Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Flash Fiction with Romance Writers Weekly

It's time for the RWW Tuesday weekly blog hop! Hopefully, you found your way from Author Sarah Hegger's blog http://sarahhegger.com/sarah-hegger. This week, Author Mishka Jenkins https://awriterslifeformeblog.wordpress.com/challenged us to write a 400-word flash fiction love letter with these three words: Sweet, pumpkin and brush. Be sure to check fellow RWW writers' blogs. Many went the humorous route, but I get sentimental around the holidays. Here's my offering:

Dear Grandma,

I miss you. We were incredibly close and I spent most of my childhood weekends with you and Grandpa, but I wish I could have more of your time. I’d give anything to see you again. I'd love to brush your hair and hear your sweet voice.

When I was a child, I remember the times you said, "Move over fat lady" when I purposely slept on the edge of the bed just to hear those words. Again and again. I giggled every time like it was the first time. I loved how you called me (and your other grandchildren) "Sugar Plum." You were the most unselfish, patient person I've ever met.

I remember many weekends when you tied a rope to the door and held the other end for an hour straight while I jumped endlessly. Never once did you complain or say your arm hurt. You made me feel all grown up when you took me to your hairdresser to get my hair done. I fondly remember when you and Grandpa would drive in the wee hours to arrive at our home by 5 a.m.  on Christmas morning so you’d be there to see our happy expressions. I loved going to the Five and Dime and getting an armload of comic books once a month. That was a thrill thanks to Archie, Veronica, and YOU.

When I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia as a teen, it bothered you, so you learned how to make a delicious sugar-free pumpkin pie. Banana nut bread, too. I remember you brought it still warm in the baggy with a paper towel on top to absorb the moisture. You worked hard as a cook at hospitals, schools, and later as the head cook at a senior citizen center. You made everything from scratch, which is unheard of today. You said the two most popular days were fried chicken day and meatloaf day and recalled people lined up around the block. I’m not surprised. Your fried chicken was the best I’ve ever tasted. I wish I had your recipe. I wish even more that I had you.

If every woman were half the Grandma you were, the world would be a happier place. Thank you for the life lessons you taught me. Thank you for not being afraid and holding me when my sister and I had a horrible case of chicken pox. Thank you for letting us bang pans on the floor on New Year's Eve and never complaining about the noise or having to wash them afterward. Most of all, thank you for being the best grandmother ever. I wish we had had more time. I miss and love you.


Sugar Plum xoxo 

So, I went over by 53 words. Also, Grandma's fave color, by far, was PINK. This is the closest I could get to pink while still being readable. Tell me about your grandma, then head over to author J.J. Devine http://definingjjdevine.weebly.com/ramblings-of-a-writer

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop

It's time again for the Romance Weekly blog hop. Every Tuesday several authors from around the globe get together to answer the same three questions. This week, I posed the questions so I had better answer them.

Which type of character do you prefer writing about: Sexy, romantic, sweet, quirky, mean, old, young, smart, silly or other?

I discovered in my debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, that I really, really LOVE creating nasty and/or quirky characters. Mrs. Biltmore is a pretentious, racist, horrible mother of the bride who drives my poor wedding planner, Suzy, crazy. I also liked creating a bad-boy cop and writing in a male POV. My hippie parents are quirky and were a blast. Plus, I loved the seventies so it was a fun throwback for me to reenact some of those memories.

 Have you ever killed off (or gotten back at) an ex in your writing? On paper, of course.
YES! I won't say who exactly but it was someone I dated. And he deserves it! So far, this character is in a yet-to-be published novel. I did change his name and profession to avoid a lawsuit (yes, he'd do that!) and it was quite fun to give him his due. So, there!

What hobbies do you have that you incorporate in your writing?
Decorating, gardening (especially planting flowers), dancing, and shopping. Also enjoying wine with friends just like my characters do every Thursday at Coconuts. My characters also do crazy things that I wouldn't do and I can't wait to get them into trouble in my sequel.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop

It's time again for the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop from romance writers from all over the globe. Each week, many of us answer the same three questions so you can get a fun peek into a writer's mind. I submitted this week's questions. Here they are:

1.What’s your favorite aspect of novel writing? Dialogue? Setting? Conflict? Narration? Explain.

