2022-05-17

Romance Writers Weekly ~ Writing Tools ~ #LoveChatWrite



This week the authors of the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop are answering a question posed by Brynn Paulin. "Do you have favorite writing tools or things that are a must while you write (particular pen, scent, sound, etc)?"

I think my answer is gonna have to be yes and no. I have plenty of "must have" tools, but they vary from book to book. Usually I need a playlist, or a particular album to help me keep my focus and drown out distractions. Depending on the book, I might find a particular incense or scented candle helps keep me in the mood. And then there are my beverage choices--and the right drinking vessel. Which is how I've ended up with A LOT of mugs.

Basically, I search for whatever tools will help to keep me grounded in the fictional world I'm creating. Sometimes it's a special crystal, a themed-mug, or a new perfume. Sometimes it's a new tattoo.

For my upcoming release, Funnel of Love, I've been relying on brunch drinks, Jersey memorabilia, and cupcakes to get me through my writing days. I love my work.

Now continue on to Leslie Hachtel's page to find out what tools she uses!



Murder Most Notorious


A beautiful homicide detective and a sexy cold case guy have to team up to find a vicious axe-wielding killer. 

Brutal murders have shocked the city and all the evidence points to a twin sister once thought dead. So many twists and turns in this action packed romantic thriller you might get dizzy. And so much passion.

Buy Link: https://amzn.to/3Pevyjs




* * * *



Funnel of Love

Rocco DiLuca, owner of DiLuca’s Italian Bakery, is not a happy camper. He’s just found out that his baby sister is getting married—to his former best friend—and he's not invited. But that's not even the worst part. They’ve hired someone else to make their wedding cake! 

Stephanie Sands thinks the Chamber of Commerce’s mentorship program is a great idea! She’s not ashamed to admit that her boutique bakery, Sugar Kink, isn't quite making it. Yet. But the mentor she's been assigned, Rocky D, isn’t just traditional, he’s positively medieval. It’s no wonder his sister wants nothing to do with him! 

Can the two bakers put aside their differences (and the insane attraction they feel for each other) and learn to work together? Or will their dreams fall as flat as a failed souffle? 

Buy Link:  https://books2read.com/u/mvoerj

2022-05-15


 Summer's about to get HOT with over 100 free erotic stories--one month only!


Includes my short vampire story, Blame It On The Voodoo!



What’s a little black magic among friends? 

Vampire Rene Boudreaux is more than a little annoyed. It seems sexy voodoo queen Zirondelle Doucette has got him under her spell. Can Zee convince Rene that the only real magic is love? Or will he continue to blame it on the voodoo?


EXCERPT“It’s getting to where you can’t swing a dead chicken around here anymore without it smacking into one damn psychic or another.” 

Zirondelle Doucette couldn’t help the grin that spread across her face as she listened to her Aunt Serafina’s complaints. Her aunt stood at the window of their family’s shop, staring out at the street, and Zee didn’t have to guess too hard to figure out the cause for her discontent. Another “damn” psychic had recently put out her shingle in the previously vacant storefront directly across from their own. 

“And if it’s not a psychic it’s a card reader,” the other woman continued, grumbling crossly. “Or a palm reader. Or tea-leaf reader—” 

“Or a purveyor of Voodoo essentials?” Zee suggested, holding up the little gris-gris bag she’d just finished assembling. 

Serafina turned her head to glare at her niece. “Don’t sass me, Zee. You know exactly what I’m talking about.” 

 “Yes, Ma’am, I do.” Ducking her head, Zee started in on the next charm. She knew it wasn’t psychics per se with whom her aunt had a problem. Serafina was a tolerant soul, not the kind who’d ever take a stand against anyone else’s religion or spellcraft or spiritual beliefs. It was the idea of all those make-believe mystics making a mockery of their family’s calling that was trying the older woman’s temper, and not without cause. 

The Doucette family had owned and operated their establishment in the self-same Royal Street location for several generations, dealing in authentic rituals, in candles and jujus, talismans and spells. It was hard not to take it personally when your way of life was turned into a kind of circus act by greedy imposters. But as Zee and her aunt both knew, the charlatans did in fact have a place and a purpose in the grand scheme of things. 

Oh, how the tourists loved them. They ate up their acts and purchased their trinkets as eagerly as they did the beignets at the CafĂ© du Monde. Or jazz on Frenchmen Street. Or hurricanes in Pat O’s Courtyard. It was all part of the Crescent City mystique, like Po’ Boys and crawfish, pralines and beads. In an odd way, they kept things safe. They kept the merely curious from straying into dangerous territory. 

“Oh, Lawd.” Aunt Serafina’s sudden gasp caught Zee’s attention. 

She glanced up in surprise. “Auntie, what’s wrong?” 

 “It’s him.” Serafina scurried back behind the counter where her niece was working, babbling nonsensically. “He’s back. He’s coming this way. What should we do? What does he want this time?” 

“Do about what?” Zee asked, feeling mystified and mildly exasperated. “Who’s back?” She loved Serafina; truly she did. Her aunt had taken Zee in after her parents passed, without question or hesitation—the only member of their somewhat eccentric family who seemed to have any idea about what to do with a bewildered little girl who’d suddenly been orphaned. Zee would never forget the older woman’s kindness but, all the same, there were times, like now, when dealing with her aunt seriously tried Zee’s patience. 

 The Doucette family had a certain reputation; they were known for being fierce and fearless. They prided themselves on it, in fact. But Serafina had always been unusually timid for a Doucette. Right now, her pale eyes, also unusual in a Doucette, were wide with fear, the pupils dilated; her voice was but a whisper. “Monsieur Boudreaux.” 

 Boudreaux. The name itself meant very little. It was as common as dishwater around those parts. But between the look on her aunt’s face and the singing certainty in her own heart, Zee knew exactly which Monsieur Boudreaux Serafina meant. She meant Rene Alcide Boudreaux. Zirondelle’s Monsieur Boudreaux. Dominant. Vampire. Master. 

 But not her master. No, not yet.

2022-05-10

Romance Writers Weekly ~ Childhood Memories ~ #LoveChatWrite



This week's Romance Writers Weekly blog hop question is: What is the one thing that immediately sends you back to childhood? Is it a food, a scent, a swingset?

That's such a great question! But there's no way I can pick just one. Here's a (partial) list in no particular order.

1. Chocolate ice cream--but not just any chocolate ice cream. I actually had a conversation about this quite recently with my daughter. There's a certain type of chocolate ice cream--I wish I knew what brand (brands?) so that I could summon the memory genie whenever I wanted to, but I don't--that immediately sends me back to one particular day in my childhood. I was probably four or five years old and had walked to a playground several blocks away from my house with my grandmother. I know it was summer because after I'd played there for awhile we walked over to a nearby ice cream shop slash soda fountain. It was noticeably cool and dark inside, coming in from the hot, bright day, and we sat on stools at the bar and ate ice cream out of little metal dishes that were sweating from the cold.

2. Chamomile. When I was a child my family used to vacation at a farm in Vermont. The yard in front of the farmhouse was filled with chamomile. It was the first time I'd ever encountered it and still to this day, whenever I smell it, I'm transported back in time. For just an instant, I'm standing on the big blocks of granite that served as the steps up to the front porch, watching as the horses we were going to be riding on were saddled.

3. This one particular Italian Restaurant I walked into the other day. OMG--the smell! It was like walking into my Italian grandmother's kitchen on a Sunday afternoon after she'd been cooking. I'm sure I've been to a gazillion Italian restaurants--some that were actually IN Italy--but this was different. This was very, very, very specifically my grandmother's kitchen. I suspect it's ruined me for all other Italian restaurants for the foreseeable future.

4. Tomato Plants. The scent takes me back to my uncle's garden and I'm walking through rows of plants with my father on our way to harvest a few ears of corn for supper.

There are also a lot of objects that remind me of my childhood, but they're just not as powerful as scents and tastes.

Now, please pop over to A.S. Fenichel's page to learn about the things that prompt her childhood memories.



