This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Mystic Creek by Kati Ella

 Mystic Creek, the name gives you an immediate feel for the atmosphere.  A foggy, dark, and mysterious small town.  The curfew was set to keep the residents safe.  Most of them don't know the reason, especially the younger crowd.  those who sneak out at night, and those who don't want to be told what to do.

Rebecca looks young, but feels her centuries of existence.  She's made friends where she works, Joe's Tavern, but her main job is to keep them from being ripped apart and left for the scavengers.

New to the town, she's known to be friendly, but distant.  As a witch, she has a lot of responsibilities while everyone else sleeps.  The demons want to overtake the town, and there's another creature waiting in the forbidden forest.  It's not quite a demon, but it's not human, either.


Her concentration is on pushing back on the evil from the forest, when Brody comes to town in the façade of a federal agent.  She hasn't seen him in a hundred years. Really, it seems like it was just last week.  His angel wings are hidden, but she feels the flutter of her heart when he confronts her about the strange being trying to take the town down.

Angels and witches aren't a match in the supernatural world, so why do they want to be together?  Or are there too many forces against them to allow a relationship?  Or are they here on coincidence only to eradicate the evil? Will a kiss tell them?  Or do they have to go further?  

The read is tense, creepy, and full of hormones.  The magic, the reality, and the fear tangle with a romance that wants to live.  A great romance for a cold winter night.




Friday, January 27, 2023

BEWARE THE BLANK PAGE

Hey gang, good to see ya’all here.  I hope everyone is having a tremendous week so far.  We’ve almost made it to the weekend.  Oh yeah!

Okay, I sat down to write this blog and found my brain was totally blank—and so was my page.  I had no topic to write about. 


WTH?  Now what?

·       Bread

·       Milk

·       Eggs (in spite of the price tag)

·       Contemporary romance

·       Coffee

·       Creamer-caramel

·       Green eyes, brown hair that brushes top of collar

·       Yogurt – strawberry/banana

·       Canned corn (1)

·       6’3”, tall and slim…sort of a runner’s build

·       5’9, red hair, blue eyes, name is Tawnya Blackwell, veterinarian

·       Hero owns a chain of feed stores

·       Tawnya was caught in a fire and has scars on her face and on her heart

·       She is overly sensitive about the scarring; others don’t see them like she does

·       What are his internal challenges?

·       Cornbread

·       Milk – 2%

·       Novella, 40,000 words; part of Delta Jane Series; how does it tie into series?


Okay, I’m betting you got confused when I shifted gears into my grocery list.  Right?

Come on, be honest…you won’t hurt my feelings.  It threw you, didn’t it? You asked yourself what the hell does bread have to do with a blank page, didn’t you?

Yeah, I thought so. 

Why did I do that? 

Simple…I had no topic to write about. I had absolutely nothing. 

So...you ask...why the hell did I think you would be interested in my shopping list?

I didn’t. Hell, I’m not even interested in my grocery list, so why would you be? 

But I did think you might be interested in my process. 

What process? 

I’m glad you asked.  

My writing process.  No, I don’t intend to put out a book with my grocery list incorporated into it. That would just be silly, wouldn’t it?! 

This technique is just my way of getting the car moving…sort of pushing it downhill until it picks up enough speed to actually travel on its own. 

I’ve always been a proponent of the belief that you can’t steer a parked car. So when there is a story to be written, but I’ve got nuthin’, I push the car downhill by just making my brain come up with something…anything…and my fingers will follow suit and type whatever is coming out of my brain. Starting with the grocery list works for me. 

Before you know it, I have some bullet points that I can extract from my grocery list, reorganize into groupings, and this is the beginning of my outline for the new story.  It will look something like this: 

·       Contemporary romance

·       Novella, 40,000 words; part of Delta Jane Series; how does it tie into series?

·       Hero description:

§  Green eyes, brown hair that brushes top of collar

§  6’3”, tall and slim…sort of a runner’s build

§  Hero owns a chain of feed stores

§  What are his internal challenges?

·       Heroine description:

§  5’9, red hair, blue eyes, name is Tawnya Blackwell, veterinarian

§  Tawnya was caught in a fire and has scars on her face and on her heart

§  She is overly sensitive about the scarring; others don’t see them like she does 

Voile…the car is moving and now I can actually steer that sucker. Once I am this far along, I can generally start filling in blanks, adding what the character of the hero is, what does his family look like, does he have kids, ever been married, does he hate broccoli, was he once dumped by a vicious redhead and is now wary of them? 

My stories almost always start with the characters, so that is generally the easiest place for me to begin. I build the character profile and as thoughts occur to me—like I want the hero and heroine to have a fist fight in the ladies room—I add those bullet points in a separate grouping titled “Chapter One,” which is the beginning of my “story” outline. 

I tend to use the term “outline” loosely. I found if I tried to do the traditionally formatted style of outline, I would get buried in the minutiae of formatting and I simply couldn’t put together anything that resembled a story.  So I just put bullet points down and when I start seeing a pattern or some sort of scene components emerging, I can then start sorting those bullets into groupings.

