Finding Valentine’s (Every) Day

It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. As a romance writer, in many ways it symbolizes the genre wholeheartedly and I feel like I should pay homage to it.

But I would argue that romances give us the chance to celebrate love every day of the year. I have had people ask me why they would want to read a book were they already know the ending.

I argue that you might know that the couple will end up together, but the true romance and excitement of the story is HOW they end up together. What obstacles – whether internal or external – do they need to overcome to find that special someone?

That’s what makes romances interesting to read.

Everyone has a different idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day. And those variations also apply to the romances we pick up and read as well. Each one has a different flavor or nuance that takes us on the journey to that HEA. So enjoy your Valentines whenever the mood strikes you.

 

Cake Usurper

There is something to be said about tradition, even when it comes to our birthdays. Growing up, I can remember getting my favorite treat for my birthday. For years, my favorite birthday treat was a mocha ice cream pie from a Friendly’s Restaurant in the neighboring town. I can remember when they stopped making that pie. I felt a little bit like a part of my memories and childhood went with it.

From there I moved on to other treats until I landed on a yellow cake with coconut frosting, and it has been my birthday cake for years.

This past week, my father celebrated his birthday and when I asked him what he wanted as a treat, he said that he already had gotten the cake. It was the coconut cake – MY coconut cake. Do I have a patent on this cake, or do I own the company that manufactures this cake? No. Am I being melodramatic when I told him that he needed to find his own birthday cake? Maybe.

Was it over the top when I called him “usurper of the cake” – okay, yeah that was a bit much.

But I think there is something to be said about the small things in life that are tied to important events, like birthday memories.

The same can be said for stories. The ones that resonate with us are the ones that bring up possible memories, or more likely emotions that we can then relate to at a personal level. That make us become part of the story and experience it as a participant rather than an observer. Hopefully you’ve found an author who can provide you with that inclusive feeling – like when you take the first bite of your birthday treat each year.

So this week, we celebrated my father’s birthday, coconut cake and all, and I only called him “usurper” once or twice while enjoying a piece of my…I mean his birthday cake. May you also enjoy your own sweet treats this week, whether it be cake or stories…

Sleepy Time

As an author, I have to find time to think about my books. For me it’s not just sitting down and writing it, it’s also thinking through some of the main points of the book. Even though I’m not a true plotter that outlines the story, I still have to pick a direction and go!

Thinking about the characters and the general plot is often done when I have a spare moment – in the shower, on my daily commute, etc.

But I have found for me that the best time to come up with those great character developing moments and pivotal scenes is first thing in the morning when my alarm has gone off and I set it for snooze, or I know that I can stay in bed a little bit longer on the weekend.

That is when the ideas come to me since I’m not bogged down with to do lists, and social media, and my day job. My psyche is free to explore options I wouldn’t think about if I was fully awake.

I call it my sleepy author time. And I treasure it.

So if you’re trying to work through something, try thinking about it when you first wake up. You never know what you might come up with!

In-Between Scenes

I am working on my newest novel and I am always excited when I start writing a book because the brainstorming and idea-generating is fun. The beginning of the book is also fun because I am introducing the characters and laying the groundwork for the story.

And of course the BIG scenes are fun – the first kiss, the first fight, the first love scene, the big battle against evil, the resolution – all wonderful and exhilarating to write.

That shouldn’t be a surprise since life is the same way. We love the BIG life events – weddings, births, anniversaries, parties, holidays.

But what we don’t necessarily get excited about are those “in-between scenes” or day-to-day life events we live. And I have to remind myself of that when I feel like I am slogging through them as I write.

But these scenes are important. They lay the background for the characters and the plot that will take the reader through the book. You can’t only have the larger-than-life scenes in a book. The story needs to be grounded, much like we do in our own lives. And the little things discovered in these scenes become a sweet resolution in the big scenes as well.

What makes the big scenes in books and big events in our lives so special is that they don’t happen every page or every day. In reality, we need the big and the in-between to keep our balance. So back I go to write my next in-between scene. May you find the same balance in your life too!

Time to Hunker-Down

This past weekend in my neck of the woods it snowed. I spent Saturday in my PJ’s and robe doing laundry, and dishes, and adding more words to the new novel I’m working on.

As much as I’m not a fan of snow (I’m not the outdoor skiing, skating, snowboarding type), I do find benefits to staying inside. I call it my “hunker-down time” and it usually lasts through January and February. A time for me to write my stories (and read some as well). To explore worlds in my imagination that are more interesting and less frigid than my current world.

Sometimes I think we all need to hunker-down and relax especially after the craziness of the holidays. Take some time, maybe even squeeze a nap in here and there, and enjoy the snow…through your window while you sit on your couch drinking hot cocoa. With a good book, of course.