BEN The heart attack I thought I had turned out to be an anxiety attack. My doctor’s orders—take a month off from being Mayor of Roseville. Bulldozed by my large but tightknit family, I agree to a yoga and meditation retreat in Southern California. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the woman who owns the place would turn my world upside-down. Portia is too young for me. Geographically, too far away from me. She’s also everything I never knew I wanted. 

PORTIA When my friend asks me to help her cousin-in-law manage his stress, I agree immediately. I’d do anything for a friend. She told me he’s the mayor of her town, so I’m expecting some old guy. Far from it. Ben Lane is six-feet-two inches of I-want-to-strip-you-naked-and-take-you-to-bed man. I’m turned on the minute I see him. How I could go from someone who’s never been infatuated to I-can’t-live-without-you is some kind of miracle. I’m pretty sure the miracle is Ben.





Rocco DiLuca, owner of DiLuca’s Italian Bakery, is not a happy camper. He’s just found out that his baby sister is getting married—to his former best friend—and he's not invited. But that's not even the worst part. They’ve hired someone else to make their wedding cake! 

Stephanie Sands thinks the Chamber of Commerce’s mentorship program is a great idea! She’s not ashamed to admit that her boutique bakery, Sugar Kink, isn't quite making it. Yet. But the mentor she's been assigned, Rocky D, isn’t just traditional, he’s positively medieval. It’s no wonder his sister wants nothing to do with him! 

Can the two bakers put aside their differences (and the insane attraction they feel for each other) and learn to work together? Or will their dreams fall as flat as a failed souffle? 


Buy Link:  https://books2read.com/u/mvoerj

2022-05-03

Romance Writers Weekly ~ Ae You Superstitious? ~ #LoveChatWrite

 


This week's RWW question is: "Are you superstitious?" It's a fun question, isn't it? But I I figured I'd b'd better double-check and see exactly what superstition is before I answered it. Merriam Webster defines suspicion as "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation." Which sounds verrry judgy IMO. 

Anyway, I'd say yes. I'm definitely superstitious in that I absolutely trust in magic and/or chance. Why would anyone not? How unimaginably boring would life be if you never trusted in things you didn't completely understand, or could completely quantify? 

Not to mention--hello!--what sensible person doesn't occasionally fear the unknown? It's UNKNOWN! It could be something HORRIBLE!

So, yes, I cross my fingers and knock on wood, and say "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit," first thing on the first of the month. I make a list of everything I'd like to accomplish in the new year every December, and set fire to it shortly after midnight January first. And I have little rituals I  go through every time I start writing a new book. Do any of these things make a difference? No...except that they make me feel better, and that's really the entire point. 

I suspect you'd have to be at least a little superstitious (at least from time to time) in order to enjoy writing (or even reading) PNR. Which I do. My current series, Games We Play is only lightly paranormal. There are ghosts and a boggart, a curse, and an enchanted stone; but otherwise the series is completely contemporary. 



The Name Game
A Games We Play Story

He knows what to do to save her business. She knows what he needs to fix his life! 

Atlas Beach is experiencing a retail renaissance—and Carly Meyer is determined to be part of it. But she and her sandwich shop, The Lunch Box, are struggling to stay afloat.

Luckily, help is on the way thanks to the Chamber of Commerce’s innovative mentoring program—partnering successful Atlas Beach business owners with some of the newer start-ups. Too bad the mentor assigned to her is the delectable—and highly annoying—Tino DiLuca.

Tino knows exactly what’s been hurting Carly’s business and—exactly how to fix it. But his number one solution, changing the name of her signature sandwich, is the one thing she’s not prepared to do.

Buy Links HERE

More about the series HERE and HERE


Now, hop on over to Brynn Paulin's page to learn what superstitions she might be harboring!  





BAD BOY BANDLEADER
Brynn Paulin


Lottie:

No lie, I have always crushed on the bad boy of rock, Ryder McKenzie. In the privacy of my bedroom, I fantasized about getting away from my evil stepmother and maybe seeing one of his concerts. In all those dreams, I never imagined I'd suddenly be free and Ryder would be my rescuer.

Now, I'm on the road with my rock idol, acting as his assistant and fake girlfriend. Problem is, none of it feels make believe at all.

