Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. So happy you could join us! Hope your day is going great!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Writers are readers, too! Who are your one-click authors? What was your favourite book of 2022?

Truth be told, I have a lot of one-click authors. And I love discovering new authors, which I try to do all the time. Some of the best books written every year are by writers who don’t have the benefit of marketing to get the word out about their books.

If I have to narrow it down, here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

Sarah Andre               Kathleen Woodiwiss

Nikki Brock                Beverly Jenkins

Xio Axelrod                Rachel Caine

Vanessa Riley             Lisa Regan

Kristan Higgins          Susanna Kearsley

Tess Gerritsen

Brenda Margriet

And lots and lots of others.

But the winner, in my opinion, for 2022, has to be Stephen King’s “Fairy Tale”. Definitely a departure from many of his previous works, I found I couldn’t put it down. Of course he is a master of the written word and even if horror isn’t your genre, you might want to check out this one.

And speaking of checking things out…

Let’s hop over to the wonderful and talented Brenda Margriet and read about her favorites.

But first…

He’s a concert cellist. She’s a construction worker. When sparks fly between them, all bets are off.

ALLEGRO COURT, Book One in the Bendixon Sisters Series, is available for FREE!

Marcus Temple escaped his despised birthplace, driven by his passion for music. Now a sophisticated, world-class cellist, he must return when his mother suffers a severe stroke. Going back also means dealing with the woman whose heart he broke when he left—Mattie Bendixon.

More comfortable in overalls than orchestra seats, Mattie’s childhood dreams were simple—working for her grandfather’s construction company and building a life with Marcus. His ambitions forced her to abandon one goal, and now her beloved company is also under threat.

Mattie thinks she sees a way to save Bendixon and Sons—if she can convince Marcus to stay in his hated hometown for one month. All she has to risk is her heart.

https://books2read.com/AllegroCourt

https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

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Romance Writers Weekly

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Hey, there. Happy Tuesday! Thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate you!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What is your favorite kind of weather? Does it inspire your writing?

The perfect day is 78 degrees and sunny, with a light breeze. Luckily, I live in Florida, so this kind of day comes more often than in most other places. When I open the window, the wind carries the scent of new-mown grass and flowers and, since I live away from a major city, a minimum of pollution. Yep – perfect.

Does it inspire my writing? Maybe. It makes me feel good, positive, and that is always a plus in any endeavor.

The good news about rainy days is they don’t make me feel as if I am missing something outside.

Truth be told, all my inspiration comes from within. Once I start writing a story, it doesn’t really matter what’s going on around me or outside. My office has a window and it’s nice to be able to look out and see sunshine, but it doesn’t make any difference, because when I am writing, it takes all of my focus. Time flies as I imagine exotic places and wonderful, multi-faceted characters.

It’s sunny today and a little too cold to be perfect, but I don’t care. I’m about to go back to 1562 Scotland and there’s definitely about to be some crisis that needs resolving.

_________________

Now let’s hop over to the fantastic and talented Brenda Margriet and find out out the weather influences her. But first…

You have to enter this contest! It’s too good to miss…

Enter to win a brand new e-reader and 40 steamy contemporary romances!

Includes Brenda’s holiday fling, fish out of water, tattooed multicultural hero No Life But This.

All you have to do is follow Brenda and other participating authors on Bookbub. The more you follow, the more entries you receive. Contest ends January 18!

https://www.booksweeps.com/giveaway/january23-win-a-bundle-of-steamy-contemporary-romance/

https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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We’re back! Hope you had glorious holidays and are ready to start the new year! Thanks for joining us! It really means so much!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Have you stuck to it so far?

2022 was a very difficult year for many of us, me included. I have to admit I was demoralized for a while and basically stopped writing. Which was not the best solution. Writing is wonderful and takes me to places I can’t go any other way. I can create realities and people and experience so many different things. It makes me realize there’s a big world out there, filled with all kinds of personalities and situations and it lifts me out of the small world we can all shrink into.

So I have put my butt back in the chair and started back working on books Number Seventeen and Eighteen. Yes, I tend to write two simultaneously. They are both romance, but different genres, and so easy to keep them separate. One is time travel to 1562 Scotland – so fun. And the other is a sequel to “Murder Most Notorious”: different crimes, same detectives.

Instead of dwelling on my own problems, I can focus on the characters’. And plots and resolutions. So much more interesting and entertaining.