Clean Sweep

There is something cleansing about starting a new year. You finish out the long holiday season to start fresh with a new year.

For me, I always do what I like to call “the purge” at the end of the year. I go through my house and determine what I no longer need. I pack up clothes for donation, go through my pantry and throw out anything with an expiration date, look through all my things to determine if I really need it anymore, or if it can go into the storage totes I have my annual garage sale items stored in. And of course, there is the annual cleaning of old bills, and other documents.

Once I do all of this cleaning, I feel ready to face the new year and that goes for my writing too. It’s like sweeping the cobwebs out from the corners of my brain as well!

I’ve started working FOR BETTER OR FOR WOLF, the fourth book in my wedding planner series and I’m looking at my whole writing schedule for the year – time to plot some of it out now. Sounds crazy, right? But it worked for me last year 🙂 (says the girl who wrote three books).

So many things in 2019 to look forward too. And all because I’ve made a clean sweep of things!

What do you do to prepare for a new year?

It’s Never Too Late To Be Thankful

Last week I lost track of days. Maybe it had to do with only having to work three days  before Thanksgiving. But Monday came and went last week and I didn’t think about posting my Monday blog. And when I woke up Thursday morning and turned on the Macy’s day parade for some reason that jogged my memory that I hadn’t posted anything!

I had planned on writing about being thankful – very appropriate for the holiday. And I realized that it is NEVER too late to talk about being thankful. I think it is something we should think about every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful for my family – my dad, especially. And my friends who have been with me for years and those I have met recently as a writer.

And I am thankful for my writing. It has opened up a world for me. I have met amazing people and readers! I am so thankful for my readers – you jump into my world and understand my characters and keep reading! How blessed and thankful can one writer be?

Very, very thankful!

Halloween – Come Party With Me!

In two short days my favorite holiday will be upon us! Halloween. Are you shocked? I wouldn’t think so since I spend a large amount of time with supernatural – in my head of course…

Last week, I had a Halloween celebration for my co-workers. We had yummy food and a blood-thirsty game of Halloween bingo where prizes were won. This past weekend, I had my annual party where my neighbors come decked out in Halloween outfits hoping for a coveted trophy. This year’s trophies were of the “liquid-variety” making them all the more special!

And my party always has a theme. Can you tell from the picture what this year’s was about?

Witches! Which is funny considering my fall is all about demons 🙂 (sexy, brooding, demon brothers that is).

Let’s face it, my stories are Halloween come to life, right? I get to celebrate my favorite holiday all the time. With my Realm trilogy releasing in September, October, and November, I get to celebrate for three months straight!

So feel free to join the celebration. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this writer likes to PAR-TAAY.

Over the next week, I’ll be sharing a fun chance for you to win books and learn about other paranormal and sci-fi writers too. I guess, I’m not the only one who knows how to have fun!

And of course, my Halloween costume will be on display for you as well. Stay tuned!

 

 

Even Authors Fall in Love with their Characters

In one week, DEMONS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND will be out in the world. I’m super excited for Aleksei’s story to release for several reasons.

For one thing, it is a story of seeming opposites. A high-powered, over-thinking, OCD, male paired with a gut-following, fearless female. How could opposites attract??

Because they compliment each other and teach each other to take a risk! Hee, hee, I love it when that happens.

I also love creating powerful female characters and Naya is definitely one of those. What makes it cool, is that Aleskei is also a strong male. Tempers flare and sparks fly. Are you intrigued yet?

And there is something special about Aleksei. I think it’s because when we  first met Aleksei in the Mind Sweeper series he was a bit pompous. And even though Kyle quickly put him in his place (and continues to do so) he evolved into a wonderful character. Which made me want to write his story.

I love when characters surprise us and make us root for them, right?

So I’ll stop here, since I could keep going and going. But I want to save something for the release!

PreOrder:   Amazon   ibooks   Kobo    B&N  

 

Demon in Need of Dating Advice

On Monday, DEMONS WILL BE DEMONS will release! Which means Misha will be getting his happy-ever-after! He is so excited about finally finding his true love, that he’s working on dating strategies.

Since two of Misha’s favorite things in the world are food and retro TV , it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his first date idea is dinner and a show.

Here are some of his ideas:

  • Pork chops with homemade applesauce along with a marathon of The Brady Bunch (the episodes before Oliver came along).
  • Hamburgers & fries followed up by Fonzie and the Happy Days‘ Gang.
  • Barbecue and cornbread while watching Dukes of Hazard.

Needless to say, I think our friend needs some advice. If anyone is so inclined, please give Misha some ideas….anyone….anyone….Bueller…

Releases September 17th – PreOrder:   Amazon   ibooks    Kobo    B&N