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).

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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.

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday! Thanks so much for joining us. We love having you with us!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Time to get random. What’s in your fridge right now? No cheating!

Let me start by saying I am not a hoarder. Really, I am not. But I always have a full (to bursting) refrigerator (and freezer and pantry). I love to cook and being spontaneous is fun. So, I like having all the necessary ingredients to suit my cooking mood. But I also feel secure when my fridge is packed with good things to eat. Am I afraid of a disaster? Could a hurricane happen tomorrow? Possible. Or a zombie apocalypse? Unlikely. But you never know.

As for the actual contents: I have all kinds of salad dressings in the door. Olives, condiments, along with beer and wine. The top shelf is milk and coffee creamer and assorted jellies and whipped cream. The other shelves are stocked with salad fixings and bread and leftovers (yes, I always cook too much for one meal). And the drawers are filled with cheeses and lunchmeat and potatoes and celery, etc. And there is never a time when the shelves are lacking. There is always enough for at least a week’s worth of meals (if you include the freezer and pantry).

I think it was the way I was raised. No, we never went hungry and my mother never cooked. But the kitchen was always ready for anything. I learned to cook at a very young age (otherwise I might have starved if I had to depend on dear old mom). So, I encouraged having lots of stuff at hand. And it carried over into adulthood.

So there you have it. One of my quirks that I’ll probably never change.

Now let’s hop over to the fantastic Andie Fenichel and hear about her refrigerator. But first, you have to check this out!

Dragon Of My Dreams is NOW AVAILABLE on AMAZON

Dragon of My Dreams

Monster Between the Sheets series

Diego 

Being a dragon in a town filled with monsters isn’t so bad. A bunch of scales and wings isn’t the worst affliction to hit this town’s residents. However, I don’t like being alone or having people run away when they see me. And with more humans moving to town, that happens more and more. Most of the time, I keep to myself or with a select group of good friends who are also monsters. I sell my jewelry and rent space in my art gallery. It’s a dreary but acceptable way to live.

The moment Scarlett walks into my jewelry shop, she changes everything. Becomes my everything. I can tell that she’s hiding something, and I’m almost certain someone in her past hurt her. As a man and a dragon, that’s not something I can live with. Now that she’s entered my dragon’s lair, I’ll do anything to protect her.  

Scarlett 

I stumbled upon Screamer Woods by accident. The unique residents make it the perfect place to hide out from my ex. He may find me anyway—he has before—but this place is so far off the beaten path, it may take a while. In the meantime, I can sell some artwork and refill my coffers before I have to run again.

Seeing a vampire or a fairy doesn’t scare me. I know what a real monster is and does. Meeting Diego is an unexpected bonus. Too bad I’ll have to bolt soon. I could get used to the way Diego looks at me. The way he makes me feel. If only the monster in my past would stay away and let me live happily ever after with the dragon of my dreams.

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Welcome to our weekly hop and thanks so much for joining us! We really appreciate it!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Let’s share about ourselves! What are three things most people don’t know about you or your books?

  1. People often ask me where my inspiration comes from. Well, it never comes from a predictable place. For example, “The Dream Dancer” was inspired when I was working at three in the morning and imagined that most of the rest of the world was sleeping. And then I wondered what would happen if I could slip into their dreams…

“Bound to Morocco” was inspired by spending time in an ‘escape room’ where we were “shanghaied” on a boat to somewhere.

  • I make many of my own clothes. I could never find certain outfits or when I thought of cool designs that I wanted, so I learned to make them myself. Living in Florida, I need loose shifts with colorful prints, so I created an easy pattern and then shopped for fabrics.
  • Everyone who knows me knows I love my dog.

But what many don’t know is that before I wrote novels, I was a licensed veterinary technician. I did everything from emergency triage to assisting in surgery over eighteen years. I even participated in an ASPCA rescue operation of over 700 animals. And I am still available to my friends for advice.

Now, let’s pop over to the fabulous Brenda Margriet and learn more about her. But first…

NEVER TOO BUSY Anthology

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? 

Pre Order on Amazon, Kobo, Google, Apple, and Nook before it goes into Kindle Unlimited (and the price goes up) after release!

https://books2read.com/NeverTooBusy

https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our hop. Thanks so much for joining us! Hope your week is starting out great!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What are your goals for the next six or even 12 months? What books are you working on? What’s next for you?

I admit it. I have been a slacker when it comes to writing. I have started two books – one is a sequel to “Murder Most Notorious” and I have the plot and the characters and no excuse for not working on it.

