Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Perfect Time for A Summer Romance

Romance writers are meeting this week in New York and since it's also the heart of the summer, this is the perfect time to talk about romance and romance writing. Today's guest in My Writing Corner is author Charlotte O'Shay who brings us her latest release -- just the thing for those leisurely days when all you want to do is read. 

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family. Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

Charlotte says she loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

Her latest book is Their No Strings Affair.

Honey packs everything she owns and heads to NYC to jumpstart her art career. Her cheating boyfriend is history, and she finally acknowledges the truth of her mother's mantra: Careers are forever and happily ever after isn't in their DNA.

All she needs is a job and a place to live. What she doesn't need is a taciturn, sexy, ballbuster but she's woman enough to know the difference between need and want. Isn't she?

Jake's childhood was marred by tragedy and his future hijacked to a promise born of guilt. His failure drove him to a career as a SEAL and a security expert. But it's not enough. Now he'll give up his freedom in reparation for the life he lost. Honey may be the last sweet stop on the road to a joyless future. If it's what they both want, where's the harm in a no-strings affair?

 Have you always wanted to write fiction?
I’ve always had tremendous respect for journalists and there was a brief moment in college when I took a journalism class. But the made-up stories in my head were always more fascinating to me.  As a lawyer I wrote non-fiction in the form of legal briefs and memoranda of law. That writing was my favorite aspect of being a lawyer. Still, the desire, the need to write fiction never left me.

What are the challenges of being a writer?
If by that you mean difficulty, I don’t look at it that way. I see opportunity! For me, originally, the challenge of being a writer was finding time to write (with the demands of a legal career and a family). Honestly, it was difficult to give myself permission to write without feeling guilt about everything else I should be doing. Now that I can write almost full-time, my goal is to improve my craft and get my work before more readers (marketing). Those two goals will always be there and I’m okay with it. I adore life as an author.

  Tell us about your road to publication.
My road to publication was both long and short. Once I actually submitted a full manuscript to several publishers, I got a contract pretty quickly. Getting to that point took a while mainly because it took me years before I actually submitted my work. I’m happy I didn’t consider it necessary to look for an agent. I’m thrilled to write romance for my small press publisher and perhaps my next step will be self-publishing.

  How do you come up with your characters?
It’s a visual process. Usually, I see a scene in my mind. It could be a scene from the beginning of the story but sometimes it’s from later on but it’s a pivotal exciting moment. The scene is a mental movie. While I watch my characters do whatever they’re doing and it’s usually something fairly dramatic, I write it all down, copying down the scene I’m watching. That gets me started.
Other times it’s a bit of dialog I can’t get out of my head. The words are usually some random piece of conversation I heard or overheard in my daily life or a story someone tells me…where she’s saying you’ll never believe this happened. It’s a jumping off point and my imagination takes over.

 Tell us about your City of Dreams series. What made you write it?
The City of Dreams series sprang from the energy of New York City and its people. People who live here in NYC are typically quite driven. I wanted to examine what drives them, their goals and their secrets. Book 3, Their No-Strings Affair is an opposites attract, enemies to lovers story and psstt, it’s on SALE right now. Honey and Jake are the classic couple who are going in completely different directions in life but when fate brings them together—more than once, they decide to give into their attraction.

We all crave love no matter what we do, where we live or whatever our pasts may be. It was fun to give my driven, slightly tormented characters their happily ever after. 

  What are you working on now?
I’m working on three stories and they’re all set in the city as well. Tentative titles: Revved Up, a workplace romance, Fired up, a second chance love story, & My Only One, a friends to lovers with suspenseful elements.
Thank you, Charlotte, for introducing us to your works. They sound like great summer reading!

Here's more on how to get in touch with Charlotte and the buy links for No Strings Affair:

Social Media Links:

Buy Links

Thank you, Charlotte, for introducing us to your books. Any comments or questions for Charlotte?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Whole New Look at A Popular Tale

Have you ever wondered what fairy tales would be like if they were written with current sensibilities and understandings?  Wouldn't it be fun to read a story like that? What about trying to try one? That is just what today's guess in My Writing Corner has done. My guest is author Peg Jaegger. She is a romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them and the men who can't live without them. She says if she can't make you cry one minute and then laugh the next, then she has not done her job as author. Her latest book DIRTY DAMSELS. Take it away, Peg!

5 reasons why I wanted to write DIRTY DAMSELS:

1.      I love a fairy tale. DIRTY DAMSELS is a modern day telling of Cinderella, updated for the 21st century

2.      The thought of writing about a female CEO was wicked appealing to me. Women make up more than half the work force and yet are still struggling to achieve leadership positions in the corporate world. I wanted to show what a female CEO could be like and what she could do.

3.      Family dynamics are a universal theme. Cynderella Jones, just like her fairy tale counterpart, has a very dysfunctional family and writing their fractured dynamics was a bit cathartic for me.

4.      Princes come in all shapes and occupations. My Prince Charming isn’t royalty; he’s just called the Prince of Wall Street because he’s a financial genius.

5.      Everyone deserves a Happily Ever after, not only in fairy tales. Ella isn’t looking for love, but the idea that it finds her when she’s least expecting it was very appealing to me to write.

Let's get more!

 When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a small and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels is booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.

Want to know more? Let's get an excerpt:
The bathroom door opened.
In his tailored suit he’d been impressive and striking. With a white bulky towel wrapped around his waist, and the humidity in the bathroom sluicing off his damp torso, he was downright magnificent. Those wide and solid shoulders tapered down into biceps I could tell regularly attended a gym with him, and then into forearms corded with strong sinew and veins.
 “I-I’m sorry,” I stammered. “I’m almost done. I’m sorry.” I blushed again and I cursed my fair skin. But really, how could I not blush and stutter when faced with this unbelievable specimen of hotness standing five feet away from me, all wet and hard muscled and gorgeous?
He moved like a panther across the rug, soundlessly stalking, as if playing with his prey, until he came to the opposite side of the bed.
He took one corner of the sheet in his hand and yanked it. “Do you have enough on your side?”
Speech was impossible because I knew I’d start blabbering again, so I nodded and tucked the sheet under the mattress.
“Hospital corners.” He nodded and then mimicked my motions. “I love a tight sheet.”
I couldn’t help but stare at the way his biceps swelled when he lifted the mattress as if it weighed nothing, and shot the sheet under it. Nor could I forgo glancing at the thick mat of black hair crisscrossing from one side of his pecs to the other and then down, disappearing below the towel. And I’d have to have been struck blind and stupid – which I’m neither – not to notice and admire the trim, tight waist and abdomen the towel was securely wrapped around.
At least I prayed it was securely wrapped.
I grabbed the comforter, shook it out and he helped me place it over the bed.
“Toss me one of those,” he commanded when I grabbed a pillow and began tugging the case on.
He caught both in midair.
The bed made, I turned to tell him about the platter of food, but stopped before the words could leave my throat. He’d moved without a sound again, coming to stand so close to me I could smell the citrus scent of the soap he’d used wafting off his body.
He placed a hand on my shoulder and gave it a little squeeze. I swear my body temperature went up ten degrees. I figured by now I resembled one of those cartoons where the character’s head turns beet red and then explodes upward.
“Thanks, Cinderella.” A devilish grin tripped across his tired face. “But I need to crash now, so…”
I truly could have stood there for the rest of the afternoon basking in his hotness, but I got the hint.
I nodded and made one last visual sweep of the room.
“Do you want me to close the blinds?” I asked, turning back just in time to see him drop the towel and slide – gloriously naked – into the freshly made bed.
Holy Mother of God. The man had a butt made for grabbing. Two perfect, round, and tight cheeks dipped from that narrow waist, leading downward to two thick and powerful thighs. Since his back was to me he didn’t notice my jaw hanging open  to my knees while he burrowed under the comforter.
“Mmm…sure. Thanks, Cinderella.”
Even half asleep his voice made my heart skip a few beats and my girlie parts go zing.
 Want more? Here are the buy links:
Amazon: Exclusive to KU readers for free