By far, my favorite aspect of novel writing is dialogue. I write character-driven and dialogue-driven novels. I especially love creating nasty characters and have a lot of fun writing from a male point of view. I get bored when a novel is too flowery, has a lot of backstory, and narration. I like to get right to the action. I want readers to feel like they are in the scene and to have a hard time putting my book down. That said, I also adore throwing conflict at my characters. I say the more plot twists the better!

 2.How do you choose the setting for your plot? Are they always similar settings or does it vary? (i.e., small town, big city, castle, etc.)

I write contemporary novels--women's fiction, romantic suspense and contemporary romance. My debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, is set in a fictional town, Crystal City, and is modeled after a mid-sized town in Missouri where I grew up. However, my sequel will have several chapters devoted to small-town life. I've never written about a small town before, but my grandmother lived in one and my parents do now. Life is a much slower pace in my yet-to-be-named tiny town, and some of my characters need that, believe me. Others are going to hate it, however. Fair warning!

3.I’m a big six-word memoir fan. (Hemingway even wrote one.) Describe your writing day using just six words.

Coffee. Facebook. Email. Coffee. Facebook. Write.

What it should be:

Trudge to coffee pot. Start writing.

If you haven't tried six-word memoirs, you should! My memoirs are in three six-word memoir collections--two books and one calendar. It's great fun. Celebrities and famous authors get involved. Warning: They're highly addictive. http://smithmag.net

So what is your favorite aspect of novel writing? Which settings do you prefer? Tell me and then be sure to visit other RWW bloggers, Leslie Hachtel http://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com and Eden Ashe http://edenashe.com.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I can't believe I haven't blogged about my debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS. It seems as though everything has gone from 0 to 200 in five seconds flat this summer. I've been spinning a lot of plates while my daughter got married, doing three rounds of edits, setting up a website and preparing for this launch. I'm afraid a couple of plates crashed to the floor, including this blog.

The great news is THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS  is now available on Amazon as an ebook for just $2.99 (cheaper than a fancy cup of coffee at Starbucks) and I'm thrilled to say it has garnered 20 amazing reviews in less than two weeks. The majority are from complete strangers! It's surreal. I know that's an overused word but it is. Don't pinch me if I'm dreaming.

My publisher is Soul Mate Publishing from New York and I'm eternally grateful they believed in me and my story. In fact, I thanked them as well as a TON of other people on the Acknowledgement Page. You might be one of them but you'll have to get a copy before you can take a peek. Here's the buy link where you can read five chapters to get a feel for my novel: tinyurl.com/l9m26ht

THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS is women's fiction at its core but has many elements of romance and mystery. I love plot twists and surprising the reader. I can almost guarantee you'll be surprised while reading it.
To celebrate the release, I had a big launch party on Facebook. It was a virtual party where I had contests to win swag and gift cards. It was on my birthday, August 14, so that added to the fun. I'll talk more about the virtual party and swag in another post. For now, I'm enjoying the ride. A huge thanks to everyone for their support, downloads, and reviews. I wish we could all meet on a Thursday at Coconuts so I could buy a round of drinks! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Two-Line Promotional Hooks

My editor at Soul Mate Publishing asked me to write a two-line hook for THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS. She'll use this for promoting my novel online. I'm not sure why but this is really HARD--almost as difficult as writing the back cover blurb but not nearly as bad as the dreaded synopsis.

Still, I could use your input. I thought we could have a little fun. How about helping me with this? Let me know which hook "grabs" you. Which one would entice you to know more about (or hopefully purchase) my novel? I've written five hooks below. They are in no particular order. Please vote for your favorite in the comments.

Best friends, hippies, neurotic brides, and sexy cops.
What could go wrong?

Best friends. Sexy cops. Hippies. Neurotic brides.
It’s complicated.
A wedding planner, bad-boy cop, neurotic brides, and hippies.
Not your everyday romance.

A wedding planner who can’t find wedded bliss. A banker involved with a bad-boy cop.
A counselor who enables her hippie parents. It’s complicated.

Best friends and wine solve everything—bad-boy cops, bitter betrayals, hippie parents, and neurotic brides. Bring it on.

I'll be eager to see which one comes out on top. Thanks for your input!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


#AmEditing takes on a whole new meaning after you've gone through your 400-page manuscript a gazillion times. It feels like the editing process will never end. My back is killing me, my eyes are bloodshot, and I keep forgetting to eat. Sound familiar?

 I am now working on the final galley for THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS so this is the LAST go-around before the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). I'm very nervous about this process. I hate typos but we're human and they're inevitable. I decided to have a print copy made and bound but the print is so light I am straining my eyes. I don't have time to have it redone and didn't bother looking at my printed masterpiece(!!) at the store. Oy.

I've learned many things from my talented Soul Mate Publishing senior editor, Debby, and will share those with you after I'm finished editing. Don't let me forget. It's good stuff. For now, I'm finding errors since my editor asked me to change a couple of small plot points and they were woven throughout. I thought I had found them all on the second major edit but I didn't. Scary. I'm going underground Jack Bauer style until I've tackled my 400 pages. I can do this. That's what I keep telling myself. That said, it's a dream come true. I'm not complaining. It's an incredible whirlwind of a process and I'm thrilled to be in this position, bloodshot eyes and all.

Side note: Please mark Aug. 14, 3-6 p.m., on your calendar. That's the date for my online launch party on Facebook. It's going to be fun!. I'll give away tons of prizes/swag, gift cards and books. More about that later, too. I may have an in-person launch party later in the fall after my print books are available.

I also have a couple of other BIG announcements in the wings. So, stay tuned. A new website will be launched next week as well.

Whew! When is a writer supposed to sleep?! How do you like the editing process?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Author Spotlight: Lisa Medley on Zombies

I want you to meet a good friend of mine and fellow Ozarks Romance Author, Lisa Medley. Lisa writes about zombies. Zombies! She is such a fun-loving person, married, with a beautiful daughter, Grace, who sent my very first fan letter. She's also hilarious and positive, yet she writes about zombies. Let's find out how this came about.

Welcome, Lisa. Tell us about your new release—the inspiration, genre, characters or anything you want us to know.

Reap & Repent is the first of my urban fantasy series about reapers. The grim kind. I started writing about reapers because the field wasn’t quite as saturated with that particular monster. After a few visits to local graveyards, the story began to fall together.

 You visit graveyards? I guess that would be good inspiration for zombies!

Q. How long have you been writing? What is your typical writing day like?

I started writing fiction in 2010. I had written newspaper articles and columns off and on through the years but never fiction. After finding and falling in love with the paranormal romance genre, I read more than a hundred books in the field and finally decided I could do that too. So I did. My first attempt stunk. Vampires. Nothing new there. Then I stumbled onto the idea for a series about reapers and I’ve already begun the fourth book in the series. The first three will come out this year.

I don’t really have a typical day. I have a full-time day job, a husband, a child, pets and farm animals. I stay up late after everyone has gone to bed to peck out a few pages. I can usually write 1-2K in two or three hours depending on how things are flowing.

 I'm impressed that you get so much writing done with a full-time job and family. Not to mention your critters!

Q. How many books have you written or is this your debut?

Three books in the reaper series are completed. Reap & Repent (#1) is out now at all online book retailers. Currently, they are all e-books but Repent will publish in print on Harlequin.com sometime in December. Reap & Redeem (#2) comes out Oct. 6 and Reap & Reveal (#3) will come out in January. Currently I’m working on a ghost romance called Haunt My Heart (unrelated to the reaper series) and will be finishing the first draft within the month. Reap & Reckon (#4) insisted on starting without me so I do have the first ten pages started on it as well.

 Wow! You're making me look like a real slacker. I love your Harlequin story. Maybe you can discuss it more in the comment section. Also, I love how you incorporated "Reap" into your four titles. Great branding!

Q. Any suggestions on balancing writing and social media?

It’s hard to do both. I’m not going to lie. But without the writing, you have no need to work on building your social media platform. Definitely spend more time on the writing than on social media. The way social media is changing so rapidly, I hate wasting too much effort there. Building the relationships is the most important thing. So far, I can’t tell that I have sold one book as a direct result of Twitter. I have sold books during and after my online Facebook Launch Party, otherwise it’s all about talking to people and making contacts with other authors and readers.

Direct promotion, organic or paid, has not yet proven fruitful in my situation. Still, the more your name is out there and in front of people, the more likely that they will eventually track you down.

 Yes, name recognition and building relationships are both important. It does take time.

