For fans of #romcom and #contemporary romance, I’d like to introduce IT’S A TRUST THING by @peggy_jaeger PLUS an exclusive interview!

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Nell Newbery has trust issues. It’s hard to trust when you’re the daughter of a fallen financial scion who bilked people out of billions. Nell’s done everything in her power to keep away from men who see her as their … Continue reading

Enjoy books like Dallas or Dynasty? Then check out @KFJohnsonbooks #AfricanAmerican

They say good girls finish last…but when they’re bad, they’re better! K. F Johnson presents   Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in this present-day drama, neither was the façade four cousins spent a lifespan constructing: Valerie’s just recovered from … Continue reading

A chick lit novel with lots of depth

Spotlighting Marie Flanigan’s début novel…
One Big Beautiful Thing
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
In this touching début novel, artist Kate Abernethy is trying to put her life back together after the death of her boyfriend. At first, moving back in with her mother seems like a good way to sort out her finances and re-evaluate her life—instead it proves to be a minefield of doubt and recrimination. Floundering, she pushes herself to take new opportunities so she can rebuild her life and have a second chance at happiness.



Read the 5/5 review at http://bit.ly/1iamy9D


Just an ordinary day for Karen Martin

A Day in the Life of…
Karen Martin

Well, first of all, most of my writing time
isn’t spent writing novels, and my average day of writing is never average! I
never know what I’m going to be working on next, as I get new assignments from
my clients all the time. I write both fiction and nonfiction for a wide variety
of educational publishers, such as Scholastic, National Geographic, and Oxford
University. One day, I’m writing nonsense poems for 2nd grade, and
the next day, I’m creating the index for a university’s book on bio-terrorism.
It keeps me on my toes, but I like it that way. I love learning about new
things, and my work keeps me researching constantly.

But on a typical writing/work day, here’s
how it goes:

9:36 am (approximately) – Wake up, after
having been up late last night reading some book I just couldn’t put down,
brainstorming for my upcoming novel and/or novella, or playing Jurassic Park
Builder because I was too wired to sleep. #WorldsWorstSleeper

9:37 am – Stumble 16 steps to the “office”
and prep a one-cup of extra bold, boot up computer. Proceed to social media, do
not pass go, do not collect $200. Spend way too long putzing around on Facebook,
Twitter, Amazon KDP, Smashwords, Goodreads, my blog, emails, and Pinterest.
Cook and eat breakfast in there somewhere.

10:45 am – Realize I need to get down to business
if I want to get any work done today. Sigh, and click open the folder to my
external hard drive, where I store all my current work projects. Check my work
email to make sure there are no urgent client messages I need to return, then
get down to work.

11:45 am – Make lunch for Mom. (She lives
with me in her own little suite in the house.) Back to work. No lunch for me
yet; I just had breakfast.

2:15 – When the weather is nice, take a
turn around the neighborhood with Mom to get some exercise, not to mention take
a break from computer eyestrain/get some sunlight so I don’t start looking like
one of those no-pigment-having creatures that hide away in caves at the bottom
of the sea their entire lives. Twenty or thirty minutes later, back home and
back to work.

4:30 pm – Look up and realize it’s time to
make dinner for Mom. Some days we dine together, and some days I keep working
through the dinner hour.

8:30 pm – Wrapping up work for the day
because I’m too cross-eyed to see the screen anymore. At this point, I may be doing
“work” work or personal projects:  blog
posts, writing or editing my next creative piece, formatting a new book to
upload to the internet, checking up on any marketing promos I’m currently
running (such as blog hops or Rafflecopter contests), and so on.

9:00 pm – Spend an hour or so chilling with
Mom, watching the shows we can both stand to watch together:  The Paradise, The White Queen, Two and a Half
Men, American Pickers, Castle, Chopped, and Flea Market Flip are a few of the
usual suspects.


10:15 pm – bubble bath, hot tub, and/or back
to the computer for a stretch of evening productivity that sometimes lasts
until 11:30 or midnight. Usually working on personal projects at this time, as
my brain is too fatigued to do the intellectual heavy-lifting required by most
of my work projects.

11:45 pm – head to bed with an e-book or a
tree-book. Read until sleepy, fall asleep. Or, get a second wind and read
until…

2:30 am – at which time I force myself to
turn off the light. Meditate, hoping brain will cooperate and settle down into
slumber. But some nights I’m up until…

5:30 or 6:00 am – If I’m really wired, I’ll
hit the computer again. I finally fall asleep around bird o’clock, but still
invariably wake up around 9:30. On days like this, I take a long nap in the
afternoon.

