A challenge has been issued by S.C. Mitchell: create a flash fiction of a romantic scene.
I love the beach, I love the woods, I love anything that means I get to spend time away from distractions to connect with nature. So here's my take on this challenge.
Salty air stung her eyes and the wind whipped her hair against her face. Though the sun was high overhead, the cold crept up the sleeves of her jacket, slapped her cheeks. From the bluffs, the limestone stacks rose like guardians protecting the land from the encroaching seas. Isolated and severe, what kind of man brings a woman here for a first date?
A thoughtful, attentive kind. Shauna smiled and squeezed Giovanni's hand tighter. The philosophy professor had brought her coffee, then lunches for two solid weeks before asking her out. She hadn't been surprised when he'd asked her for lunch but had felt a bit put out when he'd refused to tell her where he was taking her but it was oh so worth it. Her rock hound colleagues at William and Mary would be so jealous. Nothing excited geologists quite like huge rock formations. Add in a sexy Italian and it was going to be a memorable day.
Time to meet Leslie Hachtel who I can guarantee will have a fantastic romantic scene!
Romance Writers Weekly-Would You Rather...? Jan 24, 2017 #wouldyourather #lovechatwrite #unicornsarereal!
Would you rather...?
Welcome, visitors hopping from Leslie Hachtel's blog.
This week our questions comes from Jenna Da Sie:
"Would you rather?" questions.
I wonder if her kids have the same game/books mine do because this game can make for a long (and I mean interminable) road trip! Especially if your answer is followed up with "Why?"
1) Would you rather go way back in time and meet your ancestors Pre 1800’s or go way into the future and meet your great grandchildren Post 2200?
Definitely go back in time. I really don't want to know anything about the future. It could mess up the space/time continuum.
2) Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?
I could go without a cell phone. The internet? Research and my wild curiosity would suffer greatly!
3) Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vador?
Talk like Yoda! (A secret? My kids and I do that sometimes anyway.)
4) Would you rather have the ability to fly or read minds?
Oh, for sure to read minds. Imagine how much drama you could avoid if you knew what was on someone's mind. Wouldn't have to wonder if the kids were telling the whole truth. (Thankfully my kids are terrible liars, but everyone has the capacity to lie by omission!)
5) Would you rather have mermaids be real or unicorns be real?
My oldest and I think that unicorns are real. The horn is an recessive gene that when expressed causes a horny protrusion. Or, man hunted the unicorn to extinction. Plenty of cryptids have been proven to actually exist.
Playboy Bunny (Really?!?)
Thanks if you've hopped over from A.S. Fenichel's blog. And no pun intended, one year I was a Playboy Bunny. Yes, that is quite funny because I am the one person who would never, ever, in a million years work as a Playboy Bunny nor pose as one. I am strong, opinionated, do what I want, when I want and was raised that way. I do not think of myself as a sex symbol or sexy or any of the adjectives that generally describe a woman who dresses herself up in a costume like that.
For this one time though, in college, some wild hair (or is that hare?) got into me and I decided to do it. At the time, I had the hourglass figure and God-given bust most girls would die for. It was an easy costume and it was only for one night.
For most of the evening, I enjoyed the male attention. I had a date so no one was overly aggressive. I felt sexy and grown up and desired. Something every woman wants and needs. But as the night went on, I grew tired of the "Are those really yours?" referring to my breasts. We called it a night early and my patient and steady boyfriend got the benefit of my newfound sexiness.
For one night, it was worth playing the game. But I only want to play on my own terms. I found a new respect for women who must wear clothing that is tight or form fitting for their careers. Even the high heels were a pain and I couldn't wait to get out of those.
Time to hop over to Brenda Margriet's blog. All pun intended this time!
I am deep in edits for a short story to be included in a Wiccan Haus anthology. I am at the point where I need to add textural detail, give the characters depth by how they interact with their surroundings.
This is the main house at Wiccan Haus, an amazing spa for relaxation and healing for humans and paranormals.
I thought I'd share the settings for Alaina and Sean's story. Here is the lighthouse where a magically infused crystal safeguards mariners from the rocky coast.
The shower where Alaina glimpses all she is missing by rejecting Sean's offer.
The garden where Sean seduces her with food, wine, and his undivided attentions.
Alaina's romantic bed...
That's it for now. Back to the editing den! If you haven't read any of the Wiccan Haus series, start with Shifting Hearts, the first story featuring Rekkus, a black tiger shifter..
It's Saturday, the day before Easter, and it's a warm, sunny day. I'm hosting the family dinner of twelve. tomorrow. Ham, mac and cheese, pineapple, green beans, rolls....
Do you think I'm inside scrubbing the bathrooms or dusting the furniture?
Heck no! I'm outside!
I'm also tilling in some fresh garden soil with compost we make ourselves and mulches up leaves. This garden will be my vegetable garden, filled with zucchini, tomatoes, yellow squash, peppers, and sunflowers.
