Happy Holidays! Or at least, we here at Romance Writers' Weekly hope that they are. But we know what it's like to be moms, dads, daughters, sons, workers... you name it, we have it covered. It doesn't matter which hat you're wearing, December can be the most stressful and busiest time of the year.
So we've decided to have some fun in among all the chaos. From December 2nd we'll be posting once a day about Holiday traditions, songs, stories and movies, to remind ourselves of how much fun it can be. To make it sweeter still, we are going to have a treasure hunt buried in each post, giving you a chance to collect all the clues and a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Plus there will be daily prizes to win, so make sure to read each blog!
To keep up with the posts, be sure to subscribe to the blog here, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Even better, do all three - that way you're sure not to miss out!
What are we waiting for... let's have some fun!
December 1 - Kick Off Post
If you're starting a newsletter or need to change to a new format, try LucidPress. Make it even better by linking it with your Google Drive account. Use one of their simple to modify templates to create a professional newsletter yourself. I've used it for a simple (and last minute) chapter newsletter and was able to complete it in less than an hour. The first time. Share with your subscribers via URL for a more interactive experience. Embed links to your book's trailer, your buy links and links to your social media.
Need a way to keep all your notes/ideas/plot bunnies organized and easily accessible? Evernote to the rescue! Whether you are a die hard PC user or Mac maniac, this web-based program is for you!
Create a single note, one notebook or a notebook for every plot you're working on, Evernote can make it happen. Want to group related notebooks into categories? Evernote allows you to do that with stacking. Need to find all notes related to grammar? If you've tagged them "grammar", Evernote will find every reference in every notebook in your account.
Some cool features: record short audio notes, attach related files, take a picture from within the program (like business cards), share your notes with a link.
Like to handwrite your notes? Penultimate is the sister app/program that syncs with Evernote. Try it out!
Welcome to my site, Making Romance Magical! If you've joined me from Gemma Brocato's site, I'm sure you enjoyed her piece. If you missed her, be sure to hop back. She's awesome!
This week we are challenged to write a short story of 300 words or less based on this gif.
This is from a work-in-progress I started years ago, but I love the chemistry so much between the characters that I dug up the manuscript, stripped the scene down to bare bones to get it to 301 words. I love Jake (former naval officer who now owns a bookstore in the Keys). A man accustomed to violence who chooses a life filled with books, friends, and relaxation, a real Renaissance man. A hero in every way.
Jake was way out of Brooke’s league. And dating him would break rules three and seven: five years younger and he had facial hair.
Dark hair shorn short but stylish with a perfectly trimmed goatee lent a dangerous edge to the handsome bookstore/coffee shop owner. His gaze settled on her, making her reconsider how deeply in stone her rules were etched.
Business slowed and he joined her at her table. Heat raced through her and her pulse stuttered with the rub of his thumb over the back of her hand.
“Have dinner with me tonight.”
Just like that, the rules crumbled to dust along with her power of intelligent speech.
She shucked off her nagging insecurities. “Okay.”
“Okay, I’ll have dinner with you.” She laughed, more relaxed. “When and where?”
“Seven. I’ll pick you up.”
“I’d just as soon meet you wherever we’re eating.”
“So you can dump me if it doesn’t work out?”
“You know me so well.”
“Not as well as I’d like to.” He leaned toward her, his breath caressing her chin. His mouth hovered a whisper from her lips. He dropped a kiss, delicate as a butterfly, at the corner of her mouth, drew back. She forgot to breathe. Shivers ran down her spine when his fingertips stroked her jaw, trailed down her neck.
Dragging in a breath, she could do no more than stare into his molten brown eyes. Another butterfly kiss brushed her brow and broke her from her reverie.
Unable to keep the lingering doubt at bay, she blurted, “Why do you want to go out with me?”
“I like you. I like spending time with you. You’re sweet, smart, intuitive. You have a sexy body and soft lips. And I want to drown in your eyes while we make love.”
