Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and welcome to this week’s hop. We are so glad you’re here! The challenge this time comes from the incredible Brenda Margriet:

Do you like to travel? If so, do you have a favorite place? Also – do you incorporate places you’ve visited into your novels.

I used to love to travel. In fact, I was a gypsy. I have lived in twelve states and visited many more. I have been to Mexico and Europe and the Caribbean. I loved each and every one for different reasons, but mostly how welcoming people are in most places in the world. Especially if you try to speak their language and adapt to their customs.

The settings in my books definitely reflect where I have been and what I have experienced there. Sometimes, the locations are a compilation of actual experience and research. But traveling, whether in real life, or in my imagination, is always exciting. Actually, my latest book is set right here where I live.

A year ago, we moved to Florida and it is pretty perfect here. Oh, a little hot and muggy in the summer, but overall, wonderful. And so I find I am more of a homebody these days. I wake up and look out onto the canal which runs behind my house and there is such peace. And so many kinds of creatures: alligators, ibis, herons, turtles — the list goes on and it’s wonderful to watch (and no, the alligators luckily can’t get past our sea wall).

One of these days, I imagine I’ll get the wanderlust again, but until then, as Dorothy said in “The Wizard of Oz” —‘there’s no place like home’.


Now let’s pop over to the fabulous Brenda Margriet and hear about her travels…

Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it! This week’s challenge comes from the wonderful A.S. Fenichel:

Two weeks into the New Year…tell me the good, the bad and the ugly. How were your holidays?

This year has definitely been interesting. First, I have to say I am always happy when the holidays are over. I find them incredibly stressful and I like the status quo.

But this year was more stressful then most. On Christmas Eve, members of Romance Writers of America were notified that Courtney Milan had been censured for having an opinion. This decision was immediately reversed, but the damage was done. The rest of the holiday was spent reading and writing emails. Alternating between fury, rage, sadness and—did I mention rage?  And watching RWA virtually self-destruct (and rightfully so) because so many terrible things happened within the organization. (Too numerous to list).

Like many of my fellow writers, I seek refuge in books, both reading and writing. I have completed about half of my latest WIP (a romantic suspense) and I will keep going. As for RWA – well, I don’t know.

In the meantime, you should check this out from Brenda Margriet:


MOUNTAIN FIRE, a romantic suspense set in Northern British Columbia, is 99 cents until January 15th only. Available at all e-retailers for a limited time.
A mountaintop mystery leads two conservationists to dangerous obsessions and violent passions.

Now let’s hop over to Brenda and hear about her first two weeks in the year…

Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and Happy New Year! Welcome to our hop and thanks for joining us. This week’s challenge comes from the amazing Elizabeth Schechter:

“New Year, Who Dis?” — New Year’s plans and resolutions

I guess my first resolution is obvious: write more. I really want to finish my WIP (already halfway there) and I have several other ideas I would like to explore.

Some of the activities I had planned have been changed, but I still want to work on listening more and being more responsive. Sometimes, I fail to broaden my focus and that can be detrimental. In fact, I get on my husband all the time for ‘not listening’. I need to work on that, too.

I have also resolved to not be so naïve. You’d think I would have learned that by now, but some things have come to light recently that make me aware I am too trusting. Which doesn’t mean I should build walls. I just need to open the windows more and let in other ideas and possibilities; look behind the curtain and see what’s going on backstage.

I would also like to be part of the positive change, both in the world and in my writing community. I’m thinking that might take up some real time, but that’s okay.

Oh, and pet my dog more. You can never get enough unconditional love. That is, it’s unconditional as long as we go to the dog park every day!

Again, Happy New Year and may all your resolutions be remembered throughout the year.

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Now let’s hop over to the fabulous A.S. Fenichel and learn about her plans and resolutions…

Romance Writers Weekly



Hello, happy holidays, and welcome to our hop. We are always so glad when you take the time to join us! I came up with this week’s challenge:

What do you really want for Christmas?

I’m afraid that so much of Christmas has become about outspending and outdoing, rather than loving and sharing.

