Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Joy of Writing & Old Friends

What do you do when you have a writing assignment and you have ABSOLUTELY no idea what to do?  Well, may a little bit of an idea.  You have been given a direction, but what you do and how you do it is totally up to you.  It shouldn't be a problem -- I've been assigned stories many times as a journalist and even had to come up with most of my own ideas when writing fiction or non-fiction. But this week provides an entirely different concept.

My chore, my torture--and yet it is also my joy for this week--is to come up with at least a chapter of a fiction novel. (Read the story until now at  novelconcepts1blogspot.com

I need to find nearly one thousand words and they better be good.
The other writers have been telling a wonderful reunion story filled with twists and turns determined by readers. That's a great challenge because we have no clue what we are going to write until that moment when the final vote is cast on which way the story should go.

The story is a reunion story about college friends and it should be so easy for me to write -- considering this weekend I will again have a reunion with three close college friends. We met in my third year of college and we have now been together off and on for 45+ years.  Yes, 45 years. We have been through so much fun, pain and enjoyment. And while our jobs and now our retirements keep us in separate towns and often different states, we still manage to get together at least once or twice a year to drink champagne, eat great dinners, argue, discuss politics and remember those who are no longer with us.
We've toured wineries, visited museums, taken train trips together, or just gone to movies and played crazy word games.  We even had to have our own champagne tasting party.



We've had 40+ years of friendship. Celebrated at weddings, endured funerals. Forty plus years of joy and pain. Yes, some relationships can last that long. I'd post pictures, but some are camera shy and the relationship might finally come to and end. We still always seem to find something new to try. This weekend we are all taking in our first major league baseball game together.  

One final thing -- I often even get story ideas from them.  In fact, I think I will throw open my story dilemma from this week out to them. After all, we can always use help with another reunion story.

In the meantime, please join me next Monday at Novel Concepts to see what new turn the story of Lana and her friends take.






Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Unlocking a Summer Romance

We've reached those lazy days of summer where many people are taking time off for vacation and of course that means needing some great reading material.  I'm always looking for something exciting and new to read and often that means I go looking for the latest releases by some of my favorite authors -- writers like Peggy Jaegar. She is a romance writer who says she loves writing about strong women, the families who support them and the men who can't live without them.

According to Peg's biography, family and food play huge roles in her stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal or two or more. Her stories are filled with humor and great characters. She says she likes to write romance because she wants everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she says she longed for a family and that she now enjoys creating that sort of family through her books.

Her latest work is Passion's Palette. 

Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn't just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he's looking for. The more he tends to Serena's horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well. 

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

Let's get an excerpt:
            With a hip resting against the tabletop, he browsed through her paints and brushes, lifting one color pot, then another. "So. You’re an artist."
            She nodded.
            "What do you paint?"
            As he opened and closed the pots, Serena observed his hands, silently assessing the length and width of his fingers. Her mind registered the dexterous movements of each action, the deliberate, studied way his hands performed each task.
            "Portraits, mostly."
            His eyebrows rose. "This is pretty big equipment for a portrait. Where do your pictures hang? In castles?"
             "Three do,” she told him, charmed when his neck reddened. “But this stuff will be for a mural I've been commissioned to do for a hospital."
            His eyebrows lifted. "Impressive. You must be good."
            Allowing a smidgeon of playfulness to creep into her voice, Serena gave him a shrug that rivaled his own. "Better than some. Not as good as others."
            He returned her smile with one of his own.
            Serena’s heart giddyapped. 
Sounds like good reading for the summer!  Here are the buy links and info to contact Peg.
Wild Rose Press 
Website • Amazon • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads
Thanks Peg for being my guest. Any comments or questions for Peg?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Settle in with Summer Romance Reading

As a reader I am always on the look out for new romances to read and as a fiction and non-fiction writer I always enjoy discovering different authors and learning their personal stories. Today's guest in My Writing Corner is Jennifer Wilck, who has a new book out and another one coming soon.

Jennifer, when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer—I have several in my family, so it was always demonstrated as a viable dream—but I never felt confident enough to pursue it, at least, not for a long time. When I was little, my mom used to encourage me to make up stories in order to help me fall asleep. We were always big readers and as a teen, I was given journals to record my thoughts. Ultimately, I started writing “for real” when my oldest was about six.

Please tell us about your road to publication or how you got published.

My first book was published in 2011. I wrote while my kids were sleeping and when my manuscript was finished, I joined RWA, submitted to contests and queried publishers. Eventually, I found a small publisher who was interested in my work and published two books with them. Since then, I’ve worked with multiple publishers and an agent, but I’ve always had my eye on The Wild Rose Press, having heard great things about them from a variety of writer friends. After working with some fabulous critique partners and honing my craft—a never-ending process—I submitted to TWRP and was lucky enough to have them accept my manuscripts. My first book with them, Addicted to Love, was published on July 21 and my second, In the Moment, will be released on September 1.