Rinse and repeat, occasionally throwing in
date night or an evening out with friends to break up the routine.

Glamorous, no? 


Introducing…

Modogamous

Kate Adams has it all figured out. Five years out of college, she’s got a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing: her stylish but nosy roommate Evette, happily-married Cecie, and of course, good old Mitch, her seriously cute co-worker who’s been stuck in the Friend Zone since the day they met. 
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
Smashwords
Everything is going just fine—until the night Kate crosses the line with Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. What’s a girl to do? Add to the mix a spunky little pug Kate never expected to fall for, and her neatly-ordered life is starting to look more like a dog’s dinner. Maybe her roommate has the right idea after all: forget the men, and stick with a canine companion instead. 


It’s time for Kate to figure out what she really wants in life. But can she dig her way out of the mess she’s created before she ends up permanently in the doghouse?


Karen
E. Martin, M.Ed.
 is a full-time freelance writer/editor. She has
been in the publishing business since 2004, working on books and publications
for major and independent publishers, universities, businesses, and private
individuals. 



Prior to entering the field of publishing, Ms. Martin worked as a
Senior EFL Fellow (English as a Foreign Language) for the U.S. Department of
State in Romania, a Junior EFL Fellow for the U.S. Department of State in
Jordan, and a teacher-trainer for the U.S Peace Corps in Mauritania, Jordan,
Romania, and Morocco.



Ms. Martin served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two
years, teaching English in the Errachidia Province of Morocco. 
Modogamous is Ms.
Martin’s first novel.

Giveaway!

Join the Modogamous Holiday Hop Giveaway
to win a fabulous Swag Pack full of prizes! The Swag Pack winner will receive a
signed copy of the paperback, tote bag, coffee mug, Christmas ornament, and
more! Additional prizes include a copy of the e-book, a signed paperback, and a
limited edition, signed art print of the book’s cover art >~>~>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from Modogamous



Chapter 1




Chapter 1 ~ Keepin’ It Kate: “A New Year, A New Reason to Jump Off a Bridge”





~January 3~
Crappy New Year’s, folks!
Oh, don’t mind me. It’s just been a bit of a rough week.
“Come on, Kate. Surely it can’t be that bad,” you say.
Well, that’s very kind of you. But yes, it can be that bad.
“Why’s that?” you say.
You know, the usual. I got fired. My boyfriend dumped me. And I think I may have lost my best friend, too. ‘Cause I’m an idiot like that.
Pardon me while I wallow for a moment. **sigh**
Okay, moment over.
On the up-side, I wrote a special poem to commemorate the occasion, just for you, dear Readers. It’s a bit late for the Christmas theme, I know, but what the hell. I’ve messed everything else up lately, anyway. What’s one more screw-up to add to the list?
Would you like to read it? You would? Oh, thank you! Really, you’re too kind. I don’t know what I’d do without you guys sometimes. Well, without further ado, here it is:

‘Twas three days after New Year’s, and all through the house
The bottles were empty, my feelings to douse. 

The bills were all stacked on the table with care,
In hopes that some money would soon be paid there.
Alas! There was none, for the cash had dried up,
Since my job I did lose at the store known as Pup.

And I in my sweat pants and looking like crap,
Had just settled down for a post-drinking nap.
When up in my head, there arose such a clatter,
It rattled me! But I knew what was the matter.
Away to that night, my mind flew like a flash,
It tore open my heart, and my nerves it did smash.

‘Twas the Eve of New Year’s when things came to a head,
And my heart was ripped out, and they left it for dead.

But let me explain just what happened that night,
And you’ll see, reader dear, why I’m in such a fright.
The evening began with such cheer and such glee!

On the arm of my man, as glad as could be.
A handsome young lad, and so virile and strong,
I thought I might swoon! What could ever go wrong?
Now Prada! Now Vera! Armani! Dior!

On Gucci! On, Pucci! On, Chanel! And much more!
The dance floor was swirling with such fine array,
As the young and the hip danced the cold night away.
And then, in a twinkling, my heart hit the roof.

When I nearly committed the year’s biggest goof.
The moment when everything first went awry
Was the song where I danced with another young guy.
His eyes—how they twinkled! His spirit, how merry!

Then he whispered sweet nothings that turned my cheeks cherry. 
As he drew me in close, my heart started to pound,
But the next thing I knew, he was sprawled on the ground!
I had to escape; I was ready to leave, 
But alas, I’m afraid there would be no reprieve.

