Romance Weekly-Orange Cinnamon Crockpot Chicken

Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we give you the secret to adding time to your day for working (or avoiding work), playing with kids, or romancing the love of your life. 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.

So we’re all providing quick meals this week. If you missed Carolyn Spear http://www.carolynspearromance.com/blog, hop back for her Caribbean Fish With Mango Salsa recipe!!!

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I make this meal before I sit at my computer in the morning and don’t think about it all day. Serve over rice and add a salad for a complete meal.

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Orange Cinnamon Crockpot Chicken

This is gluten free because I have a GF kid.

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 lb olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pepper
  • salt
  • orange slices
  • cinnamon sticks.

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and brown chicken.
  • Remove chicken to the crockpot as they brown.
  • Combine all other ingredients in skillet.
  • Mix well and pour over chicken.
  • Cover pot, turn on LOW and cook 4-6 hours, or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove one cup of sauce from pot and combine with flour, mixing well.
  • Return flour mixture to the pot.
  • Turn pot on HIGH and cook an additional 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with the orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

 

The next stop is Leslie Hachtel http://lesliehachtelwriter.wordpress.com. Check out her quick fix!

Romance Weekly: Writers Write…

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 Tuesday we’ll all answer the same 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.

Have you come from Romance Writer Kim Handysides’ blog? http://kimhandysides.com Great. If not, jump back after reading this.

This week’s cool questions come from Jo Richardson.

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  1. How often do you write?

Most days, but not everyday. I write as long as I can when no one is at the house with breaks for Facebook and walks to clear my head. At least two hours of writing are done each day wile I’m sitting in the car waiting for my daughters at their activities. With no Internet access and complete silence, it’s one of the best places to concentrate.

  1. Do you think it’s important to your craft to write as much as you can, and as often as you can?

Yes and no. No one can improve in writing skills if they don’t actually write. And over time, I feel like I’ve improved some basic skills in writing like sentence structure, avoiding passive sentences, showing v. telling, etc. The more I write, the more my writing is closer to where I want it to be on the first draft.

Writing alone, however, doesn’t make a good story. I’ve read stories where it feels as though the person rushed through to finish, but never connected to the characters. A quick first draft is great, but if the time is never put in to solidify the plot and flesh out the characters, then the story can fall flat. There needs to be time to think and plot and come up with creative ideas. I’ve taken days to play with plots and make sure that everything is interesting throughout the story. Many of those days, I don’t add any new words to the story.

I’ve tried to write super fast, but I’m so picky about word choice that it’s nearly impossible to write straight through a scene without pausing to use a thesaurus or Google a location or flight schedule or other random fact. My pace is also slower than most people because I hate leaving a sentence unfinished. If a word isn’t right, I obsess over it until I find the perfect way to phrase my thoughts. One sentence can take ten minutes if I’m struggling with it.

  1. What is your opinion on the saying “if you don’t write every day, you’re not a writer”?

If a person writes, he or she is a writer. Writers may only be able to write on weekends, on vacation, or maybe every Thursday afternoon when the kids are at soccer practice. That said, practice is important in any craft. And if a person wants to be successful, he should improve his chances by writing more.

Write because you love it, practice because you want to improve, and work hard because you have goals.

unleadedwriting.com

unleadedwriting.com

 

You’re now in for a treat, Ronnie Allen is the next stop.http://ronnieallennovel.com/gemini/blog-1 Her book “Gemini” will be published soon. Psych’ meets ‘House.’ An assertive, sometimes aggressive screw the protocol psychiatrist who happens to be psychic & clairvoyant, uncovers and then tracks a female psychopathic predatory murderer.

 

A few things before you go!

Congrats to Kim Handysides! She just sent out her debut contemporary romance, titled “Stolen Kiss” to the editors this week! Be sure to keep your eyes out for this one!

And Leslie Hachtel just signed a contract for “Captain’s Captive” with Black Opal books! Congrats!

