Category Archives: Writer Wednesday

Writers, writing, books, guest posts.

Smart Strategies of Super Writers – Quantum 4

Public domain courtesy Pixabay

She loves books and reading. Put a pen in her hand, and she can turn a pithy phrase. Writing is on her mind at least thirteen times a day. She always dreamed of being a writer. It’s in her blood. It’s her destiny. Her books would be on the bookstore shelves beside those of PickaFamousAuthor.

If only she had more time to write. If only she didn’t have to do so and so. If only so and so didn’t get in the way. If only her day job didn’t drain her down to the bone. If only she was wealthy enough to write full time. If only she had no obligations. If only she felt better. If only she had more energy to write. If only the planets would align.

Who is this? I call her Wendy WannaBeAWriter.

I used to be a Wendy. And then I decided to be an author. With the help of some wonderful mentors and supporters, I dipped my toe into the craft and eventually published seven books. Then I experienced the devastating loss of my husband of 41 ½ years. This was followed by the closing of my publishing house. Slowly, some of my Wendyness began to reemerge.

If only writing was really worth it. If only authors were actually appreciated these days. If only everything wasn’t so darn technical. If only writers didn’t have to spend so much time marketing and figuring things out. If only writers supported each other more. If only there was more time to write. If only the planets would align.

Do you have some Wendy problems, too? Here is what helped me cope with my latest spell of Wendyness. The mindset and daily non-negotiables were inspired by coach Jennifer Blanchard. I call her The Firecracker. She is a great example of living the law of attraction. Kat Laterzo is also a cool and powerful inspiration. I call the regimen I came up with my Quantum 4.

Laws of the Quantum 4:
Pick 4 things that will help you move toward your goals if you do them every day.
Decide to do these 4 things every day, come hell or high water.
See these as non-negotiable.
Do them first thing in the morning or at your first available time each day.

My Quantum 4 as I first set them up:
Mindset work
Write 20 minutes a day on 1st Rough Draft
Ride stationary bike 15 minutes a day
Eat low carb

Mindset work: This includes journaling a page that envisions desired outcomes for each area of my Quantum 4. I journal fast and from the heart as the thoughts come. To give a few examples — I am an international best-selling author. My books are made into movies and audiobooks. I write 7,000 1st Rough Draft words a day. I am fit and have oodles of stamina. I love eating foods that are healthy, low calorie, and low carb.

Write 20 minutes a day on 1st Rough Draft: This is the messy, ugly writing that initially spews out on the blank page. Because it had all the charm of a root canal, it was urgent for me to include it in my daily habits. Performing the task on a daily basis lessens the pain. 1st Rough Draft is now more of a friend than a foe. 20 minutes a day resulted in about 500 words. I’m now up to 40 minutes.

Ride stationary bike 15 minutes a day: It doesn’t seem like much, but remember—small steps! 15 minutes renders approximately 3.5 miles. I’m now up to 20 minutes. I’m amazed how much I actually enjoy riding that bike. I never would have thought! I call it my horse, and my valiant, magical steed has a secret name.

Eat low carb: I always feel better, cleaner, and have more stamina with low carb.

Your goals and regimen are up to you:
Pick 4 things that will move you closer to your goals if you do them every day.
Decide to do these things every day, come hell or high water.
See these as non-negotiable.
Do them first thing in the morning or at your first available time each day.

After a week you will start to feel more powerful and in control. You’ll be amazed that you are actually working toward your goals a little each day. Results are becoming visible. After a month nothing can stop you. You are piling up the pages. You’ll be so gung ho that you’ll adjust your Quantum 4 upward. Your productivity will increase. You are well on your way. Wendy WannaBeAWriter has morphed into Super Writer. With the Quantum 4 you show the universe what you want and what you are committed to. The Universe clears the way for you.

Cheers & Happy Writing!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Author on Board: Joyce M. Holmes

Please welcome fellow author Joyce M. Holmes with her book release from Roane Publishing, Show No Weakness.  What a gorgeous cover, with the blue color and those red letters!

Blurb:

She’s a tenderhearted social worker, looking for her Happy-Ever-After. He’s a distrustful RCMP Corporal who’s sworn off relationships. Factor in a surly teen heading for delinquency, and you have a case of passion and turmoil too explosive to handle.

As a defense mechanism to deal with his guilt and grief over his daughter’s death, Cole Dennison has become an expert at compartmentalizing his feelings. He keeps his personal life private, while making it his professional mission to rescue children in peril.