I raced ‘round the club, searching through every room,
‘Til at last what I found was my own dismal doom.
I peeked through a door, and my boyfriend I spied.
Thank God! I had found him. I started inside.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, 
But a ho-ho-ho-HO who was nibbling his ear!

Then came Bachelor Two, and things really got tense,
For that’s when the shouting and cursing commenced!
Then laying a fist just below my date’s nose,
He turned words on me, and my aching heart froze.
What was there to do but to bid them goodbye?

I gathered my things, and I held my head high.
But they heard me exclaim, ‘ere I tramped out of sight,
“Crappy New Year’s to all, and you all can me bite!”

Spotlight… Forever Fredless

A new contemporary romance 
by 
Suzy Turner
Kate Robinson has spent the past two decades yearning to find her soul mate, the boy she found and then lost during a family holiday.

Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?

EXCERPT

Thank God for anti-perspirant, I thought as I sat on the couch and waited for the countdown to begin. I clutched at my hands until they were white and looked across at the two people sitting opposite, both completely at ease in front of the cameras.
Five, four, three, two, one…
‘Welcome back to this morning’s edition of Good Morning GB,’ announced Ireland Rothschild, the blonde-haired, blue eyed darling of morning TV.
‘I’m here with Fergus O’Reilly and we’ve a special guest with us this morning. None other than Britain’s love-struck multi-millionaire, Kate Robinson.
Welcome, Kate,’ she said with a dazzling smile aimed more towards the camera than at me.As my cheeks began to heat up, I was so grateful to the make-up artist, who had insisted on caking on the foundation before the show had started. In fact, I had so much make-up on that I was hoping once I’d removed it, nobody would recognise me when I headed to the airport in my now rather stupidly chosen car. I couldn’t exactly blend in driving a pink Mini could I?
‘Good morning,’ I whispered shyly.
Fergus grinned back at me, tilting his head as if he was about to speak to a child. ‘Now, tell us, Kate dear, how does it feel to never have to worry about money ever again?’ he asked, his toothpaste advert  teeth twinkling beneath the heat of the studio lights.
‘Erm, well, I guess it’s… erm, kind of… erm,’ I felt so bloody stupid. Great time for my brain to stop working. ‘I – erm. Great,’ I nodded. ‘Great, really great.’ Idiot.
Ireland glanced across at her grey-haired colleague and pouted before nodding. ‘Tell us how you knew this man. This,’ she glanced down at the iPad on her lap and continued, ‘Samuel?’
I cleared my throat and lifted my head, feeling like my brain was back in action. ‘He was a very good friend of the family, some years ago,’ I answered.
‘Just a friend? Why did he leave you all his money and his property?’ asked Fergus.
‘He didn’t have any family and I guess you could say that my mother and I were the closest he ever had to a family.’
‘Isn’t that lovely?’ pouted Ireland. ‘You certainly are a lucky woman. But what about your mother? Didn’t she receive any of his inheritance?’
‘No,’ I said before swallowing hard. ‘My mother lives a rather… nomadic lifestyle, in Africa. She doesn’t want any of it. All she asked of me was to donate a sum to charity which, of course, I have done.’
‘She lives in Africa? A nomadic lifestyle? That sounds intriguing. Perhaps we should interview her one of these days,’ laughed Ireland and Fergus together.
‘Have you splashed out on anything since receiving your inheritance back in June?’ they asked, leaning forward eagerly awaiting my answer.
‘Yes I have actually. I bought a car and a new house.’
‘Well good for you, Kate. But now, most of us are curious about this boy you lost. Tell us about him?’Oh no. Why did I agree to this?
Taking a deep breath, I knew I had no choice. Several articles had been printed since the one in Liberty; everyone wanted to know more and nobody was going to leave me alone until I told them everything.
‘He was just a boy who I had a connection with when I was much, much younger. It was at Skegness. At an afternoon disco for kids. I was dancing and I felt someone touch my back and when I turned around there he was.  The most beautiful boy I’d ever seen,’ I said, stopping and smiling as I reminisced. ‘It was one of the happiest memories of my life.’
Sighing, I continued, ‘We just looked at each other and it was like everything else just disappeared into the background. We stood staring, for what seemed like ages. I could barely move. And then, almost as soon as it had begun, my dad appeared and took me away. I couldn’t do anything as we walked to the car. I looked around for the boy but he was gone. And then, just as we were driving away, I turned around in my seat and there he was. He had a daffodil in his hand. I always assumed he’d gone to pick it for me, but that’s just a childish fantasy, I guess. The whole thing is probably nothing but a childish fantasy, really.’Ireland was very carefully dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, pretending to be moved, while Fergus smiled sadly.
‘What a beautiful story, Kate. I don’t believe for one second that this is a childish fantasy. It’s romantic and beautiful,’ Ireland said.
‘Now, tell us, Kate. Why did you call him Fred?’ asked Fergus.
Smiling, I explained about the Right Said Fred song, just as the music began in the background.‘What a wonderful tale. Thank you, Kate, for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure having you with us to share your story,’ said Fergus.
‘Thank you,’ I whispered before the camera moved back to Ireland as she straightened her skirt and looked alluring. ‘Do you remember this moment in time?’ she asked. ‘Are you the elusive Fred? We’d love to hear from you. You can contact us at…’
Before I could hear anything else, I was ushered off the couch and back behind the scenes where Jo stood, waiting patiently for me, with open arms.

