Romance Writers Weekly: Flash Fiction

This week we’re challenged to write an interesting flash fiction under 100 words using the words spring, coffee, and lizard. What insane person thought of this question? Me!

Did you come from Mikki Cober?

Go back and see what she writes! But then come back.

Here’s my attempt…

Desert_Monitor_Lizard

Sand sucked. It rubbed between Kerry’s heel and sneaker, scratched under her eyelid, and crunched between her teeth. Lizards sucked too, especially the fast ones. She should have stayed with her car. Rational thinking, however, had left her when the tire blew up and her escape came to a screeching halt.  

The morning sun beamed death and desolation all around her. One cup of iced coffee would put a spring in her step. Instead, she had half a bottle of water. In the distance, a police car approached. Damn. She turned and ran. She’d take her chances with the lizard.

Travel on to Beth Carter‘s flash fiction.

USA TODAY: Must See Trailers: “Untrue Colors”

The book trailer for “Untrue Colors” is featured on USA Today’s HEA feature. Here’s the link… http://www.usatoday.com/story/happyeverafter/2015/03/27/robin-covington-book-trailer-recs-forand-versteeg/70490154/?fb_ref=Default

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The video was made by Sophia Evans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8WdYbVmBn4&feature=youtu.be

Romance Readers Weekly: Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day- we’re making things a bit Irish. I’ve added the soda bread recipe that tends to work for me. Not too sweet. Not too dry. If you’ve come over from Susan Scott Shelley’s blog, welcome!

 

Bread

 

My Mother’s Irish Soda Bread

  • Prep time: 15 minutes or 20 if you have to rummage through the house looking for ingrediants
  • Cook time: 40 minutes (keep an eye on it though- if it’s brown at 35-add some aluminum foil to keep the bread from drying out on the sides as the inside bakes.) If it burns- you did it wrong.
  • Yield: Makes one loaf (or four small loaves- but if you make 4 small loaves, take them out after about 30 minutes)

Ingredients

  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (never overestimate the salt- it can end up pretty nasty if you do)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 Tbsp butter (unsalted)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (seriously- don’t skimp on the buttermilk)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a bowl.

2 Using your fingers, smush the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles pellets, then add in the raisins.

3 Push your thumb into the center of the mixture to create a well. Add beaten egg and buttermilk to well and mix until the mixture becomes difficult to stir. Dust hands with a little flour, then knead dough just long enough to form a rough ball.

As soon as the ball is made- STOP.

Do not get all Chef Boyardee and over knead the loaf. Add flour if the dough is too sticky.

4 Place dough to a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet (for best results) or a baking sheet (for not best results). Score the top of dough about an inch and a half deep in an “X” shape. If you’re creative, make a shamrock. Transfer to oven and bake until the bread is a golden color and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Check for doneness also by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

5 Remove pan or sheet from oven, let bread sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool the rest of the way. Serve bread warm, at room temperature, with butter smeared and melted across the bread.

 

GOOD LUCK!

Head over to Collette Cameron’s blog to see how she celebrates.

Romance Writers Weekly: Writer’s Space

This week’s topic was chosen by S. C. Mitchell – Describe your perfect writing retreat.

If you came from the amazing Sarah Hegger’s site, welcome!

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Today is the release day for my romantic thriller “Untrue Colors.” The hideaway in my house is where I wrote most of “Untrue Colors.”UNTRUE COLORS 1600x2400

 

In a nutshell, I took over the sunroom in our house, and I refuse to give it back. Large windows on three sides provide perfect views of huge trees, squirrels, deer, and a few neighbors.

I started writing with a snack table and a large leather chair. It worked for a while. McDreamy, my husband, however changed everything by buying a small desk on wheels. I could keep a printed manuscript, a laptop, and a cup of coffee on it.

There was only one drawback to my setting, poor posture. Agonizing.

The solution? A lime green ball chair. I can sit on that for hours and not feel the muscle strain in my back I did when in the way too soft leather chair.

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Sometimes, I head to the kitchen and stand at the island to finish some tasks. I’m also closer to the coffee. I love the retreat. I’ve trained myself over the years to focus on work in the office, soI tend to be more productive here than anywhere else. My slice of Heaven on Earth.

Betty Bolte is the next stop on this trip around the web. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch sight of one of her many pets. Dogs, cats, horses.

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Romance Writer’s Weekly: Flash Fiction

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Welcome back to Romance Writer’s Weekly. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Flash Fiction so J.J. Devine insists we do it again. We need to write a scene of 500 words that contains the words, happiness, egg, and purple.