Gemma Brocato’s first two books in the Five Senses Series are on sale for a limited time on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Up-Love-Five-Senses-ebook/dp/B00IRITMS8/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1KR1B4QZPJJT4AS3YEZ2 

Susan Peterson Wisenwski’s book, “Chasing the Rainbow” is on sale on Kindle through 7/18/14 so grab your copy for only $.99cents!

http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Rainbow-Susan-Peterson-Wisnewski-ebook/dp/B00KRC56Y6/

And don’t forget to join us for the Multi-Author six month anniversary party on facebook! Lots of prices to be won… including a Kindle!!

Here is the link to join us!
https://www.facebook.com/events/773431862675366/

 

Romance Weekly: Characters, Inspiration, and Plot Holes

‘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! 

If you’ve come from Tessa Gray’s blog, welcome. If not, go back…  http://www.tessagray.comWomen’s Fiction author, Tessa Gray, writes stories set in the tiny West Texas town of Alpine. Check out her newest release. But come right back!!!

Tessa Gray

 

 

This week’s questions are brought to us from Jeanne McDonald.

1. How did you go about choosing the names for your characters?

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The minds and personalities of my characters form long before I name them. My daughters or the name generator on Scrivener offer me the most character names. Occasionally, I look up popular names in certain years to find something that’s not too far fetched for the age of the person I’m writing about. I’m rarely tied to a name. On certain occasions, my character’s names have changed by the time I’ve written half the story. Family and friend names are mostly avoided, especially if that character will be having sex on the page or will be killed. This helps me avoid awkward Christmas parties.

 

2. Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?

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You could say that I pitched my way to my new series. The seed of an idea for the series came from my very first pitch to an agent. I had planned two books about sisters and the agent suggested I add a third sister because three of anything is better than two. The problem was I had already completed the first book and didn’t know where to put her. I made her estranged and shipped her off to Paris to deal with later.

As I wrote the second book, I obsessed about the third sister. Why was she in Paris? What was she like? A Bostonian blueblood by birth, the character had black hair and an edgy personality. She loved art, but wasn’t an artist. I named her Alex. When I completed the second book, I dove into her story.

An agent at a different pitch session at a different conference suggested I focus on the hero’s brother for the sequel instead of the sisters, because romance readers tend to follow male characters more than female characters. I wrote his story and then his best friend’s story afterward to give me that magical third book. I placed the original two books on the sisters in storage for a while.

Ironically, an editor I pitched at a conference gave me the title of Alex’s story Untrue Colors.

The brother centric series, led by Alex my heroine, just sold to Entangled Publishing. The moral is that listening to agents and editors’ suggestions at pitch sessions can help add the magic ingredients that take a manuscript from the slush pile and turn it into a sale.

 

3. What methods do you use to ensure you have no plot holes (journal, storyboard, outline, editor, etc.)?

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I plot before I write, but I usually rewrite the plot toward the end, because I’ve missed some poignant fact that screws up the entire story. More important, I rely on critique partners and beta readers to find my plot holes. They’re good and not afraid to completely challenge my story. I’ve had eye color wrong, dates wrong, and once I wrote a story about Delphi when I meant Delhi. In other words, I need help. A CP once told me my heroine would never whine in the dire situation I’d placed her in, and my hero wouldn’t be such a jerk to her. I rewrote the scenes, because she was right and the book is better now.

 

The next stop on the blog hop is Daphne and Golden Pen winner Susan Scott Shelley. http://www.susanscottshelley.com/#!blog/c1cod. She’s not only an amazing writer, but she’s insane enough to be my critique partner and has endured writing some novellas with me as well! Our first published work is “Tackled by the Girl Next Door,” published by The Wild Rose Press in October 2014.Tackled by the Girl Next Door

Another #LoveWriteChat

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Welcome to the Romance Weekly blog hop! I’m taking the baton from the awesome Victoria Barbour http://victoriabarbour.com/blog. If you missed her, bounce back!!

The Passionate Kisses Boxed Set includes 10 Sizzling Contemporary Romances. Victoria’s contribution to the anthology includes: AGAINST HER RULES.

Elsie Walsh has one rule—no sleeping with the guests at her luxury inn on the rugged coast of Newfoundland—but Scottish playboy Campbell Scott is determined to show her that he belongs not only in her bed, but by her side at the Heart’s Ease Inn.

