Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy Tuesday. Welcome to our weekly blogging and thanks so much for joining us. Hope you all are staying well.

Here is this week’s challenge:

Bucket List – Create a bucket list of the places you want to visit, the new experiences you want to try, or the goals you want to achieve before reaching a certain age or before you kick the bucket. 😉

This pandemic has found me entrenched in my home and rather unwilling to leave it. Inertia does that. But it hasn’t stopped my dreams. So here’s my list:

  1. Spend the night in a haunted house  (nice ghosts only please).
  2. Take a walking tour of Ireland and Scotland and visit castles. Maybe even spend the night.
  3. Write more and better books.
  4. Visit London again and take some time to travel around the countryside of England.
  5. Go to Morocco and Egypt and Greece and soak up history.
  6. Go to the Maldives and experience life with the unique creatures there. Then go on an African safari (no hunting allowed).
  7. Always make sure I am standing up for what’s right.
  8. Read all the books I already own and buy more.
  9. If time travel is possible, go for it. Past and future.

I could probably come up with more, but the above should keep me busy for a while.

Now let’s head over to Clair Brett. And check out her upcoming event.

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!! We hope your New Year is starting out the way you want it to.

Here is this week’s challenge:

How did you get to where you are today? Share the story of your professional journey, the roadblocks you encountered along the way, and your strategy for overcoming those obstacles.

Years ago I started in Los Angeles writing for TV and movies. I had modest success, but I realized I really preferred writing novels. A friend had given me a copy of a book by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I was hooked on romance.

I worked on the first one for several years, meanwhile learning about the craft and the business (very different from scripts). I joined writers’ groups and organizations and the support was wonderful. Unfortunately, at one point I connected with a critique partner and she demoralized me to the point I thought I’d never write again. But my husband told me to never quit, never give up. I realized then that criticism, unless it’s constructive, should be ignored. Some people feel better about themselves when they try to make you feel bad.

So I dug in my heels and kept at it. And I submitted to agents and editors and … lo and behold…I got a contract from a publisher. And I kept writing and more contracts came. But the publishing houses were small and they took years to get a book published. Marketing was up to me. So I discovered self-publishing. Now I am self-published on most of my books and I have a publisher for others.

Sixteen novels and two more in the works, an anthology, and a cookbook with contributions from over seventy romance writers later, the one lesson I remember besides never quitting is that I write because I have no choice. I am a writer. I love that people read my books and enjoy them, but I write because that’s who I am.  

Now let’s jump over to the amazing Jenna DaSie to hear about her journey. 

Romance Writers Weekly

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Happy New Year and welcome to our first hop of 2022. Thanks so much for joining us! This week’s challenge comes from the fantastic Andie Fenichel:

Do you have big plans for 2022? Did you make any resolutions, set goals, or map out a schedule? Tell us all about it.

2020 and 2021 were a wake-up call. Those years reminded me of that expression “you make plans and God laughs”.

So, no, I have decided not to make big plans for 2022. But I have decided on some resolutions and goals:

First, I’ve decided to be more chill about the small things. It doesn’t really help to worry – in fact, it just keeps me up nights, which makes problem solving harder. And I resolved to think more like “Ted Lasso”. For you unfamiliar with the show, he opted for kindness as a response, no matter how he was treated, since he believed that others are carrying burdens and those burdens sometimes make them act badly.

As for goals, I have stories to tell. I’ve actually started two more books and I hope to finish them and maybe one or two more. But, as for a schedule… please re-read the first sentence.

I hope your new year is starting out with promise and hope and the determination to continue putting one foot in front of the other until we can run.

Now let’s pop over to the wonderful Jenna DaSie and hear about her new year’s plans…

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and happy holidays! Thank you so much for joining us at this hectic time of year. We so appreciate you!

