Romance Writers Weekly

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to our weekly blog. We hope this finds you safe and well. And thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it!

This week’s challenge is a Flash Fiction:

 Write 500 words and include Pickle, Letter and Looking glass.

Here goes…

The flea market was teeming with people this morning. The wares included everything from jars of pickled vegetables lined up like little soldiers to fresh produce that promised to add to any cuisine. There were antiques, some still decorated with the dust from the attic they had rested in until today. A small looking glass, framed with beautifully carved wood, caught the sunlight, and glittered seductively on one table. It had, no doubt, graced the hand of a lady long ago as she fluffed her hair. Teacups and lamps and other assorted items were spread out, hoping for a new home where they would be treasured.

But the thing that caught Celia’s eye was a packet of old letters, tied with a blue ribbon. They had to be ancient. No one wrote real letters anymore. The handwriting was faded on the top envelop and the sheer beauty of the hand drawn letters was magic. Tentatively, she reached out her hand and ran her finger along the edge of one.

 “Love letters,” a male voice said. “Written to my great grandmother,” 

Celia raised her gaze to meet sparkling hazel eyes and she nearly gasped. She was instantly attracted and her body tightened. She swallowed, then licked her lips. “How can you part with them?”

He smiled and her insides lit up.

“I don’t know anything about who sent them. They’re only signed with an initial. And that initial does not belong to my great grandfather. I found them in an old trunk and thought it might be nice to share them with someone who could appreciate them. Maybe write a book or something. You don’t happen to be an author or anything?”

Celia laughed. “As a matter of fact, I write…romance novels.”

He tilted his head. “Well, the market closes at five today and, if you’re up for it, maybe we could talk about a collaboration.”

Now let’s pop over to the fabulous A.S. Fenichel. But first, check out her incredible anthology, just released:

Barfy Clair

https://books2read.com/OnceUponATwelfthNight

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

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. These days are hard, but I hope you are all safe and well. Thanks for joining us!

This week’s challenge comes from the marvelous Caro Kinkead:

What’s your favorite “comfort” read and/or viewing?

Staying at home has dictated activities I would not normally pursue. Like..okay, I’ll admit it…binge watching TV shows that I didn’t have time to watch before this. There are some amazing series that I missed over the years and I am so happy to discover them.

The hard part is setting aside my phone and letting the email wait for an hour or so. I realized that I have trouble relaxing in general, so when I can find a storyline that catches my interest, I give in and it’s great. So far, lately, we’ve watched “Virgin River”, “Bloodline”, “Dead to Me” and “Damages”, but there’s a whole other line-up of shows that I’m anxious to check out. Unfortunately, there are those pesky responsibilities which interrupt. But I need to be grateful for that. I’m afraid that otherwise I might end up a permanent couch potato.

Now let’s hop over to Clair Brett and check out her comforts. But first, take a look at the new anthology from Clair and A.S. Fenichel:

Barfy Clair

https://books2read.com/OnceUponATwelfthNight

https://www.clairbrett.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Thanks for joining us this week. We hope you are all safe and well. I came up with this week’s challenge:

Summer and it’s hot. What is your favorite meal to cool off? Recipe please.

When it’s hot like this (and I live in Florida, so hot is really hot!), I love salads. You don’t have to turn on the oven and the fare is light, but filling. One of my favorites is chicken salad, since you can very the recipe as much as you like and it’s still pretty healthy. So here goes:

Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

¾ cup of chopped celery

Mayonnaise to taste (you can add a little spicy mustard)

Now for the fun part…add any or all that sound good…or use your imagination…

½ cup Craisins

½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts and almonds are my favorites)

¼ cup sliced Kalamata olives

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ – ½ cup cubed cheese (swiss or cheddar)

Bacon bits

1-2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Well, you get the idea. Then stir all together with the mayo and place in refrigerator for an hour or so to get it really cold. Enjoy.

And then, of course, some ice cream or sorbet for dessert.

And maybe escape to England while you eat. It is cooler there…

TDDancer_eBook_HiResEmmaDance_ebook_HIRES_JesterDance_eBook_PROOF5DanceTime_ebook_PROOF6

Now let’s hop over to the wonderful Caro Kinkead and get her recipe for keeping cool…

http://carokinkead.com/idliketoorder/

Romance Writers Weekly

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Happy Tuesday and welcome! We hope you are safe and well and we are always so happy when you join us!