Lisa was in a Zombie Parade in Lebanon, MO, recently.
She really gets into her characters!
Q. Tell us something quirky about you that we may not know.

I keep bees. Or more, I have a beehive in which bees live. They occasionally produce honey for me, which I eat with joyful glee. I have a suit and everything. I’m legit.

Interesting. You are legit--and, I'd add, courageous!
Q. What is your favorite marketing tip/promotional advice?

Be assertive but not aggressive. I skim over social media, buy me tweets and shares 95% of the time. If I see something interesting about YOU that catches my eye, I’ll drill down to see what you are all about. I’ve bought books because of WHO people are not necessarily because of WHAT they were screaming.

I agree. Some people overdo it. Way overdo it and I can't scroll past fast enough.
Q. What’s your next project?

Finishing Haunt My Heart is my first priority. I’m at 60k on it and should wrap it up in another 5-10K. Then it’s back to my reapers. I have a soft spot for monsters. And monsters in love? Well…mmmmm.

You're a nut. But a funny, likeable nut who is a good writer.

Q. I love first lines. Post your first sentence. Hook us.

 What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.

Reap & Repent blurb
They see death. Can they share a life?
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.
Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.
A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound power.

Want to read more?  AMAZON | B&N  | KOBO 
Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them. Reapers. The grim kind.
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.
She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.

Connect with Lisa Medley here:

Now, tell us what you think about zombies in love?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop

It's Tuesday which means it's time for another installment of the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop! Each week, an author from the group poses three questions for several romance authors to answer. Follow us and you'll get insight into our writers' minds! Be sure to like our page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/RomanceWritersWeekly and stay tuned. There's going to be a HUGE give-away toward the end of this month!

This week's great questions come from author Tessa Gray. Thanks, Tessa. I enjoyed these.

1.   Do any characters you've written into your books remind you of yourself? Explain which ones and why.

It's sometimes hard to keep bits of ourselves out of our writing. Sometimes we do it purposefully and other times, for me, it sneaks in. In my August debut, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, I have a character named Alexandra (Alex) who is quite a bit like me. For instance she has a "touch" of OCD (some days I have more than a "touch") and she loves T.J. Maxx (so do I). Alex also occasionally falls for the bad boys and likes men in uniforms, especially cops. Enough said.
2.   Was there a teacher or mentor in your life who helped nurture your writing?
I had three--one in junior high, one in high school and one in college. Don Sharp was my English teacher at Pipkin Junior High. Mr. Sharp was entertaining, nurturing and pushed me to become a reporter for the school newspaper. Several of my articles were published and I was hooked.
In high school, Laura Fleetwood was my English and literature teacher. She had a lovely, easy, conversational way about her with an ability to draw the students in. I remember she had us put our desks in a circle which I thought was cool. Mrs. Fleetwood also had a section on mythology which I loved.
My college professor, Jo Van Arkel, was amazing. I told her once that she could make a rock creative. She gave us several observation exercises which were very helpful and she had us write and write some more. I always made "A's" and received encouraging comments on my papers. During one of my expository writing classes, she made a comment that I remember almost verbatim. "I'm not exaggerating to suggest that this article could be published in a major women's magazine." I've never forgotten that. I was in my mid-to-late twenties and a single mom. I just held onto her encouragement--and that essay--for years but never sent it in.
3. Every author has that moment when they doubt their ability to write. When that happens to you, how do you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and continue? What do you do to inspire YOURSELF?    
I think this happens to every author. On many days we're filled with self-doubt. Isn't that why Hemingway drank?! What I usually do is either reread things I've written in the past to boost my confidence or I'll read a book. Reading others' work always gives me confidence and courage. It's not that I think I'm better than those authors, but I see exactly how they string sentences together to create a story and reading someone else's book always makes me ready to get back to my own storytelling.
Please leave a comment, and after you're finished, be sure and check out answers from the next writer on the hop. She's the lovely, talented actor-turned-writer Kim Handysides  http://kimhandysides.com

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meet Romantic Suspense Author Rachel Sharpe

I'm very pleased to introduce another Soul Mate Publishing Author. Meet Rachel Sharpe. She writes romantic suspense and her debut novel is entitled COLD AMBITION.

Welcome, Rachel!