Joely Sinclair is fiercely protective and openly compassionate. When she meets Cole Dennison, she falls hard. He’s everything she admires in a man, and because she wears her heart on her sleeve, she can’t understand how or why Cole keeps all his emotions to himself.

As much as Cole resents his interest in Joely, with her inquisitive and caring nature, he can’t deny her appeal. Against his better judgment, he becomes involved in both her and her son’s lives. Taylor is in desperate need of a positive male role model, and Cole can’t turn his back on the boy. But when Joely starts talking love, Cole’s inability to commit puts an end to their relationship—until a dangerous situation throws them back together.

When given a second chance at love, will Cole risk letting Joely into his battered heart?

Excerpt:

“By the time I turned sixteen, I was pregnant. I became a child bride at seventeen, married to an adult-sized infant with chest hair, with a real live baby doll to take care of, as well. That marriage was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. Before I hit twenty-one, it was over.” She heard the bitterness in her voice and stopped talking.

“That had to be rough, but isn’t it time to stop beating yourself up about it? At least you had enough sense to get out.”

The compassion, the offer of understanding in his voice almost overwhelmed Joely. She wondered if he’d be as sympathetic if he knew she had left her precious little boy with her alcoholic husband while she worked. And it took four years and a serious injury before she clued in to the fact her toddler didn’t get all his bruises from being overactive and clumsy.

No, Cole had it wrong; she didn’t have a whole lot of sense when she was younger.
He pushed his coffee cup aside and leaned forward in his chair to stare sharply at her. She realized he must be very good at his investigative work. Those dark penetrating eyes would intimidate anyone into telling the truth when they flashed as fiercely as they were right now.

“You’re upset. I didn’t mean to do that,” he apologized. “I wanted to make you feel better.”

“Oh no, hey, I’m not upset with you. I actually appreciate your effort. I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with a man who cared how I felt about myself. Men are usually much more concerned about how I feel about them.”

“You already told me you didn’t like me.” He smiled brilliantly, his eyes crinkling. “Whaddaya say to giving me a chance to change your mind?”

For just a moment, Joely saw beneath the laughing, self-confident grin to the flicker of loneliness in his eyes. He was new to the area, she remembered. He probably didn’t know many people, and here she was monopolizing the conversation. She ignored his question and posed one of her own.

“Why did you choose law enforcement for your career?”

His gaze unexpectedly turned cold. His features revealed no emotion, nothing to indicate why he suddenly shut down. The pause grew a little too long, giving Joely the impression he preferred not to answer.

“I take a lot of satisfaction out of my job, especially working with the kids,” he eventually replied, his voice back to that aggravatingly polite, neutral tone. “But it wasn’t a matter of choice so much as of doing what was expected.”

“Your parents said you had to become a cop?” Joely wanted to keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking, but stunned disbelief made her blurt it out before she could stop herself.

Cole smiled tightly. “My grandfather was a cop, same with my father. As far as they were concerned, there was no other suitable job for a Dennison, and they presumed I’d follow their lead. My mom didn’t get a say; she died when I was five.”

Joely let out an involuntary gasp of sympathy. “Oh, I’m sorry. How sad for you to grow up without a mother.” Not having a father had left a gaping hole in her childhood and even though her mom would’ve never won mother-of-the-year, she’d always given freely of her hugs and kisses. She was important to Joely, and Joely couldn’t imagine growing up without her.

Cole lifted a shoulder casually. “I survived. You don’t miss what you never really had.”

“Yes, you do,” she replied fiercely. “You miss it and you want it terribly. At least I did. I wanted a father more than I wanted anything else. It was the defining reality of my childhood. How can you say you didn’t miss your mother?”

Something hard and acrid flashed in his eyes, and he didn’t acknowledge her words. He pushed out of his chair abruptly. “We should get back to the detachment. Your son’s waited long enough.”

Buy SHOW NO WEAKNESS  

Author Bio:

Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.

Author Links:

Website
Facebook 
Twitter 
Amazon Author Page  
Goodreads 

Writer Wednesday: Reviewers Welcome

Time to focus on reviews! #AugustReviews I am reblogging this from Rosie Amber via my cyber friend Carmen Stefanescu. Point is, authors need and appreciate reviews and love reviewers.

readers-reviewers

Readers from all over the world are being inspired to post reviews for books they’ve read on Amazon.

