while is school. Some of us found it torture to get through the required books, while others of us ( like moi) asked for extra books because I’d finish the required ones in the first few weeks.

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Those summer reading challenges were meant to keep kids on the reading track and not get lazy and have all those drilled in vocabulary and spelling words forgotten over the 8 weeks of summer recess.

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I read a horrifying statistic the other day that said 33% of college grads NEVER read another book once they graduate. Like in, NEVER! Holy Cow. How can that be??? If I don’t have a book in my purse, or my kindle with me whenever I go out of the house I feel…naked. Emotionally and intellectually and literally ( hahaha- pun meant!)

How can a person never open another book? Never want to be entertained using their mind, imagination, and emotions? Never want to lose themselves for a few hours in the plights, adventures, and romances of characters who jump off the page and into their lives? Never want to educate themselves on new topics, inventions, or learn from the biographies and autobiographies of leaders, movers, and shakers int his world??

I think reading challenges should be mandatory for everyone. I know. Read that sentence again. The word that sticks out is MANDATORY: required by law or rules; compulsory. I know this would never fly legally. You can’t make someone read if they don’t want to. But how about a hard sell of encouragement? Listen, we got two generations of kids off drugs with THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS campaign.brain

I bet we could do the same with people who don’t read. Show something rotting – like five week old fruit and say THIS IS YOUR BRAIN WHEN YOU DON”T READ REGULARLY. I’m not an ad executive and don’t work in publicity for a reason, peeps, but you get my drift.

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I am challenging everyone who reads this today to a 2017 reading challenge. The prizes are vast and include: you’ll be smarter, happier, more entertained. You’ll have things(Books) to talk about at parties, opinions about situations you never thought you’d have, and a general feeling of being smarter than you’ve ever experienced before. You’ll come across as erudite, well informed, and well-read.

Try it. Set a reading goal – write it down ( or send it to me!) and put it someplace you’ll see it every day. And then follow it.

Reading, to quote Martha Stewart – an avid reader – is a good thing.

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When I’m not reading you can find me here: :Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, branding, community advocacy, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books

A #NewYear, a time for new #blogideas

2016 has exited the building – thank you, Jesus!  Now it’s time to figure out what I’m going to say here, in this forum, for the next 365 days.

No pressure….not!

I started this blog because I wanted to talk about writing with people who enjoyed writing as well. Over the past 2 years, it’s morphed into something more. More substantial; more funny; at times, more an internal reflection of my feelings and emotions about…stuff. I’ve been able to introduce you to new authors who are fab and promote their work. I’ve had some serious discussions about life, writing life, family stuff, and current events. I’ve veered away from anything controversial and/or political/ and negative. I’ve wanted this to be a fun place to spend a few minutes getting to know new writers, and to challenge you with ideas. I hope I’ve done my job…

So, 2017. What the heck am I gonna talk about??

Well, I do have some new author interviews lined up already and I can’t wait for you to meet these talented writers.

I’ve also got at least 2 books of my own coming out this year ( maybe 3!) and I know I’ll be going gungho with promoting them.

The publishing world seems to be changing daily, so we’ll talk about that.

I’ve got at least 4 writing trips coming up this year, so you know I’ll be showing you pictures of your favorite romance authors whom I’ll be meeting and fawning over, plus writing about my traveling experiences.

And I guess I’ll be divulging some more personal stuff – only the funny stuff, though!!!

2017 promises to be a life-changing one for me – I’ve got lots going on!!! All good and all exciting.

So, stay tuned and we’ll discuss……lots of stuff!

 

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, female friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

My #word for 2017: #Compromise…

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Every year I take a theme or a word that epitomizes what I want to accomplish for the following 356 days. Last year, 2016, it was “the Year of YES.” Which basically meant I was going to be open to saying yes to things I usually knee-jerked a NO. A loud, emphatic, I don’t want to, NO!

It worked out pretty well. I did a bunch of stuff that I ordinarily would have shied away from or outright avoided. No one died. No one got maimed. And I didn’t have a stroke, heart attack, or lose my dignity.

Well….

Nevermind.

Anyway….

For 2017 I wanted to continue with the new, open, and willing to put myself out there mentality, so I’m going to be doing something I rarely– if ever– do. Compromise.

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The dictionary defines it this way: an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.

My definition is a little more specific in that I will be the one making the concessions. Again, something I rarely, if ever, do. I’ve come to realize after viewing the turmoil this country has found itself in politically, spiritually, and morally, that I like many people, do not often see both sides of an argument. We, and by we, I mean me, tend to form an opinion based on whatever information we happen to see, and then stick with it, oftentimes becoming loudly obnoxious and righteous in expressing that opinion.

