Romance Writers Weekly

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It’s that time again, boys and girl! The authors at Romance Writers Weekly are back again to share their thoughts and insights about life and writing. If you’re here from Raine Balkera‘s blog, welcome! If you’re just starting out, be sure to check out the other authors in the hop. This week’s question comes from A.S. Fenichel.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?

I’ve been a lot of places, most of them hot and tropical. My most favorite place is Rome, Italy. I visited there with my parents a few years ago and it was great beyond my wildest dreams. Being a huge history buff, I was enamored with the ancient ruins that are everywhere around the city. My eight-year old self dreamed of visiting Pompeii. I never thought it would actually happen.

The people were friendly and so helpful. I lost ten pounds walking the city streets from morning until late at night which is pretty good considering the food is out of this world! Fresh pasta and wine. And don’t get me started with the gelato. I met a girl from Florence on the flight there. Her advice was to eat gelato – lots and lots. Believe me, I did my best. Sometimes I ate it three times a day and once in the piazza outside the Pantheon! I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, so I’m sure I will go back.

pantheon

The top of my bucket list is Scotland. I am obsessed with Scotland. When I’m not writing, I’m reading or watching documentaries on Scotland. My bookshelves are full of research books about Scotland. It’s so full of mystery and history. I can’t wait to visit the places where my ancestors once lived.

Well, enough about that. I could go on forever. I love to travel. I think it brings new perspective to life. I hope you get the chance to take a trip or two in your future!

Be sure to check out Mikki Cober as the next stop on the hop!

DARK ROMANCE

I’m not a romantic, which is an odd thing for a romance writer to say. I don’t believe in soulmates or perfect love or anything like that. As a result, I’m obsessed with “darker” romance. Think along the lines of Wuthering Heights or The Great Gatsby. Life is messy and complicated and people are imperfect. After a lifetime of reading love stories with happy endings, I’m now into more realistic plots where not everyone gets their HEA (Happy Ever After).

For the above reasons, I’m a huge fan of Megan Hart and Colleen Hoover. I recently finished Deeper by Megan Hart and I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby over Nick’s predicament. Talk about a tortured soul. Everything about his situation is futile. His story is over and he knows it. Wow. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it. And Megan Hart doesn’t feel the need to tie up the end with a tidy bow. She leaves it open and that keeps me thinking about the story for days or weeks later, wondering where the characters are going to end up. For me, that’s a good book. Something that stimulates my emotions and thoughts.

If you haven’t read Ugly Love yet by Colleen Hoover, I highly recommend it as another option for a darker romance. Although it has an HFN (Happy For Now) ending, I was left feeling unsettled at the end and with a book hangover that followed me around like a fifth of Tequilla, two lemons, and a shaker of salt. I really liked the unconventional method of storytelling. The heroine’s story is told in present time while the hero’s story takes place in the past.

So, if you’re looking for something a little grittier and a lot less hearts-and-flowers, check out these two authors.

deeper

Ugly Love

Romance Writers Weekly

 

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This week’s question comes from Mishka Jenkins.

What would you say your writing strengths and weaknesses are?

My best strength would be dialogue. I seem to have a half dozen conversations going on in my head at any given time. I have a degree in Speech Pathology so the tendency to dissect speech patterns is ingrained in me. I also eavesdrop a lot. Not to be mean or gossip, but for research purposes only. You can learn much about conversation by listening. For instance, most men speak in short sentences and leave off the subject. (Example: “Going to the store. See you later.”) And I have another friend who repeats everything in threes when he’s drunk.

My biggest weakness is my love of adverbs. Stephen King said, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” I must be headed there because I love, love, LOVE to use them. Just ask my editor. My first rough draft is always filled with adverbs which I absolutely, ruthlessly (see?) cut out of my final drafts.

It seems every time I write a new manuscript, it’s filled with different strengths or weaknesses. I guess that’s all a part of learning and growing as a writer.

Thanks for stopping by! Please be sure to drop by and see Tracey Gee, the next blog for our topic, for more fun and enlightening stories about writing.

 

Romance Writers Weekly

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It’s been awhile, but I’m back this week. I’ve had a lot going on with book releases and two new books in the works for Spring 2015. So here’s the question for the week:

How do you choose the setting for your book? Does where you live influence you?

In my Felony Romance Series, the stories center around an underground nightclub. Back in my younger days, I hit the club circuit on a nightly basis. I’ve borrowed bits and pieces from the places I visited and incorporated them into Felony Bar. Believe it or not, there are underground clubs everywhere, even in the most obscure cities.

Felony is based on a real basement bar in Chicago. I liked the dark, gritty feel of the place. Once you went down the stairs, it was like entering another world. Another location of inspiration was a bar in Fort Wayne where several clubs were joined by a common area. There were girls dancing behind screens and in cages. It was all very wild and so much fun. The final place I used is located in Indianapolis and is steeped in history. I love the way that bar winds around, with cubbies and alcoves, and it’s ties to gangsters from The Roaring Twenties. Take all those places, roll them into one, and you’ve got Felony Bar!

My hometown hasn’t played much part in my novels yet. I live in a tiny town with a saloon, no stoplights, and there is a church for every forty people. Church bells ring in the afternoons. The shops close at noon on Wednesdays. Everyone knows everyone. It’s a sweet place untouched by the hustle and bustle of city life. I hope to write something in the future about my little village. It might be small but it has secrets to tell!

Thanks for dropping by. Please be sure to drop by the next stop on our tour, J.j. Devine, my friend and a wonderful author. See you next week!

VINDICATED – RELEASE DAY

Release January 20, 2015
Release January 20, 2015

It’s finally here!

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Life has never been easy for Karly Eriksson. Raised in a dysfunctional and abusive home, she struggles to break the chain of misfortune. She’s determined to finish college and rescue her little sister Emma from a similar fate at any cost, including her self-esteem.

The mistakes of her past complicate her future when she hooks up with Randy Mackenzie, the tattooed bouncer/bartender from the infamous Felony Bar. They shared one night together during the previous summer, and now he’s back in her life. He’s hot, intense, and tortured by emotions he’ll never reveal to anyone, especially her.

Despite Randy’s feelings for Karly, he can’t tell her what she needs to hear. She’s the only sunshine in his bleak existence, illuminating the dark and dusty corners of his life. The mother of his child left him because he couldn’t say those three little words, and it cost him the most precious thing in his life: his son. Will he lose Karly, too, or can he overcome his irrational fear of emotional intimacy?

This is the second book in the Felony Romance series. It can be read as a standalone but is meant to be read following Intoxicated (Book 1), and Unexpected (Book 1.5).

Warning:  this book contains hot bartenders, sexy bouncers, and lots of steamy romance.

Here’s to 2015

I’ve got a lot going on in 2015. Vindicated (Book 2) of the Felony Romance series is available for preorder and releases on January 20th. I’m also working on an anthology with my RWA group. Look for four more books in the Felony Romance series to be available this year. Impulsive (Book 3) is targeted for June and the untitled Book 4 is targeted for July. I hope to have two more in the series for in the fall.

And I’m toying with a spinoff series called the Felony Rock Star Romance series. But that’s more than I can think about at the moment.

Here’s a sneak peak of the paperback covers for Vindicated and Impulsive. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Unexpected paperback cover Vindicated cover pic (550x410)

Romance Writers Weekly

All I Want for Christmas…

 

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I can’t believe it’s Christmas already. I still haven’t packed up my summer clothes! Whether I’m ready or not, the holiday season is here, so I’m doing my best to catch up.

I don’t really want anything for Christmas. I already have wonderful friends and family. Of course, I always wish they were closer, but the miles between us make it that much better when we get together. I read somewhere once that if you have a roof over your head and money in your pocket, you are one of the wealthiest people in the world. So for these things I feel truly blessed.

This past year has been good to me. I lost seventy pounds and found a confidence in myself that I never knew was possible. This former couch potato has become a runner and I’m in the best shape of my life. I published Unexpected (a short story), Intoxicated was a finalist in the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards and got 4th Place in the International Digital Awards (IDA) as well as a best seller on All Romance eBooks, and I’ve got 7 more books in line for 2015. It’s more than I ever thought possible.

What about you? What do you want for Christmas?

I hope you have a happy holiday and a Merry Christmas!! Please be sure to make the next stop in the hop and visit with fellow RWW author, Victoria Barbour.

Before you go, check out the giveaway in the post below. 15 authors giving away 15 signed paperbacks to celebrate 2015!!!! What’s not to love about that?

15 on 1/1/15 – #GIVEAWAY

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Have the holidays petered out your get-up-and-go, as well as your book-buying fund? Have no fear, the 15 on 1/1/15 is here! 15 books by 15 authors to be awarded to one lucky winner on New Year’s Day, 2015. You can’t beat that!

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/N2IxYmVmYWM3NjhjMzUzNDA3NGYyMjdjODU5YzI4Ojk=/?

 

DON’T WAIT TO WIN. CHECK OUT THESE TOP AUTHORS NOW.