Q. Tell us about your new release—the inspiration, genre, characters or anything you want us to know.

"Cold Ambition" is the first book in the Jordan James, PI series, which is the story of a young woman from New Orleans living in Boston and trying to make it as a private investigator against some pretty serious odds. Her first case is a twenty-something-year old unsolved murder that not even Boston's finest could crack. Little did she know that with her very first case, Jordan would find herself unwittingly involved in an international conspiracy that puts her very life in jeopardy... 

The inspiration for Jordan James came from the fact that as a child, I loved watching re-runs of "Magnum, PI" so much that I literally wanted to become a PI myself. The lifestyle presented in that show was possibly the most thrilling life I could have imagined - living in Hawaii on an ocean front estate free of charge and getting to drive a Ferrari you don't own while solving sensational cases with your friends? Who wouldn't want a life like that? When I truly began to put pen to paper, however, I couldn't imagine a more exciting city to begin a career as a PI than in Boston which, along with New Orleans, is one of my all-time favorite cities. 
Now that you put it that way, I think I'd like to be a PI as well! That was a good show. I agree Boston and New Orleans are both great cities and wonderful fodder for novels.
Q. How long have you been writing and what is your typical writing day like?
I've been writing stories ever since I could write. Reading and writing have always been passions of mine, which is most likely why I became an English major in college. A typical writing day for me is atypical at best. At this point in my career, I still have a "day job," so I write whenever I can. Oftentimes, I get the most writing done on the go via my cell phone's writing app. If I'm writing a novel, my goal is to complete the first draft within a season. Editing takes more time, but as long as I get that first draft down, I'm good.
I've heard you talk about that phone app before. What is it called? Though, I can't imagine penning a novel (even part of one) on my phone. I love that idea to finish a draft in a season. Hmm. Maybe I'll try that.
Q. How many books have you written or is this your debut? 
This is my debut novel, but there are currently four books in the Jordan James, PI series. Soul Mate Publishing contracted book two, "Lost Distinction," and I am editing book three, working title "Retribution." I am also writing book four. I hope for this to be a continuous series like "Jack Reacher."
You are making me feel like a real slacker especially since I can no longer say my day job is anything but writing. But I did work outside the home for over 25 years. Congrats on selling book #2 and working on #'s 3 and 4. I'm impressed.
Q. Any suggestions on balancing writing and social media?
It's all about consistency. You have to remain active to keep your name and your work out there, but you don't want to over-saturate your market to the point you lose readers' interest. I try to keep semi-active on Facebook and Twitter as well as my blog, but I do not post daily. Marketing is easily a full-time job that could take away from your writing time if you let it. That's why it's important to be consistent, but keep things in balance.
Marketing can definitely be a full-time job. Achieving balance is key, I agree, but it's often hard to follow that advice.
Q. Tell us something quirky about you that we may not know.
It's not exactly quirky, but I love music and I play the guitar. I was in a band in high school called Outta the Blue. If I couldn't write novels, I would probably focus more time on my music.
You're cool! Love the name of the band and the fact that you can play a guitar!
Q. What is your favorite marketing tip/promotional advice?
When I first began my journey to publication, I was talking to a friend and fellow author and he said, "You're going to write? Then you need to Tweet." After a minimal argument, I agreed that whenever that wonderful day happened, the day when a publisher finally said, "Yes, we want to publish you," on that day I would give in and get Twitter. And I did. And my friend was right. Twitter allows you to reach, in my opinion, a wider audience than Facebook. Both are amazing marketing tools that anyone needing to promote themselves or their product/service should utilize, but so far, I've found it easier to engage readers on Twitter. 
Interesting. I've found more fans and networking opportunities on Facebook! But I'm also on Twitter.
Q. What’s your next project?
"Lost Distinction," book two in the Jordan James, PI series. In it, Jordan is called upon to find the missing son of a US Ambassador. With time running out and lives at stake, she must race to uncover the culprit of an elaborate plot while also uncovering a far more personal truth too intimate to ignore...
Sounds intriguing and complex.
Q. I love first lines. Post your first sentence. Hook us!

Perilously perched on the edge of a high-rise that offered a spectacular view of Faneuil Hall is most certainly not how I pictured my untimely demise...