For more books by Suzy Turner go to Amazon



Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor,
features editor and magazine editor. Early in 2010 however, she began writing
full time and has since completed six books for young adults (the Raven Saga
and The Morgan Sisters series) and one chick lit novel, Forever Fredless.


Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her
home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was
ten. The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood
sweetheart and husband of 15 years, Michael, and their two neurotic dogs and a
cat who thinks she’s a princess.

Bringing the pain of real-life into fiction

Sad. Scary. Tragic. (But Funny!)
by
Francine LaSala
I got a call from an old friend the other day. We’d fallen out of
touch over the years, but she reached out when she’d heard I’d been through a
significant loss. We spoke for a while, sharing memories and getting caught up.

Then she told me the thing I most needed to hear.
“Francine,” she said, “I know you’re going to come through this.
Your sense of humor always pulls you through.”

77p/99c for ONE week only (ending November 8th) 
I thanked her, as you do when people say seemingly absurd things
to you at times such as these. And then I thought about what she’d said and why
she’d said it.

I have always been in the awkward habit of laughing when I hear
terrible news. Not
all terrible news,
but those things that are so terrible that sorrow somehow doesn’t seem
appropriate. That giggling (yes, crazy), somehow makes more sense. It’s not
schadenfreude. Maybe it is
schadenfreude. But whatever it is, it’s the defense mechanism that gets me through.


I do it in writing, too. All of my books–the two that are
published, and the ones that are in progress and will be published next year–have
all been born from some pain or loss. For Rita
Hayworth’s Shoes
, it was the heartache of a boyfriend’s betrayal. For The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything,
it was the fear of financial ruin, dread of the dentist–among other things. No
one would ever call my books “tragic”; they’re all totally screwball
and silly! Yet they center on various plights of the human condition. Laced
with laughs.

I don’t think you need to be sick in the head like me to find the
humor in any given situation, and then weave that humor into your own stories. Sometimes
you can do it with a situation; sometimes with a kooky character you bring in
to the situation to help break the tension. The
Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything
is peppered with these characters.
There’s Char-a’tee Pryce, who continually mocks protagonist Mina Clark for
allowing the world to roll over her. There’s neighbor Harriet Saunders, who
takes all of Mina’s “bad mother” anxiety and flips it on its ear. (I
wrote a character piece for Louise
Wise
a few months back that will give you a taste of just how kooky Harriet
is.

What I’ve come to learn is that in any horrible situation, there
is the possibility to laugh. To take “Turn that frown upside down” to
the extreme in your life and in your books. It feels good to laugh. It pulls
you (and your characters) out of the gloom and doom; it helps you take a step
back and detach so you can breathe.


Here’s just such an example from The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything (which is on sale this
week for 99 cents, BTW!):