Where do you get your story ideas?

I usually get characters that pop into my head and annoy me with conversations until I can write them down. At that point, I let the words sit unless I’m inspired to keep going. If I am, I see how far I can go, how much I can flesh out, and what other ideas come to me. If I can get 5,000-10,000 words going, I suspect I have a story and then I buckle down and put it together. Plus, I have an excellent critique partner who is amazing at helping me with the plot.

Tell us about your latest book. Where did you get the idea for it?

Well, for Addicted to Love, I was actually watching House of Cards, which doesn’t really seem like it’s a good inspiration for a romance, since it’s a dark, political drama. But there was one secondary character who intrigued me and got my mind spinning—what would happen if he did this, if he fell in love, if he that happened? He became the inspiration for the hero in my story, Dan, a former painkiller addict who is a widower raising his daughter and exerts control on all aspects of his life so he doesn’t make any mistakes. Then I came up with Hannah, the heroine, who lives with her grandmother and has a brother who was addicted to hard drugs and wants nothing to do with anyone like that—hello conflict! The two characters have great chemistry together and a teenaged daughter and a meddlesome grandmother provide a lot of comic relief.

What do you like best about your characters in this book?

I love the banter. Hannah is able to find the humor in most situations, which helps Dan to lighten up and enjoy spending time with her, even if he is nervous about her finding out his secret. As the mom of two teenaged girls, I was able to use a lot of my girls’ reactions and outlook to make the teenaged daughter in the story realistic yet fun, especially when it comes to her opinions of her dad dating. And the grandma is a great combination of matchmaker, love and great cooking. So even though there is a serious thread in the book, the majority of the story showcases the humor and hot chemistry between the characters, with a little awkwardness thrown in to make life interesting.

Do you always know how your story is going to end when you start writing?

I usually know the black moment because that’s often one of the scenes that pop into my head initially. And since it’s a romance, I know they’re going to live happily ever after. So then it’s just a question of figuring out how to get them to and out of the black moment.

What would you tell writers who are just starting out that you wish you had known?

Write what you’re passionate about, don’t be afraid of criticism, but don’t automatically assume that every critic is absolutely right. Be objective. Step away from your writing for a while and then come back to it. Remove the “personal offense” from what others say and see if their changes make your story better. And never give up!

Let's get more on Addicted to Love. Here's the blurb:

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5133-addicted-to-love.html?search_query=jennifer+wilck&results=2
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Addicted-Love-Serendipity-Book-1-ebook/dp/B071HZQS4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499096714&sr=8-1&keywords=jennifer+wilck
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/addicted-to-love-jennifer-wilck/1126454796?ean=2940157486310

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/addicted-to-love-13

How can readers reach you or find you online?

I love talking to readers! Here are my social media sites:

Thank you, Jennifer, for being my guest. Any comments or questions for Jennifer?


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Journey to Romantic Supernatural Summer Reading

Time travel romances have always been among my favorite genres to read and I've even a attempted several in my writing. That was what immediately captured my interest in the writing of Beth Trissel. She is the guest today in My Writing Corner. Beth says she lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her human family and furbabies.

She describes herself an an avid gardener and uses her love of herbs and heirloom plants in her writing. She says she is also inspired in her writing by the rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed from far beyond Virginia's borders. She's especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution and she loves ghost stories. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, she also writes historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction. Beth, please tell us about your latest work.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Rebecca Grace, to share my new release, Somewhere My Lady (Book 1, Ladies in Time). I’m delighted to be writing time travels again. Not that anyone stopped me before, I just took a wee break. Like years. Now I’m back. History fascinates me, and I enjoy researching different eras, but I also love mixing in fantasy and the paranormal. The time periods in Somewhere My Lady change unpredictably, like the staircases at Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Fun to do. There’s also a poignant depth and mystery to this romance.

Two things that most inspired me were Edith's Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from the Crimson Peak soundtrack, and my love of old homes. I've lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. I also love gardening and have sprawling beds filled with heirloom flowers and herbs. Some plants have been here for ages and our farm-house was built in the 1870's. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place, and are never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or leave a part of themselves behind. I don't know, but I like a good ghost story.

Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War re-enactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn't expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.


Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart's life before the Midsummer Ball.~

"Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself." -- Colleen’s Book Reviews

Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V


Author Links:
My Amazon Author Page where all my books reside:

Thank you, Beth, for introducing uss to Harrison Hall, Lorna and Hart.  This sounds like a great summer read. Any questions or comments for Beth?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stepping Back in Time with a Special Hero

Who doesn't love reading about knights and legends and escaping back into the medieval world of the Fae on a hot summer day? That's the kind of reading that always catches my interest. Today we're visiting with award-winning author, Mary Morgan, as she takes us into her special places of old Scotland and Ireland. Mary lives in northern California and says she fell in love with books at an early age. She also says she left her soul in the countries she writes about--Scotland, Ireland and England.

Her latest book from the Wild Rose Press is Quest of a Warrior, and it's sure to please anyone who enjoys the world of dragons and knights with magic powers and a wonderful, powerful hero. She also has a special Rafflecopter drawing going on so watch for it below.


Fenian Warrior, Conn MacRoich, has traveled the earth for thousands of years, guarding the realm between mortal and Fae. His deeds are legendary. Yet, one mistake will force him on a journey to fix a broken time-line. However, on Conn's quest he must face a human female who will eventually bring this ancient warrior to his knees.

When Ivy O'Callaghan inherits her uncle's estate, she never imagines there will be more secrets to unravel, including the one she hides from the world. With the help of a mysterious stranger, she learns to trust and step out of the shadows. However, nothing prepares Ivy when she learns Conn's true identity.

As the fate of the fae weaves a thread around the lovers from two different worlds, will the sacrifices they make lead them to love? Or will their secrets destroy and separate them forever?

I wanted to not only know more about this special world and Conn so I asked to interview him. Conn, tell us a little about your long past and exploits?

Conn arches a brow at the term, exploits. “Only a human would consider my life as lengthy, which is understandable. The deeds in my lifetime are as vast as the stars. The events are memorable and others, insignificant. They were all done, so that your world would continue to move forward in enlightenment.”

What is the one deed you are most proud of accomplishing?

"Saving Ivy from death’s door and making her my wife."

Does anything in particular frighten you?

"As Prince of the Fae and a trained Fenian Warrior, I have none. As a husband and father-to-be, there are two. I’ll leave you to come to a conclusion.”

You’ve been around a long time and done so much. What concerns you now about Ivy and her problem?


Crosses arms over his chest. “I was not aware Ivy has a problem. If there is one, we shall endeavor to solve the issue together. Yet, my concerns for Ivy are in assisting her with her new duties among our people, and the birth of our daughter. I wish I could discuss more, but I fear there are readers out there who have yet to read our tale.”

What draws you to her the most?

“Ivy was the only mortal to see through me and into my soul—beyond the hardened warrior. I was drawn to her the moment I heard her whisper the words, ‘He’s an ancient Celt,’ though I did not fully fathom the meaning of my emotions.
What would you wish for her future?

Conn leans back and smiles. “To always see her joyful. Her smile and love radiates throughout our kingdom—one that steals the breath from me each day. I would not wish any sad days for my wife. She has already endured too much.”

What about your own future? What do you want most?

"To continue to build a stronger bond with the mortal realm, and the Fenian Warriors. A new Order is coming. In addition, I want to maintain peace in both realms. My family is now connected to the mortal world, and this holds a greater meaning to not only my future, but also theirs."

Thank you, Conn, and good luck on your journey! And thank you,  Mary Morgan, for introducing us to Conn and taking us into his world.
Here are the buy links for Quest of a Warrior.
AMAZON:
https://www.amazon.com/Quest-Warrior-Legends-Fenian-Warriors-ebook/dp/B072HPBMDM/
Barnes&Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/quest-of-a-warrior-mary-morgan/1126404360/
Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/quest-of-a-warrior
Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/quest-of-a-warrior/id1231868317?mt=11
The Wild Rose: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5086-quest-of-a-warrior.html

And here are the links for reaching Mary.

WEBSITE: 
http://www.marymorganauthor.com
BLOG:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog
TWITTER: 
http://twitter.com/m_morganauthor
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/MaryMorganAuthor/
FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564
GOODREADS:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8271002.Mary_Morgan
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/
PINTEREST:  www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/marymorgan2/
BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-morgan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 17, 2017

New! Our Novel Concept Goes Live

As a reader I am always looking for a new book or story to reader and as a writer I'm always looking for a new idea to work on. My newest journey starts today with Novel Concepts and you can come join in the fun by visiting us at NovelConcepts1.blogspot.com

Reuniting with friends for a beach vacation, Lana quickly finds herself with a choice to make. What will she do?  Readers decide so vote now!

Read on to find out more about our project:

Haven't you ever wished as a reader that you wish you could decide what will happen next in the book and then tell the author what to do? Doesn't that sound like a great idea? My sister says she doesn't like the idea. Not only does she want to be surprised, but she says she paid to have the book entertain her, not to have to work on the story herself.  But some readers don't feel that way. Some would like to have a say in what will happen.