Good one!!! I just love compelling first sentences. They're so important. Now, I wish I had asked you why you decided to write using first person. Maybe you can tell us in the comments.
Everyone, please read Rachel's excerpt below, then leave a comment and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. And, of course, check out her novel, COLD AMBITION. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel.

My name is Jordan James, and I am a twenty-four- year-old woman. I just wanted to get that straight from the beginning. I am well aware that Jordan is commonly a boy’s name, but for some reason my parents decided that a normal name like Melissa or Amanda would not suit me. Regardless, my name has not caused me any trouble since an unfortunate teasing incident in the third grade. In fact, it has been quite useful in my line of work. But again, I digress.
I’m originally from a suburb of New Orleans but moved to the Northeast to attend Brown University. I spent four fabulous years in Providence and graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in psychology. Like most bright- eyed, eager graduates, I assumed jobs would be thrown at me as soon as I was handed my diploma. I assumed that I could take my pick. The world was my oyster. To make a long story short, my ideas and reality did not match. After several frustrating months of searching, I decided to move to Boston. I thought this city would provide me with all of the wonderful opportunities I had been unable to find in Providence. When it didn’t, I settled and took a job as a waitress at a small Italian restaurant along the Freedom Trail near the Old North Church to make ends meet. It wasn’t a bad job; the tips were good, and the owners were wonderful. In fact, they became quasi-parents to me when I didn’t know anyone else in Boston, but I wasn’t satisfied. This job wasn’t what I had spent four grueling years studying for.
After work each evening, I went home to my one- bedroom apartment on Sewall Avenue, counted my tips, and then spent many hours searching online for different career opportunities that might be available to someone with my credentials. Unfortunately, I had already looked into most of them and during an economic crisis, good jobs can be hard to attain. I started saving religiously and continued the search for my dream job.
After I saved up a decent amount of money and recruited the reluctant help of my parents, I decided to go into business for myself. What career did I decide on? What job could possibly stimulate me intellectually and help me provide for myself in a manner that I could finally be on my own, both physically and fiscally? Private investigation. Yes, I decided to set up shop as a P.I. Now, one might wonder, what could have possibly led me to believe that I could make it as a P.I.? Another valid question is: why did I want to become one in the first place? The answer to both questions can be summed up in one word: Magnum. I grew up watching re-runs of the classic 1980’s show and was enthralled by both his career and his lifestyle. It was exciting and thrilling. He lived in Hawaii, drove a Ferrari that he didn’t own, and lived on an expansive oceanfront estate free of charge. Who wouldn’t want a life like that? With the black belt in Tae Kwon Do that I had earned in college, I felt more than prepared to take on a potentially dangerous job. However, even with my black belt and my education, my choice of career received less than enthusiastic responses.
“No one is going to hire a woman to investigate anything,” my father stated when I called him with the news.
“Oh, that is such a dangerous job. You could be killed! What’s wrong with the restaurant? In fact, what’s wrong with moving back home?” my mother inquired. I must admit I shuddered at the thought.
“A private eye? Good luck with that one,” scoffed my older sister, Alicia, the pediatric neurosurgeon. She had graduated from an in-state university and set up her practice within thirty miles of my parents’ residence. She was always the good one.
Despite the negative feedback, I decided to forge my new life in the home of our country’s forefathers, where liberty was conceived and it was decided that freedom was considered worth dying for. Unfortunately, the cost of living had gone up substantially since Paul Revere had galloped into history with his famous midnight ride. Finding a reasonable apartment in an area that didn’t have the police on speed dial was difficult. Finding an office that didn’t put my unborn children into debt would be a miracle.
I learned, however, that perseverance pays off. My landlord owned an office building near Fenway Park with a tiny, unrentable office. It was smaller than all of the other offices in the building and, therefore, considered undesirable. I investigated this situation and found out that my landlord had been unable to rent it for over a year and a half. This was the perfect opportunity for me to put that minor in communications to work. Although it took nearly a month, I was able to logically convince Mr. Chambers that if he were to rent the office to me at five-eighths the normal price for six months, it would be beneficial to us both. Eventually, he saw it my way. He says it was actually because I nearly drove him to jump into the Charles River because of my incessant nagging. I like to believe it was due to my keen negotiating skills.
So, on November 3, nearly a year and a half after graduating, I unlocked the door to my office, turned on the light, and smiled at the black letters freshly inked to the opaque glass in my door—Jordan James, P.I. Now all that I needed were clients. As fate would have it, someone was looking for a P.I., someone whose case would affect not only my career but my very existence.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Two Releases by Samanthya Wyatt

I promised a spot on my blog for fellow Soul Mate Publishing author, Samanthya Wyatt, who has not one but TWO releases this month. Whew! What an accomplishment but that would make me hyperventilate. I'm running hard to prepare for my August release.