The other is a fun time travel story and, again, the plot is there and the hero and heroine, and it’s coming along, but slowly.

Why haven’t I been writing every day? No, it’s not writer’s block. I think it’s just motivation. Happens sometimes. There are other things to do every day and I just let them get in the way.

There have been years when I write three books, or two, sometimes one. And last year I did the “Love in the Mix” Cookbook for Proliteracy (actually, you should check it out!), as well as “Stay With Me” and “Murder Most Notorious”.

But since then, yep, slacking.

I love to write and I’m not really happy unless I’m doing it every day, so I am going to get back to it as soon as I can. Today! Or maybe tomorrow!

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

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome! Time for another hop and we’re so glad you took the time to join us!

Here is this week’s challenge:

Flash Fiction – Let’s celebrate the equinox. Write a scene set in Autumn using the words Leaf, water, and coffee. Try to keep it to 500 words.

Walking into the Autumn harvest festival was like walking into a glorious Etsy shopping mall. Handmade, incredibly beautiful crafts beckoned from everywhere the eye could see. And the event was held next to the river, the water winking diamonds in the morning light. Perfect.

Stepping up to a food truck, she ordered coffee and sipped it slowly, savoring the richness of the brew as she strolled from booth to booth. There was magic here and seeking it made for a wonderful day.

Across the way, a man, tall, blond and incredibly attractive, walked with a woman, his arm slung casually across her shoulders as they, too, examined the myriad of choices. Why can’t he be single? The good ones never are. Because they’re the good ones.

The hours passed pleasantly as she wound her way around the stalls, looking, touching, admiring. About to give up the quest for that one special find, a flash caught her eye. Reverently, she approached the booth. In the center of the offerings was a sculpture of a leaf supported by a metal peg. Small, it nonetheless embodied everything she loved about this season. Copper, tones of yellow and orange and red glimmered on the surface and the bent corner suggested an unseen breeze. It was one of those pieces that explained why people love art.

“Do you like it?”

Looking up, it was the man she had seen earlier. Even more appealing close up.

“It’s beautiful.”

“Thanks. My sister and I made it.” He indicated the woman he’d been walking with who was now sitting behind him. My sister.

She loved the piece even more now.

Biting her lip, she smiled. “How much?”

“For a beautiful woman who appreciates our work, I’ll make it yours.”

It was definitely the perfect way to start the season.

Now let’s hop over to the fantastic Jenna Da Sie and read her flash fiction…

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday! We are so happy you took the time to join us!

Here is this week’s challenge:

What are you reading now and why did you choose it?

I am a romance writer and mostly I read within my own genre. But Stephen King is such an incredible wordsmith that I also take the time to read his books. In fact, it was “Salem’s Lot” that made me want to be a writer in the first place. It opened up the possibilities of telling stories that would come alive and creating characters that breathed.

His latest, “Fairy Tale”, is my current read and I am impressed, as usual. He breaks ‘the rules’ so effectively, I feel as if I am actually listening to Charlie Reade tell me his story. Mr. King’s use of language is amazing and reading his work is an absolute education in ‘voice’.

I am generally not a fan of horror, but his writing is far and away so skilled, I am drawn in to the story even if the subject matter is not my first choice. Am I his ‘Number One Fan”? No. But I am a fan and I am grateful when I am able to read a master at work.

Now let’s hop over to the wonderful Jenna Da Sie and see what she’s reading…

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hey there and welcome. Thanks for joining us! We’re very glad you’re here and we hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday.

Here is this week’s challenge:

What is the hardest part for you in writing?

Hemingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed,”.

Writing is hard. Reaching into your soul and pulling out your deepest emotions and then translating them to the page. But like anything worth doing, it never promised to be easy.

And, for me, the hardest part is after the book is written and needs to be marketed. I love the process of writing, every gut-wrenching minute of it. I am happy when my characters come to life and when I have described places that take shape and make me believe I am actually there. I get nervous when the story presents dangers for my heroes and heroines and I thrill when the solution is found and they can be safe once again. I love the happily ever after.

When the first draft goes to the editor, I worry that I haven’t done my job. When it comes back to me mostly intact, I enjoy making the edits that strengthen my story. When I get the final cover, I am so excited.

Then comes the marketing. Should I use social media or websites? Should I use Amazon and find keywords? Newsletters? Everything? Am I ever doing enough? Should I get an assistant?

And when my readers buy the book, will they like it?

Yes, writing is hard , but selling it is harder.

Now let’s hop over to the wonderful Jenna Da Sie and read about the most difficult part for her.