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

It’s our last hop of the year! Post a picture of the best happening in 2021 and tell us a story about it. (Doesn’t have to be true.) LOL

Another hard year with so many issues. I obviously don’t need to name these, since we’re all familiar with the hardships. But the best happening of 2021 (and yes, it’s true) was finding Josie. After losing our terrier, we missed having a dog and went looking. And got lucky.

Josie is a very special pup. She is a doodle (a cross between a standard poodle and a Chesapeake Bay Retriever – hence the very curly hair) and she is a handful. Which is good, since it’s nice to have distraction from so many terrible happenings. She has a sense of humor: when she was smaller, she would hunker down between the couch and the end table and, when we would walk by, she would jump out at us, then wag her tail at her joke. She has the most expressive eyes and it’s always pretty clear what she wants at any given time. She’s a little shy, but one good sniff and she is your friend forever.

She loves to walk to the beach – she used to be afraid of the surf, but now she likes it. And she really likes drinking from the hose. She’s stubborn and cute and clearly opinionated and she is the best.

A puppy is a lot of work, but definitely worth the effort, and she gets us through even the toughest days. And maybe best of all, she reminds there is always something to be grateful for and she inspires me to write.

Now let’s hop over to the fantastic Jenna DaSie and check out her best happening.

Romance Writers Weekly

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

Here is this week’s challenge:

What is one of your books in your back list that you wish more people would read? Introduce us and make us want to read it.

Actually there are two…one is an historical/paranormal and the other is a romantic suspense.

The first one is “The Dream Dancer”:

This is the first book in the “Dance” series.

Lady Bryce has a gift. 
She can enter dreams and persuade her will onto others. 
It has served her well, especially in eliminating unsatisfactory suitors of her father’s choosing.
But when she encounters Lord Rowland she wants him and decides to visit him in his sleep and make him desire her above all others. 
When she has driven Rowland to the edge of longing, she extracts a promise that he will marry her. 
But will their love be able to conquer all once Bryce’s secret is revealed? Rowland must decide if he truly loves her or has been bewitched. And, since witchcraft is punishable by death, can they prove her gift is not of the devil?

https://amzn.to/3ImSqde

The second book from my backlist is “Once Upon A Tablecloth”:

Nick Jordan acquires failing restaurants, then makes them prosperous.

Someone has left a corpse at the entry to her restaurant and Lily Mercer is desperate to save the business. She contacts Nick and begs him to help her. He agrees, reluctantly, since the dead body  is only one of her problems, but he didn’t count on falling in love.

And with so many obstacles and threats, will they ever find their happily ever after?

https://amzn.to/3DxAngY

Two very different books but I hope you’ll check them out.

And now, let’s pop over to the fantastic A.S. Fenichel and hear about her backlist…

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks so much for joining us. It really makes us happy!!! This week’s challenge comes from the fabulous A.S. Fenichel:

It’s Thanksgiving week in the US. What are you most thankful for this year? I know it’s been a tough one for many people, but there’s always something to feel blessed about.

It has definitely been a tough year, but I have so much to be grateful for. First, I am grateful for the vaccine and the fact my husband and I didn’t get sick!

I have plenty to eat and a lovely home. I have a great husband. And a very cute and entertaining dog.

And I have good friends and neighbors.

I have the gift of time to write my books and walk on the beach and read and sometimes just sit and binge-watch good shows. And time to savor life.

And, as the years pass, I have become more grateful for what I have and not worry about the things I don’t really need. There is a brand new year coming up and I’m hoping for wonderful things for us all.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Now let’s hop over to the brilliant Brenda Margriet…

But first…don’t miss her latest!!!!

THE PROMISE OF FROST

The Promise of Frost (a Seasoned and Seasonal Novella) is now available! An adventurous kitten, a curious dog, and a matchmaking eight-year-old guarantee this will be a holiday to remember. (Single Dad, Neighbors to Lovers, Steamy, Contemporary. Heroine is 32, Hero is 41)

https://books2read.com/PromiseOfFrost

https://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. So happy you could join us! This week’s challenge comes from Clair Brett:

Have you ever had one of your own characters surprise you as you were writing your book? How and did it change the story?