This is not my actual garden (but I'd like it to be!).
What are you doing today?
Photos courtesy of:
By Per Ola Wiberg [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Going to a conference? Have the opportunity to pitch to an editor or agent? Here are some tips:
1. Dress for success...and comfort. While it's important to project an image that's professional and confident, it's hard to focus on the brilliance of your book when your toes are pinched and your skirt is riding up. Wear what makes you feel the best you.
2. Prepare your pitch. The important part of pitching is to distill your book down to a sentence or two. Difficult, time consuming, but not impossible. In fact, I find pitches harder to create than the dreaded synopsis.
Use powerful verbs (no "is" or "are" if possible) and strong imagery. Then, practice, practice, practice! Once your pitch is out, talking about your book will come more easily. For expert, step-by-step directions on writing your pitch, see Laurie Schnebly Campbell's blog on writing a pitch. You only have about 10 minutes to wow them. You have to be ready.
3. Stay relaxed. Talk with the other participants at the conference. Share your trepidation. Everyone is a bit nervous pitching.
4. Connect. Editors and agents are humans, too. After you pitch your first line, smile, admit you're nervous or excited. Find something to comment on. Are they wearing amazing shoes or a statement necklace? Are they wearing your favorite color? Once you have connected, it will be easier to talk to them as professional colleagues.
5. Listen & Answer. After your pitch, the editor or agent will have questions like what is your character's inner conflict? What is your social platform? Be prepared to answer questions and listen to any feedback they may give you.
Now, get ready to pitch!
Live in Hampton Roads, Richmond or Williamsburg, VA? Here's your chance to pitch your manuscript.
For more information or to register for the conference, click here.
#amwriting @RWA @coastal_writers #pitching #writing
Wanted: One Sexy Sorcerer
Librarian Rebecca Jones has always found solace in books. The death of her grandmother leaves her alone in the world. An inherited old Welsh scroll renews her desire to find the father she never knew. She hopes fairytale Wiccan Haus will yield the answers she needs.
Descendent of the inspiration for the Merlin legend, Ian Branson lives with the responsibility of protecting humans and paranormal beings. He takes an impromptu vacation with the Rowans of Wiccan Haus, seeking healing for his out of control psychic abilities.
As soon as Ian meets Becca, he feels the pull of his soulmate. Love has no place in his life but he cannot deny the peace only she can provide. Becca finds her Welsh knight in shining armor to translate her scroll but passion tempts her from her quest to find her father.
As their relationship blooms, Ian fears putting another loved one in jeopardy. A tryst isn’t enough but Ian’s charmed solution goes awry. With his emotions into a tailspin, he is forced to sacrifice his pride and ask the formidable eldest Rowan for help.
Will Sarka’s magic reverse the sorcerer’s spell and will Becca accept Ian’s legacy and her own?
From his Richard Gere hair to his stern clean-shaven jaw, he was model material. His eyes, soft green like a mist-covered glade, penetrated straight to her soul. Ian posed a danger to her heart, no matter how he charged her body.
Remember what Grandma always said. “Think with your logical brain, not with your romantic heart. Love does not put food in your mouth or a roof over your head.”
Or decipher an ancient Welsh text.
“What can I do?” she asked as she stood, having nothing to do.
He rose from where he’d prepared the fire pit and walked to her, extending his hand. After a moment, she took it and stood beside him.
“Nothing. It’s done. Are you ready?”
“For what?” Truly, the limits of reality had been shattered and anything seemed possible.
About the author:
Welcome to Wiccan Haus. I know you’ll love this series as much as I do. It is a world of possibilities, an escape from our daily realities. An island with shifters, witches, and all manner of paranormal beings, there’s mystery and magic around every bend, in each encounter.
I’m Carolyn Spear, mother of two sweet girls and wife of one fabulous husband. Reading, gardening and exploring are my passions. I don’t really “write” but rather channel my characters' stories to share with others. A strange combination of small town girl, travel enthusiast and geek, I am thrilled to be a part of the shared world of the Wiccan Haus.
For Becca’s personality, I channeled by inner child. I still believe in magic and knights in shining armor. She gets a little more than she bargains for at Wiccan Haus. Wizards and werewolves and vampires, oh my!
Ian Branson is an older than usual hero, but I like my heroes a little more experienced. A little uptight and a little supercilious, he is surprised at the feral passion Becca unlocks in him. He has to deal with all the emotions he keeps under lock and key to function. I think he exemplifies many of us who function more than live. And it’s a Merlin inspired tale, who I’ve always felt got a raw deal at the end of his life so I wrote him a different ending.
Contact info/buy links:
Writing is essentially an individual activity. For many of us (especially me), being alone is the only way I can write. However, a successful writer usually does not achieve success alone. There are critique partners, beta readers, agents, editors, and chapter members who support and contribute to the process and mental well-being of every author.
Writers Conferences are a great way to connect with other writers and learn about the ever evolving business of writing.