So, my resolution is to keep writing every day, even if it’s only a few words. And so far, I have stuck to it and I am so much happier.

Now let’s hop over to the fabulous Jenna Da Sie and hear about her resolutions…

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Thanks for taking the time out of your holiday preparations to join us. We really appreciate it!!!!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Flash Fiction – stockings, gingerbread, lamppost. Go!

I don’t know what it is about the smell of gingerbread baking that conjures the holidays, but it always makes me think of multicolored bright lights and stockings hung over the fireplace and Santa. Not that I really ever had those things. This time of year holds no memories of family or tradition, but when I dream about the perfect celebrations, I can imagine all kinds of beautiful, wonderful things. The inner child hovering beneath the surface.

I think I would like to have been born at a time when a man went around the streets and lit lampposts while carriages trotted by, carrying people dressed in their finery, off to some fancy party.

Tonight, however, I have agreed to go to a gathering of a few friends and toast the upcoming season. Not looking forward to it, since reality is so much less wonderful than the images I see when I close my eyes. I, nevertheless, refuse to be the party pooper. I will go and have a good time. Or so I tell myself.

My friend’s house is definitely decorated for Christmas and I happen to know she hired a designer, but it was worth the money. The place is magical. The catered food looks inviting and the wine sparkles, so I grab a glass and slowly sip as I take it all in, trying desperately to get in the holiday spirit.

“From your expression, I can only guess you are trying really hard.”

The voice behind me is deep and warm. I turn and press my lips together, suppressing a gasp at how attractive this man is.

He smiles and the lights around us are outshone. Holding out his hand, he says “I am Joseph.”

I can’t resist. “Don’t you have a pregnant wife somewhere?”

“That was years ago. My work there is done.”

Good looking and quick-witted.

“You’re not going to believe this, but my name is…Mary.”

“Of course it is.”

Sometimes Destiny just steps in and refuses to let you go through the holidays as Scrooge. Thank you, Destiny.

Now let’s hop over to the fabulous PG Forte and read her story…

But first…

AVAILABLE NOW! 

Light Up the Night

A Children of Night/Ugly Christmas Sweater Story

Her love will light up his night. If they can both survive that long. 

Heather is having the worst Christmas ever! Or, at least, the worst Christmas since she was forced to become a vampire. Her sire’s distracted, her nestmates have forgotten her, weirdos have taken over the lair. The only bright spot in her life right now is Drew–who didn’t even used to like her! She knows he’s fond of her now, but that’s not good enough. She wants more. She wants everything. She wants him. And she’s not giving up. 

Drew Geiger gave up on love a long time ago. Such tender emotions have no place in a vampire’s heart. But, somehow, the girl he once described as a “feral kitten” has got her claws in him, and she’s not letting go. That would be fine, if only someone didn’t want her dead–and if her sire didn’t recall that it was Drew who once suggested that maybe she’d be better off that way.

https://books2read.com/u/m0En1l

http://rhymeswithforeplay.blogspot.com/

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our hop. At this so busy time of year, it is very kind of you to join us and we appreciate it!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What is the one dish or treat you can’t do without during the holiday season? If you make it yourself, share the recipe.

I’ve never had any family holiday traditions, and neither my mother nor my grandmother could cook, so each year my husband and I are free to choose whatever we like for Christmas dinner. We don’t have people coming to visit and no expectations, which is the good news. Lots less stress.

But one thing I really do enjoy is making all kinds of cookies and giving them as presents. I also make a very rich fudge this time of year which, I am told, people look forward to. Here is that recipe:

Ingredients:

1-1/3 cups granulated white sugar

1 (7oz) jar of marshmallow crème

2/3 cup evaporated milk

¼ cup butter

¼ cup chocolate liqueur (like Mozart, Godiva or Kahlua)

¼ tsp. salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) (optional)

Line a 9×13 pan with waxed paper or tin foil. In large, deep saucepan combine sugar, marshmallow crème, milk, butter, liqueur, and salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Now – this is the most important part. Stir constantly for five full minutes (any less and the fudge will not set). Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted. Add vanilla and nuts. Pour into 9×13 pan and refrigerate until firm (about 4 hours). Peel off waxed paper or foil and cut into small squares. (It’s super rich!)

I hope your holidays are as sweet as this fudge!!!!

Now let’s pop over to the fabulous Jill Haymaker and get her favorite recipe.

But first – check this out!!!!