Yes, one of my characters surprised me, but not by changing the original story. It was by nagging me to add her story to the series.

It started out as “The Dream Dancer”, the story of Lady Bryce who could enter dreams and persuade. And through a series of twists and turns, managed to find true love.

Next came the story of her sister-in-law in “Emma’s Dance”. In that tale, a ghost came to Emma’s aid and helped her find the truth that led to her happily ever after.

And, what I thought was the last, Lady Margaret, widowed and lonely, seeks adventure and goes to court disguised as a jester. “The Jester’s Dance” finds Margaret able to save her new love’s family. And of course, find her happily ever after as well.

One of their friends, Lady Grace, was clearly upset that I hadn’t told her story and she nagged me until I agreed to write about her time traveling and saving the love of her life. Armed with knowledge of the future, Grace was able to help her love survive certain death. So, there was no denying this was also a tale worth telling. So, thanks Grace for reminding me.

Characters do take on lives of their own and once created, they are hard to ignore. But so much fun to collaborate with.

P.S. All the books in the “Dance” series are available on Amazon.

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

But first…

Looking for a light feel good Regency Twelfth Night story? Grab Ruination of Rogue today.

https://books2read.com/RuinationofaRogue

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

Romance Writers Weekly

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

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

I love romance books, movies and fairy tales. If I can have an HEA I’m happy. Is romance your number one read, why and what else do you read.

All genres of romance are definitely my number one read. I do gravitate to historical and romantic suspense. Maybe because those are the romances I write. No matter how big the conflict, no matter how frightening the dangers, there is always that wonderful resolution at the end. I may be biting my nails or wondering how the story will manage to resolve, but somehow it always does. And if the writer can bring me to tears or make me laugh out loud, all the better.

But I also love to read biographies, because it is fascinating to learn about people and the events and characters that affected their lives. I do really enjoy mysteries since I like being challenged and trying to determine who the villain is before the end. Sometimes I feel like getting scared, so I pick up a novel by the masters, like Stephen King and Thomas Harris. And I also read how-to books, since I can always improve.

So, I guess the real answer is: I love to read. Any book that can hold my attention for the first few chapters has me hooked and I love nothing better than climbing into the pages. Especially if there’s a happily ever after.

Now let’s pop over to the fabulous A.S. Fenichel to find out what she reads. But first…

Capturing The Earl is on sale for .99 for the first time. Don’t miss this deal. The friendship of four young ladies has created an indestructible bond to protect one another from the perils of love and marriage . . .

After the demise of her friend’s disastrous marriage, Mercedes Parsons isn’t about to let the widowed Wallflower of West Lane, Lady Aurora Radcliff, undertake another perilous trip to the altar. At least, not before the bridegroom-to-be is thoroughly investigated. If only Mercy could stop her uncharacteristic daydreaming about Wesley Renshaw’s charm, his intellect, his dashing good looks. After all, the earl has already set his sights on her best friend! She must keep her wits about her and avoid giving into temptation.

Wesley is both irritated and intrigued by the machinations of Mercy—He cannot let her cleverness and beauty distract him. He needs to marry her friend, Aurora, so he can reclaim his family’s ancestral home. A wrong he has hoped to right his entire life. Besides, who is penniless spinster Mercedes Parsons to decide whom he can and cannot marry? Yet while he admires her unwavering loyalty to her friends, he decides it’s high time the misguided woman had a dose of her own medicine. Two can play at this spying game. But they are both embarked on a dangerous charade. And it won’t be merely Mercy’s reputation at risk—or her heart on the line—as Wesley comes to the inescapable conclusion that he has found the right woman at exactly the wrong time.

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. Thanks so much for joining us! It means so much! This week’s challenge comes from Clair Brett:

Where do you find inspirations for your book ideas?