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

Let’s go on a Travel Hop! Share the places and activities in the area around your home that you would recommend to someone visiting. Include photos and links so we can make future plans.

Living in Central Florida, I am about an hour and a half from Disney World and Universal, etc., but those are not the places I would recommend to my friends. Of course, those are many other great places in Orlando: SeaWorld and Discovery Cove and so many parks, but closer to me, the best attractions are the natural springs that are tucked away where you least expect them.

Take, for example, Blue Springs State Park.

Blue Springs

All year around, it is a natural gathering place for manatees. These are the huge creatures, also known as sea cows, that live in the water and breathe air, since they are actually mammals. They munch on vegetation and they are wonderful to watch, frolicking in the crystal water. In the spring months, you can see hundreds of them congregating here, since the water is a perfect temperature for them then.

We are on the edge of the Ocala National Forest, so of course there are lots of trees, but I love the natural springs. We also have Alexander Springs and the Glen, with brilliant blue clear water.

Perfect for swimming or snorkeling, they are wonders. Of course, alligators like them too, but they generally prefer to stay away from humans.

I have always liked natural wonders better than man-made, which is why I love it here. You should visit!

Now, let’s pop over to the amazing A.S. Fenichel and read about her travels. But first, check out this incredible must-read anthology…

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, text that says 'CHRISTINA ALEXANDRA CLAIR BRETT SOFIE DARLING A.S. FENICHEL CARRIE LOMAX ERICA TAYLOR TANYA WILDE NCE UPON A TWELFTH HAUTE ΤΟΝ READER SOCIETY NIGHT ANTHOLOGY'

www.books2read.com/OnceUponATwelfthNight

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to our hop. We hope you are staying safe and well! So glad you took the time to join us!

I came up with this week’s challenge:

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you want with you and why?

Three? I only get three? Who came up with that? Oh, I guess I did. Okay, then. How to choose? I guess I’ll pick the some of the books I’ve read more than once, since obviously they are read-again worthy.

First, I’d have to pick “The Hunger Games”. I love that story. It’s not a traditional romance, but it’s all about love: love between sisters, love between friends, love so necessary for survival in a world that tries to stifle humanity.

Next…It’s a hard choice, but I think I have to choose “Ashes in the Wind” by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It’s a romance set in the Civil War and it’s the one that inspired me to start writing romance. And after all that conflict, gotta love the happily ever after!

And last, but not least…I’d have to bring a Bible. If there’s one thing I’d need on a desert island, it’s the belief that there is a greater power watching over me. It would remind me to be thankful for what I have and give me hope in that old saying – it will all end happily and if it’s not happy, it’s not the end.

But if I could bring four (or a hundred) – but no, I decided on three. Of course, I could hope that when I was rescued, they’d bring more books for the ride home!

Now, let’s pop over to the incredible A.S. Fenichel and find out which three she would choose…But first…check out her Giveaway on Goodreads for one for her fabulous novels!!!!

Andrea book

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/308956-misleading-a-dukeI for Misleading A Duke

http://asfenichel.com/blog

 

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and thanks for joining us this week. We hope you are safe and well and we are grateful you’re here!

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

How do you choose your character’s names? Do you have a system, a book, an app or is it random?

Finding character names is always a challenge for me. I don’t want to re-use names, so I am constantly on the lookout for interesting choices. Sometimes I make them up, sometimes I meet people with unusual names. But, most of the time, I depend on Google. If I am writing an historical, I look for names from that period. I don’t want to choose a name that doesn’t make sense or pulls the reader out of the story. For example, I once had a female character I initially named Sherauthera. I have no idea where that name came from, but not only was it a tongue-twister, it was distracting. Yes, I changed it.

The process for me is like naming a new pet. You try out a bunch until one just feels right. (Just ask Annie).

Annie closeup (3)

In my latest WIP, I have a Gabriel and a Donovan, a Cassie and an Evelyn. And I just know they are all going to have a happily ever after.

In the meantime, you can read about Liza and Nash…

 

Now let’s hop over to the wonderful Caro Kinkead and see where she finds names…

http://carokinkead.com/whatsinaname/

 

 

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello. Happy Tuesday and welcome. Hope today finds you safe and well. Thanks for joining us! This week’s challenge comes from the remarkable Brenda Margriet:

What’s your favorite romance trope to read and/or write? Friends to Lovers? Marriage of convenience? Second chances?

