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Welcome to our Valentine’s Day hop!

This week I asked the question:

What makes Valentine’s Day so special for you?

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

And that’s what this day is about. No, not the dying. But the willingness to give all for love. And to put others first.

Love is said to be the most powerful force in the universe. Obviously, we as romance authors believe it. We write about it and talk about it and live it every day. And today, we celebrate it.

Hearts are everywhere and flowers and declarations of undying devotion. Proposals and weddings and gifts …ahhhh. Isn’t that just wonderful!

And that’s what makes it so incredible. A day to concentrate on loving each other. And what could be more special than that?

Now, let’s hop back to the top of the list and see what the fabulous A.S. Fenichel thinks about Valentine’s Day.

AS Fenichel

A.S. Fenichel http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Weekly

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The wonderful Carolyn Spear led this week’s hop…

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This time the challenge comes from the very talented S. C. Mitchell:

Flash Fiction Challenge: Give us a romantic scene to set the mood for Valentine’s Day.

Here’s mine…

Stephanie closed her eyes to blot out the glare of the computer screen. She felt empty, except for the churning frustration. Writers’ block. Or in this case, copywriters’ block. The client wanted something fresh to sell engagement rings over the upcoming holiday. But, what new could be said about Valentine’s Day that hadn’t already been? It was a joke. Hearts, flowers? True love? Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. There was no such thing. Soul mate? Not so much.

How about that old faithful image of the fairy tale knight in shining armor riding up on his white horse? Yeah, right. She mentally rolled her eyes.

She had to get outside, away from the torment of the keyboard that just laughed at her lack of creativity today.

Bundled up in a parka and scarf, gloves and a hat, Stephanie headed to the park. It was freezing out. But she hoped the fresh air would do her good, maybe clear her brain and allow her to enter the fantasy world of make believe romance.

You’re a copywriter. You can make stuff up, right?

There were few brave souls out today, since it was too cold for the less hearty. She walked quickly, afraid she might freeze to death if she didn’t keep moving. Without thinking, or looking, she rounded a corner. It all happened in a split second.

The horse reared and its rider twisted to keep the animal from stomping her to death. She heard “Look out!” but she was already trying to jump out of the way. She stumbled into the bushes and fell, face first, onto the frozen earth.

Then, strong hands were reaching for her. Gently, a man lifted her head into his lap and stroked her cheek. Stephanie blinked and found herself staring into eyes the deep green of a summer meadow. They were filled with concern.

“Are you all right? I am so sorry. I didn’t see you.”

“It was my fault…” she started to say, but the fingers touching her face were leaving a trail of irresistible warmth.

“Let me help you up.”

She stood a little shakily and did a mental inventory. It seemed nothing was hurt but her pride.

He looked at her expectantly. He was so incredibly handsome, it took her breath away.

“I—I think I’m fine.” She gave the man a half smile.

“Stay here. I need to get Popcorn.”

Stephanie was confused. “But, I’m not hungry.”

He laughed, a rich baritone sound. “My horse.”

“Your horse’s name is Popcorn.”

“My favorite food.” He said it as if it made perfect sense. And oddly enough, it did.

When he returned, she noticed the horse was pure white. Of course it was. This was too good to be true.

“I cannot tell you how sorry I am.” He was so sincere and so amazingly attractive.  “Can I take you to dinner to make it up?”

If his name was Prince Charming, she’d lose it.

She held out her hand. “My name is Stephanie.”

He wrapped his fingers around hers and electricity passed up her arm. “Charles. Charles Prince.”

Stephanie shook her head to loosen her preconceived notions. Did this mean there might be a Santa Claus? Or at least a fairy godmother!

Happy Valentine’s Day and may all your dreams come true!

Since this was his idea, let’s hop over to read the fabulous S. C. Mitchell’s flash fiction.

S.C. Mitchell

https://scmitchell.wordpress.com/

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Welcome and thanks for stopping by. Did I really ask this question this week?

What is your favorite romance genre and why?

I didn’t specify if that was for reading or for writing, did I?

Well, for reading, I love a good romantic suspense. And then there are historicals. And of course, can’t forget contemporaries written by some of the best, like Kristin Higgins. Truth is, I love a good story. Draw me in, introduce me to the characters and let me sink into their world. So, bottom line, it doesn’t matter what genre as long as it’s well written.

For me as a writer…well. I obviously jump all over the place. I had so much fun researching and writing my historicals…

There’s my contemporary…which is also kind of a romantic suspense…

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Then, there is my “Dance” series, which is historical with a touch of the paranormal…

(coming soon)

(and working on the fourth one…”A Dance in Time”)

And I have just released my two new romantic suspense novels…

Maybe I just can’t make up my mind….

But I hope they all speak to my readers and take them on a journey….

Now let’s hop over and see what the fabulous A.S. Fenichel’s favorite is….

AS Fenichel newest

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Weekly

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This week, the challenge from the very inventive Jenna Da Sie:

Would you rather? 1) Would you rather go way back in time and meet your ancestors Pre 1800’s or go way into the future and meet your great grandchildren Post 2200? 2) Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone? 3) Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader? 4) Would you rather have the ability to fly or read minds? 5) Would you rather have mermaids be real or unicorns be real?