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Not anymore. If’ I’ve learned anything in 2016 it’s that every argument and stand has at least 3 sides: mine, the other person’s and the — wait for it — compromise position between the two.

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In 2017 I vow to see that third option as many times as I can and to make the effort to come to compromises which will benefit all sides, not just only my own. When you know better you do better.

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Maturity, thy name is Margaret-Mary. ( let’s hope!)

 

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#Christmas2016, done…#2017 #plans…

Well, Christmas  has come and gone with a bang. As has 2016.

Almost.

As I look ahead to the next year I see lots of interesting events on the horizon. I’m taking 4 trips this year for business/reading/writing.

New England (NECRWA) conference in April

RT Convention in May

RWA in July

and.. Fall in Love with New England Readers and Writers Conference in October.

Holy Cow!! That’s a lot of air fare, gas, and room rentals…but so worth it.I’ll be doing book signings, and in one case ( NECRWA) a class. Too much!!!

I’m also having 2 new books published ( so far!) with my new Publisher, Kensington/LyricalShine. The first is in April, COOKING WITH KANDY, available for preorder – just click the link. The second, (I believe) will be in October. Much more on that info in the coming months.

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So, as I kick 2016’s ass to the curb, the plans for 2017 are shaping up nicely, no?

You still have time to purchase my latest 2016 book before the New Year begins, though, so if you are looking for some light, fun, funny and family reading, give A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS a gander!

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And when I’m not planning trips, you can find me here:

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

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, NHRWA, research, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press

On #Goodreads, #giveaways, and growing your brand…

Okay, I’ll admit it. Until last year I didn’t even know what “growing your brand” meant. And if I’m really being honest, I didn’t know a person could be a brand.

Kim Kardashian changed that concept forever.

branding

The reason I’m waxing prolific today about this branding topic is because I just finished a Goodreads giveaway for my newest release, A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. I’ve done a Goodreads giveaway for all of my books after they’ve been published, but this time I had more hits and requests than ever before, so that got me asking questions, evaluating, and thinking (always a dangerous occurrence!)

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Two avenues of thought rushed through me when I saw the final number of requests for the book (613):

  1. Romance Readers love Holiday stories and they saw this one listed, so they figured they’d take a chance on a relatively unknown author because–hey! — it was a Christmas tale, or,
  2. People saw the giveaway listed who knew me from my previous work and wanted to really read the book and –hey!– there was a giveaway for it.

Do you see the difference in those 2 lines of thought? One is based on the genre of the giveaway, the other on name – or in this case – brand recognition.

When I was told I needed to come up with a brand by which readers would instantly be able to recognize a Peggy Jaeger book ( and I still get goosebumps when I say those 3 words together – Peggy, Jaeger, and book!) by the publishing powers that be, I thought and thought for days about what my books try to give the reader. A solid romance, for sure, with a happily ever after ending, but then aren’t all romances supposed to give the reader that? No, it needed to be different. Recognizable.  Something that, when my name was read or said, would evoke the brand, like Timex – takes a licking and keeps on ticking – does.  Do they even make Timex watches anymore, or am I really dating myself??”

Anyway.

After weeks of sleepless nights trying to figure this out, my daughter finally helped me narrow it down. What I write about are strong women, families, and men (hence, the romance). So, the Peggy Jaeger brand, when you hear the name associated with a book, tells you I write about Strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Simple. Genius, but simple. And remember-able ( is that a word? it should be.) And see how smart I am? I put the brand tagline in bold so when you read it, you’ll remember it. Who says you can’t teach an old dog a new trick? Or in my case,  a middle-aged storyteller a new concept?

Brand Concept Blackboard

But back to the Goodreads giveaway.

My winners were chosen by Goodreads and I dutifully mailed off the paperback copies of the books, along with the special boxes I made for them ( see pix) and a nice thank you card for entering the contest. I’ve done that for each of the books I’ve given away and my hope is that the winners see how much I truly appreciate their entering. If they like the book they won, the hope is always they’ll want to read the other books listed.

So, a win/win all around.  3 readers won a book for the holidays and I (hopefully!) got 3 new reader-fans for the effort. Giveaways…to echo Martha Stewart (the Grand Dame of branding)…they’re a good thing!

When I’m not giving things away you can usually find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

booksigningboxes

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Filed under A kiss Under the Christmas LIghts, Author, Author Branding, branding, Candy Hearts, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Family Saga, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor