This week on Romance Writers Weekly, S. C. Mitchell has set us a Flash Fiction Challenge:
Give us a romantic scene to set the mood for Valentines Day.
Before I give you my scene, I have to confess something. Mr. C and I don't "do" Valentine's Day. We don't exchange cards or give gifts or go out for dinner. It's something we decided a long time ago in our marriage, and it works for us. But that's not to say we aren't romantic at other times of the year. As our kids get older and leave home, it's actually easier to find time for romance, for connecting with each other again. We love camping, and while times at the lake with the children are some of our best family memories, there is something to be said for the two of us heading off on our own. That being said, what I've written below isn't really fiction. We've had days like these. But here's my scene:
We spend the day in our boat, puttering around to different bays and backwaters, anchoring when we feel like it to take a swim in the clear, peat-coloured waters. The sun warms my skin with a gentle caress, and the rocking motion caused as other boaters skim by us is soothing. In the prow of our boat is a wide bench and I lay there, pretending to read but really just soaking in the view, the serenity, the very air.
When the sun begins its descent behind the mountains, my husband steers us back to the dock. It's a short walk to our trailer, set up in a clearing among the trees. On our way we pass other campers—a group of young men in tents, harried parents with young children drunk on freedom, a rental motorhome with its tourists shut up tight behind closed doors.
The steaks have been marinating all day. I slice onions, green peppers and mushrooms and wrap potatoes in aluminum foil. My husband gets the fire going and pours us each a glass of wine. We're in absolutely no hurry, even though we are both starving after our day in the fresh air. When the potatoes are just right, he fries up the vegetables, then slides the steaks onto the grill over the dancing flames. The sizzle and snap makes my mouth water.
We eat off plates on our knees sitting beside the fire, with a second glass of wine to complement the meal. The light is finally starting to fade on this long summer's night. We will clear up our dinner together, play a few games of crib, and then snuggle together in our comfortable bed.
It may not be lobster and roses, champagne and candlelight. But to me, time like this, time spent together with no distractions, no interruptions, in conversation or in silence, is the most romantic of all.
I love to hear what you think of my little scene above. Are you a outdoorsy person? Or would you prefer a more urban experience? Let me know. And then, be sure to hope on to A.S. Fenichel whose next on the blog hop!
Leslie Hatchel wants to know – what's my favourite romance genre and why.
I read two main genres – contemporary and historical. If I had to choose between those, I would have to say historical is my favourite. Well, today at least. Somedays it's contemporary. I'm fickle that way...
I enjoy contemporary because I can relate to the characters. I understand the world they live in, their challenges, the technology they use, the way they travel. But I love historicals for the opposite of all those reasons. I know I'm reading fiction, not a history book, but many of my favourite historical authors do intensive research, and I trust that they're getting the main facts right. I see these stories as a snippet into the way "real" people lived then. I also appreciate the slower pace of historicals. I don't mean the slower pace of the story, but the slower pace of the characters lives. When I'm writing my own contemporary stories, I often have to remind myself of the immediacy of our world. My heroine has a question for her hero – she can pick up her cell phone and text him. No need to actually see him. But where's the tension in that? With historicals, most of the action has to be face to face.
What kind of romances do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below! And then be sure to continue on to the next in our blog hop, Leslie Hatchel herself!
If you joined me from A.S. Fenichel, welcome! We're having fun on Romance Writers Weekly today. Jenna Da Sie has us playing the "Would you rather?" game. Keep on reading to see what I mean.
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?
I think I would definitely want to go back in time. I'm fascinated by geneology, and someday when I have the time I want to really research my family tree. I have a pretty good record already, but more would be great. The other reason to go back in time is that at least I know there's a happy ending—in the fact that I exist! But going ahead may provide unwelcome surprises that I don't want to know about. Maybe it's the coward's way, but its just what I think.
2) Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?
That's easy-no cell phone. The world moves so fast these days, and I think no cell phone would help slow it all down. Really-how many calls a day do you get on your phone that couldn't wait another hour or so until you got home? But the internet is another matter. I love having the world at my fingertips, especially when I'm writing. Got a quick research question-done. Can't remember how to spell a word-bam!
3) Would you rather talk like Yoda or breathe like Darth Vader?
Oh, my. I guess neither isn't an option? Then I'd have to go with Yoda. I think the breathing would drive my husband crazy after awhile.
4) Would you rather have the ability to fly or read minds?
