Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Baking Up An Adorable Romance

Spring is in the air, and it's time to get outside and go to the park or the mountains, or just get in some play time.  But then what could be better than curling up in a chair with a good romance novel when you get home?  We're continuing to look for new authors and more fun books to read.  Today our guest in My Writing Corner is Darcy Lundeen.
What made you want to become a writer?

As with so many other writers, the desire to write was always with me. When I was just a child, I kept incessantly putting pencil to paper (unfortunately no computer keyboard and monitor back then) and scribbling stories and poems. But when I got older, the view of all concerned was that being a writer was merely a pipe dream. So I visited a career counselor to get professional help. When I told her about my writing dreams, she waved them off, saying maybe I could do that as a hobby, but when I was an adult, I needed a “real” job. So she ordered one of those tests designed to pinpoint a person’s perfect career.

It pinpointed my perfect career as being a dentist in the Navy. Don’t get me wrong.  I have only the highest admiration for the brave men and women who serve in every branch of the military, and I greatly respect those equally accomplished men and women who study for years until they’ve acquired the skill to keep our mouths in tiptop condition.  But since I get motion sick from just thinking of bobbing around on a ship and since the mere prospect of looking at an infected tooth, let alone actually ripping it out of someone’s head, both leave me feeling seriously queasy, I figured the test results were a little less than accurate.

So I ignored them and decided to become a writer instead. And I actually had the good fortune of doing it (in a rather roundabout way, of course) by having a career writing research reports. So by following my heart instead of some test results, I not only remained a happier person, I also kept both the U.S. Navy and an unknown number of innocent toothache sufferers safer and healthier by staying as far away from them as possible.

A number of years later, I finally got the courage to take one of the stories I'd been writing in my spare time, polish it up, tell myself the worst that could happen was that the publisher would tell me if I ever sent them anything else they'd see that I was Mars. Then I sent it.

No, it wasn't snapped up by the publisher who joyfully insisted that my work was so magnificent it was going to zoom to Number One on the New York Times bestseller list as soon as it was released. On the other hand, I wasn't deported to Mars either. And a while later, one of my other stories was accepted for publication.

Tell us a little about your book, Adore Me, and where you got the idea for it.

Since my latest book is part of The Wild Rose Press’s Candy Hearts series, there were certain parameters I had to follow. First, that the story not be longer than 20-thousand words in length; next, that it be a fun story about two people finding romance; third, that Valentine’s Day be involved; and last, that a specific saying found on one of those well know and much loved sugary little candy hearts be an integral part of the story.

I hadn’t done any real writing for a while because of various family problems and illness, though I still jotted thoughts and sentences down almost daily. But I finally decided it might be time for me to return to the fray, sit down, and actually write an entire story. And what better way to do that than to begin with something short and sweet? And the Candy Hearts series seemed perfect for that.

Then, as often happens, the first sentence, with heroine Meredith standing in the kitchen of her fledging, financially shaky  dessert company and inhaling the luscious smells of her baking, came to me and I went from there as I tried to guess exactly what roadblocks she’d have to face and overcome on her path to happily-ever-after.

In the case of my book, I needed one of the phrases the company that makes the hearts periodically discontinues for the story I wanted to write. Finally, I found Adore Me, hence the book’s title.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Most of the advice I’d give has often been given before. For instance:
      Write (as consistently as you can, every day if possible).
       Read widely, certainly in those genres you enjoy but also in the kind of books you, as a reader, normally wouldn’t consider.
       Ask questions (if you know nothing about plumbing, for instance, and one of your characters is a plumber, there are probably many plumbers out there who’d be happy to share their expertise since most people love talking about what they know best.)
       Read books and/or take courses on writing technique to help you hone your skill.

To those points, I’d like to add another. That is, listen. I don’t like the idea of being deliberately nosy or intrusive, but sometimes hearing random bits of conversation from strangers or even paying close attention to the interaction between people you know can spark ideas or insights that will someday help in developing a character or plot. The wonderful composer-lyricist Stephen Somdheim, who’s never been married, was once asked how he knows so much about marriage that his lyrics can ring so unerringly true. To that, he simply said, “I listen.” I think it’s a good idea since most writers tend to be introverts anyway and we often prefer to remain fairly invisible and just...well, just listen.

And, of course, last but never least, don’t give up. Ever. If writing is really what you want to do, then keep at it no matter what setbacks you encounter or how often you face rejections because at some point you’ll finally get that all-important call or email telling you that your submission is wonderful and they want to offer you a contract. That’s the incredible moment when all the hard work and rejections that went before will suddenly fade and you’ll be breaking out the champagne and doing that well-deserved happy dance all over the room.

Let's get a blurb for Adore Me:
A hacker is targeting Meredith Crismis’s struggling new dessert company. But when the tech firm she depends on sends hunky computer expert Vlad Wiznitsky to fix the problem, things begin improving for Meredith, both personally and professionally.

First, her relationship with Vlad heats up to the sizzling point, then Meredith’s given the chance to snag a wealthy customer who could put her company’s bottom line permanently into the black. It seems like a dream come true, until the persistent hacker turns her “Divine Desserts” website into an X-rated marketplace, the wealthy customer demands a discontinued decorative item or else no sale, and her relationship with Vlad begins to unravel under the pressure of her obsession with professional success.

For a woman who deals with creating intricate wedding cakes and luscious muffins, life has suddenly become the ultimate recipe for disaster.

Buy Links:

Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble:

Facebook Author Page:

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


  1. Hi Darcy and Rebecca!

    Your book is up next on my read and review list. I can't wait. All the Candy Hearts Romances were so fun and flirty. Your advise for new writers is spot on, thanks for sharing! Best of luck with sales!!!

  2. Thanks so much for visiting, Tena. Yes, the Candy Hearts books are great fun, incredibly varied, and all filled with wonderful plots and characters. I'm honored to have been a part of the series. I've just finished Charm Me and will be reviewing it soon.Terrific story, and I'm thrilled you agree with my advice to new writers. It's always so hard to give good advice since everyone is different, but I hope I covered some of the basics.I hope you do enjoy Adore Me. I had loads of fun writing it.

  3. I'd like to thank you so much, Rebecca, for letting me visit, for being such a gracious host, and for doing such a wonderful job of presenting my work.

  4. What a terrific story of your writing path, Darcy! And I very much like your advice to writers! Best of luck with your book. It sound delightful!

  5. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Barbara. Probably as writers who have been fortunate enough to be published, we all have incredible stories to tell about our paths to publication. Mine took a number of years to reach success, but I think I was really lucky because my path was much less difficult than some immensely talented writers I know. Since it's now March 17, I hope you, Rebecca, and everyone have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

  6. Love your advice, and the blurb for your story, Adore Me. Good luck. I wish you many sales

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Lighting the Way

It's time to start building up your library for those cold winter months ahead--getting those books for you to read by a cozy fireplace ...