Sunday, October 9, 2016

More music that inspires

I have a CD by Saving Abel (if anyone remembers that ultra sexy song "Addicted" that's them)
I love their piano ballad, for which they unfortunately did not record a video. However I did find it performed acoustically by them. Beautiful Day, Acoustic

I love to run to music, as I've said maybe a million times, and doing so often proves fruitful to my writing. Today did happen to be a beautiful day on the cusp of a hurricane which passed over the area. I was running. I was listening. Saving Abel's Beautiful Day came on and it just hits one of those chords in me. It's not as if I have a distant memory of a scene like the one depicted in the song, but I can relate on an emotional level.

My take: Guy wakes up next to his lover. Fairly new relationship. She's laying there crying. Fear. Been hurt before. Overwhelming emotions. Love. And he says to her, he can't stand to see her cry, to see the look in her eyes, and reminds her it's a beautiful day (as in a new day--and full go hope and bright things)...Toward the end of the ballad, he tells her there's no reason to fear because his feelings mirror hers. It's a beautiful song for lovers. Very romantic. Good for this romance writer's soul. :-) Enjoy!

Friday, September 30, 2016

3 days till LOVER'S LEAP's ANNIVERSARY!!

And I said I'd post every day till Oct 2nd. Here I am!

Today I've been thinking about social media. MOST days I think about it. All published authors know that once the contract is signed, it's time to get busy promoting, getting your brand built, networking. It's hard to build a base. And time consuming. And fun, in a way, and did I mention time consuming?
I easily spend as much time in my social media outlets as I do writing these days, and that is kind of sad, isn't it? But there's a learning curve, and I'm hoping the learning curve will smooth out and give me back some of my time.

One of the things that is a big time drain with very little reward is searching through STOCK photo banks in search of the perfect photo.  For your covers, for your ads, for your trailers...which I love. I write historicals featuring HOT blond dudes in Victorian times with NORDIC lineage. Do you know how hard it is to find good looking Victorian era, blond haired men (unless you're looking at another writer's cover...still even there, RARE).

I must say, my cover for my historical romance, The Trouble with Tigers does have one such hot dude, though his hair is slightly darker than I would have liked. But he had the face and the eyes...I digress.



I've been scouring already for my WIPs. (For those of you not schooled in author speak, that stands for work in progresses) Time drain. But when I find just the right photos? It will all be worth it. By the way, does anyone out there happen to know where I can find a horde of picture of hot blond men from the victorian era?

Lucky for me I stumbled upon Candace Bowser of Celestial Waters Publishing. She put a couple of ads and a trailer together for me for Lover's Leap. I'll post a couple here, as well as a link to the trailer on Youtube. Let me know what you think!



And here's the link to the trailer:

Until next time! Muah!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

4 DAYS 'til LOVER'S LEAP release day anniversary!!

And in honor of that momentous occasion, I thought I might actually BLOG! *grins* FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS!!!

So, when I get writer's block, or I need time to allow an idea to germinate, I usually do one of two things: I switch whatever work-in-progress I'm into to the other (since I usually work on two books at once, in the two genres in which I write. Contemporary (like Lover's Leap) or Historical (like The Trouble with Tigers).

I also go for a solo run.

I say solo because most days I run with my sister, or with friends, and on those occasions, we talk. As in I don't listen to music.

But something magical happens by my way of thinking when I run and listen to my playlists. The music inspires me. It gets my romance juices flowing. Certain songs make me think of a jilted lover who's not going to take it anymore. Certain songs put me in mind of a guy or girl who's being unappreciated by his or her significant other and is about 'thoo. ( I foresee the guy or gal walking out and the significant other coming running back, with a whole new and shiny perspective.)

Still other songs are so picturesque and sexy I can't stand it. Love those songs. You can just imagine a couple in love, or meeting and there's that brand new spark.

Today I got the afternoon drowsies probably because I had hardly moved my a$$ all day. AND I have an idea to flesh out in my contemporary WIPs. So I ran--and came up with this idea for my blog.

Without further ado, allow me to share one of my favorite songs to run to, to listen to while driving my convertible to the beach with the top down and the sound system jammed, and to get my romantic-genius flowing.

Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap. It's a song throughly in the 2000's that's totally reminiscent of the 80's alternative scene. LOVE it. Favorite lines:

...So stay there

'Cause I'll be coming over
And while our blood's still young
It's so young, it runs
And won't stop 'til it's over
Won't stop to surrender...

Enjoy:

Sweet Disposition, official video on Youtube


Friday, July 22, 2016

Summertime love is sweeter with...frozen mango?


Welcome to summertime in the USA. I don’t know about you, but from where I sit, it’s hot even in the shade at 9 am.
That’s why my new breakfast obsession involves frozen fruit.
First off, I love fruit. I try to eat it every day, not only because fruit is like nature’s candy, but also because it’s so good for you—All those vitamins and nutrients and phytochemicals that help prevent cancer.

