Romance Writers Weekly

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Good morning and happy Tuesday. Thanks so much for joining us. It means a lot!

This week’s challenge comes from the fabulous Brenda Margriet:

Do you have a pet? Or have a special pet memory? Please share – and photos welcome!

I’m not sure if I have a pet or she has me. Her name is Josie.

My beloved terrier, Jakita, died a while ago and there was a huge hole in my heart. Not that she could ever be replaced, but I missed having a dog. And one day, as I was scrolling through the ‘pets available’ section of Craigslist, having no expectations of finding a new companion when…there was her picture.

I contacted the breeder and found him to be honorable and knowledgeable, so we went to check out the puppy. And I was in love.

She is ¾ standard poodle and ¼ Chesapeake Bay retriever. Here is the good news:, she is very smart. Here is the bad news: she is very smart. Now 7-1/2 months old, she is learning manners and she is very comfortable sitting at my feet when I write. Of course, there is the chewing and the high energy, but two long walks a day has helped and made me healthier.

Seriously, who could resist those eyes? So maybe she’s a little spoiled.

Dogs are amazing. They teach us patience (you have to be patient with a puppy) and mostly, unconditional love. And who doesn’t need that?

Now let’s hop over to the incredible Jenna Da Sie.

But first, check this out from Brenda….!!!

Contemporary Academy Book Fair – discover contemporary romances set at colleges and universities. Includes Brenda Margriet’s WHEN TIME FALLS STILL (now with a new, sexier cover!).

 https://books.bookfunnel.com/contemporaryacade…/lcu4x6uwyg

Jenna Da Sie https://jennadasie.com

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday! Hope you had a good holiday. And thanks so much for joining us!

This week’s challenge comes from Clair Brett:

What are your pre-writing/writing rituals. For example, do you light a special candle, have a certain playlist, or a must have cup of your favorite tea before you sit down to write? What gets you in the “writing” mood?

I love to write. All it takes for me to get in the mood is time and quiet. When I’m writing, I have to make sure I don’t have anything pressing in the next hour or so, because I just might miss it. When I’m “in the zone”, everything else disappears. One time, when I was writing one of my historicals, I was so into it that when the phone rang, I had no idea what the sound was.

Which brings me to quiet. Although, after having teenagers in the house, I learned to tune out peripheral sound, I much prefer no noise interruptions. I know many authors listen to music, but I find it distracting, especially when I’m deep in history. Of course, when you live with other people and pets, silence is sometimes impossible to achieve, but it is what I like best.

So, every morning, I have my coffee, check my messages, and put my butt in my chair and write until lunchtime. Unfortunately, my stomach is a distraction I can’t seem to ignore. After lunch and things that need attention, like laundry and grocery shopping, I sometimes find time to sit back down and write more. And I love every minute of it!

Now, let’s hop over to the incredible A.S. Fenichel and hear about her preferences. But first…

Her newest in the Demon Hunters series is on pre-order. You have to check it out!!!

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Thanks so much for joining us. We do appreciate it!

This week’s challenge comes from the incredible A.S. Fenichel:

Lately I’ve been thinking about the story themes that turn me on and inspire me. List your top ten favorite story or plot themes. It can be anything from Dragons to friends to lovers.

Here are the ones I love best:

  • Time Travel – History has always been one of my favorite subjects and recognizing it is about people and the lives they lived is fascinating. I also love doing research and if I could witness it firsthand – well, that would be amazing..
  • Enemies to Lovers is always fun as the progression in their love affairs unfold.
  • Serial killers and the people that investigate them and bring them to justice.
  • Ghosts and entities that reach across time to help and protect us. In fact, I just wrote a novel about that very thing in “Stay With Me”.
https://amzn.to/3bOOEux
  • Court intrigue during the reign of Elizabeth the First. So much going on and such an amazing queen.
  • Mythology – so many stories originated in the tales from the ancient Greeks and Romans and they are a wonderful starting point for so many stories.
  • Poverty and hardship to success is always fun. Sometimes with a little revenge thrown in. Like “The Count of Monte Cristo” or “Cinderella”.
  • Good versus Evil is a universal theme that can be utilized in a thousand (or more) different ways.
  • Villain to hero or villainess to heroine. The whole redemption thing is always fun.

And last but not least…

  • Us against the world. When two people have to join forces to fight wrong or wrongdoing. Something that tests their mettle and their strength and how they come out stronger together.

I’m sure there are many more, but just writing this list inspired me to start another novel.

Now let’s hop over to Clair Brett…

But first, check out this bookfunnel promotion!

Dealing with the Viscount: Grab your free copy today
https://books.bookfunnel.com/may_reads_signup/lq1vd9z1ht

https://www.clairbrett.com/blog-1

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday! Welcome to our hop and thanks so much for joining us. We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

I came up with this week’s challenge:

Scent is very important in life and in our stories. Tell us your favorite and why it inspires you.

It’s hard to choose just one scent that inspires me. Each is unique and brings up emotions or memories. I love the smell of ginger. It reminds me of Hawaii and some wonderful times I spent there. It elicits feelings of romance and lush foliage and warm tropical nights.