Inspiration comes from so many different places. For example, for “The Dream Dancer”, I was working very late and thought about all the people asleep in their beds and dreaming. And I wondered what they dreamt about and what if I could see their dreams or…?

For “The Morocco Series” – we went to an escape room and the premise was that we were shanghaied and only had an hour to get off ‘the boat’ to free ourselves.

“Once Upon a Tablecloth” was inspired by Gordon Ramsey’s shows and both “Stay With Me” and “Hannah’s War” were suggested by my interest in the Civil War.

That’s the thing about coming up with ideas. They really are everywhere, people you meet, situations in life, interests.  And what triggers ideas for me may not suggest anything to another writer. One of my favorite games is watching people and coming up with scenarios about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s actually factual—the fun is working my imagination. And, from there, new ideas are born.

That’s the joy of being a writer. Taking a suggestion or a thought or an experience and weaving it into a story. And then sharing that story with others.

Now let’s pop over to the fantastic A.S. Fenichel and hear about her inspiration. But first – you have to check this out!!!!

Christmas Lane

Emma – After my ex-fiancé trampled my heart with his betrayal, I’m officially done with dating. Being absurdly attracted to the guy who ruined my game day shirt with mustard from his hot dog at a ball game threw a wrench in my plan. Six months later, when his Christmas cocktail drenches the front of my dress, I’m positive this man is only perfect for a one-night stand. Don’t judge…it’s been a long dry spell. The last thing I expect is for the man to play hard to get, but I’m okay with him getting hard. Lucas – From the moment we collide and I accidentally smear mustard all over her chest, I can’t get this woman out of my head. But I’m only back in my hometown for a break, after the death of a friend. My life is in London, where I return to bury myself in work. When the beautiful blonde keeps surfacing in my thoughts and heart, there’s only one thing to do—move back to Roseville, New Jersey and convince her to fall as hard for me as I’ve fallen for her. Unfortunately, she’s on a self-imposed break from dating. Good thing I like a challenge.

Christmas Lane | Universal Book Links Help You Find Books at Your Favorite Store! (books2read.com)

http://asfenichel.com/blog

Romance Writers Weekly

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Hello and welcome to this week’s hop. We’re so glad you’ve joined us! In honor of Halloween, the wonderful A.S. Fenichel has come up with this challenge:

Halloween Flash Fiction – Write the start to a story with the words Dead, Kiss and Skeleton in it:

It was going to be an exciting evening. The annual Dia de los Muertos! The festival of the Day of the Dead. My traditional long, brilliantly colored floral dress, complete with headpiece, was dusted off and pressed. My skeleton makeup sat ready in front of my makeup mirror.

In the kitchen, my offering of tamales sat next to the ever grinning bottle of tequila. The possibilities were endless. I had even remembered the marigolds, their scent strong enough to guide my loved ones home. I missed my parents and tonight I could honor them and embrace my sadness. Would they actually appear this year? Could I again hug and kiss them and tell them how glad I was they were still with me, in spirit if not in the flesh?

I stepped onto the porch and the celebration was as boisterous as ever, the combination of deep sadness and the joy of remembrance clashing into a raucous mixture of life.

Across the space, a tall figure stepped toward me. There was something very familiar about him, although the paint on his face obscured his features. The closer he came, the more the gooseflesh on my arms made its presence known. Imposing, it was odd no one else seemed to notice him. Floating through the crowd, he drew nearer. Should I greet him? Should I run?

Now, let’s pop over to the fantastic A.S. Fenichel and read the start of her story…

But first, you have to check this out the preorder for Christmas Lane

A.S. Fenichel has a brand new genre and a brand new name. Andie Fenichel writes Spicy Contemporary Instalove. Christmas Lane is the first and can be in your readers on November 15. Preorder now and see what happens when two people collide in a flurry of hotdog mustard and fury.

http://asfenichel.com/blog