I am very lucky. I have a new puppy I love, a nice house, plenty to eat…and lots of shoes. I have a good man as my husband and enough money to buy the things I need. So, what do I want this year? It’s going to sound really tacky, I suppose, but I want peace on earth. I want everyone to stop worrying about getting more and appreciating what they have. I want anger to diminish and kindness to grow.

Going out shopping does not imbue me with the spirit of Christmas. I see these ads about loans this time of year, because people go into debt to buy more and better. And then they have to spend the rest of the new year (or years) paying back the money, only to repeat that next Christmas. That seems wrong. You don’t need money to give of yourself.

Is it really about what you can buy for everyone on your list? How about gifts of service instead? To me, making something or baking or helping out others is so much more about Christmas than how much you spend. I want my friends to know I love them and value them and so I want to give of myself, of my time. Because it feels good, and it feels right.

So for Christmas, I want a little more time, a little more energy and I want everyone to have a little more love.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas #2

Now, let’s pop over to the fabulous Brenda Margriet and see what she wants for Christmas…

Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and thanks for joining us for our hop. We’re so happy you’re here! This week’s challenge comes from the fabulous Jenna Da Sie:

Do you do a holiday cookie exchange? If so what cookies do you make? If you don’t what treats do you and your family make for the holidays?

First, let me apologize for my cranberry recipe. I am not sure what happened, but the Jello wouldn’t set properly. Apparently, it still tasted good and no one noticed it was a little thin. But, I have no doubt adding the sherry helped.

As for cookies…well, I don’t do a cookie exchange, but I do make cookies for my friends and neighbors. And I have discovered that Betty Crocker’s sugar cookie mix is awesome. It is so versatile and easy to use. You can add nuts or chips or flavors…the only limit is your imagination.

My favorite recipe (and this one has turned out right for years) is below:

Cran-Pistachio Cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1 box (4-serving size) pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix

¼ cup flour

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

2 eggs

1 cup dry-roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries, chopped

Mix cookie mix, pudding mix and flour in bowl. Stir in melted butter and eggs and mix until soft dough forms. Add pistachios and cranberries and mix well.

Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press with fingers to slightly flatten.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes and remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

(Note: I always double this recipe since these cookies are a favorite).

Happy, happy holidays! And don’t forget to make some time to read a book or two!

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Now, let’s pop over to the incredible Elizabeth Schechter and check out her cookie ideas…

Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and welcome to our hop. Thanks for taking the time to come by. We are so happy you’re here!

I came up with this week’s challenge:

Two days until Thanksgiving. Share your favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

I do like turkey and stuffing, but I think it’s the side dishes that make the meal great. That, and the company! So here is my favorite holiday dish. And the best part – it’s so easy.

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

1 box Cherry or Strawberry Jello (family size – 8-1/2 cup servings)

2 cups boiling water

1 cup cold water

1 cup dry sherry

2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce

1 can pineapple chunks or 1 can Mandarin oranges (drained)

2 cups pecans (optional)

Add 2 cups boiling water to Jello. Stir until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water and sherry. Stir well. Mix in the cranberry sauce and fruit and/or pecans.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours or until set.



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Now let’s hop over to the amazing Jenna Da Sie and get her favorite recipe…



Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and happy Tuesday. Thanks for joining us! This week’s challenge comes from the amazing Brenda Margriet:

Do you speak another language? If so, which one? If you don’t, is there a language you’d like to learn? How about your characters – do you write characters that speak different languages, and use that language in your stories?

It makes me sad to admit that years ago I was fluent in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Italian. But the old saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it” is so true. When I no longer had the opportunity to converse in those last three languages, the knowledge faded. These days, I can recognize only a few words of the foreign tongues. (I am still fluent in English. As far as I know.)

I have just finished writing the “Morocco” series and I wanted to make it authentic, so I researched many words and phrases in Arabic, so my characters could converse accurately.  It is a lyrical tongue and I enjoyed learning some of it. But it made me miss the other languages I used to speak and understand.

Language is so much a part of who we are and it always expands my horizons to experience how other countries communicate.

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Now, let’s hop over to the wonderful Clair Brett and find out about her languages…

Also, she has some very exciting news…Clair has a pre-order up for a book coming out on

Dec 3.  Can’t wait to read it!!!!

Clair Brett…/dp/B07ZFYYKR5