Bergamot reminds me of afternoon tea and cold afternoons, sitting with friends and sharing stories.

And coconut which smells of tanning oil and the beach and lazy days.

Laundry fresh from the line, infused with fresh air and sunshine, and anything cinnamon baking in the oven (or chocolate chip cookies) brings on the warmest feelings of comfort and home.

I like my male heroes to smell of the ocean and citrus and leather and—man. My heroines are fragrant with lavender or roses or strawberries. These just seem the right choices to bring on romance.

If we’re talking about fresh flowers, there is nothing like my three favorites: freesia, pikake and gardenia. I don’t know of any perfumer who has been able to capture these in a bottle, but in a bouquet they are weddings and joy and love.

I’m one of those with a very sensitive nose, so I am definitely drawn to people who have the hint of something delicious. Nothing too sweet or too overpowering, but just a whisper that can made me think of some new experience I’ve yet to have. And I am always open to new combinations of perfumes that take me to foreign lands and exciting new passions.

Now let’s pop over to Clair Brett and hear about her favorites…

Clair Brett https://www.clairbrett.com/blog-1

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. Thanks so much for joining us. It means so much! And we hope you are staying healthy!

I came up with this week’s challenge:

It’s picnic time. Share your favorite picnic recipe.

Okay, so who doesn’t love deviled eggs? Here’s my recipe and it’s always a favorite:

4 eggs (more or less depending on how many you’re feeding)

Salt

Mayonnaise

Spicy mustard

Paprika

Cilantro (a few sprigs)

2-3 Bacon strips, cooked and broken into pieces

Place the eggs in a saucepan and add several generous shakes of salt. (It helps keep the eggs from cracking during cooking). Cover with cold water and set on high heat. As soon as the water boils, reduce heat to medium (water should continue to boil) and time for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse under cold running water. Refrigerate 4-6 hours.

Take the cold eggs and tap each end on a hard surface, then roll them until the shells are cracked and then peel them. Rinse to make sure all bits of shell are gone. Dry and cut in half. Spoon the yolks into a small bowl and press with a fork until they are in tiny bits. Slowly add mayonnaise and stir until the mixture is smooth, then stir in about a teaspoon of the spicy mustard. Mix. Scoop evenly into egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika, then put a leaf of cilantro on top and add a piece of bacon. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Now let’s pop over to the incredible A.S. Fenichel and see what she brings to the picnic. But first, check out her first book in the “Demon Hunters” series titled

“Ascension” – It’s fabulous and FREE!!!!!

https://books2read.com/u/3LRplX

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our Tuesday hop. Thanks so much for joining us. We love when you’re here! And we hope you’re staying safe!

This week’s challenge comes for the amazing Jenna Da Sie:

FLASH FICTION Write about someone who unexpectedly comes into $20,000 and include the detail: a small black notebook.

It was her little secret. Every week since high school, Elise had put some money into a savings account. Sometimes just a dollar, sometimes more. She recorded the deposits in her small black notebook, but never added up the amounts.

In a month from today she would be thirty years old and she desperately needed a vacation. A nice vacation. Fearing she couldn’t afford it, she suddenly remembered her savings account. Digging out her notebook and a calculator, she was genuinely shocked to see the total: $20,000.00! She wanted to scream, shout from the roof. She hadn’t even missed that money all these years and here it was like a special birthday gift.

She spent the next week traveling the world on her computer and finally decided on Jamaica. There was an all-inclusive, very elegant resort there that offered a private pool, snorkeling and hiking and shopping and great food. A vacation dreams are made of.

Booking her flight and reservations, a surge of pleasurable anticipation energized her. She bought some new clothes, made arrangements for her neighbor to feed her cat, and she was ready. The hardest part was waiting until it was time to go.

Finally, she was boarding the plane and claiming her seat in first class. Wiggling into the plush leather, she looked up when a deep man’s voice caught her attention.

“Excuse me.” He pointed to the seat beside her.

“Of course.” Moving her legs to allow him access, she couldn’t help but notice how attractive he was. Late thirties, dark hair and the most amazing blue eyes. He slipped off his jacket and his muscles made her break into a sweat. And no wedding ring.

“Hi, I’m Bill.”

“Elise.”

“Business or pleasure?”

“Pleasure.” Starting now. And who says money can’t buy happiness.

Now let’s pop over to the fabulous Jenna Da Sie and read what she does with her new-found money…

https://jennadasie.com

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday! Thanks so much for joining us! It means so much!

I came up with this week’s challenge:

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Well, this is an easy one. I would be my pup, Josie.

She’s beautiful and sweet and funny. Everyone she meets loves her. She gets to nap most of the day, usually in a pool of sunlight or on the couch. She has plenty to eat, fresh water to drink and treats. Her toys are everywhere and she plays with them all. And at night, she has her choice between the big bed where her humans sleep or the cool tile floor. And there are the belly rubs and ear scratches which are a regular entertainment.

Then, there are the two or three daily walks around the neighborhood to greet the neighbors and her boyfriends: Bruce, the giant schnauzer, Teddy the Cavachon and Sport, the Heinz 57. They wear themselves out playing and talking about the humans.