Despite that I'm scared of heights, I think I'm going with ability to fly on this one. Birds look so free and awesome as they float on updrafts. And I think I would learn too much that I didn't want to know (see Question #1 for my reluctance to know too much) if I could read minds.
5) Would you rather have mermaids be real or unicorns be real?
Gotta go with unicorns here. In mythology, mermaids are not always the nicest creatures, causing storms and luring sailors to their deaths.
This was fun! Why not leave your choices in the comments below? But don't forget to continue on the hop. Your next stop is Dani Jace
Just a quick not that my fourth contemporary romance, NO LIFE BUT THIS, is now available!
It was released Friday, and to celebrate, all my books are on sale for only 99 cents.
Check them out here.
And don't forget, you still have time to enter to win a Kindle in the
January Preorder Super Sale & Giveaway!
25 Romance Authors are sharing their upcoming releases. And just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on Social Media, you could win a Kindle!
Click here to enter!
Writers often talk about the voices in their head. I know this is true for me, with some characters I've written speaking louder than others. This week on Romance Writers Weekly, S. C. Mitchell asks:
Tell us about the people living in your head right now. Do an interview with the hero and/or heroine of your current work in progress or your latest release.
If you joined me from the wild and crazy, Tracey Gee, welcome! If you're starting here, be sure to follow the hop all the way through. Tracey's sure to have some interesting characters to introduce you to!
I am current working on the middle book in a trilogy. The first is sitting with a publisher waiting for a decision, which is making me anxious to get going on this story. That anxiety hasn't helped, because it's causing me to freeze at the keyboard. Also, I've never written a series before, and another issue I'm having is that the characters from the first book are still so vivid in my mind that I'm having trouble getting into the heads of my new hero and heroine. So this will be a great exercise for me!
I'll stick with the heroine of my new story. Josephine Bendixon is the youngest of three sisters. In book one she has a few scenes, and when I wrote her she was flighty and indecisive and vaguely irresponsible. Now that I'm working on her book, though, I've learned a few things. I'm going to let her tell you more about herself.
"I get where you're coming from, Brenda. I do appear a bit of a goofball to people. But that's just the shell I hide behind. All I want is to be needed. My sisters are quite a few years older than I am, and they've always looked out for me, taken care of me. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but they can't seem to get out of the habit of it. So when I offer to help them—the family business is going through a bit of a bad time—they pat me on the head (figuratively) and tell me not to worry. I want to worry! I want to be an adult they rely on. I'm twenty-four years old for pity sake!
Of course, I can be my own worst enemy. I seem to get myself into situations where I am doomed to fail. And it doesn't look good that I’m still living in my parents' house. Let me explain—I'm not living with them. They're on a cross-North America RV trip, and I'm house-sitting while they're gone. But before they left, yeah, I might have still be living at home.
Then there's Luke. He was a friend of my sister, Mattie, during high school. They've lost touch a bit now, but we run in the same circles so it wasn't unusual for me to see Luke a few times a year just by accident. Now I'm helping him with a concert in the park he's doing with his teenage music students. I get the feeling he doesn't want me around, but there's no way I can quit another project I started. My sisters already think I've got to staying power. So he's just going to have to put up with me.
If you asked my sisters, they'd say I've had a crush on Luke since I was a kid. They're wrong. Sure, he's handsome and sweet and all that, but he's never looked twice at me. I'm just Mattie's kid sister. It's kind of relaxing, actually, not to have to worry about impressing him as a woman. I can be myself around him."
Hmm…that last line is something new to me. I knew Jo didn't have the crush her sisters thought she had, but the thought that she's more "herself" around him than other guys is interesting. Interesting enough that maybe I should go do some writing…
Be sure to keep going on the hop. Visit Jenna Da Sie next!
You've still got time to win a Kindle - check out the January Preorder Super Sale & Giveaway!
25 Romance Authors are sharing their upcoming releases (including me!). Most of them are on sale for a limited time. It's just our way of thanking our loyal readers. And, just for subscribing to our newsletters of following us on Social Media, you could win a Kindle!
Click here to enter!
My next contemporary romance, No Life But This, is coming out this Friday!! Find out more about here.
And remember - pre-order for just 99 pennies!
The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on where we are and where we want to be. This week on Romance Writers Weekly, Leslie Hachtel asks:
What do you love best about your writing? Like the least? And what are you doing to fix the things you don’t like?
If you joined me from A.S. Fenichel welcome!
Wow – these are tough questions. They've really made me think about my writing, in a way I haven't for a long time.
I'm not sure if what I love best about my writing is also what I DO best. I love that my readers say that I describe places so well they feel like they are right there with my characters. This is a good thing – but sometimes I can get caught up in those descriptions and slow down the pace of my story. After all – it's way easier to write what I can see that write what my characters are feeling.
What I like least about my writing is my plotting. I love books that have a twist, that throw you off. I have real trouble with doing that in my own writing. It's as if, because I can see the end I have to get to, I can't follow the winding road – I have to take the freeway! I am working on making life more miserable for my characters, and hopefully that will make things more interesting for my readers.
I am always learning about writing by reading. And I am a member of the Romance Writers of America so I take courses through them – although not as many as I would like to.
I'd like to welcome J.J. Devine back to the Blog Hop! It's great to have you join us this week! Discover how J.J. answered these questions by clicking here!
Check out the January Preorder Super Sale & Giveaway!
25 Romance Authors are sharing January Preorders. Most of them are on sale for a limited time. It's just our way of thanking our loyal readers.
Also - enter to win a Kindle just for subscribing
to our newsletters or following us on social media.
Just click here to enter!
I've been quiet on the blog the last couple of weeks, but it's great to be back! The Romance Writers Weekly kicks of 2017 with a Lyra Parrish topic:
How did you spend your New Years? What literary goals have you made for 2017?
Mr. C. and I are notorious for not celebrating New Years with too much fanfare. When the kids were younger we'd play games until midnight and then hit the sack. That was more for my sake than anyone else's – I'm a grouch much past 10 o'clock at night!
This year, however, we attended a fundraising event called Boogie with the Stars. Local celebrities and business owners pair up and take part in a dance competition. It's all in good fun, because no one is a professional (although they do have great instructors). The "winner" is the team that raises the most money for our local hospital foundation. We really enjoyed the performances, and then danced to a live band for the rest of the evening. It was a lot of fun!
2016 was both a good and bad year for my writing. I made my first venture into self-publishing, made a lot of new connections, and was asked to submit a full manuscript to Harlequin (still waiting on the verdict for that one). But I did not start a new story last year, spending most of my time revising and marketing. This has been weighing on me quite a bit. Since my first book was published, I've managed to complete a first draft of a new manuscript every year except for 2016. I feel like I've fallen behind my own self-imposed schedule.
So for 2017, my goal is to complete a new manuscript. I would love to be mostly finished by the end of May, but that might be pushing it a bit. I have got a start on it, and I think I have a good handle on the story, so I'm feeling fairly confident. It is the second book in a series so I know the world – it's just a matter of sticking with it and not letting my inner editor bog me down.
Other goals in 2017 will be to keep networking and marketing, of course. I have a new release launching on January 20th (No Life But This - read an excerpt here!) that I'll be promoting. As well, the rights to my first book, Mountain Fire, will revert to me this fall. I plan to self-publish it, but I need to decide whether to revise it first or simply relaunch it.
It looks like 2017 is going to be busy, doesn't it? Maybe I should get to it, then! As for you, be sure to hop on to A.S. Fenichel and see what her goals are for the new year! And I'd love to hear what your goals are - leave them in the comments below.
Check out the January Preorder Super Sale & Giveaway! 25 Romance Authors (including me!) are sharing January Preorders! Most of them are on sale for a limited time. It's just our way of thanking our loyal readers. Even better, we've pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway! Enter to win a Kindle just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media.
Just click here to see all the authors and enter the giveaway!
This week on Romance Writers Weekly, Jenna Da Sie asks:
What are some helpful tools and resources that you use for writing?
If you joined me from Leslie Hachtel welcome!
I have one main resource for writing.
Yes, I know that Google is not one thing. But I honestly don't think I would get any writing done without it. Whether it's a grammar or geography question, I don't have to get up from my keyboard – it's right there!
My other resource is other romance writers. My RWW pals are always good for help when it comes to plot and characters and general encouragement. I couldn't have gotten this far without them!
We're hopping forward to Tracey Gee now. I wonder what her favourite resource is?
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This week on Romance Writers Weekly, Leslie Hachtel is asking us to tell the story of our first kiss.
If you joined me from A.S. Fenichel, welcome. Be sure to hop through all our blogs so you can discover the story of her first kiss.
