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Thanks for joining us this week.  We’re glad you’re here. I came up with this challenge:

Do you think what we do as romance writers is important? Please explain why.

The answer is a resounding yes. Make that a hell, yes!

Have you watched the news lately? So much conflict, death, dissention. People hating each other in so many ways.

And then there’s life. Daily life. Try driving from point A to point B without experiencing some form of road rage. And then there’s sickness. And pain and just bad days.

There can only be one antidote: Believing the bad times will ease. That it will be easier at some point. That’s what gets me through.

And as romance writers, that is what we offer. Hope, a happily ever after, a respite from the negative.

There have been many times in my life when escaping into a wonderful romance novel helped me to cope. It opened my heart and it made me believe things would get better. And they always did.

Romance novels take me to another place, another time and in that place and time, no matter the peril, no matter the conflict…it gets better. It ends with all good things. And I need that belief. I need that hope. And because it means so much to me as a reader, I want to give that to others. So I write. And hope I can help someone get through their bad day.

So is what we do important? I repeat…hell, yes!

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Now let’s hop over to the wonderful J.J. Devine and get her thoughts on this.

http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer

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Romance Weekly

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Welcome to our hop. So happy you are here! This week’s challenge comes from the fabulous Brenda Margriet:

Let’s share our best life tips. The internet is full of hacks to make cleaning, cooking, packing and everything else in life easier, but which ones work and which don’t? Share your shortcuts here!

I have to say, life isn’t that easy no matter how many shortcuts I try to take. Sometimes (most of the time) it’s like playing whack-a-mole.  I no sooner solve one problem than another pops up.

Years ago, I would make myself crazy trying to keep up. And then I realized (and it was a terrible realization) that I cannot do everything all the time and I can’t control everything that happens. So, I took a deep (cleansing) breath and decided to just do what I could. Let’s take the things mentioned above one at a time:

Cleaning: Well, dusting is certainly over-rated. My kitchen is clean, my bathrooms are clean and our clothes are washed. As am I. That said, I now think of dog hair as an interesting decoration and I will get to the vacuuming. I will…

Cooking: I happen to love to cook, so I don’t consider it a chore. So, no shortcuts needed. I enjoy the process. On those rare days when I can’t or don’t have time – well that’s why take-out was invented.

Packing: I think Brenda means like for a trip, but I don’t travel much. However, we are moving to Florida and so I pack virtually every day, even though the actual move is still months away. But we are downsizing, so it takes so much time to sort stuff. And, of course, I have to stop and wax nostalgic. I’m afraid the only shortcut is dumping everything in the trash and I can’t do that….

I guess my best life tip is: do the best you can every day…and be happy with that!

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Now, let’s pop over to the incredible Brenda Margriet and see her best tips…

Brenda Margriet http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

Romance Weekly

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Welcome to this week’s hop. The incredible Jenna Da Sie posed the challenge and what fun!

Would You Rather Cooking Edition: 1) Cut out butter forever or sugar? 2) Have a normal size oven that heats inconsistently or have a toaster oven that bakes everything perfectly? 3) Make something beautiful that tastes terrible or make something ugly that tastes great? 4) Forget to preheat oven or forget to bring ingredients to room temperature. 5) Have to measure ingredients by eye or have to guess how long things have been in the oven? 6) Win a national baking award or create a recipe that gets handed down for generations? 7) Mix everything by hand or wash all dishes by hand.

  1. Oh man…what a choice. But I think I would rather do without butter. After all, there’s always olive oil and mayonnaise.
  2. Have to go with the toaster oven. I’ve used an oven that wasn’t calibrated correctly and it drove me nuts. Everything was either burned or raw. I could adapt to a smaller space if it worked predictably.
  3. Ugly that tastes great. In fact, some of my favorite dishes don’t look that appetizing until you dig in. I think it’s like everything. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—or in this case, the diner. If it tastes delicious, it becomes so much more beautiful.
  4. Sometimes I purposely don’t preheat the oven so I can warm the dish more gradually. And how many times have I forgotten to bring the ingredients to room temperature? Too many to count. But then I just tell myself my room is in an igloo.
  5. In this case, I think I do both. Exact measurements are over-rated. (Okay, maybe not, but this is my kitchen). And I can generally tell how ready a dish is by smell. Like cakes, they smell done when they’re there or close.
  6. Awards are great, but I am definitely into the legacy thing. I would love to think that generations from now, someone is still cooking the same food I made. That thought comforts me.
  7. I don’t know what I would do without my mixer. Lumpy potatoes, inconsistent cakes. Nope, keeping the mixer! And I don’t mind doing dishes by hand. There have been many times in my life when I didn’t have a dishwasher and I never minded doing the dishes by hand.

