Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and welcome to this week’s hop. I came up with the challenge:

Memorial Day is next Monday. Tell us a story of someone in your family who served.

My father was 26 years old and a newly minted medical doctor when he volunteered to go to war (that would be World War II). Of course they sent him to the front overseas.

I cannot imagine the terror of not only being in the heart of the battles, but being responsible for trying to save the lives of the wounded. I don’t think he celebrated the ones he saved. I think he mourned the ones he lost. I’m certain of it.

It is hard enough to be responsible for your team and yourself. But men like my father were accountable for everyone. I don’t know how he did it.

Sometimes I watch re-runs of “M*A*S*H” and I’m pretty clear no one in World War II had any fun. But knowing my father saved lives and men came home because of him gives me a huge source of pride.

Memorial Day should be more than once a year. It should be held in our hearts every time we can speak our minds and come and go without chains and live our lives by the dictates of our own desires.

For all who served then and serve now – thank you does not cover it. Freedom isn’t free and know that we who have it value it. And it is because all of you in the military have made our freedom possible.


Let’s jump over to the incredible Jenna Da Sie and hear her family story…


Romance Writers Weekly



Hello and happy Tuesday! Welcome to our weekly hop. I came up with this week’s challenge:

People always ask me where I get my inspiration for my stories. Where do you get your inspiration?

Ideas come from the strangest places and when you least expect them. For example, I was working really early one morning and thinking most of the rest of the world was asleep. And dreaming. And then I wondered—what if I could speak to some of them while they slept. And so the idea for “The Dream Dancer” was born. And, then the rest of the series just flowed from the first book.

Actually, the “Dance Series” was originally only going to be three books, but Grace just kept nagging….


“Once Upon a Tablecloth” came from watching those cooking shows. I wondered what would happen if one of the restaurant “fixers” fell in love with one of his clients….


And “Payback”? Well, “Payback” is actually based on a real serial killer. I just changed his gender and his motives.


The upcoming “Bound to Morocco” inspiration came from playing one of those escape games where we were ‘shanghaied’ and had to get free or ‘spend forever as captives’.

BoundMorocco_eBook_HighRes (3)    Coming in June, 2018

So, I guess the answer is — I never know when inspiration will strike. Or from where. But I always have a pen, just in case. And yes, I have been known to write ideas on grocery store receipts, envelopes and my hand. Because nothing is more frustrating than having an idea and forgetting it.

Let’s jump over and see where the incredible A.S. Fenichel gets her inspiration.

Romance Writers’ Weekly



Hello and welcome to our hop! This week’s challenge comes from the incomparable Dani Jace:

Tell us your favorite flower and why or write a short poem. Show a pic Or it could be a flower used in a story including the significance and why you chose that particular bloom.

It’s the perfect time of year. Not too hot, not too cold and the skies peek out in brilliant blue after the copious rains. I wrote a silly little poem that speaks to my love of the season.

I open my eyes

To bright blue skies.

It is Spring.

The air and light

Bespeaks delight,

It is Spring.

Budding flowers,

From April showers,

It is Spring.

And spring means my gardenias begin to bloom. And what could be better than filling my house with that incredible perfume.


So many think the rose is the most romantic flower, but I choose the gardenia every time. It is definitely harder to grow, but when I see those pure white blossoms among the green of the bushes, it just sets my heart alight.

gardenia 2

To me, it is the flower of weddings and beginnings and everything sweet in the world. It is the bloom of happily ever after and just the scent of it inspires me.

And I’m not the only one. Look at all the things its oil heals or improves:

gardenia uses

Happy spring….

Now let’s hop over to the fabulous Dani Jace to see which is her favorite bloom…

Romance Writers Weekly



Welcome to this week’s hop. I came up with the challenge for this week…I just love writing flash fiction. Hope you like it.

Time for Flash Fiction. Write 500 words or less using the words knuckle, cocktail and eyelashes.

Bumped to first class. My lucky day. And then, just before the airplane doors were about to close, he walked in and started down the aisle. Toward me. He was so incredibly handsome, I gripped my armrests until my knuckles turned white. And, he slid into the seat next to mine. Indeed, my lucky day.

“Nervous flier?” he asked, his voice so deep in contrast to his gentle tone. He looked at me with impossibly blue eyes shaded by unfairly long eyelashes. And the burr. Scottish, of course.

“Oh, not really.” I made a conscious effort to relax my hands. “Just stretching.”

Just stretching? How lame!

“Well, it’s going to be a long flight, so we may as well get to know each other. I’m Bruce.”

“Carol. Nice to meet you.”

“Business or pleasure?” he asked, and my mind went to a thousand places.

“Business. I’m going to Scotland to do some research for a book.”

“Ye’re a writer? Impressive. I don’t know how ye do that.”

“What do you do?” I asked, guessing from his muscular build and broad shoulders it was something physical.

“I’m involved in the Scottish Highland Games.”

Of course you are. “Involved?”

“A manager of sorts. I was just taking a break to go to me sister’s wedding in New York.” He ran his fingers through his thick, black hair. “How long will ye be staying?”

Forever. “I’m not sure. But I’m not really on any kind of schedule.”

“Well, then, maybe I can talk ye into coming to the Games.”

“That would be lovely.”

“Let’s order a cocktail, shall we?” He order two champagne cocktails.

“Champagne?” I asked. “What are we celebrating?



Now let’s hop over and see what the fabulous Brenda Margriet has written….

Authors in Bloom: Chicken with Rosemary


Dianne Venetta_AIB Logo_2015

Welcome to Spring! I don’t know about you, but this is so my favorite time of year. Everything is bursting with color and the birds are twitterpated. Time to plant. Well, it would be, but it’s still a little cold in Memphis and the danger of frost isn’t quite past. But, in a week or so, it will be time and I can’t wait.

I used to have a huge garden, but I have downsized. Now I grow herbs in large pots to satisfy my green thumb. And my favorite one is rosemary. It is hardy, it grows like a weed, and it is delicious. I buy the small plants and move them into a larger home and they spread out in a very short time. Here is one of my favorite recipes because it’s simple and it’s dinner in one pot:

Chicken with Rosemary

4 chicken thighs with skin

4 drumsticks

1 large white onion

Bag of small yukon gold potatoes (those little bags)

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

½ cup water

2 large zucchinis

6 sprigs of rosemary

Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice onion into bottom of a cast iron frying pan. Add water. Then slice potatoes and zucchini and layer on top of onion. Add pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread rosemary on top. Then arrange chicken on top of rosemary.

Bake for an hour and a half uncovered or until chicken skin is brown and crisp.

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Contest: I am giving away a signed copy, to three lucky winners, of either “Payback” or “The Dream Dancer”(your choice!) but you have to leave a comment in the comments section below to get an entry. You may also email me at to get an entry. Please be sure to leave your email address in the comments below so I can verify eligibility and contact you if you win!

The contest has ended and the three winners are:

Kathy Newcomer, Elf and Tracy Twilight.  Congratulations! I will contact you regarding your prize. And thanks for entering!


Follow Leslie on Twitter: @lesliehachtel

Romance Weekly



Hello and welcome to our weekly hop. This week’s challenge comes from the wonderful Jenna Da Sie:

Write a flash fiction in 500 words or less that includes the words: sunscreen, camera, tourist.

“Why do I always forget my sunscreen?” Angie knew the freckles were popping up across her nose like weeds in an empty field. But she had been so anxious to walk in the park on this beautiful spring morning, she had forgotten to slather it on.

“I don’t know,” came the answer in a deep masculine voice.

She looked up into vibrant hazel eyes. His sandy hair fell across his forehead, making him look younger than he probably was. He looked like some errant tourist, camera slung about his neck. Except he wasn’t wearing socks with his sandals. Actually, he just looked adorable.

“Are you talking to me?” she asked.

He smiled, with even white teeth in contrast to his tanned face. “I thought you were talking to me.”

She was so confused, until she realized the sunscreen comment must have been spoken out loud. She laughed. “I didn’t mean to. I mean, I would, but…”

“I’m sorry. I’m all out.”

She raised her eyebrows. What was he talking about?

“Sunscreen. Never touch the stuff.”

“Don’t tell your dermatologist.”

“I am my dermatologist. And I was just kidding.”

“So you’re not a doctor?”

“No, I am. I meant I do use sunscreen.”

“Then why are you so tan?”

“I’m not. Olive skin. And I have to say this is the strangest conversation I have ever had.”

“Me, too.” Angie stuck out her hand. “Angie”


“Dr. Tom?”


“What are you taking pictures of?”

“That tree.” He pointed to a huge, magnificent oak, with fat gnarled limbs stretching out forever. Spanish moss dripped down from its huge branches like woven lace. “It has to be a thousand years old. It’s just…humbling.”

“It is beautiful and impressive,” she agreed, gazing up at its lofty height.

“Can I take your picture next to it?” he asked. “For perspective.”

“You mean because I look younger or older?”

“Taller.” And he grinned.

Tom motioned with his hand, indicating she should move closer to the oak. He snapped several pictures.

“Would you like to get out of the sun and maybe have some lunch?”

She thought he’d never ask.



Now let’s jump over and see what the incredible Brenda Margriet came up with:

Romance Weekly



Happy Tuesday and welcome to our hop. This week’s challenge comes from the wonderful A.S. Fenichel:

Let’s talk about book covers. Pick three of your covers and tell us either: what was your thought process for the design or if your traditionally published, tell us what you thought the first time you saw your shiny new cover. If you have a great story about your cover(s) please share. And don’t forget to show us the covers.

My first cover was for “The Defiant Bride”. I have to say when I first saw it, my heart beat faster! First, it made my story come alive, seeing my hero and heroine ‘in the flesh’. And it reminded me of all the covers I loved. I was beyond excited. I still love this cover!


After that, my second cover for “Captain’s Captive” was a bit of a letdown. It featured a stock photo of Orlando Bloom and I got all these comments that I was going to get into trouble for using the image. (It was okay – it was a licensed image, but all that overshadowed my excitement). So, eventually, I got a new cover which I love for the re-release.

front-cover-2                         CaptCaptive_eBook_PROOF3

After that, I discovered Jena Brignola. She created all the covers for my “Dance” series. She also did the new cover for “Captain’s Captive” and every one since. It’s like she reads my mind. The art she creates for me is fantastic and each time I write a new book, the first email is to her asking for a new cover.


There’s just something about seeing the cover that makes it all ‘real’. And when you have a great designer, it is fantastic.

Now let’s hop over to the fabulous Brenda Margriet and find out about her covers…