Peg is also an avid crafter and blogger and you can visit her at:

Amazon Author page:

Thank you, Peg, for being my guest today!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Summer Shorts = Great Reading

Summer has always been one of my favorite times to read (let's face it, most seasons I enjoy 
reading), but this time of year is special to me because I remember spending so many summers 
as I was growing up with a book nearby. Every week I walked seven blocks to the downtown 
(small town) library to wander among the stacks, looking for just the perfect book for the week.  
I took my time perusing the shelves because the library was so nicely air conditioned. I usually 
came home with two or three books.

Ever since then I have made a practice of reading in the summer. Those long evenings are perfect
for sitting on the patio with the sun still up. As a result I always look for new books every summer. 
What could be more perfect than a book of short stories? That is what we are featuring today in My 
Writing Corner -- an anthology that includes the work of today's author guest, Michal Scott, 
who writes Christian erotica.  
Michal is a native New Yorker who recently moved to the 
Southwest. Please tell us about the anthology -- how the 
idea came about and tell us a little bit about the stories in it.

The idea came from author Delilah Devlin. Stranded is the fourth in a series of anthologies subtitled Boys Behaving Badly that she has edited. Each posits how independent heroines engage particular types of men/situations. The first was Rogues, the second Blue Collar  and the third was Pirates.

The fourteen authors of Stranded were challenged to craft a 5K story where a woman finds herself “stranded” but not weak or waiting to be saved and the man who  is part of her “rescue.” 

The stories run the gamut from paranormal and romantic suspense to historical, contemporary and sci-fi. The descriptive
blurb for the anthology states "you'll find fourteen stories with one thing in common--couples depending on each other to survive, and perhaps, falling in love." 

What do you like about contributing to an anthology?

It was so affirming to be part of a community of writers working on the same theme and seeing how different all our stories are. Then once the stories were written and the anthology compiled, I loved the giving and receiving of support as we developed loglines, shared tweets and blogposts about our stories, celebrated the anthology’s sales. This was my first anthology and I loved to work with these authors again.

Tell us about your story.

Put It In A Book, my story, tells what happens when in 1840’s Liberia a fiercely independent freeborn woman trapped in a book by a sorcerer for rejecting his sexual advances is rescued by an audacious arrogant thief and finds a surprising path to freedom and love.

How did you come up with the idea

There’s an old saying: “If you want to hide something from black folk, put it in a book” -- a jibe at how far the importance of education in the black community has fallen; an unfortunate turn of events when I consider my ancestors braved death in order to learn to read. As I write African-American historical romance, I wondered how I might craft a story around the stranded theme using African American history elements. Once I recalled the old saying, my creative juices came up with my heroine Aziza Williams, my hero Sekou Caine and how their encounter leads to love.

Tell us what is special about your characters.

Both Aziza and Sekou are independent free spirits who put the welfare of others before their own. Aziza fled to Liberia for teaching slaves in the US to read. Sekou chose a life as a Robin-Hood style thief rather than live by the rules of his society that demands he and his fellow villagers grovel before a man who uses his power to dominate and abuse. They both have a level of independence that manifest in resistance and results in their unexpected HEA.

How can we get a copy?

Buy links: Amazon -

And how can readers get in touch with you?

Contact: @mscottauthor1,

Thank you Michal, for bringing us your story.  This sounds like perfect summer reading!  Any comments or questions for Michal?

Mysterious Doings

As the  summer begins, it is time to start selecting those books we want to take on vacation or for sitting around the pool or at  the beach...