Samanthya writes both historicals and contemporary novels. Her covers are featured below. Let her know which cover, title, and blurb you prefer. I'm sure she'll be curious to hear from you. Good luck with your releases, Samanthya! Both of them. :)

The Right One 

He abducts the wrong woman . . . she proves she is the right one.
Katherine Radbourn’s brother is missing and she will do anything to find him. But, when a dark lord kidnaps her and holds her captive, she finds he has captured her heart as well. Even though he tells her she is the wrong one, she knows she is the right one for him.


Something More 

A determined man, a headstrong woman, and a battle of wills.

On his way to an important meeting, a light flirtation turns into more than Matthew expects. The alluring beauty does not need his money, and makes it clear she does not need him.

Carrie trusts no man. Until a pair of mischievous eyes melts her defenses, and has her second guessing her convictions.

In Samanthya's Own Words:
Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved curling up with a good book. I wrote poems and short stories as a child. When I graduated, my life changed. I married a military man, traveled, and had a family. My own children were in high school before I started writing again.

I enjoy penning a story with strong characters, a bit of humor, and active scenes. I invite you to lay the worries of the world off your shoulders and get lost in the pages of a romance, where you embark on a journey with the hero and heroine, become involved in a dream, plunge into a world of fantasy, live an adventure your heart can share.

Website:  www.samanthyawyatt.com
Both books are available at amazon
The Right One      http:amzn.to/1lEk2qY
Something More    available June 25th
Also, find her on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and Soul Mate Publishing.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meet Romance Author Toni Sue VerSteeg

Meet Toni Sue VerSteeg. Isn't she adorable?! I met her through a local writing group, Ozarks Romance Authors, in Missouri. Toni Sue has done very well for herself and has even co-written with Gemma Halliday.

Toni Sue writes romantic comedies which I love to read and watch on the big screen! Let's get started with her fun, new release, MY EX-BOYFRIEND'S WEDDING. Just by the title, you can imagine how hysterical this will be. Most of us can relate to having an ex and possibly (surely not!) trying to get even with him or her. I haven't yet read Toni Sue's novel but I'm looking forward to it. Let's ask her some questions and be sure to comment. Toni Sue is giving away one FREE copy of her new release, plus an awesome writer button for EVERYONE who comments! (See photo of the buttons below.)

Q. Tell us about your new release. What was the inspiration? What’s the genre?

My Ex-Boyfriend's Wedding is a romantic comedy. It's about a very stubborn redhead (which may or may not be loosely based on my youth *whistles and looks away*) who can't back down from a challenge by her two-timing ex. I mean, we've all had someone in our lives who knows how to push those buttons.  Jemma's no different. She accepts the challenge...and struggles with her choices. Then she meets Tony, the bride-to-be's cousin, and things get really interesting. I wrote this book to work out revenge on an ex of my own. It was very therapeutic. 

Q. How long have you been writing?

Forever. In a serious capacity, for about fifteen years. It's been a wild ride.

Q. What is your typical writing day?

I'm a pantser, so it's usually a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kind of session. I know that some people claim you have to write every day to be a 'real' writer. Well, If this is a fact, I'm not a 'real' writer. I write when I have a scene or scenes worked out in my head. I've tried to sit at the computer each day, hoping for inspiration. All this accomplished was some wasted time. Facebook can be such a naughty Siren when you don't have the words at the ready. ;)

I write the same way. I never know if this is spelled correctly--panster or pantster. And about Facebook...I know exactly what you mean. We have a love-hate relationship, for sure.

Q. Tell us something quirky about you that we may not know.

I am a giant mass of quirkiness. Let's see... Most people are befuddled that I can't eat any type of meat with a bone in it. I...just can't. *shudder* And if you have to crack it open, just don't. Not around me.