In a Bold attempt to increase reader awareness of the importance of book reviews to all authors, Terry Tyler is leading the campaign to get more people posting those all important reviews on Amazon.

Read the full post from Rosie Amber.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

Author on Board: Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Melinda De Ross

Please welcome paranormal romance author Melinda De Ross and her Coiola Series, Mirage Beyond Flames and Dante’s Amulet.

Mirage Beyond Flames

Gerard Leon and Linda Coriola fight for the same cause. The attractive, noble, dedicated French doctor and the beautiful, sensitive Italian sculptress both donate their time and money to Hope – a clinic for children’s cancer research and treatment.

From the moment they meet, even the air between them crackles with intense attraction. But her past makes it difficult for Gerard to understand her scars and battle with her demons.

In search of a cure for cancer and armed with an innovative treatment themselves, they leave for Transylvania, that enigmatic land hidden in the heart of the Carpathians.

There they get lost and have a bizarre  experience in the Hoia-Baciu forest, nicknamed The Romanian Bermuda Triangle due to all the inexplicable paranormal phenomena happening in its depths.

But no one believes them, because they don’t have any proof of said experience. Or do they?…

Dante’s Amulet

Italian businessman Giovanni Coriola and English target-shooting trainer Sonia Galsworthy have only two things in common—a sizzling chemistry and no desire for commitment. When they meet in London, the world starts spinning faster and they quickly become addicted to each other. The incendiary passion between them skyrockets into smoldering, once-in-a-lifetime love.

Just as they thought they had things settled, a strange discovery triggers a mysterious spiral of events that puts their lives in danger more than once, with no apparent reason.

What connection could there be between an ancient amulet, a secret society and the long-dead poet Dante Alighieri? A sinister, complicated conspiracy that gradually catches up with the characters. And of course, one last twist before the ending.

*Dante’s Amulet is a follow-up of Mirage Beyond Flames.

AncaAuthor photoMelinda De Ross (real name Anca-Melinda Coliolu) is an international author of Romanian origin. She writes in two languages, and her books combine the elegance specific to the European style with the modern appeal of the American culture. Her favorite genre to read and write in is Romance, and anytime she prefers to watch a classic movie instead of going to a noisy club.

She loves to hear from her readers, and you can find her at:

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads 

 All the best to Melinda and the Coriola Series!

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

Author on Board: Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Daisy Banks

 

DaisyBanks8-5-2015 HRchristmascarolsWho doesn’t love a summer Christmas? Welcome to Daisy Banks and her Christmas Carols Blog Tour, as we help her celebrate the release of Christmas Carols, to be published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of August. Readers can pre-order to enjoy a 20% early bird discount. Take it away, Daisy!

I know readers might think it a little odd to be thinking about Christmas in August but in Victorian England, where my story is set, people were used to starting their Christmas preparations early.

My paternal grandmother knew about the work that went into getting Christmas foods underway in a ‘big’ house. I believe her mother worked for a landed family. My gran made her Christmas puddings in September every year so they could mature to their full flavour by Christmas. I believe it is the level of alcohol in the pudding that helps to preserve it.

I thought if you or your readers might like to try making a Christmas pudding of their own I’d give you a traditional recipe for it. Do be aware this pudding takes time to steam. 

8 oz of butter
8 oz of fresh breadcrumbs, white or whole-wheat.
4 oz of plain flour
Half a teaspoon of mace
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
8 oz of Demerara sugar
4 oz of chopped candied orange peel
2 oz of chopped candied lemon peel
4 oz of glace cherries
8 oz of currents
10 oz of chopped raisins
3 oz of chopped blanched almonds
1 grated carrot
6 small beaten eggs
2 tablespoons of black treacle
A quarter of a pint of brown ale
3 tablespoons of sherry or brandy (Personally I think the brandy is best for the pudding.)

Method
• Grease 4 one pint pudding basins or 2 two pint basins.
• You will need a large mixing bowl for this.
• In a separate dish put butter in a warm place to melt. (If you don’t have your range going full blast, I’d melt the butter in a pan on a gentle hob.
• Add Breadcrumbs to your mixing bowl.
• Sift in flour and spices.
• Mix in sugar.
• Add chopped peel and cherries
• Add currants and sultanas.
• Mix well.
• Add almonds and carrot.
• Mix again
• Stir in the beaten eggs and black treacle. Mix well.
• Add the melted butter, beer and spirits to the mix and stir well.
• Divide mixture equally between your basins.
• Cover tight with greased greaseproof paper and tin foil too.
• Place in a large saucepan. The boiling water must come halfway up the basin. Put saucepan lid on so the pudding will steam.
• Steam your pudding for 3 and a half hours. Never let the water drop below half way in your saucepan. Check often. When you replenish the water use boiling hot water from the kettle so the temperature doesn’t drop.
• The two big puddings take longer to cook if you do them both together, up to 8 hours. (This recipe comes from the time when people boiled their pudding in the copper of hot water they used for doing their laundry.)
• After the cooking time take you pudding out and remove foil and greaseproof. Allow the pudding to cool
• When the pudding is quite cold recover with fresh greased greaseproof paper and foil.
• Store in a cool place.
• When you wish to eat your pudding steam again for one and a half to two hours.

Christmas pudding is eaten at the end of my story Christmas Carols in a celebratory Christmas lunch. Rather like the pudding the romance has bubbled for some time. I hope you enjoy this little extract from the beginning of Christmas Carols.

Excerpt
“Would you care to sit with us for the recital?” Mrs. Clarke asked after the verger took their tickets and they stepped into the church.
She’d rather not. The Clarke’s would wish to converse and she would much rather be quiet, also she wanted to sit in the third pew from the back of the church, as she knew from her attendance at Sunday service the acoustics there were perfect. “I’d planned to sit alone in one of the pews at the back, Mrs. Clarke. I would rather not be a show for people to observe.”
“Then perhaps you’re not ready for public events, Mrs. Broadbrace,” Mr. Clarke said. “I’d hate to see you distressed tonight.”
“This is why I chose to sit alone, sir. I do hope you and Mrs. Clarke enjoy the recital. Good evening to you both.” She turned and made her way to the back of the group of chairs that had been set out, and further back still to the last group of pews where she could sit in the shadows cast by flickering gas lamps. Seated in the gloom she would be almost private from the rest of the audience.
A long time seemed to pass as she kept her gaze on her mud-splashed boots. She’d no wish to look up at any of the crowd of people whose chatter buzzed and hummed.
She hoped no one spoke to her here. Perhaps she shouldn’t have come. Maybe it was too soon. She ought to make do with listening to him play when he rehearsed. Each time she’d heard him as she worked with the flowers it had seemed a rare privilege, almost as though he gave a private rendition for her alone.

Blurb
Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.

Thanks for reading
Daisy Banks

Find Daisy Banks here
Blog 
Website 
Twitter  
Pinterest 
Amazon 

Daisy Banks is the author of
Christmas Carols
Marked for Magic
To Eternity
A Perfect Match
Timeless
Valentine Wishes
A Gentleman’s Folly
Your Heart My Soul
Fiona’s Wish
A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy’s books are available here
Amazon Barnes and Noble Kobo iTunes

Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

Thanks for visiting, Daisy! I am crazy for vintage recipes and look forward to trying this traditional, old time pudding. Not to mention your book, which sounds soooo romantic!

Cheers & Happy Reading to All!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Author on Board: Flossie Benton Rogers Welcomes Mary Morgan

MARY MORGANDragonKnightsAxe_w9181_750Dear readers, you all know I love historical romances with knights and highlanders and am jazzed by authors who write in that genre. Today it’s my honor and pleasure to welcome the lovely Mary Morgan, whose book Dragon Knight’s Axe is heating up the ethers. Mary doles out a touch of fae magic with her writing too, another attribute that’s down my alley. She was kind enough to take time from a busy schedule to answer a few questions and then tell us about Dragon Knight’s Axe.

1. What is your genre and what inspired you to write it?

Paranormal Time-travel Medieval Scottish Romance. I have a love affair with history, and I’ve often told others that I feel displaced within this century. When I was sitting on a boulder in the Scottish Highlands, the Dragon Knights were born. I was surrounded with the rugged landscape and only sheep. It was perfect. Of course, the Fae entered quietly on that evening to put a little dash of magic into the story.

2. Tell us about your writing schedule. (What drink do you always have by you?)

My day starts at 5am. I’m a morning person, so when my feet hit the ground, I’m moving. After breakfast, I spend a few hours with promoting and answering emails. Then, I’m off for a walk, bike ride, or yoga. I’m usually in my writing cave around 11am and work until 5 or 6pm. Sundays are my rest day, but sometimes you’ll find me on the couch with my current work-in-progress and writing in my journal. Ahh…there are no drinks on my desk. I have this fear of spilling something on my computer, and trust me, it has happened.