Josie lives in a house that’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter. She is surrounded by love and only has a few basic rules, like don’t potty in the house and no human food. She is not happy about the last rule, but since her tummy is always full, she really can’t complain too much.

She doesn’t have to earn any money and since she’s only six months old, she doesn’t have any responsibilities. So really, life is good.

Josie believes she is the one who really writes my books and I just channel her ideas. I don’t think so, but with an ego that intact, she could rule the (puppy) world.

Now let’s hop over to the fabulous Jenna Da Sie and see what kind of animal she would be….

https://jennadasie.com

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Thanks for joining us today. It means so much! We hope you are staying well!

I came up with this week’s challenge:

What is your favorite spring flower and why? Is it the scent? A memory?

It’s true that I love all spring flowers. The delicate scent of the daffodil and its wonderful bright yellow promises the sunshine to come. The shy crocuses with their purples and whites peeking up always make me smile. And there are so many other blooms that push their way to the sky, reveling in the new warmth and light and bathing in the soft rain.

But one flower in particular defines spring for me: the gardenia. Hiding in the bright green of its bush, its white a sharp contrast, each bloom is like a little gift. When you pick it, the scent is absolute heaven. So sweet and fresh without being cloying. I have never smelled any perfume that could duplicate it.

The blossoms show up in the spring and they seem very fragile, but if you put one in water, it will send the glorious fragrance gently into any room for a few days.  

Gardenias smell like weddings and garden parties and happiness. When people say ‘take time and smell the roses’, I prefer to inhale the scent of a gardenia. I’m not certain if my love of this flower comes from a memory, but I don’t think it matters. It gives me joy. And I think I value it all the more since it comes and goes so quickly and only, at least here, in the spring.

Now let’s hop over and see which flower is the choice of the fabulous Jenna Da Sie…

https://jennadasie.com

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. Thanks so much for joining us!

This week’s challenge comes from the amazing A.S. Fenichel:

FLASH FICTION How about 500 words and the prompt is “first kiss.” Give us a short and sexy first kiss.

            Gabriel was in love with Rebecca and she just told him she intended to marry someone else.  She made it clear she did not love the other man, but circumstances were forcing her hand. His heart cracked open and he bled, then bound the wound with determination. Knowing he would move heaven and earth to prevent the wedding, he had to think of a way to convince her to change her mind. Gabriel reached over and pulled her closer. She lifted her head and her delicious mouth was too close to ignore. Unable to resist, he pressed his lips against hers. She tasted like strawberries and springtime and all conscious thought left him. All he could think was ‘more’—he needed more. Her passionate response told him she felt the same way about him, even if she wouldn’t or couldn’t admit it.

            Remembering he was a gentleman, he forced sanity to replace his need for her. He had sampled women in his time, but it was never anything like this. He knew he would never get enough of this woman. Her honey sweetness permeated his soul.

            Pulling back, he met her gaze and looked deep into her eyes. They were bright with surprise and confusion and yes, desire. She pressed her fingertips to her lips.

            “Forgive me,” he offered.

            He expected outrage or at least embarrassment. “Forgive you?” she definitely sounded confused. “No. Actually I would like for you to do that again.” A deep blush pinked her cheeks. “It was my first kiss and so much better than I imagined.

            His heart leapt. “It was and you would?”

            “Oh, yes,” she responded, leaning back in to him and pressing close.

            Instantly, he obliged, this time deepening the kiss and moving his tongue between her lips. Her response was heated, almost demanding. Their tongues danced and played and it was all he could do not to go further. The kiss ended and now her blush set her cheeks afire. “I am so brazen. Please don’t ever tell anyone.”

            He nearly laughed. “It will be our little secret.”

Now let’s pop over to the talented Brenda Margriet and read her flash fiction. But first, you have to read her latest release. It is wonderful!

https://amzn.to/3g3bUI1

https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Welcome to our hop and thanks so much for joining us. Hope you are staying safe!

This week’s challenge comes from Clair Brett:

Give us a glimpse into your “process” are you a pantser/plotting/hybrid, night owl writer/early morning, etc.

Usually about three in the morning, I wake up with some revelation about a character I’m writing. I slip back to sleep after repeating the idea several times so I remember it. When it’s time to get up, I have coffee, and take a shower. And, when the hot water is reviving me, the idea gets more dimensional and exciting because of all the possibilities it had inspired.

Then, I sit down at the keyboard and write. My stories are character driven and it is the characters that decide how the story will go. I give them free rein with just some basic parameters. So, that pretty much makes me a pantser.

I have tried plotting, but it never holds true. The story takes on a life of its own and I have to go with it.

In the “Dance” series, there were only supposed to be three books: the stories of three of the women. But Grace, their friend, kept nagging until I wrote her story, too.

Now that may sound a little crazy, but if the characters I write aren’t real to me, how can I expect them to ring true to my readers?

I don’t think it matters how a writer writes or what their “process” is. What is important is the story and the people in that story that drive it.

Speaking of great writing, you have to read the fabulous Brenda Margriet’s latest:

“Richly Deserved”

https://amzn.to/3dt7iYI

Now let’s pop over and read about her “process”…

Brenda Margriet https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog