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.

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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!

Romance Writer’s Weekly: First Lines

 

Romance Weekly Blog BannerWelcome back to Romance Writers’ Weekly Blog Hop. This week, we’re looking at Great Beginnings – A great opening line draws the reader in, makes them want to know more and compels them to read further.

My philosophy is pretty simple – any day nobody’s trying to kill me to kill me is a good day in my book.Darkfever,  Karen Marie Moning

This is the first line of the fever series. The series sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go and the irony of the line is that the character you are introduced had never been exposed to mayhem and murder until later in the book. She starts out as a Southern belle shopaholic bartender who’s lives with her parents and doesn’t swear.  I love irony.

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The first lines of my novel “Untrue Colors” have irony as well, but I can’t give away the story as to why!

Alex grieved as she looked toward the Louvre for possibly the last time. She had no choice but to leave Paris and the sublime treasures forming its artistic soul. Overhearing Luc’s plan to celebrate their four-month anniversary by murdering her set off her own plan of running as far away from him as possible.

Alex in Paris

Alex in Paris

“Untrue Colors” is arriving into the world on March 9th.  I can’t wait to share it.

I hope you came from Collette Cameron’s blog, http://blueroseromance.com. If not- go back!!!
Jump on over to Kim Handysides’ blog, http://kimhandysides.com, to see her favorite blog.

Romance Writers Weekly: Writing Habits


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Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box. 

The incredibly talented and prolific Collette Cameron would like to know – What quirky habits (superstitions, must haves, etc.) do you have while writing?

Writing is hard. It’s dedication. It’s time away from family, friends, and activities like hiking and baking. And yet, everyday, I sit myself in my chair and begin again.

There are several ways I’ve made writing easier. I always have coffee with me to keep me awake, and if I’m being whiny, I pour it in a mug decorated with one of my own covers. “See,” I tell myself. “I did write a book and it did sell on the open market.” This isn’t always enough, so then I bring out the heavy hitters. The authors who are so damn inspiring that I tend to hang back when we’re all in the same room, so I can observe the awesomeness without actually annoying anyone. I’ve even been know to stop after an hour or two of writing and curl up on my couch to read. Time wasted? No.

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Goals and deadlines, however, motivate me better than anything else. I set a goal for myself and I will climb small mountains to achieve it. My brain has not figured out that my self-imposed deadlines are fictional. Therefore, I have been know to pull an all-nighter to finish a book that isn’t due to anyone but me. It certainly keeps me moving and has made the process easier.

I need the kick in the ass, because I never set out to write a book. I set out to be a writer.

Hopefully, you just came from paranormal and contemporary romance author Carolyn Spear. If so, continue the hop over to the amazing  Leslie Hachtel 

 

Romance Weekly: A day in the life

 

My life is fairly boring and predictable, but Xio Axelrod has decided that the world wants to know what we romance writers do day after day. If I had Xio’s amazing life both as a writer and a singer, I’d write about it too!

If you’ve come from Andrea Mansue’s day in the life, welcome. If not, go check her out.

 

What my perfect day would start like- but this is reality. Darn.

What my perfect day would start like- but this is reality. Darn.

A Day in The Life of Me

 

The alarm wakes me again. I hit it. It goes off five minutes later. I hit it again. It goes off again. I want to throw it against the wall, but it’s also my phone and I need that.

Damn, it’s 6:30 and I’m a half hour late waking frick and frack for school. They have alarm clocks, but although they’re able to hack into my computer and change all the keys around to screw with my typing, they can’t figure out how to set up their clocks.

I try sweet-talking them out of bed, then I yell, then I pour a glass of cold water over their heads. It’s loud, but effective.

We’re late, so breakfast is eaten on the fly and I nuke a cup of coffee made yesterday to carry me the hour round trip from home to their school.

Home. Alone. Finally. I need company, so I check up with my friends on Facebook and annoy them until they stop responding to me. Only then can I start writing. I write a paragraph, laugh at my own joke, and then check to see if someone said something funny on Facebook. Coffee break. A full carafe is made to keep me energized. I check Facebook as I wait for it to brew.

I write another paragraph and realize I’m hosting a Facebook party in a half hour. I hate those, so I spend the next twenty minutes freaking out and convincing myself that I won’t be the only one commenting on my posts. The party flies by with my stomach in knots. I hang on Facebook a few more minutes in case someone wanted to win my book. No one does, so I go back to writing the next book.

I’m starving. I need food. I drink a nutritional shake. It has everything I need and tastes like chocolate. I jump on Facebook and mention that to my fitness group. Then I’m starving again. Liquid diets don’t work for me, so I raid the pantry and end up with a large bowl of chips and salsa. And more coffee.

I often head outside about noon. I’m training for a sprint triathlon, but more important I try to keep myself in shape so I can return to working in a search and rescue unit. I had to take a few years off because of my kids, but as they grow up, I’m closer to having the time to return.

Scout. He's the first dog I've owned that is completely not suited to search and rescue. He's more of a sleep on the porch kind of canine.

Scout. He’s the first dog I’ve owned that is completely not suited to search and rescue. He’s more of a sleep on the porch kind of canine.

I return, shower, drink coffee, and  remember to add a load of laundry to the washer. I write more and then fall asleep for twenty minutes. More coffee and a visit on Facebook will wake me up. I reread yesterdays work and do some rewrites and finally get into the flow of things.

The kids call. I’m late to pick them up. Can’t they see this is the most crucial part of the scene? Nope. They have no clue what I do except stare at a computer screen. Doesn’t matter, I’m not breaking in the middle. They need to wait in the library. Finish their homework. I’ll be there. Soon.

Dinner is pizza to go, mac and cheese, or leftovers from the weekend. And coffee. I review a publishing contract I promised a friend I’d look at while I poke at the kids books, trying to shove knowledge into them.

Sunset at Veronica Forand's pretend beach house

Sunset at Veronica Forand’s pretend beach house

At nine o’clock, I’m brain dead, the kids are brain dead, and my husband arrives home from work. Last thing I do before shutting the kids’ bedroom doors is to tell them to set their alarm clocks. They assure me they will.

Are you tied to Facebook or Twitter? I try to keep it reasonable, but technology leaves it with me all day, everywhere.

Head over to J.J, Devine’s blog and find out what she does during the day. Don’t believe any of it. I think she’s a double agent for Belgium and actually travels the world stopping terrorists by day.

New Release: Snowy Days, Steamy Nights Anthology

Anthology

My novella “Snowed” was released today as part of the “Snowy Days, Steam Nights” anthology. I hope you enjoy it!

Lorena Rubio’s life is turned upside down when she’s kidnapped by Andrés “Con” Conesa, right hand man for the drug lord who murdered her sister. Con, who is deep undercover for the FBI, must keep her at a cabin in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains until the rumor that she’s provided specifics about his drug cartel to the police is confirmed or denied. Their attraction ignites in the middle of this frozen hideaway, but Lorena is unwilling to offer her heart to a criminal. When the cartel boss arrives and wants Lorena put on ice for snitching, Con must decide whether or not to blow his cover for the woman he craves beyond reason.

 

Romance Weekly: Holiday Stories

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This week, Romance Weekly is delving into the holiday season again. His week, we’re looking at holiday stories, thanks to Carrie Elks.

If you’re hopping along, you most likely came from Katie O’Connor’s site. Welcome!  http://katieoh.blogspot.com

The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry is my favorite Christmas story. The story, published in 1905, follows a young married couple, looking to buy the other a meaningful Christmas present.

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James and Della Dillingham live in a modest apartment and struggle to make ends meet. Their two most prized “possessions” include her beautiful long hair and his shiny gold watch, an heirloom owned by his father and grandfather.

Della cuts her hair and sells it to buy a platinum pocket watch fob chain for James. James sells the watch to afford expensive combs for her beautiful hair.

Although both are shocked at the loss of the precious possessions, they realize their love for each other is priceless.

I often try to build a “Gift of the Magi” scenario into my stories. Susan Scott Shelley and I wrote it into the “Flirting on Ice” book. The heroine Heather is willing to leave her family and the work she loves to help Zac keep his position on the hockey team her father owns. Zac, on the other hand, is willing to move from the team he is captain of to help Heather stay with her family and continue her life without being harassed by the press and zealous fans. Any person willing to give up that which most precious to them for someone they love is a keeper!

Continue on to Elizabeth Janette’s blog  http://elizabeth-janette.blogspot.com. She has a story to tell…

Romance Weekly: Favorite Holiday Song

This week Xio Axelrod of Romance Writers’ Weekly, wanted to know our favorite holiday songs.

Have you come from S. C. Mitchell’s blog at http://scmitchell.wordpress.com/? If not, go back to it. Not only will he reveal his favorite holiday song, but you can see the book he released this week,

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My favorite Christmas song is “I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day.” This moving song was written before the end of the Civil War by Henry W. Longfellow. A series of family tragedies inspired this sombre holiday carol. His wife Fanny died in the arms of her husband despite his frantic attempts to save her. Her death devastated him. The next year, his son died of a gunshot wound in battle. With his family in shambles, Christmas was not a happy time for him.

Deep emotions run through each verse, reminding me that Christmas can be a day of heartbreak and loneliness for some and peace and joy for others.

I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY

By Henry W. Longfellow, 1864.

 

I heard the bells on Christmas day

Their old familiar carols play,


And wild and sweet the words repeat


Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

And thought how, as the day had come,


The belfries of all Christendom


Had rolled along the unbroken song


Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

Till ringing, singing on its way


The world revolved from night to day,


A voice, a chime, a chant sublime


Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

And in despair I bowed my head


“There is no peace on earth,” I said,


“For hate is strong and mocks the song


Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:


“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;


The wrong shall fail, the right prevail


With peace on earth, good will to men.”

 

Then from each black, accursed mouth


The cannon thundered in the South,


And with the sound the carols drowned


Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

It was as if an earthquake rent


The hearth-stones of a continent,


And made forlorn, the households born


Of peace on earth, good will to men.

 

Head over to Carrie Elks’ page to see what song she chose. Probably more cheerful than mine!  http://carrieelks.com/blog/ And check the release she has coming out on Christmas Day!

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