Ryder:

It's all real. Every single bit. Lottie is mine, and I don't care what anyone thinks about it. Now that I have my perfect girl, I'm never letting go.

2022-04-26

Romance Writers Weekly ~ What Superpower Would You Choose? ~ #LoveChatWrite

 


This week on Romance Writers Weekly we're attempting to answer the question (which was posed by Leslie Hachtel): "If you could choose one superpower, other than being a writer, which one would it be and why?"

And, you know what?  I just don't know. Every super power that sounds great on the surface has a pretty significant downside to it. I didn't need Encanto to tell me that!

All in all, I think I'm going to have to go with remote viewing...which is actually something you can learn to do IRL. And I haven't yet. Interesting. Maybe I should actually get on that, huh? 

I'm thinking the characters in my novella, Let Me Count the Ways (currently available as part of the A Season for Love anthology) would have benefitted from remote viewing. It would have allowed them to resolve their issues a whole lot faster. lol!


A Season for Love 
A Limited Edition Collection of Contemporary Romance 

Sometimes forever begins after forty

These fiery and passionate contemporary romances feature characters in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond. These authors don’t close the bedroom door on the good stuff, so be prepared to get hot and bothered in the best of ways. After all, lust has no age limit! 

 From billionaires and alpha military heroes to nerds and single dads, this limited-edition collection of sensual and sexy stories will keep you up all night and daydreaming all day! The one thing they have in common? They’re about to discover it’s never too late to fall in love.

Buy it HERE.

Now hop on over  to author Leslie Hachtel's page and find out what her superpower would be.




Stay with Me

by Leslie Hachtel

Two women. Years apart. Linked by common experience and a cottage that has survived since the Civil War. When Rebecca reaches out from the past, Evelyn finds it life changing. And in their own times, each must discover strength and fight to find and keep true love. 

Get it HERE

2022-04-19

Romance Writers Weekly ~ What's Your Favorite Game? ~ #LoveChatWrite














This is my first time joining the Romance Writers Weekly blog hop. This week's question is: "What is your favorite game? Is it because you usually win or because it challenges you every time?"

When I first read this I thought, "hmm. I don't really play games." But then I remembered that I am somewhat addicted to online Mah Jong. That and Word Wipe are my go-tos when I'm stuck in a plot or have just finished writing an intense scene--or, really, any time that I  need a mental break. 

My daughter's the one who introduced me to it, and she regrets it to this day because it's also a key component in my procrastination tool box. 

I don't play to win, and while I have gotten better at it, I don't really do it for the challenge, either. I play because, on one hand, it's something I don't have to think too hard about; and on the other, I know I  won't get too involved with, or too distracted by. It's sort of like taking a shower, washing dishes, cooking, knitting, or anything else I might do while wrestling with a recalcitrant storyline--with the upside that I'm already sitting in front of my computer, so when the solution to the problem that's had me blocked suddenly presents itself, I  don't lose any time writing it down.

For more fun and games, hop over to author Leslie Hachtel's page.




Stay with Me

by Leslie Hachtel

Two women. Years apart. Linked by common experience and a cottage that has survived since the Civil War. When Rebecca reaches out from the past, Evelyn finds it life changing. And in their own times, each must discover strength and fight to find and keep true love. 

Get it HERE




And, speaking of games...



The Name Game 
A Games We Play Story 


He knows what to do to save her business. She knows what he needs to fix his life! 

 Atlas Beach is experiencing a retail renaissance—and Carly Meyer is determined to be part of it. But she and her sandwich shop, The Lunch Box, are struggling to stay afloat. 

 Luckily, help is on the way thanks to the Chamber of Commerce’s innovative mentoring program—partnering successful Atlas Beach business owners with some of the newer start-ups. Too bad the mentor assigned to her is the delectable—and highly annoying—Tino DiLuca.

 Tino knows exactly what’s been hurting Carly’s business and—exactly how to fix it. But his number one solution, changing the name of her signature sandwich, is the one thing she’s not prepared to do.

Buy Links HERE 

More about the series HERE and HERE