Insidious by Aleatha Romig

http://www.amazon.com/Insidious-Tales-Dark-Aleatha-Romig/dp/0991401182/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077581&sr=1-1&keywords=insidious

One to Hold by Tia Louise

http://www.amazon.com/One-Hold-Tia-Louise/dp/1494469170/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077616&sr=1-1&keywords=one+to+hold+by+tia+louise

Last Resort by Kate Roth

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Resort-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQF5LNI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077668&sr=1-1&keywords=last+resort+kate+roth

Blue Falcon by Tia Catalina

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Heartless by Vanessa Marie

http://www.amazon.com/Heartless-Chasing-Hearts-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00JOVREWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077758&sr=1-1&keywords=Heartless+by+vanessa+marie

Soundless Silence by M. Katherine Clark

http://www.amazon.com/Soundless-Silence-Sherlock-Holmes-Novel/dp/0990991504/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077798&sr=1-1&keywords=Soundless+Silence+M%2C+Katherine+Clark

Good Karma by Donya Lynne

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Karma-Strong-1/dp/1938991052/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077844&sr=1-1&keywords=Good+Karma+donya+lynne

Waking the Beast by Lacey Thorn

http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Paranormal-Shapeshifter-Romance-Awakening-ebook/dp/B00JDVWOT2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077886&sr=1-1&keywords=waking+the+beast+lacey+thorn

Revealed by Britni Hill

http://www.amazon.com/Revealed-Western-Palm-Britni-Hill-ebook/dp/B00NLRXP6U/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077924&sr=1-1&keywords=revealed+britni+hill

Embracing Destiny by Suzanne Purewal

http://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Destiny-Suzanne-Purewal-ebook/dp/B009JU0GJW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419077981&sr=1-1&keywords=Embracing+destiny+Suzanne

No Stranger by Anya Breton

http://www.amazon.com/No-Stranger-Anya-Breton-ebook/dp/B00HHIRORA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078016&sr=1-1&keywords=No+Stranger+Anya+Breton

For Nicky by A.D. Ellis

http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Torey-Hope-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B00K02F42M/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078046&sr=1-1&keywords=for+nicky+by+a.d.+ellis

The Cheyenne Bride by J.J. Devine

http://www.amazon.com/Cheyenne-Bride-Western-Romance-ebook/dp/B009OUXZX6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078084&sr=1-1&keywords=the+cheyenne+bride+j.j.+devine

Intoxicated by Jeana E. Mann

http://www.amazon.com/Intoxicated-Felony-Romance-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00HGVPIGC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078169&sr=1-1&keywords=intoxicated+by+jeana+mann

Ember’s Center by Jillian Jacobs

http://www.amazon.com/Embers-Center-O-Line-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00QUAB5QW/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1419078208&sr=1-3&keywords=Jillian+Jacobs

ROMANCE WRITERS WEEKLY

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all…about our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

This week we’re talking about our favorite holiday recipes. I’ve just come off of an eight month diet, and right now, every recipe is my favorite! I have to say one particular dish stands out for me. It’s my aunt’s smoked sausage stuffing. I had it last year for the first time, and it was delicious. The blend of savory stuffing with the smoky pork sent my taste buds into a state of bliss.

1 lb ground pork sausage

1 package smoked sausage links cut into cubes

1 box of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix (I like cornbread)

1 large onion – chopped

1 cup celery – chopped

1 stick of butter

3 cups of turkey broth (more or less depending on how you like it)

Brown the sausage, sauté the onions and celery, and combine with the other ingredients in a buttered 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

You really can’t mess this up, and you’ll be surprised at how good it is. I can’t wait to try it out again this year.

Well, that’s it for this week. Please take a minute to hop over to the next stop on our tour and visit with my friend J.J. Devine.


ROMANCE WRITERS WEEKLY

Romance weekly pic

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all…about our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

I missed out on the past month of Romance Writers’ Weekly, but I’m back in full swing once again. Life has been busy with the release of my novella Unexpected (free on Amazon 11/11/14).

So, here we go!

How much free reign do you give your characters during a story?

I’m ashamed to say that my characters have total freedom. I have absolutely no idea what will happen next. For me, that is the joy of writing. I love to let the story and characters “have their way” with me! I wish I could be one of those writers who plots out each and every step of the book. I’ve tried but it just doesn’t work for me.


Have your characters ever done something so unexpected that not only changed your story, but also changed the tone and maybe even the genre you were originally going for? (Like your contemporary romance turned into a spicy paranormal)

I have a novel in my stash pile that started out as a historical romance but turned out to be a gothic horror with a touch of paranormal thrown in for good measure. I still like the story and intend to publish it eventually. It’s all about Scottish Highlanders, ghosts, and magic. Hmmm…now, I think I will have to dust it off and look at it.


Do you have one character in your head that is sort of boss over all the rest? Or do you decide who to work on and when?

I definitely have one character in my head who runs the show and the others circle around them. In Intoxicated (Book 1) of the Felony Romance series, Jack Jameson was in my head for months before I started the book. He still haunts me as I write the next books in the series. I have to shove him into the background to keep him from stealing the thunder from his friends.

Well, that’s it for this week. Please take a minute to hop over to the next stop on our tour and visit with my friend J.J. Devine.

Author of Felony Romance Series