  “Girl, you in trouble. You better start watching your ass.”
  “What do you mean?” Mina was more than a little taken aback by Kim’s foreboding tone.
  “Have you made any new friends lately?”
Mina had in the past several days made more new friends than she had in years, but she gave no reply.
  “I’m gonna take that as a yes. Okay, well, here’s how it goes. Don’t trust anyone. You hear me, girl? No one.”
  “What do you mean—”
  “What I mean is, the bank’s watching you. You know this. And they got folks working for them. Out in the field and such. Spies, I guess you could call them. Special agents. Could be anyone—”
  “Kim, are you drinking?”
  “Look, I’m not shitting you here. They’re around to keep tabs on you. They’re gonna tell you all kinds of stories, like they’re looking after you—that kind of thing. So you gotta know this. It’s gonna get much worse for you soon, especially if you keep bouncing your payments. You and your family are gonna be in some serious trouble. You gotta watch your ass—”
  The connection cut out. Mina checked the caller ID and tried to call Kim back. She was greeted by a few shrill siren-like noises and an automated message. “The call you have made cannot be completed. Please check the number—”
  She hung up and dialed again.
  “The call you have made cannot be—”
  Mina hung up again. Now she had to pull herself together. This was not adding up. No phone gets disconnected that quickly.
  Why did she have so many new friends in just a short time? Coincidence? Maybe she had decided to open herself up to having new friends. Although all of them . . .Harriet and the other mothers, Char-a’tee, Alex . . .they’d all seemed to steamroll her into being friends with them, hadn’t they? And what of her old friends?   She hadn’t heard from Esther in days. Was Esther still angry with her? Was she pushing Esther away? And how the hell did she get her car back?
  Mina couldn’t think clearly and she began to fear the worst. That Dr. Barsheed might have been right. That knowing too much too soon could take her mind, and now she was in the midst of losing it completely. Was anything any of these people told her even true?
  Mina found Emma in her room, sitting in the middle of the floor, naked. She had managed to find and open a set of magic markers, and had completely covered the entire surface area of her hands in bright green. She had also drawn a giant green circle around one eye. With a red magic marker, she’d colored in her belly button, spilling over to her tummy. It looked like she’d been stabbed.
  Mina sank against the doorjamb and cried. Emma came over to her, snuggled her mischievously marked-up naked body into her mother’s lap, and said, ever so sweetly,
  “Don’t cry, Monny,” before peeing all over Mina’s pants.
  “What do you mean?” Mina was more than a little taken aback by Kim’s foreboding tone.  “Have you made any new friends lately?”Mina had in the past several days made more new friends than she had in years, but she gave no reply.  “I’m gonna take that as a yes. Okay, well, here’s how it goes. Don’t trust anyone. You hear me, girl? No one.”  “What do you mean—”  “What I mean is, the bank’s watching you. You know this. And they got folks working for them. Out in the field and such. Spies, I guess you could call them. Special agents. Could be anyone—”  “Kim, are you drinking?”  “Look, I’m not shitting you here. They’re around to keep tabs on you. They’re gonna tell you all kinds of stories, like they’re looking after you—that kind of thing. So you gotta know this. It’s gonna get much worse for you soon, especially if you keep bouncing your payments. You and your family are gonna be in some serious trouble. You gotta watch your ass—”  The connection cut out. Mina checked the caller ID and tried to call Kim back. She was greeted by a few shrill siren-like noises and an automated message. “The call you have made cannot be completed. Please check the number—”   She hung up and dialed again.   “The call you have made cannot be—”  Mina hung up again. Now she had to pull herself together. This was not adding up. No phone gets disconnected that quickly.  Why did she have so many new friends in just a short time? Coincidence? Maybe she had decided to open herself up to having new friends. Although all of them . . .Harriet and the other mothers, Char-a’tee, Alex . . .they’d all seemed to steamroll her into being friends with them, hadn’t they? And what of her old friends?   She hadn’t heard from Esther in days. Was Esther still angry with her? Was she pushing Esther away? And how the hell did she get her car back?  Mina couldn’t think clearly and she began to fear the worst. That Dr. Barsheed might have been right. That knowing too much too soon could take her mind, and now she was in the midst of losing it completely. Was anything any of these people told her even true?  Mina found Emma in her room, sitting in the middle of the floor, naked. She had managed to find and open a set of magic markers, and had completely covered the entire surface area of her hands in bright green. She had also drawn a giant green circle around one eye. With a red magic marker, she’d colored in her belly button, spilling over to her tummy. It looked like she’d been stabbed.  Mina sank against the doorjamb and cried. Emma came over to her, snuggled her mischievously marked-up naked body into her mother’s lap, and said, ever so sweetly,   “Don’t cry, Monny,” before peeing all over Mina’s pants.

What’s the craziest thing you ever thought was funny? Please share by leaving me a comment below.