Top 5 Reasons to Attend a Writers Conference
1. Meet other writers. No one else will understand when you talk about the "voices in your head not letting you finish this manuscript." With others, you might end up in a 48-hour psych hold.
2. Learn from experts. Consider the speakers above. Both are multi-published authors with tons of experience. Publishing changes all the time. Avoid the pitfalls by learning from others.
3. Learn what editors and agents look for. The first page has to hook the editor or agent. Not to mention a reader. The panel of editors and agents will comment on a limited number of submissions.
4. Pitch your manuscript to editors. Many conferences will provide opportunities to pitch your finished work to acquiring editors and agents. Local conferences allow a little more relaxed experience, with other writers just as nervous.
My first pitch was a forced march by a writer friend to an editor who gently walked me through the pitch process. My take away: come prepared with a rehearsed speech but remember editors are people, too. Connecting with them on a human level is equally as important.
5. Take notes. Yes, I know. We're in the digital age. But if you have a life and don't have an eidetic memory, you probably need to jot down notes of things you need to do. Paper or device, write down ideas that will make you more successful.
If you live near Williamsburg, Virginia, Chesapeake Romance Writers is hosting a conference March 5, 2016 at the Regional Library. We are a relaxed, fun, and supportive group of writers and we'd love to meet you. Whether you need a chapter or are ready to pitch your manuscript, we invite you to join us. Register here.
Here is the schedule:
Guest Blog by Author of A Matter of Time
Since childhood, my personal version of heaven has resembled Mr. Scrooge’s time-traveling adventures, only with a much more enjoyable spin: being able to visit any time period anywhere, to fully understand what life was like then.
Rome in its heyday? I could be there. Charlemagne’s ascension to emperor? Yup. Witnessing the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Sign me up!
Of course, I’d be invisible, a mere witness, not an active participant (I wouldn’t want to potentially mess anything up!) – which means I’d like to avoid the more horrific points in human history.
Still, imagining what people, places, and events were truly like in times past thrills me just as much today as it did when I was younger. It’s one of the reasons writing time-travel romance seemed like a natural fit.
I spent hours brainstorming what A Matter of Time’s Eliza James might have experienced once in Regency England. I danced over some of the less savory realities she’d likely encounter (time-of-the-month issues, anyone?) in favor of imagining the furniture, the horses, the open country, the lavish foods … and of course, the handsome, cravat-bedecked gentlemen.
For Eliza, Jane Austen’s time is her ultimate dream-come-true. Until it isn’t. Because, of course, reality never can quite live up to fantasy, right? And accepting that is one of the ways we grow and mature. No matter what time we live in.
So, tell me, if you could travel to any period in history, where would you go? Why? What do you think your first reactions would be?
I, for one, would want to take a bag like Hermione’s bag from Harry Potter, with its Undetectable Extension Charm, so that I could have all the storage without all the bulk. Because I’d want Advil, and Bandaids, and pads, maybe my Kindle . . . Though I suppose if I had all those things, it’d rather defeat the purpose.
I might as well stay right here, in twenty-first century Virginia, curled up in my chair with a good book in hand. Which isn’t such a bad idea, actually, because books allow me to experience my own imaged heaven, right here on earth, every single day.
A Matter of Time:
Love comes when least expected.
Nobody would blame widowed doctoral student Eliza James for giving up on Happily Ever After; at twenty-nine, she’s suffered more loss than most people do in a lifetime. But Eliza’s convinced her own hero is still out there, waiting for her, just like in the beloved romance novels she devours. Every girl deserves a Darcy, right?
Only Eliza doesn’t dream of a modern-day affair: she wants the whole Regency experience. When a magical manuscript thrusts her back two hundred years into the arms and life of one Deveric Mattersley, Duke of Claremont, however, Eliza soon realizes some fantasies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, especially when her duke proves himself less than a Prince Charming.
Deveric Mattersley has no interest in women, much less marriage. Determined to atone for his sins after convincing himself he's at fault for the death of his first wife, he decrees himself content to focus on running his family’s estates, and on raising his son–until the mysterious Mrs. James appears. Who is she? What does she want? And why does she make Dev’s blood run hot in a way no woman ever has?
Can a man with a past and a woman from the future forge a love for all time?
A lover of romance novels since the age of ten (shh, don't tell mom!), Margaret Locke declared as a teen that she'd write romances when she grew up. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things (such as earning that master's degree in medieval history), not penning steamy love stories. Yeah, whatever. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader. Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fabulous kids, and two fat cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window); she's come to terms with the fact that she's not an outdoors person. Margaret loves to interact with fellow readers and authors! You may find her here:
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/MLAmz
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/AMatterOfTime
Magical romantic comedy A Man of Character now available! http://bit.ly/AManOfCharacter
Shifters & Spice (e-book 99 cents!)
Romance writer. Paranormal and contemporary. Mother of two and wife of perfect husband. Love the environment, travel and reading.
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