If you’re like me and you love fruit, then you know how easy it is to go crazy purchasing fresh fruit at the grocery, only to have a whole bunch of it go bad before you get a chance to eat it. Worse is the dreaded bait-and-switch; you know those blackberries or raspberries you bought that looked ever-so-tasty—then you bit into one and got a mouth-full of T.A.R.T.? 

Well, I found such a simple and affordable way to eat lots and lots of delicious, perfectly ripe fruit. It’s always ripe and I never run out and it doesn’t go bad. Ha! Success!

Here’s my “recipe.” 

Buy a jumbo bag of frozen mango, and a jumbo bag of frozen mixed berries. In the morning after you wake, before you start the coffee and feed the dogs, pull out your blender and scoop a cup full of each fruit into it. Blend. Eat with spoon. Yum! For added protein, you can add one of the nut-milks (Coconut, Almond, Hemp).

Rinse, dry, repeat.

Speaking of fruit, in my contemporary romance LOVER'S LEAP (which happens to be a MAGGIES finalist in the 2016 Georgia Romance Writers contest for published authors!! Woot woot!!) my hero and heroine often find themselves sharing a delicious blend of fruits after enjoying…ahem…some extracurricular activity. Here’s a brief excerpt: 



Candace stood beside Logan at the kitchen island,
washing and cutting fresh strawberries while he sliced a
mango. They both wore their bathrobes and nothing
else, having come straight from the shower where
they’d worked up an appetite making love yet again.

Logan had turned on the stereo and the soft sounds
of jazz filled the air. It all felt very…domestic. And
perfect. By rights, Candace should be scared. She
should be building a wall to barricade her heart against
Logan’s barrage of tenderness, charm, and sex appeal.

But that was the old her.

Wonder what’s going through that pretty head of
yours,” Logan said, cutting into her thoughts.

Startled, Candace nearly nipped her thumb with the
knife.

“Hey, be careful there, will you? I like your
fingers.”

“I like them, too.” She wiggled them in front of her
face to make sure she hadn’t nicked herself. “I’d say
that’s enough strawberries, wouldn’t you?” Candace
effectively sidestepped Logan’s comment about her
train of thought. She rinsed the paring knife in the
island sink and popped a strawberry into her mouth.

“Why don’t you sit down? I’ll finish this.” Logan
scraped the mango slices into a bowl and washed the
cutting board as Candace moved to sit at the island
counter. “We need to talk,” Logan said, not meeting
Candace’s eyes.

Here it came. The thanks for a good time, now I
have to go speech. She could take it.



Thanks for stopping by! Please feel free to leave a comment, and don't forget to enter the Summertime Treats and Reads giveaway for a chance to win the big prize--a brand new Kindle Fire!:-)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Why yes, the sex scene did come to me while I was soaking in bubble bath...



People often ask me where I get my ideas for novels. Men especially. When they start turning red after asking, that usually indicates they’re really asking about my inspiration for sex scenes. In fact, I’ve come to realize that many men equate “romance novel” with “book about sex” followed by a happy ending (and we all know the double entendre for that particular phrase, don’t we? If you don’t, feel free to email me and I’ll fill you in. *grins*).
 Over the years I’ve become somewhat inured to the question, and most of the time it’s harmless. And if being a romance writer carries a certain amount of mystique, so be it. 
On the other hand, ask me that on a first date with a particular gleam in your eye, and there’s not likely to be a second. 

As for where I actually do come up with ideas for my novels, it varies. Sometimes I use news briefs to spark ideas, and or I use them to fill in blanks. A blank might be something like: why is this chic so screwed up when it comes to love? (lol) I mean think about it. Romance authors are writing the love story of a seemingly normal, well adjusted woman in the prime of her life (whenever that might be :-)) who either has NEVER fallen in love or has never enjoyed sex before or…you get the picture. So what’s wrong with her, that LOVE is going to heal?

In Lover’s Leap, Candace’s issues go back to her parents’ nightmare of a marriage. A lot of us can relate to that. In addition, Candace’s experience as a young girl involving her father, an “other woman,” a golf course, and lightning also play a part in her grown-up maladjustment. That idea came to me after reading about someone who’d been struck by lightning on a golf course and suffered a heart attack!  I still have the article—cutout of an actual USA Today newspaper.  

Here’s a short excerpt from Lover’s Leap:

Logan scrubbed a hand over his stubble-covered 
jaw. “God, I feel awful. Like a complete and utter fool.” 

Candace laughed softly. “Good. Then you won’t 
mind doing me a favor.” 

“Anything. Give me any task.” 

Candace chuckled at his boyish zeal. “Let’s start 
with my laptop. Can you get it for me? It’s in the sitting 
area on the table.” 

He retrieved it from the connecting room. “You’re 
going to work from bed?” 

Candace nodded, already inching her legs under 
the bedcovers. 

A loud pop sounded from outside, echoing across 
the lake. She gave a yip and flung her laptop into the 
air.

Logan caught it with one graceful move. “It’s just 
kids setting off fireworks.” He handed it back to her. 

“Oh,” she breathed, tearing up again. “I 
thought…at first it sounded like thunder.” 

Logan’s eyes narrowed. “Nope. Just fireworks.” 

Candace scrubbed at her eyes and tried to send 
Logan a relaxed smile. “Right. Are there often 
random firework displays?” 

He cocked his head and studied her face. 
“It’s a fairly regular occurrence around here. Why?” 

Candace bit her lower lip, wishing she hadn’t said 
a word. She pushed hair off her face and opened the 
laptop. “Let’s just forget it, all right? It’s no biggie.” 
She stared at the computer screen and wished him out 
of the room. 

He planted his feet and crossed his arms over his 
chest. “You have something against fireworks?” 

Another thing she wished Eric had warned her 
about. Logan’s perceptiveness. “I feel kind of stupid 
talking about it.” 

“You feel stupid? How do you think I feel? I just 
tackled you in the hallway.” 

Perceptive and persistent. Candace peeked up at 
Logan and the utter ridiculousness of her situation 
struck her. She was dressed in nothing more than her 
nightie, in bed, in the middle of the night, talking to a gorgeous, 
half-naked man whom she’d only just met, who happened to have just attacked her. 
And somehow he had her on the verge of confessing one of her 
most private, most embarrassing idiosyncrasies. 
Irresistible laughter bubbled up inside her. 

He opened his arms in a beseeching manner. “Now 
what? C’mon. Throw me a bone here.” 

She swallowed the laughter, but her smile 
remained in place. “I…since I was a kid, I’ve had a 
slight…problem with…thunderstorms.”



Sunday, March 6, 2016

I’m taking a break from the romance genre to discuss the Supernatural Thriller,
Linger: Dying is a Wild Night by Edward Fallon.
This was my first Edward Fallon book, and also happens to be the first in a series of five for you series lovers out there. The title of the series and sub-title for each of Fallon’s five books, linger, alludes to a main premise of Fallon’s supernatural thrillers: the idea that after a traumatic event, be it murder or violence or emotional upheaval, a residual emotional shadow “lingers.” Enter “the boy,” a blind orphaned child who has the ability to gather these emotional memories left at a scene, which he then communicates via telepathy as images to two helpers. One is a man whose wife was brutally murdered, the other a police detective who seeks answers to her mother’s unsolved murder. 
Fallon’s LINGER Book One is a compelling, fast paced read. As improbable as it is for such a boy to exist, Fallon creates a world in which readers can suspend their disbelief for a short while as they root for good to win out over evil. I highly recommend this book for readers who enjoy a large dose of supernatural in their crime thrillers.
Next time, I'll be back talking about romance. Specifically, I’ll share details about my upcoming release, a historical romance titled THE TROUBLE WITH TIGERS.  Pre-order is available now!!

Until then, happy reading.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Yesterday I finished reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips' HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS.
Wow. What and awesome book. She's always awesome, and has written some of my favorite romances, and this one is now one of 'em.

Why? What makes her books so special, and this one in particular? Let me just say, she has a knack for taking a particularly unlikeable character, be the character male or female, and making him (her) not only likable, but one for whom her readers will cheer and root.

One disclaimer about my five star review of HEROES. You first have to get through the first chapter, which I admit, would not have happened if I was not already a SEP fan. In it, the heroine is doing what I considered an info-dump and a backstory dump by talking in her head in the voices of her many puppets. (The heroine is a ventriloquist) I was not only unimpressed, I was turned off. But I carried on listening in the hopes SEP would pull off another masterpiece. She did not disappoint. I tell you what, I could not put this book down. I have been so busy of late (who isn't?) that it's been ages since I have been able to start and finish a book in three days, with the bulk of the reading taking place in one day. But this one, once I was sucked into it, I could not put down.

Because she'd done it again. She'd made me root for a character who I wasn't even sure I liked. I kept wanting to know what happened that we didn't know about to explain some of his more repugnant actions. Even before I knew there would be a reasonable explanation for sure (though, let's face it, this is a romance, and SEP's slogan is something to the tune of "because life's too short for sad endings" or something to that effect :-)) I wanted the hero, Theo, to be redeemed.

The other thing I like about SEP's books is her story. By that I refer to the underlying theme an author reiterates in her work, which expresses a truth they wish to share with the world. Someone once told me a writer needs to know her truth, otherwise her work will come off as inauthentic. Since then, I've asked myself what my truth is (and I think I've discovered my truth) and I always look for other author's truths.

SEP's goes something like this (in this author's humble opinion): People are flawed and often times wounded by events in their lives. But when a person finds the "one" for him or her, that person will come into his or her life like a catalyst for good. Healing old wounds, making each other better. Additionally, SEP tells a sub-story about women. She depicts strong women who don't know they're strong. But by the end of her books, the heroine woman comes to embrace her own strength--and value. She can even walk away from her love if that's what she deems best, because she's that strong.
Lucky for us, SEP writes romance, so we know the hero and heroine will wind up together!! le sigh.

I highly recommend Susa Elizabeth Phillips' HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS. In it you'll find a struggling ventriloquist, a wounded writer, a mute child, an abused widow, a dying town, a black cat, and lots of puppets. And love. You'll find lots of love. Happy reading.