Whew! Taking a moment to cool off with ice water. Keep on hopping to J R Richardson, writer of contemporary, paranormal, mystery, thriller. Ah, hell, if it's some sort of romance, chances are she's writing it. And beautifully!
Is anything sweeter than revenge?
In a family of remarkable people, ordinary Beatrice strives to prove herself worthy. When her family is threatened with losing everything, she rushes to London to save them. Unfortunately, she chooses as her savior the very man who will see her family brought low.
Garrett has sworn vengeance on Sir Arthur of Anglesea for destroying his life when he was a boy and forcing his mother into prostitution for them to survive. He has chosen as his instrument Sir Arthur's youngest daughter, Beatrice.
Can Beatrice’s goodness teach Garrett that love, not vengeance, is the greatest reward of all?
Click HERE to read a longer excerpt on my website.
If this sounds like your thing, you can pick up a copy at AMAZON or BARNES & NOBLE or pop along to KENSINGTON PUBLISHING for your favorite format.
Who am I?
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.
She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.
Welcome to everyone joining me from Victoria Barbour's blog. If you missed her, hop back when you're done here.
Ever wonder what's going on inside the head of a romance writer? Wonder no more. You've landed in the midst of romance authors who are happy to give you a sneak peek into their writing lairs.
This week's questions come from Beth Carter:
1.What’s your favorite aspect of novel writing? Dialogue? Setting? Conflict? Narration? Explain.
It's none of the above. The best part of novel writing is the relationships. It's the healing of a wounded soul or transformation from zero to hero. It's falling in love or rediscovering that lost lover. The words. the sentence structure, the story elements are the frame for the beauty of the characters and their struggle. It's my job and my pleasure to translate their stories from mental movie into written text on the page.
3.I’m a big six-word memoir fan. (Hemingway even wrote one.) Describe your writing day using just six words.
Never enough time to write alone.
As a wife who works full time and mother of two tween girls, there is never enough time to write. I know it sounds weird, but I'd love to win the lottery so I could stay home and write full time.
So ends these three answers from me. Don't stop now, hop on over to see what answers the talented A.S. Fenichel has in store for you.
What are romance writers really like? Do they lock themselves in their bedrooms and read romance novels while eating bon-bons? Do they troll bars, observing native mating rituals? Or are they normal folks with the usual stress, family and work issues? All of the above, though I'd prefer more of the first.
Welcome if you've joined me from Ronnie Allen's blog and this week's questions are hers.
1.When do you decide that you've done enough editing and changes would now be making it different, not better? So it's the time to submit.
After my critique group reviews and provides feedback, I make changes. Most of their suggestions are valid and may cover plot holes, inconsistency with characterization and "just not right". Anything that pulls the reader out of the story requires fixing or tweaking. One more level of edits to add sensory details and it's off.
2. When and how do you accept change advice by rejection letters and critique partners?
Most of the time they are right. Can't think of a time when they haven't been right. My critique partners are tough but not ruthless in their critiquing. I am blessed with amazing critique partners I trust implicitly. When I received a rejection letter, it was for the "baby" (my first novel). It took a while for me to read the actual notations in the manuscript. They editor was correct, of course, so now, as an older and wiser writer I'm reworking it. The "baby" deserves to have the story told well.
3. When you're not writing, how do you spend your day or do you create your day around your writing?
As a full time employee, wife and mother of two girls, I cannot create my day around writing. That would be ideal, naturally, however at this time, unrealistic. If I had my way, I'd have a separate office with HVAC, internet and power. Lots of sunlight and plants, dog or cat at my feet. (See dream office, right.)
Keep hopping on to Mikki Cober's blog. Mikki is a fabulous writer of romantic suspense and I know you'll enjoy her answers.
We are so excited to announce the final judges of the Finish the Damn Book Contest established to honor our late member and mentor, Judi McCoy.