Introducing…
The Girl, the Gold Tooth
and everything

Mina Clark is losing her mind—or maybe it’s already gone. She isn’t quite sure. Feeling displaced in her over-priced McMansion-dotted suburban world, she is grappling not only with deep debt, a mostly absent husband, and her playground-terrorizer 3-year old Emma, but also with a significant amnesia she can’t shake—a “temporary” condition now going on several years, brought on by a traumatic event she cannot remember, and which everyone around her feels is best forgotten. 

A routine trip to the dentist changes everything for Mina, and suddenly she’s not sure if what’s happening is real, or if she’s just now fully losing her mind… especially when she realizes the only person she thought she could trust is the one she fears the most. 


A Goodreadsgiveaway for the paperback copy is running now through November 8! Please feel free to
share the link starting Monday, October 28: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/70037-the-girl-the-gold-tooth-and-everything-a-novel

To celebrate GIRL turning one, the eBook will be 99 cents for one week only. This is a limited time offer that is perfect for your readers to discover this quirky satire for themselves. Please be sure to spread the word!
FRANCINE
LASALA
has written nonfiction on every topic imaginable, from circus freaks to
sex, and edited bestselling authors of all genres.



She is now actively taking
on clients for manuscript evaluations, editing services, copywriting (covers,
blurbs, taglines, queries, and more), website and blog creation, and developing
kickass social media campaigns. 



The author of novels Rita Hayworth’s Shoes and
The Girl, The Gold Tooth and Everything, and the creator of The “Joy Jar”
Project, she lives with her husband and two daughters in New York.


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A Year and a Day by Patsy Collins

Their differing reactions to a fortune
telling bring happiness, love, flowers, danger, tears, fabulous food and
cocktails, to best mates Stella and Daphne.
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
Despite Stella’s misgivings her best friend Daphne persuades
her to visit a fortune teller. Rosie-Lee promises both girls will live long and
happy lives. For orphaned Stella, the fortune teller’s claims include a tall,
dark handsome man and the family she longs for. Stella doesn’t believe a word,
so Rosie-Lee produces a letter, to be read in a year’s time, which will prove
her predictions are true.

Stella remains sceptical but Daphne is totally convinced. She
attempts to manipulate Stella’s life, starting by introducing Stella to her new
boss Luigi, who fits the romantic hero image perfectly. In complete contrast is
Daphne’s infuriating policeman brother John. Despite his childhood romance with
Stella ending badly he still acts as though he has a right to be involved in
her life.

Soon John is the least of her worries. Daphne’s keeping a
secret, Luigi can’t be trusted, romantically or professionally and both girls’
jobs are at risk. Worse still, John’s concerns for their safety are proved to
be justified.

John, and Rosie-Lee’s letter, are all Stella has to help put
things right.
I’m a fiction writer so I make stuff up. Therefore I didn’t really need to spend a lot of time in
Italian restaurants, gazing at glossy haired waiters, inhaling the scent of
fresh basil and brandishing a pepper grinder inappropriately as I researched
for A Year and a Day. I did.
All the cocktails gorgeous Luigi makes in A Year and a Day are
a different matter. I did have to mix and drink every one of those, for research
you understand. It wasn’t so much to help me describe the flavour and colour but
rather to put me in the right frame of mind for John’s terrible puns. There’s a
good reason that man is a copper and not a comic. Honestly, would you trust a police
officer who arrested someone for the theft of a vanload of food for a kid’s
party with the words, ‘Jello, jello, jello. This is no trifling matter, I’m
going to have to take you into custardy’? No, me neither which is why I didn’t
let him do it. He got away with worse though when I was distracted by thoughts
of his sister’s cooking.
Talking of Daphne, I did need to eat the chocolates and
desserts she created. Poor girl used to be a school dinner lady. I felt a bit
mean about giving her that job, so once she started working in Luigi’s
restaurant I let her get a lot more adventurous. Her best friend Stella was
chief taster of her bruschetta, fresh tomato soups, quirky pizzas and all those
indulgently sweet goodies.
Fortunately, as Stella is another character from my
imagination it had to be me who had to do the actual tasting. That was mostly
for my mental health. Spending hours at the computer editing descriptions of
handmade white chocolates decorated with pistachios and cherries and creamy
panna cotta without having at least a taste would probably have resulted in
some kind of emotional trauma.
Patsy Collins

Although none of the characters in the story are based on
real people, the relationship between Stella and Daphne is very like that
between my friend Nicola and I. We used to spend the summer holidays together,
getting into and out of minor scrapes. Obviously I’d love to tell you every
detail of the embarrassing things we did, but there’s one thing about Nicola
which prevents me doing that. She kept a diary. That means she has more on me
than I have on her.
Some of the events are based on reality, though of course
they’ve been altered or exaggerated, or even toned down to suit the plot and
characters. If you’re wondering if I’ve pushed anyone down the stairs, been a
stalker, got stuck in a window, owned a stuffed cat, found a towel-wrapped
blonde in my boyfriend’s flat, experienced a dognapping or been serenaded in a
boat then yes, I’ve done some of those. Quite a few in fact, but not all.