Truth be told, I don’t have a favorite. I read across all genres and tropes. I don’t care where the conflict comes from, as long as it keeps me turning the page. I love unique characters and interesting situations and plots that seem new because the writing is so fresh.

As for my own writing, I prefer lovers brought together due to circumstances. An accidental meeting, a crossing of paths, always makes me think that fate has intervened to bring people together. I like that idea. Days pass and we all develop routines of one sort or another and then, suddenly, that is broken by a chance encounter. The sky opens up, the earth blooms and love is in the air. It reinforces my belief that no matter how bad things get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and that love is waiting there, basking in that light and smiling.

MNDie_eBook_PROOF2-2                     TDDancer_eBook_HiRes                 BoundMorocco_eBook_HighRes (2)

Now let’s hop over to the wonderful Jenna Da Sie and check out her favorites…

https://jennadasie.com

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s hop. We hope you are safe and well. Thanks for joining us. We’re always happy when you do!

I came up with this week’s challenge:

When you’re feeling down, what do you do to feel better?

I want the pain to stop- everyone’s pain. I wish someone could wave a  magic wand and stop hate and violence. But, since that’s not possible, the only thing I can do to feel better is to do whatever I can. I can offer help and love and fight for what’s right and I will. When I can reduce hate and make life more fair for everyone, even in a small way, my life improves.  When I have the opportunity, or can make the opportunity, to get rid of the discrimination and create a more equal playing field for all, I will do it. Because I don’t know about anyone else, but I will never feel better until we all feel better.

Now let’s pop over to the wonderful Caro Kinkead and read about her ways to feel better…

http://carokinkead.com/whenyoureweary/

 

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to this week’s hop. We hope you are staying well and safe. And we are very glad you decided to join us!

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

What inspires you? Do you or did you have a mentor, parent or friend who you credit with making you the person you are today? It doesn’t have to be a person: music, art….

I have great friends that I love and who are there for me and I couldn’t live without them. But for inspiration, I turn to books. Reading inspires me. During the tough times in my life, and there have been more than a few, it was books that saved me. In times when money was tight, I could spend an afternoon at a bookstore and get caught up in all the possibilities before making at least one perfect choice.

I read everything from Stephen King to Kathleen Woodiwiss and everything in between. I read biographies that encourage me and romances that take me to different times and places. I read horror to get my blood rushing and poetry to bring me peace.

It’s all there, between the pages. Goals, love, hope, overcoming conflict. Books have given me strength and taught me what’s important. Reading the words of others makes me feel less alone when I feel sad and shares my joy of life when I’m happy. And, you can turn to them at 3am without feeling guilty for waking them up.

opened book, lying on the bookshelf

Now let’s pop over to the amazing A.S. Fenichel and find out what inspires her…

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome our hop. Thanks so much for joining us. We do appreciate you! And we hope you are safe and well!

This week’s challenge comes from the wonderful Jenna Da Sie:

Besides the usual baking of cookies or treats, has anyone baked a really good loaf of bread? Do you have a special bread recipe from a loved one, or one that you’ve come up with yourself? Share your recipe!

Years ago, I had a breakfast catering company and each day I would make a different kind of sweet bread. One of my favorites has always been zucchini bread. It’s delicious, it’s healthy and there was always lots of zucchini growing in my summer garden. Here is the recipe:

2 cups sifted unbleached flour                                    1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ cup unsifted whole wheat flour                             ½ cup melted butter or oil

½ teaspoon salt                                                             2 teaspoons cinnamon

¾ cup white sugar                                                         ½ cup milk

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)            2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups finely grated zucchini (skin on)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan. Mix flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into loaf pan and bake about 50 minutes or until the loaf shrinks and it is slightly springy to the touch. Do not underbake. Test with a toothpick in the center; it should come out dry. Cool on a wire rack and do not slice before it is cool or it will crumble.

Enjoy!

And how about a good book while you snack?

BoundMorocco_eBook_HighRes (2)  Book One in the Morocco series

And it’s free!

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/379dxg5jap

Delicious!

Now let’s pop on over to the incredible Clair Brett and see what she’s cooking.

https://www.clairbrett.com/blog