Pre-order Montana Pines Summer Love now. Book Two in the Montana Pines Series. It’s never too late to start over.

WENDY THOMPSON, manages the Pine Meadows Resort in the mountains near the small town of Pine Meadows, Montana. She’s lived at the resort her entire life, inheriting the manager job from her late father. She’s always been too busy to waste time looking for romance. She’s content to live her life with only her small Australian shepherd, Chase, to keep her company on cold mountain nights. Millionaire Real Estate mogul, BRYCE BUFFINGTON, just inherited Buffington Properties from his father. From his high rise office in downtown Boston, he struggles to decide which of their worldwide properties to liquidate. Most obvious solution? Sell the small Montana resort to help with the expenses of the larger ones in Paris and London. When Bryce embarks on a trip to Pine Meadows Resort to assess its value, he finds Wendy to be not at all what he expected. She’s so much more, with her sparkling personality, wholesome good looks, and positive outlook on life. As the attraction between the two of them sizzles, both must decide where their true priorities lie. Can they take a chance on love or will the distance between them prove to be too great of an obstacle? Find your home in Pine Meadows, Montana-where everyone feels like family.

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy after Thanksgiving Tuesday. Hope your holiday was wonderful! And thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate it!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever googled in the name of research for your writing?

All I have to say is I hope the cops never check my search history. There are so many things I’ve researched over the years that would definitely cause a raised eyebrow or two. Some fact-checking is obvious, like historical dates and people. But, other things, like how to kill someone with cyanide, might be considered suspicious. But I had a very good reason. One of my characters in “The Jester’s Dance” is being poisoned and I had to figure out what would work in the 1600’s and be readily available.

The answers is peach pits and almonds, when burned, can definitely be toxic.

I also write about serial killers and, in order to make the story accurate, it takes a lot of digging (no pun intended). And some of the data is surprising and adds to the book. For an outsider looking in, however, it might be unnerving.

Some of my other research is more ‘tame’, like kidnapping and identity theft and how to fake county records. But, overall, accuracy counts. There is nothing worse than reading a novel and having some incorrect information take the reader out of the story. So I will keep Googling and hope no authorities hack into my computer, since looking these things up is really only for the sake of accuracy in my stories. Honest!

Now let’s hop over to the wonderful Jenna Da Sie and check out her Google history.

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our hop. It’s almost Thanksgiving – are you ready? Hope you have a wonderful one! Thanks so much for taking the time to join us. We do appreciate you!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Where do you write? Do you need to be in the same place all the time or do you move around? Share photos if you like.

I have this romantic image of sitting outside under a tree or at the beach and writing the great American novel. The reality, however, is that is simply not practical. Here in Florida, the palm trees don’t really offer much shade and the sun can be fierce. And although I love the beach, the sand would be murder on my laptop.

So, I stick with my upstairs office. In fact, I have lived in three different houses since I started to write novels, and I’ve had an upstairs office in all three. I have a U-shaped desk that is filled with Post-it notes and a window off to the side that offers lovely early morning light. I do most of my work in the morning – always have.

The great part of this familiar place is that I can write undisturbed (well, most of the time – I do have a husband, after all, who has trouble finding things around the house) and I have my constant companion. I simply couldn’t work without her. She is my creative support puppy and I am sure she believes she is also my true inspiration. Possible.

She is usually at my feet unless she is reading.

I have funny and inspirational sayings around, like: “It takes courage not to be discouraged” and “What does a thesaurus eat for breakfast – a synonym roll”. And, of course , a calendar with pictures of shirtless Australian firefighters for motivation.

Nora Roberts said (and I paraphrase) – ‘Sit your butt in the chair and write’. And here, in this space, that is exactly what I do.

Now, let’s pop over to the fantastic Jenna Da Sie and hear about her writing place(s).

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hi and welcome! Hope your week is starting out great! And thanks so much for joining us!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What’s special about your books? What makes you stand out? Tell us about it and share a snippet or two.

Talking about myself is hard, especially when it comes to something like this. But I did have a friend say I come up with the most original ideas. Now that’s a good thing and a bad thing. I love the idea of being unique, but it also means I’m not mainstream, not as commercial. I guess that’s okay with me, because I have stories to tell and I can only tell them my way.

An example is “The Dream Dancer”. It is an historical, but my heroine can enter the dreams of others and persuade them.