Contemporary – Nicole Resciniti, agent (The Seymour Agency )
Erotic – Penny Barber, editor (Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press)
Historical – Jordy Albert, agent (Booker Albert Literary Agency)
Mainstream with Romantic Elements – Susan Brower, agent (Natasha Kern Literary Agency)
Paranormal – Amanda Barnett, editor (Wild Rose Press)
Young Adult/New Adult – Terrie Wolf, agent (AKA Literary Agency)
Click here for more details on our chapter website. Contest is open now and closes September 30th. Come on, polish up your manuscript and enter it!
Ever wondered what inspires romance writers? First and foremost, it's our own experiences, good or bad. We dredge the depths of our distant pasts and recent events to infuse characters and scenes with authentic emotions. This week we tackle the first kiss.
Thanks for visiting with me today and welcome if you're popping in from Brenda Margriet's blog.
There's nothing quite like that first kiss. The butterflies trying to bust out of your stomach. The heat that rushes into your face when he leans in. The hint of mint on his breath, caught when you drag in air.
I'd been working with a very fit, exceptionally sexy man. When I say he was hot, I mean he would have been Mr. July in a sexy men calendar because he was so scorching. Handsome, nice and available, I was stunned when he asked me to dinner.
Dinner was great and unsurprising. After all, we knew each other so there was no awkward getting-to-know-you small talk.
Mr. July drove me home and walked me to the door. It was time for the attack of the butterflies. Would he kiss me? Did I want him to? Well, any woman with warm blood in her veins would want him to kiss her. I paused at the door, keys in hand, giving him time to make his move.
"I had a great time." Okay, so he wasn't a conversationalist, but for once I was going with my shallow side.
"Me, too." So the hormones must have made me somewhat stupid as well.
He reached out to tip up my chin and I sucked in a breath. One moment seemed like minutes, then he pressed his lips to mine.
Oh, God. Wet, sloppy, and way too much tongue. Like a hot slug in my mouth.
I know I cringed. He may have felt the tremor of disgust vibrate through me as he withdrew rather quickly. He stepped back and his mouth formed a hard line, shrugging a shoulder.
"Um, see you tomorrow. At work. Yeah. Goodnight." He beat a hasty retreat and we never spoke of that date nor the entire lack of physical compatibility.
We all imagine that first kiss to be perfect, sensual. The moral of this story is that it's different for everyone. Oh, and not to be shallow.
Don't stop now! Head over to Elizabeth Jannette's blog for that first kiss amidst murder and mayhem.
Welcome to one and all. I know you enjoyed Kim Handysides' take on the challenge! If you missed her, head on back after you read mine!
We romance writers have to mix up themes, keep our plot fresh. This week we're taking our cue from Susan Peterson Wisnewski, who challenged us to create a piece of flash fiction using three words: candle, chocolate and scarf. And to keep it between 100-150 words. Wish me luck!
What the hell was she doing? Melissa didn't do blind dates. Ever.
With no social life to speak of and all arguments had been exhausted, best friend Syd had simply worn her down with the assurance it was just Death by Chocolate with a friend of a friend at the Trellis Restaurant.
She could still get out of this, just untie Syd's identifying hot pink scarf and tell the hostess she'd forgotten her phone in the car. Only guilt kept her from making her escape. Even a stranger deserved an explanation and her respect.
Cursing her soft heart, she followed the girl to a patio table for two where a single candle's flame -and her knees- trembled in the evening breeze.
The man with dark hair curling at his collar and intriguing green eyes stood with a smile and extended his hand to take hers. All trepidation melted away, replaced with the heated promise of a pleasurable evening.
I envisioned this blind date occurring at the Trellis in Colonial Williamsburg. It would be hard for me to turn down an invitation to this incredible restaurant, especially if the temptation were Death by Chocolate. Here's the recipe if you want to try to make it.
Leave a comment what celebrity you think the blind date resembles.
Don't stop now! See how Jeana Mann handles a scarf, candle and chocolate. Odds are hot and dangerous like her novels!
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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