Don’t tell anyone, but I think it’s on sale now.

Here are my answers:

  1. How do you respond to someone calling your writing smut or demeaning your work in some other way?

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I don’t respond. People who insult the romance genre will rarely be convinced to read and enjoy it. Instead, I focus on finding the people who will enjoy my work.

Writers need extremely thick skin. We pour stories onto paper and hope someone appreciates them. And most of the time, that happens, but the words don’t always reach a friendly audience.

Do the insults sting? Yes. I wish they didn’t, but I’m human and I have this strange desire for everyone to like me. It helps if I remember that taste in reading material is subjective. Not everyone wants to read Stephen King and not everyone wants to read Jane Austen. Some people prefer comics to novels and others won’t read a book unless it has been awarded a Pulitzer. The key for me is sending out my books to readers who will enjoy them.

The occasional, but brutal comments from people who don’t like reading my chosen genre are softened by readers who truly enjoy my stories After winning several writing contests in the past year and selling most of my finished manuscripts to publlishers, I’m confident I’ve found my audience.

 

  1. When critiquing or beta reading, do you ever find the voice of the other author creeping into your writing?


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Yes? Although my voice is strong enough to dominate most scenes that I write, I allow another writer’s voice to infect my writing when it fits my manuscript.

I’ve had critique partners or beta readers suggest changes to my words that have not been in my voice, but nevertheless made the scene much stronger. I care about making my stories as solid as possible and sometimes that means accepting suggestions.

In addition to my own novels, I co-write novellas with my critique partner Susan Scott Shelley. When we write together, our writing blends in a unique way. I have no idea how it happens, because our individual voices are very different. Her writing voice is amazing. She writes powerful characters, beautiful descriptions, and sensual scenes. She has the ability to take a scene I write and ramp it up to another level.

When critiquing each other, however, we respect each other’s individuality and work to provide feedback that doesn’t alter what makes our voices different. I’ve tried to incorporate some of the lyrical flow she creates so effortlessly in her stories and I think my manuscripts are better because of it.

 

  1. What’s one quirky thing you do or must have around you while writing?

As I write a manuscript, I give myself permission to jump onto social media whenever I need a break. I try to write six plus hours per day and it can be mentally exhausting. A quick break can relax my mind enough to carry me through a tough scene or even provide me some inspiration.

 

Okay, you have my answers. Now hop on over to Rhenna Morgan http://rhennamorgan.com/romance-weekly-lovechatwrite-6/ and see what she has to say! If you want to help her select the cover for her new book, Unexpected Eden, pop over to Smexy Books and cast your vote. I’m not telling you which one I voted for!

#LoveWriteChat

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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.

Welcome.

This is my first week on this blog with such an amazing group of writers. Kim Handysides http://kimhandysides.com was the previous stop. If you missed her, swing back around or you’ll miss an amazing picture of Jake Gyllenhaal. 

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

I plot and plot and plot my ideas. In the middle of the story, I completely change my direction and my plot, but I’m usually in a good place by then and the changes make the story better.

I have one manuscript I’m currently tearing apart and moving the end to the middle and making the middle the end. The change strengthens the motivations of the characters and brings the book to a more satisfying end.

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

Everything in life influences my writing. I especially love watching how people treat others in good times and bad. Some are genuine, some are self-centered, and there are people who will appear helpful, but would rather slit a friend’s throat than let him get ahead in life.

I never use a real person as inspiration for a character. The character comes from a bundle of personality traits, emotions, and personal backstory. Any similarities are purely coincidental!!!

Describe the hero in your current WIP in three words.

Dane is the hero I’m working with on my current manuscript. He’s handsome, loyal, and deadly. Although he’s hesitant to become the hero of this book, he easily out matches my most Alpha hero from my last book. And gives him a bloody lip, just to prove who’s now in control.

Let’s get another perspective and see what Rhenna Morgan has to say about her writing process, especially the part about finding ideas at Target- I’m going shopping there this afternoon to find my own inspiration!

Rhenna Morgan http://rhennamorgan.com/blog/

And please remember how much we love your comments.