            “The thought whispered that she could use her gift on this man. Ever impatient, she counseled herself to try and be patient. Her giggling companions knew nothing of Bryce’s abilities and she was glad. King James and Queen Anne were especially horrified at the thought of the occult. Of course, Bryce knew she wasn’t a witch. She merely possessed a talent. Maybe others had it, as well, and were as reluctant to discuss it as she. Deep down, she was terrified that someone would discover her secret and construe it as evil. That would mean a trial and a horrible death. Bryce shivered at the thought.”

There is also “Bound to Morocco”, where the heroine is kidnapped, to be taken to the Sultan’s harem, only to fall in love with her kidnapper.

“Another man approached as they reached the deck. His face was outlined by the sun and she had to squint to discern his features. He stepped slightly to the side and her mouth opened in surprise.  Here was clearly the master of this vessel. He held himself with such confidence and moved with an animal grace. He is a pirate. Then this must be a pirate ship. The thought came unbidden and she shivered. Well, he certainly was some kind of miscreant. Not that she had ever been in the company of such a man, but she had read books about them. This must be what they looked like. Dark, mysterious and—so handsome.”

And I like to think my romantic suspense books are a little different, too. With lots of twists. And so much passion!  “Payback” is based on a real serial killer, except I changed the perp to a woman instead of a man. “Once Upon a Tablecloth” is this: what if a Gordon Ramsey type fell in love with a restaurant owner whose life was in danger?

But, enough about me. Let’s check out the work of the fantastic Brenda Margriet. But first…

The NEVER TOO BUSY Anthology releases TOMORROW!

What’s that saying? Never too busy for love?

The characters in this limited-edition anthology have been—until they come across the Never Too Busy Dating app.  It caters to professionals thirty-years of age and older and promises to match them with the person of their dreams. After all, workaholics deserve a happily ever after, too. 

Enjoy sultry, sexy stories featuring strong female leads and their determined partners in this brand-new collection!

Are you too busy for love?

Get it today for the special release week price! (Amazon, Kobo, Google, Apple, and Nook)

https://books2read.com/NeverTooBusy

https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. Thanks so much for joining us. We really appreciate it!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What’s your favourite DIY or life hack?

Given the choice, I will always do it myself. For example, I’m in the process of painting the inside of our house from a dull, out-of-style brown to a light-hearted ivory. It’s making a huge difference!

I have two special DIY’s. The first is sewing. I’m no genius, but I do manage to make most of my own clothes. And believe it or not, it’s a process that helps me write.

First, I get to choose fabric, color, and design. Sitting at my sewing machine, listening to the calming whirring of the motor, my brain is free to solve plot problems, develop characters and figure out troublesome issues.

Making jewelry is my other DIY. I love bling and I don’t have unlimited resources, so I learned to make my own. I look for semi-precious gemstones at craft fairs, on Ebay, or just in Google searches. Then I make earrings and necklaces and bracelets. They are nice gifts for my friends and I love the variety I have. And this, too, helps me focus on my writing since it is a very peaceful hobby. And glittery.

Clearly, there are things that I just don’t do well and have to pass them off to someone more skilled. Luckily, my husband is an engineer and can build or fix anything. Between us, we manage to be pretty self-sufficient.

Now, let’s pop over to the fantastic Jenna Da Sie and check out her DIY and life hacks….

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. So glad you could join us. Hope your Halloween was all treats and no tricks!

Here is this week’s challenge…

How do you stay creative? How do you feed your muse? What tips and tricks do you recommend to stay in the creative zone?

Years ago, I heard Nora Roberts speak at a writers’ conference and her advice has stuck with me. Paraphrasing, she said “there is no muse”. Writing is about doing a job. You sit your butt in the chair and you write. If you wait around for the creative inspiration to strike, you might wait a very long time. But if you do your job, the words come.

Now that does not mean that everything I write is brilliant. Hardly. Sometimes my best books have come out of my worst first drafts. But you cannot edit a blank page. So, based on the advice of one of the most prolific authors of our time, I sit my butt in the chair and I type. And the words come.

When I go back and re-read, sometimes I hit delete and sometimes I pat myself on the back. And sometimes I get another opinion. That’s why I would never publish without an editor to fine tune my story and fix my mistakes.

Now some days I can type five thousand words and some days only fifty. Some days I am happy with the work and some days not so much. But the creative process is about honoring the work and doing it.

Now let’s pop over to the wonderful Jenna Da Sie and find out about her creative zone.