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This challenge has made me hungry, so I’m off to cook something. Since this was the wonderful Jenna’s idea, let’s jump over and see her choices…

http://jennadasie.com/

Romance Weekly

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to our hop. We are so glad you came. This week I came up with the challenge:

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Why is it special for you? And what do you wish for?

A day dedicated to love. And chocolate and roses. What could be more special?

On Valentine’s Day, I take the time to really appreciate the love in my life: my husband, friends, my dog. I remind myself how very blessed I am to have so much love.

Love is truly the most powerful emotion. It changes everything, and everyone, for the better.

Tomorrow we also honor a Saint. Long ago, Saint Valentine defied his emperor and performed marriages. (The ruler believed that his fighting men should remain single, as attachments were distracting). Valentine stood up for love and it cost him his life. Was it worth to him? I think so. And his memory is forever linked to great love. Inspiring!

I write romance because I believe in love and the happily ever after. I hope you do, too.

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Now, let’s jump over and see what the fabulous Jenna Da Sie wishes for tomorrow….

http://jennadasie.com/

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Hello and welcome. This week’s challenge comes from the incredible A.S. Fenichel:

The winter Olympics are coming in just a few days. What’s your favorite event and Why? Do you have a favorite Olympic memory?

The Olympics are beyond amazing. My favorite events include the competitions on the ice: skating, dancing. The precision and the sheer beauty of movement is so wonderful to watch.

But I also love the downhill. The speed and control gets my heart going.

These competitors are obviously the best of the best. But even more impressive are the Paralympics. To let nothing stop you, no infirmity or disability, is so inspiring.

My favorite Olympic memory is really a reminder: these athletes devote their entire lives to bringing themselves to the height of perfection for their chosen sport. And there is a very important lesson in that. If you want something enough and you are willing to give it your all, you can win. Or at least make one heck of a showing. So, when I get distracted or lose focus, I remember what it is to really try your best. Because at the end of the day, that’s all I can ever do.

 

 

Let’s hop over and see what the fabulous Jenna Da Sie thinks….

http://jennadasie.com/

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to our hop. This week I came up with the challenge:

It’s the middle of the winter and the lack of sunlight and the cold (for many of us) is difficult. What do you do to get out of the doldrums?

I guess my answer is going to be pretty obvious. I read. Or I write. Both of those transport me to another place, sometimes another time, and I get to ‘hang out’ with new friends (and interesting villains). Just the other day I was thinking about what an incredible gift it is to be able to read. It is amazing to look at a series of letters which form words and be able to set my imagination soaring.

In fact, I decided I am going to volunteer to teach reading to someone who can’t, because I cannot conceive of living without books and the joy they bring. If I can share that with another person – well, that would definitely be great.

Sometimes I get caught up in the day-to-day and get sad because the weather is cold and gray. I forget how blessed I am. But, I wouldn’t mind a little sunshine.

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Let’s pop over and see what the fabulous A.S. Fenichel does to pick up her spirits.

http://asfenichel.com/blog

 

Romance Weekly

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Hello and welcome to the weekly hop. Thanks for coming. This week’s challenge comes from the incredible A.S. Fenichel:

It’s cold in most of the world. The best time of year to snuggle up with a good book, a cozy blanket and a warm fire. What book (type or author) are you reading and why? Tell us your favorites.

It is cold and there is nothing better to warm me up than a rousing tale of love and adventure. There are so many choices and so many wonderful stories from talented writers. But some of my favorites are:

Kristan Higgins – I would love to be friends with her heroines. They are such complex and interesting people. And so nice, just like the author.

Susanna Kearsley – Time travel take me away. The complexity she weaves is irresistible. And when Susanna tells me about the paranormal, I believe her.

Kathleen Woodiwiss – Her books are one of a kind. I become completely immersed in the place and the time. I have read her books over and over and I never tire of them.

I read a great deal and I am very happy to say I have discovered a multitude of other authors whose books delight me. Writers like Cynthia Eden and Claire Marti and Nikki Brock and Sarah Andre. So many choices, so little time.

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Now let’s pop over to see what the amazing A.S. Fenichel has chosen. http://asfenichel.com/blog