At this point, I will generally be into the story enough that I’m no longer overwhelmed by the blank page.  I can then begin identifying the character goals and motivations, what their conflicts are, and maybe what I want to accomplish in this story. 

Eventually, I begin to see chapters emerging that are just a collection of related bullet points. For instance, the first chapter might include all the character descriptions, opening story hook, and info on how they meet. 

By now, I have so many thoughts rolling around in my head that it’s hard to get them all down and I will be typing frantically until it’s all dumped out of the brain and onto the paper. 

At this point, if I don’t already have chapters identified with bullet points, I will begin the process of sorting bullets into chapters, identifying the chronological order, and filling in the gaps. 

Once everything is dumped into bullet points, grouped into chapters, and laid out in some logical timeline, the outline is done. I have the major points identified, I have a good idea of who the characters are, and I loosely understand where the story is going.

Now it’s time to write. 

Basically, I start with the opening hook and character descriptions outlined in Chapter One, and I develop the first draft of that chapter. As I go, I will delete bullet points as I work those items into the story. When that process is completed for each chapter, any bullets that have not been worked into the story will either be moved to the beginning of the next chapter, or they will be eliminated if I realize they are no longer required. 

As I work down through the outline, I will often find that I have gathered a significant number of bullet points that are being carried forward. This often results in me adding another chapter in the middle of the book. Sometimes the bullets relate to a great scene that really doesn’t fit in this book…those items might be copied into another file and saved for another story down the road. 

At the end, I ALWAYS have a lot of leftover bullet points. Again, I go back and incorporate them if they are needed, eliminate them if they are not, or save them for use in another story. 

Voile…a book that began with bread.  And while I’m at it…I must admit that the bread did double-duty today.  Because I had nothing when I sat down to write this blog, so this is the blog that started with bread. Just like baking a loaf of bread, you have to start somewhere by pulling out the mixing bowl (push the car downhill with your grocery list), mixing the ingredients (capture bullet points and apply some sort of order), letting it rise (expand into a story outline), and baking it (write the damn story). 

And you thought there couldn’t possibly be a connection between writing a book and a loaf of bread. 

Oh, silly you! 

Well, that’s my story, unexpected and unconventional, and I’m stickin’ to it. Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!

Love ya,


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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Ripping Out Entire Chapters Hurts

 


        Hello, gentle readers! Hope you are all well and staying safe!
So, the last time I posted (two weeks ago), you’ll remember that I said the first draft of Wife Wanted was done (almost, kinda, sorta) and that just one chapter needed to be tweaked (a lot).
I couldn’t have been more wrong! That chapter didn’t just need to be tweaked. It needed to be rewritten. Completely. So I did what I had to do and cut the entire thing so I could start over.
And here I am, two weeks later, still rewriting that chapter. Oh well. It is what it is. I will admit, the rewrite is going much better than the original. More emotion, more humor (I hope). I will also admit, it’s been a little difficult, but anything worth doing is worth doing well (we can thank my father for that little saying…actually, we can thank him for my continued strive for perfection, though I know I’ll never achieve it).  
It's early (very early!) Sunday morning as I write this. Sunday is generally my busy day (so much to do to get prepared for the work week ahead) but this Sunday, there’s more.
My neighbors, who are lovely people, have invited the DH and I to a football party. I’m not a huge football fan (seriously, I could care less about the game and only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials), but I love these people and their generosity of spirit. I always have a good time in their company!
And as that’s the case, I should go…the ironing board is calling my name (and maybe, if I can plan everything well, I might even get some writing in today).

Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!

Marie

Sunday, January 22, 2023

FROM LEXI WITH LOVE Boxed set of 4 first-in-series romances FREE for a limited time!


FROM LEXI WITH LOVE 

by Lexi Post

Boxed set is FREE for a limited time!

Do you like your romance with loyal cowboys? Or maybe some sexy hard-bodied spirits? How about naked hunks who worship women? Why choose? This set of four, first-in-series books, has it all. COWBOYS NEVER FOLD follows a cowboy in his effort to discover who is sabotaging a new nudist resort owned by a very hot lady. PLEASURES OF CHRISTMAS PAST has a longtime Scottish Romeo spirit teaming up with a new female spirit from America to help a young widow appreciate her past. In CHRISTMAS WITH ANGEL, a cowboy firefighter learns what’s truly important at Christmas when his fiancée rides into danger. And in CRUISE INTO EDEN, a sci-fi addict takes a nude cruise and meets two well-muscled men who are out of this world…literally. Each sexy romance with a “whole lotta story” is inspired by a classic and though part of a series, each has its own happily ever after.


Download links:

Amazon      Barnes & Noble   Kobo

AppleBooks    Amazon UK   

Amazon AU   Amazon CA  

Start your journey!


A Scottish Christmas Carol series


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Magnolia Move-in (The Red Stiletto Book Club Series) by Anne-Marie Meyer

 Naomi and Penny, two women looking to start a new life with or without men. Preferably without.  

Penny moved to Magnolia, RI and bought a newspaper with excitement to be her own editor.  She also wanted to reconnect with her daughter who owned a local hotel.

Naomi was forced to Magnolia after a car accident.  Her brother, Jackson, brought her to Magnolia to help her through the injury and another surprise her body revealed.

Penny's basement apartment flooded, urging her to rent a room from grumpy Spencer.  Spencer was a local that revealed very little about himself to the community.  She was determined to find out what he was about for a "get to know your neighbor" spread in her newly acclaimed newspaper.


Naomi wondered where her unofficial fiancé was during her accident.  Jackson hated him and didn't want her fiancé around. Jackson's best friend seemed to have his eye on Naomi, which she thought about reciprocating until the fiancé contacted her.  

Penny found an accidental loophole to get to know Spencer, and I can say that I like the direction they're going in.

Whereas, Naomi needs to stand up for herself and make a wise decision.  Not sure what she's going to do.

You may wonder what the Red Stiletto Book Club has to do with this.  The book club is a group of women who do read books and may chat about it, but their main goal is to help one another and to make everyone feel needed and loved.  What a great theory!  It's a cheery and warm story.

Happy reading,

Dawn

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

It's Finished...Sorta

 


        Hello, gentle readers! Hope you are all well and staying safe!
So, as you all know, I have been working on Wife Wanted, the second story in The Wives of Bravado County for quite some time now and I did something I don’t normally do…I gave myself a self-imposed deadline. December 31. Well, I hit that deadline. Sorta. The story is finished except for the epilogue, which I’m working on now, and one other scene that I’m tweaking (it needs a lot of tweaking!!!!). Normally, I don’t say something is finished unless it truly is…but this…yeah, I’m gonna claim it simply because it was so hard won (I’ve been working on it a long time).
I looked back in my files to see when I started it. November 2019! Over three years ago. In my defense, I did write another complete novel in between starting this and finishing it, but still…that feels like such a long time!
So, edits will begin, but not just yet. I’m going to let it sit for a week or two (and start book three while I’m waiting). After editing, I’ll print it out, read it out loud, make my corrections then send it off to my beta readers.
I’m excited yet dreading it at the same time. The old familiar doubts have crept in. Is it good enough? Strong enough? Is the happily ever after as happy as I think it is? Will anyone else like it? You know, the same questions I’m sure other writers ask.
And that’s all that’s been happening in my life (hahahaha, which is a lie….there is so much going on, I hardly have time to breathe but there it is).

Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!

Marie

Friday, January 6, 2023

Baby, it's cold outside, so why not warm up inside with a sexy romance?


Passion's Poison

by Lexi Post

Warm up from the inside out with this very sexy, very different paranormal romance. There's nothing like a snowstorm to heat things up!

Beatrice Rappaccini is tired of the one-night stands that keep her alive. Tired of the illness she causes when she releases her sexual poisons into her partners. But when she meets Zach Woodman, everything changes. Desperate for what she can’t have, she puts her heart and life on the line, ignoring the anonymous letters warning her to stay away.

Zach Woodman, logger turned chainsaw artist, has the perfect life, but no one to share it with after the deaths of the women he loved. Fascinated by the sexually experienced yet naïve Bea, he promises himself he will end their hot relationship before fate takes another beautiful woman from the world.

But he discovers Bea has no idea how to have a relationship, and he is perplexed by her strange behavior, hippie mother, six fathers and her request to give him every man’s sex fantasy. It is only when he might lose her that he realizes he must make a decision that will break his heart either way.

Amazon  | B&N | 

AppleBooks   | Kobo | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Amazon CA 

 About Lexi:

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi's first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. Whether it’s dashing dukes, hot immortals, sizzling cowboys, or hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her two cats in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you’ll never see her without a hat.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

 Just what we want to talk about after the holidays is a guest list.  Although, the list for this romance is for a wedding on an exclusive island off of Ireland.

The wedding is from the perspective of several of the guests, the bride, the plus-one (an extra friend who had something to say), the best man, the wedding planner, and a bridesmaid.



Anxiety during weddings come in all forms.  The bride, Jules, wonders if the groom loves her and it's the right choice.  The plus-one,  Hannah, worries that her current boyfriend, an ex of Jules, is going to be competition.  Johnno, the best man, has always been felt to be lesser of a person than the groom.  The wedding planner, Aoife, naturally wants everything perfect even if the ghosts of the island spook her.  And Olivia, the bridesmaid, stresses about doing everything to plan in order to keep Jules happy.

They all have their personal grudges.  Some just want to leave the island married, in love, and part of someone else's beautiful day.

That's until death pops up at the most inopportune time.  Which one with a sore heart or mind will be the murderer of love?

The story boasts a full crew of characters to keep track of, but make a note to yourself as you read because it's worth the surprise ending!