LOL. I'm the same way. In fact, I won't buy roast if it says "shoulder" or "butt" because I don't want to know which body part I'm eating. I'll only buy stuff that's non-descript so I totally get your no-bone thing.

Q. Do you use a pen name? Why or why not?

I do, but it's my maiden name. At first, it was just a way to make sure people from high school recognized the name when I 'hit the big time', and it was all in fun. Well, it was unique and tsueversteeg.com was available...of course. So, I went with it. 

Q. What is your favorite marketing tip/promotional advice?

ARCs! Advanced Reader Copies are an author's best friend. Offer those free books to people willing to post a fair/honest review on a major site like Amazon or B&N when your book comes out. It helps generate a buzz and gives you something to post about on social media without having to toot your own horn. 

Good to know. Thank you!

Q. I love first lines. Post your first sentence. Hook us!

My first book has my all-time favorite first line of anything I've written. "Men suck!" How can you top that? Especially when the man-panion is working on that very last nerve. ;)
Love it!

Q. What’s your next project?  

I have several in the works right now. The most pressing is the sequel to Luck Be A Lady. Gemma Halliday and I are working on Hey Big Spender. Tessie finds herself helping her childhood nemesis prove her innocence in her husband's death. Tate will, of course, steal the show in most scenes. I just love him.
That's quite an accolade working with Gemma Halliday. Big congrats on that and the sequel sounds great. Love the title!

 I'd love to give away a book and some buttons. :) Thanks again for hosting me!
Thanks for coming by and for offering those cute buttons and one free copy. I can't wait to read your novel. Here's the blurb for MY EX-BOYFRIEND'S WEDDING:


Agreeing to photograph your two-timing ex's wedding... What could possibly go wrong?

Most women have them: those two very distinct, very different voices in their mind. One can usually be chalked up to common sense, the other to mischief, mayhem or just plain morbid curiosity. Both are always there, though, ready with their two cents worth.

Jemma Keith is no exception to the rule. She doesn’t have a problem agreeing to photograph her cheating ex-boyfriend’s wedding. The dilemma, however, is what to do once she gets there. Common sense feels like taking the high road; she can handle being the better person. Mischief wants to slither in, crashing the whole affair down around his worthless ankles.

What’s a woman to do when she can’t make up her mind? 

At least both sides are in complete harmony about the bride’s cousin, Anthony Giovanni: he’s hot, handsome, and oh, so tempting.

Join Jemma as she weaves through a web of lust, temptation, revenge, and maybe even love.



Nook: http://tinyurl.com/nzvtrzw


Paperback print:http://tinyurl.com/nmp7rph

You can visit me at facebook.com/tsvbooks or if you want to get to know me better, I am also at facebook.com/tversteeg. Tweet me at twitter.com/tsueversteeg



Monday, June 16, 2014

Romance Writers Weekly

It's time for another blog hop from the writers of Romance Writers Weekly.
Follow our Facebook page and our Twitter handle at #lovewritechat. And look for a HUGE give-away from several of the authors next month!This week's questions come from author Jami Denise. http://jamidenise.weebly.com/blog

Q.When writing your novel, do you know how it’s going to end before you write, or do you write from start to finish?

A. I generally know the ending so I can work toward it and drop red herrings, build in conflict and employ plot twists along the way. *rubbing hands together*  In THURSAYS AT COCONUTS (my novel that releases mid-August), I knew the beginning, the ending and a couple of plot points but that was it. I am a pantster, although I do see the value in outlines. However, my characters always take over so it's pointless for me to have much of an outline. That said, I have begun the sequel and I don't have a clue how it will end. I'm just brewing up trouble for now.

Q. How do the people you know impact your writing? Are you influenced by friends and family
for your characters?

A. I am influenced by some family members and friends. I'd say more friends and acquaintances than family--and usually the ornery or strange ones are the most fun to create/emulate. I also infuse a bit of myself in a few of my characters. Not the weird ones!! Come on. In all seriousness, some of my characters are a complete figment of my imagination and others are a mix of reality and fiction.

Q. Describe the hero in your current WIP in three words.

A. That's hard since mine is women's fiction with three main characters. I'll write a word for each one:

Suzy - Loyal
Alexandra (Alex) - Sassy
Hope - Unhappy
Please comment and be sure to read the answers by the next author on our hop, Amy Jarecki http://amyjarecki.blogspot.com