What about the author? Wouldn't you love to have another author to work with who will help you when you hit a dry spot or can't decide where to go next with a story? I write by the seat of my pants so I often don't decide what my characters will do until they start doing it themselves. I know I would love to have someone else working on the story as well and adding their thoughts. 

Well, putting both these ideas together, I have joined forces with a group of 8 other writers and we are going to write a story based on what the readers wants. The idea is called Novel Concepts and we started on Monday, July17th.

While one of our talented authors began writing the story, readers, YOU will get to make the choices of what our characters will do and which direction the story will take. At the end of each section you will be given a choice of which direction you want the story to go. We will tally up the score and then the next writer will pick up the tale and move on.

Every Monday, you, the reader, will get a new installment, and again get to make the choice on the storyline.


The writers are nine published authors who write everything from Western, to Fantasy to Mystery and Suspense and of course, we all include plenty of romance in our stories and this will be no different. With a wealth of experience in writing stories we will work hard to make each week a wonderful reading experience.

And then YOU, the reader, get to point us in the direction to go next.

If you'd like to take part and have some fun reading a new storyline every week, we hope you will drop in and read the story and vote on what you want to see happen.

As mentioned it is up and running at Novelconcepts1.BlogSpot.com.  I hope you'll stop by and help us write our story. I don't expect my sister to help decide our story direction, but I know she'll stop by for the entertainment.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Fun & Romance In San Diego

We are reaching the heart of the summer reading season with hot days spent indoors with a good book, or sitting out on the cool deck of a mountain cabin enjoying a good hot romance. What's a good summer romance without a trip into the past -- a past romance, I mean.  And bring in special spirits that bring together two lovers, well, again,  that sounds like a perfect way to spend a hot afternoon or cool evening. 

Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Donna Simonetta, brings us a new romance with all the best elements of a fun summer romance read. Donna is a Maryland author who spent most of her life in the business world, got her MLS and worked in a school library. She enjoys travelling but she also enjoys curling up with a good book. 

She is also a writer at heart, which is what she is doing now. She says she enjoys writing contemporary romance and fantasy. Today's featured book,  Angels Fly, is a product of that mix and it sounds like a fun way to spend a summer afternoon.

Two years after her husband’s death, Kelly believes her romantic life is done. Until she reconnects with her girlhood crush on social media, and as fate would have it, he lives across the street.
James is over the whole true-love thing. His grasping ex-wife tore that belief out of him, when she left him for a rich, old man. Then he finds out his first love moved to San Diego too, and their attraction burns as hot as ever.
What they don’t know is that Fate didn’t bring them together – the Guardian Angel Corps did, led by two unlikely Cupids – Kelly’s late husband and Zane, a rough and tumble, 19th century cowboy. When a Fallen Angel decides to tear Kelly and James apart, cherubs and harps aren’t going to cut it, and Zane’s unique skills might be just what they need to get a second chance at their first love.

Want more?  As someone who spent several years enjoying the romantic tug of San Diego, I say let's get an excerpt!

She flashed a bright smile at her old friend,  “I sent a friend request to Susie Davidson, and I want to see if she’s responded.”
“Susie Davidson,” Grace’s voice dripped with disdain, “we didn’t badger you into doing this so you could reconnect with Susie Davidson.”
“Hey, what’ve you got against old Susie? She was an integral part of our nerd squad in high school,” David said. “Right, Kel?” 
When she didn’t reply, he glanced over at his old friend to see her frozen at her computer, all the color drained from her face. “Kel, what’s wrong?”
“I didn’t hear from Susie, but I did get a message from James Flynn,” she whispered.
David jumped to his feet and peeked over her shoulder at the computer screen. “Yummy James Flynn from Rye?”
Grace snickered, “Sounds like a sandwich. I’ll have a Yummy James Flynn on rye. Hold the mayo.”
Kelly and David swung their heads in unison to stare at her.
“What? It’s not my fault you two come from a town named after a bread.”
David shook his head mournfully and intoned, “Californians.”
“Native, baby.”  The blonde woman grinned playfully, “And don’t you New England Yankees forget it.”
“What does he say, Kel?” David asked with interest.
Kelly gulped, “He wanted to get in touch and maybe meet for a drink.”  She twisted her head to look up at David, her eyes huge on her pale face, “He lives here, David. In San Diego.”

This sounds like another fun summer read. If you want to read more about Donna or buy Angels Fly, here are buy links and her contact information:





Thank you, Donna, for bringing us Angels Fly. Any comments or questions for Donna?