As I said, I’m a fiction writer so I have to make some stuff
up. And no, I won’t give you Nicola’s email address so you can ask her.’ – 
Patsy Collins

Contemporary Romance: Fantasy and Reality

by 
Synithia Williams
Contemporary romance doesn’t have the added
drama inherent in other subgenres of romance. There are no sexy shape-shifters
or wizards to tempt a human female. No threat of scandal if you’re caught in an
embrace with the Viscount. And unless it’s a suspense, you’re not solving a
murder or avoiding being murdered. No, straight up contemporary romance
requires taking the mundane of dating and living in present times and make it
exciting, dramatic and romantic.

At first glance it may seem impossible to
make real life romantic. In fact, I had a co-worker say I couldn’t make
engineers sexy in my first novel, You
Can’t Plan Love
. But as a contemporary romance writer, I have to make real
life seem fun and sexy. All it takes is a big imagination and little fantasy.

A fantasy can make environmental engineers
sexy and even water quality conferences—which are usually dry as toast—seem
exciting. Throw in a few what if situations and the boring can become dramatic.
What if an environmental consultant worked for a tall, dark and handsome man?
What if that sexy boss made a play for her heart? And again, because this is
fantasy, she kind of wants it so it’s not creepy and a sexual harassment
lawsuit isn’t imminent.

This can work for the most commonplace of
experiences. A boring family dinner that occurs routinely every week or month
can be re-written in a romance with the added drama of an old love arriving on
the arm of your favorite cousin. This situation can go many ways. Let’s say
your heroine still loves that old flame. Did he show up to see her again? Is
the cousin aware of the relationship and brought him there out of spite? Or, is
the cousin unaware and fancies herself in love? That makes it kinda hard for
your heroine to restart a relationship with someone her favorite cousin loves.
There’s enough drama in that scenario to make a juicy contemporary romance. Sweet
or spicy, big city or small town it’ll fit any modern day location.

Most writers are always finding story
inspiration in everyday events, but contemporary romance writers need just as
vivid an imagination as a fantasy or paranormal writer to make the happenings
in day to day life—or the love life of an environmental engineer—sexy and
interesting enough to capture readers. To take reality, throw in a lot of daydreams
and fantasy and write a page turning contemporary romance is a fun challenge
worth taking.
Contacts

Twitter     Facebook     Website     Crimson Romance
You Can’t Plan Love
Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Barnes & Noble 
After several bad
relationships, Kenyatta Copeland decides to control her love life with the same
discernment she uses in her professional life.

Knowing first hand the
heartbreak that comes when desire and emotion rule a relationship, Kenyatta
assumes marrying Brad Johnson will lead to a stable life. But as much as she
believes she can plan her future, it’s hard to ignore the way her boss, Malcolm
Patterson, ignites her passions with just one look. 

After Malcolm learns of her
engagement, he makes a play for her heart and reminds her that passion between
a man and a woman has its perks … but also its costs. 

When Brad suspects
there’s more than work between Kenyatta and Malcolm, he works harder to keep
Kenyatta by his side. 

Torn between her promise to marry Brad and her
irrepressible longing for Malcolm, Kenyatta must decide if she can live her
life in a passionless marriage of convenience or once again trust her heart.
Yet Brad isn’t as perfect as he seems, and by the time Kenyatta realizes this
it may be too late.


Author Synithia Williams
Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It was only natural that she would begin penning her own romances soon after. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her dream of becoming a published author. 

When she isn’t writing, this Green Queen, as dubbed by the State Newspaper, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. You can learn more about Synithia, and her novel, by visiting her website where she blogs about writing, life and relationships.

Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love, was published by Crimson Romance in August 2012. 

What does "show don’t tell" mean?

SHOW don’t TELL
by
Ednah Walters


The first time a critique partner scrawled these words on page after page of my chapter, I went, uh? I was clueless as to what she was referring to. As a self-taught writer, I knew that descriptive pros drew a reader in, but the journey from telling readers what’s happening to showing them has been bumpy but satisfying. Telling is unimaginative and boring. Showing engages the senses, makes readers visualize a scene and allow them to draw their own conclusion. 