The first kiss I can remember giving was in elementary school. I have a very vivid recollection of sitting in our lines, waiting to be called to class. It must have been winter, because everyone was in the gymnasium, and I know it was prior to Grade Three, as I changed schools the next year. The young man sitting in front of me was my best friend, and I suddenly had the uncontrollable urge to lean forward and kiss him on the shoulder. So I did. I don't know who was more surprised and embarrassed – him or me! Suffice it to say I didn't repeat the adventure.
In Grade Seven I went on a double date with a girlfriend. After the movie was over, I distinctly remember my friend and her beau sharing a kiss – but I can't remember if my date and I did! There were a number of first kisses through high school and the few years after, and damned if I can remember any of those.
I do remember the last of my first kisses. We'd only known each other a few months, and weren't even officially dating. I'd driven him home from our company Christmas party, and we were sitting in the driveway, engine running to beat back the chill. He asked if we could get together for dinner the next night, and I said yes, my heart thrumming in my chest, palms sweating. Somehow, I knew even then that this was IT.
And I was right. Am still right, more than 29 years later.
Now it's time time to welcome Tracey Gee to our blog hop! It's so good to have her back! Be sure to click on through to see what she has to say about her first kiss.
This Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States. We Canadians have already had our holiday, but you can never have enough good recipes, so we're doing a recipe swap. It's time to share the yummy, delicious love!
A.S. Fenichel recipe looked super scrumptious, didn't it?
Mine is an old family favourite, and a really simple yet tasty dessert. Because you have never have enough desserts, can you?
Cut or crumble bread into chunks, enough to fill a loaf pan to heaping. This is a great way to use stale bread, but can be made with fresh. Put the bread in a large mixing bowl.
In a small mixing bowl, combine:
Add milk in small amounts (about ¼ cup at a time) until the mixture is sloppy. It looks like a mess but trust me on this. :)
Pour into bread pan. Bake 50 minutes at 1 hour in 400F oven, or until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.
Serve warm with ice cream.
I wonder what yumminess Dani Jace is sharing today. Be sure to continue on the hop by clicking here.
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Participating Authors:Abbie Roads | Abbie Zanders | AJ Norris | Aleya Michelle | Alyson Reynolds | Amy L Gale | Amy Olle| Andie M. Long | Ani Gonzalez | Anna Bloom | Anne Stone | Annie Anderson | Ara Grigorian | Ash Krafton | Ashley Bostock | Author Scarlett Avery | Author Shaniel Watson | Belinda Boring | Bethany Lopez | Bethany Shaw | Blair Babylon | Brandy Dorsch | Brenda Margriet | C.C. Cartwright | C.E. Black | C.E. Wilson | C.J. Pinard | Candace Clark | Chantel Rhondeau| Christa Simpson | Danielle Annett | Debbie White | Demelza Carlton | Eileen Cruz Coleman | Elianne Adams | Elisabeth Grace | Ella Jade | Emma Nichols | Erin Bedford | Eva Winters | Evie Harper | Genevieve Jordayne | Heather C. Myers | Holly Cortelyou | Jeanne St. James | Jennifer Hilt | Jerusha Moors | Jessica Linden | Joanna Mazurkiewicz | Joanna Shupe | Jordan Ford | Josie Bordeaux | Kaiden Klein | Katie French | Kelly Collins | Kelly Moore | Khardine Gray | Kimi Flores/K.A. Hunter | Kristine Cayne | L A Cotton | Lacey Silks | Laura Trentham | Lisa Swallow | Liz Gavin | Lexi James | LV Lewis | Mari Brown | Marissa Dobson | Marnee Blake | Mary Abshire | Mary E Thompson | Megan Ryder | Michelle Lynn | Miranda Liaison |Monica Corwin | N.W. Moors | Natalie Rios | Olivia Arran | Olivia Rigal | Piper Rayne | Quinn | Ramona Flightner | Ramona Flightner | Rebecca Norinne | Rissa Blakeley | RK Close | S.M. Schmitz | Sabrina York | Scarlett Metal | Selena Laurence | Sharon Coady | Sheila Kell | Shelique | Skye Jordan | Sophie Mann | Stella Blue | Susanne Bellamy | Sydney Aaliyah Michelle | Taige Crenshaw | Taylor Anne | Tee Smith | Terra Kelly | Tracey Pedersen | Tracie Podger | Tracy Ellen | Valerie Twombly | Victoria Pinder | Violet Sparks | Wendy Knight
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