  1. As an historical romance writer, I think we tend to romanticize the past. After all, there were no medicines, no plumbing, no conveniences we take for granted. The variety of food was limited and people probably mostly smelled bad…just saying. So going back in time for real loses some of its appeal. Also, there is so much written about the past and my imagination loves to fill in the blanks.

Now…the future…I cannot even begin to grasp how many advances in technology will be forthcoming. Look how far we’ve come in the last sixty years or so. So many possibilities. It might be a joyous experience and it might be terribly depressing, but I think I’d like to know.

  1. I can live just fine without my cell phone, but I go crazy if the internet is down even for a few minutes. I can’t imagine going back to doing research without Google. And with email, unlike just talking, you can think about what you’re going to say before you blurt out something you wish you hadn’t said.
  1. I would much rather talk like Yoda and be like Yoda. Besides, who want to be a ‘breather’?
  1. This one is easy. I would definitely rather read minds! Of course, if I knew what everyone was thinking, I might just want to be able to fly (away).
  1. I think I’d rather unicorns be real. I would love to be a mermaid for a day or so, but long term…unicorns speak of love and peace and all good things. Yep, unicorns get my vote.

Let’s hop on over to the incredibly talented Carolyn Spear and see what she would rather …

carolyn-spear

http://www.carolynspearromance.com/…

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This week’s challenge comes from the amazing S. C. Mitchell:

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Tell us about the people living in your head right now. Do an interview with the hero and/or heroine of your current work in progress or your latest release.

There are a lot of people living in my head right now. Tom and Beth are investigating a serial killer. (Available now!)

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Nick and Lily are trying to save her restaurant – and her life. (Available soon)

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Margaret has disguised herself as a Court Jester in 1616 England and is falling for Lord Seth, who is looking to save his clan. (Also available soon)

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But the ones battling it out for attention the loudest are Grace and Shera.

Grace is the heroine of the fourth in the “Dance” series. I was only going to tell the stories of three of the women, but Grace wouldn’t stop nagging. Okay, Grace…what do you have to say for yourself?

My husband is unkind and my life is miserable. I need to escape somehow. But then, I discover a bottle with a note and find a way into the past. Waiting is Pierce and so many new challenges. Can I stay with him or must I go back to my terrible life?

And you, Shera…what is it?

I have been kidnapped and taken to Morocco to join the harem of some Sultan. I need to escape and find who did this to me. My only possible ally is a dangerous man by the name of Kincaid whose wife has been taken and killed. Can I enlist his aid? Will his desire for revenge ever allow him to love again?

Two women seeking their fates….

Yes, Ladies, I’m working on it!

I wonder what the fabulous author of this challenge has going on with his characters. Let’s hop over and see…

S.C. Mitchell

https://scmitchell.wordpress.com/

Romance Weekly

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This week I asked some questions of my fellow authors:

What do you love best about your writing? Like the least? And what are you doing to fix the things you don’t like?

Let me start by saying I love to write. Love it. Love the research, the plotting, creating the characters. Once I decide which tale to tell, it fills my brain. I will wake up sometimes in the middle of the night with a thought to make the story better. I find the entire experience exciting. And there are times when I can’t really believe I’ve already written nine books and have so many more ready to step up.

What I like the least is the business of writing. I worry about sales and social media and standings. I stress over choosing the right covers, the formats, and wondering if we caught all the typos. Am I doing enough marketing?

What am I going to do about the activities I don’t like? I think they are just part of the process. So, I will accept that there will always be things I don’t like to do but are necessary. That seems to be true about so much in life, doesn’t it?

So, it’s the bitter with the sweet. But it makes me appreciate the sweet that much more.

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available now                     coming soon

Let’s hop over and see what the incredible A.S. Fenichel loves and doesn’t love…

AS Fenichel newest

http://asfenichel.com/blog

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Welcome to the first challenge of the New Year. The wonderful Lyra Parish has posed these questions:

How did you be spend your New Years? What literary goals have you made for 2017?

It’s been a long time since I’ve made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. I guess I just get up too early in the morning, since I find myself falling asleep around ten. I know…boring.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t welcome the chance to start a brand new year with all of the possibilities. Last year this time I was just finishing “The Dream Dancer”, the first of three. This year so far, I have almost completed “Jester’s Dance”, which is the third book in the trilogy.

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“Payback” just came out and I am hoping people like it, even though it’s very different from my historical/historical paranormals.

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Very soon, my next romantic suspense, “Once Upon a Tablecloth” will be out.

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And then…Book Ten. I have no idea what it will be about or where it will take place. That’s part of the fun. The whole world is open to choose. Any time, any place, any hero and heroine.

This year I want to write book ten and at least two more. And to be better as a writer with each one. Those are my goals for 2017.

I hope you all make resolutions you can keep and you have joy by the armload. Oh, and of course, keep reading!

Let’s see what the incredible Jenna Da Sie has planned for the New Year.

http://jennadasie.com/