So how can you tell when you’re telling instead of showing? Lets start with a simple sentence. 

My husband flirted with the waitress. 

This sentence gets straight to the point and tells you what is going on. It is bland. It doesn’t engage the imagination or evoke any emotion. In fact, the writer leaves everything to the reader. Instead of wanting to read more, a reader is left wondering what the husband did for the narrator to draw this conclusion, how the waitress reacted and how the narrator felt. 

The waitress flung her blonde hair and sashayed toward my husband. She leaned forward to pick up the empty plates, deliberately thrusting her chest too close to his face. He read the writing on the tight T-shirt barely covering her large breasts then said something. The woman’s high-pitched giggle filled the room. As she walked past him to serve the next table, my husband turned to watch her with a grin. 

Now this version is a bit more descriptive you must admit. A reader can visualize the scene and become engaged…maybe. Yes, there’s a bit of showing, description of the waitress, a bit on the flirting, but the passage is so impersonal. Something is missing. Why should you as a reader care about what the waitress is doing when the narrator doesn’t seem to? 

Her black, ruffled skirt short and indecent, red top snug, the woman flung her platinum blonde stresses as she glided toward my husband’s table. She fluttered her fake lashes as she talk, her hand lingering on his arm after she served him. I clenched and unclenched my fist when he leaned forward and pretended to read the writing on her T-shirt then whispered something in her ear. He was checking out her enviable double-Ds, the letch. I crossed my arms over my less noteworthy chest and cringed when she giggled, the high-pitched sound grating on my already frayed nerves. He turned and ogled her as she walked to the next table with an exaggerated sway of her generous hips. 

Okay, this passage may be wordy, but you see what I’m getting at. It shows emotions. It is descriptive. It shows the use of senses. We now know more about the waitress, what she wore, how she looked and the exchange between her and the narrator’s husband. But above all, we know about the narrator’s take on the scene. There’s pain as she watches the waitress and her husband, and glimpses of her insecurities about her breast size. The entire passage is personal and raw with emotions. A reader is left with questions and the need to learn more. What is the narrator going to do after this scene? What is going to happen to her marriage? 

So there’s my take on showing versus telling. Stimulate the readers with descriptions and throw in a dose of emotions, and viola! 


About Ednah Walters
In her own words:

I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy boys mysteries before I graduated to my older sister’s romance books and the rest is history.

I’ve written picture books, contemporary and romantic suspense, biracial/multicultural books, and finally YA fantasy. Awakened was the first book in The Guardian Legacy YA series. Book 2, Betrayed, is due in August. For my adult series, I started with an Irish-American family, the Fitzgeralds. Slow Burn is the first book in the series (Ashley’s story). Mine Until Dawn (http://www.ednahwalters.com/Mine_Until_Dawn.htm due in July 2011) is Jade Fitzgerald’s story. Kiss Me Crazy (Baron Fitzgerald’s story) is due in November 2011. 


I’m presently working on Faith Fitzgerald’s story and book 3 of the Guardian Legacy YA series. When I’m not writing, I do things with my family—my five children and my darling husband of 20 years. I live in a picturesque valley in Utah, the setting for my YA series.


Connect with Ednah Walters:
She doesn’t want to deal with the past… 

Ten years ago, Ashley Fitzgerald witnessed the death of her parents in a tragic fire and blocked the memory. She pretends to have moved on, is a successful artist and photographer, until the morning she opens her door to a stranger, assumes is a model and asks him to strip to his briefs. 
He wants to expose the truth… 
Wealthy businessman Ron Noble has the body, the jet, the fast cars and the women, but he hides a deadly secret. His father started the fire that killed Ashley’s parents. Now someone is leaving him clues that could exonerate his father and they lead to Ashley’s door. Blindsided by the blazing attraction between them and a merciless killer silencing anyone who was there the night of the fire, Ron can’t dare tell Ashley the truth. Yet the answer he seeks may very well tear them apart. 
While a demented arsonist and plots his ultimate revenge..

In preparation for the release of Mine Until Dawn, book 2 of the Fitzgeralds, Slow Burn is now $0.99 at the following e-stores:
Amazon
Barnes &Nobles
Smashwords or (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50822)
Goodreads or (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10750656-slow-burn)

Slow Burn’s book trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ednahwalters?feature=mhsn