If you came from J.J. Devine’s site, welcome.

An Off Night.

Shana had one stop to make before she could return to her personal oasis, a two-bedroom beach house on the edge of the Atlantic. She pulled into the convenience store to grab dinner. Fruit Loops. Despite the blister on her right heel, she moved aisle to aisle with a stride that screamed attitude and confidence.

The middle-aged cashier, putting her steaming cup of coffee down, glanced her only customer up and down as though she wasn’t worthy of being in the store. Shana didn’t blame the woman. She’d dressed in her uniform of ripped jeans, a black hoodie, and black combat boots to create that exact reaction in people. And if they hated her outfit, they’d probably object to the purple streaks in her hair as well.

The bell rang on the door and another customer stepped inside. The teenager’s worn leather jacket and the snarl on his lip were channeling James Dean, a blond James Dean. She would have ignored him if he hadn’t started casing the place. Her chest tightened, but she continued with her screw the world attitude. The kid eyed the cashier and then her, his hands in the pockets of his jacket.

Damn it. She needed a few hours of television and maybe some Grand Theft Auto before catching up on her sleep. She glanced down at the box of fruity happiness she might not be able to buy and frowned.

Before she could get into a better position, the kid pulled out a gun. “All the cash,” he screamed at the cashier.

He pointed the gun toward Shana. “On the floor.”

She lifted her arms up and puckered her lips as though she was the girlfriend of a gang leader and guns in her face were a normal occurrence. She remained standing. The cashier was sobbing and moving too slow.

“Hurry up.” The boy’s words came out cocky with a haze of hesitation. Tension tightened his features, he hopped a bit on his feet, his body preparing to run.

Would he shoot? Shana didn’t want to die, she didn’t want the cashier to die, and damn, she didn’t want the kid to die. His finger was on the trigger. Every decision counted.

She pushed the cashier to ground and grabbed the hot coffee. She flung it into the face of the kid and screamed to the cashier to duck. Coffee sprayed across the kid’s face. He hollered in pain. A bullet rang out and shattered into the egg case. Crap.

It only took a few seconds to have her own gun in her hand, pointed at the suspect. “Police. Put your weapon down.”

The kid, his face red and dripping, pointed his gun at Shana. His hand shook, maybe pain, maybe rage. For a solid fifteen seconds, they stared each other down. Her heart punched into her ribs. She held still, determined to do the right thing. Sirens sounded in the distance.

One shot. One decision. Blood everywhere.

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Hope you liked it! Check out the story Carolyn Spear came up with. It’ll be worth it.

Romance Writer’s Weekly : Vacations

Romance Weekly Blog BannerDid you come from Mikki Cober’s blog? Welcome.

This week’s question is from A.S. Fenichel – It’s cold in most places. What’s you’re favorite vacation spot? This can be someplace you’ve been or someplace you dream of going.

Castaway Island

I spent a week once on Castaway Island in Fiji. The place is only accessible by boat and was so small, it didn’t have a dock large enough for us to disembark without going onto a smaller boat which brought us up onto the beach.

Our room was a hut on the beach and had a beautifully carved ceiling that almost rivaled the view of the palm trees.

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My husband and I took a boat out every morning to SCUBA dive in the nearby reefs and found them to be in pristine shape. They won’t let you dive with gloves on your hands so you work real hard to not touch the coral, some of which has sharp stinging needles.

The beautiful dinners on the beach  were magical and the best part of the place was I never wore shoes once when I stepped off the boat.  The island will be written into a book someday, although my words will never equal the real beauty of the place.

Dinner

Where in the world would the Leslie Hachtel go?

Romance Writer’s Weekly

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This week’s topic for the Romance Writers’ Weekly is courtesy of Miska Jenkins. What would you say your writing strengths and weaknesses are? Eg: dialogue, description, etc.

If you came from Brenda Margriet’s blog, welcome!

It took me years to learn the craft enough to write a story worth publishing. Over those years, some things came to me quicker than others. My characters can sling sarcastic comments at each other with ease. I’m sure it has nothing to do with me being a wise ass.

Sarcasm

My favorite thing about writing is plotting. I love puzzles and I love to keep readers guessing where the story will go until the very end. If my readers can predict what happens next, I’ve failed.

On the other hand, I struggle with description.

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Since what a character wears is never as important to me as what he or she does or feels, details tend to disappear in a wave of action and dialogue. The same holds true for landscapes and materials used to decorate a kitchen. I try to find a balance with this, because although words are often inadequate, they are all we’ve got to try to place the specific image in a reader’s mind.

Head on over to Gemma Brocato and see what she has to say!