3. What was hardest for you in writing your latest book?

Pulling apart my characters. I believe they wrote those scenes more than I did. Each time I wanted to re-unite them, they would shake their heads and walk away. It was brutal! But isn’t that what finding love is all about?

4. Chips, chocolate cake, candy bar, or cheesecake?

Definitely chocolate cake! Now, I’m craving chocolate!

5. What stories do you have planned for the future?

I’m in the middle of edits for the fourth book, Dragon Knight’s Shield, which is Angus MacKay’s story—the oldest. I’ve just started the fifth and final book in the Order of the Dragon Knights (title to be revealed later). Then I’ll have a spin-off from the series with the Fenian Warriors.

I’m envious of Mary’s affinity with the wee early hours of the morning. Let’s find out about Dragon Knight’s Axe now.

MARY MORGANDragonKnightsAxe_w9181_750Blurb:

Battled scarred, Dragon Knight, Alastair MacKay, has fled to the seas to separate himself from his powers that are connected to the land. Yet, when he rescues a woman from a slave trader in Ireland, he steps back inadvertently into a world filled with magic—taking on the role of protector and leading him on a journey to confront his greatest fears.

Research assistant, Fiona O’Quinlan loves translating ancient artifacts at Trinity College. When she falls asleep on an archeological dig, she awakens in another time. She soon discovers a Dragon Knight’s relic has been entrusted into her care. Determined to return the artifact to the Great Glen, Fiona is unprepared for the danger ahead—losing her heart and soul to Alastair “Beast” MacKay.

Will their love be strong enough to soothe the beast and heal the man? Or will Death swing its axe, leaving them lost for all eternity?

Excerpt:

He would get the truth out of her. She was now his. Bought and paid for.

His anger simmered just below the surface, and he allowed his eyes to flash with the fire of the dragon. Hearing her gasp, he smiled. Good, little bird. Fear me. Without giving her time to react, he swept her up and dumped her over his left shoulder, and strode to the ship.

He heard her sharp intake of breath, and then she started to pound against his back. “Put…me down,” she demanded.

“Nae.”

She started to kick, and he clenched his jaw in frustration. The little bird had talons. He responded with a smack to her bottom, but instead of removing his hand, he kept it against her soft curves. “I will put ye down when we are on my ship.”

She went completely still, and then she screamed.

Alastair dumped her onto the ground. “For the love of Brigid, did ye have to yell into my ear?”

Fiona rubbed at her bottom and then stood. “You beast,” she spat out at him. Jumping onto a nearby boulder, she looked directly into his eyes. “Don’t you ever touch me like that again.”

Alastair yanked her to his chest by her arms, his face mere inches from hers. “And what are ye going to do?” He watched as her eyes widened in alarm. Blue eyes that reminded him of the sky on warm summer days. Then his gaze traveled down to her lips, red as berries.

Instantly, his beast roared to life. Claim one kiss, Alastair.

“I will slit your throat,” she whispered.

Releasing his hold, his beast laughed, mocking him. He stared at her for a few moments before turning away. Stalking over to the ship, he climbed up the ladder.

****

Buy Links:

Amazon     The Wild Rose Press     Barnes & Noble

I love making new friends:

Website       Facebook       Twitter        Pinterest        Goodreads  

Bio:

I am a constant daydreamer and have been told quite often to remove my head from the clouds. Yet, this is where I find the magic to write my stories. Not only do I love to weave a good tale, but I have a voracious appetite for reading. I worked for Borders Books for almost fourteen years. Imagine my delight to be surrounded by so many books, talking to others about them, and getting paid.

Pure bliss!

I have traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, and France. There are those who know me well when I say, “My heart is in the Highlands.” I believe I have left it there or maybe in Ireland.

When not writing, I enjoy playing in my garden—another place where magic grows. Of course, there is time spent with my family. They are the ones that keep me grounded.

Thanks for spending time with us, Mary.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

 

 

 

When the Cat’s Away

1-5-2015Have you ever been so deep in the editing cave that you don’t know what day it is? It’s not quite that bad–but close. Anyway, Marigold is manning the fort. I’m so excited to be over at Ronnie Allen’s blog today answering interview questions! Ronnie is part of my awesome writing group. Her first novel Gemini will be coming out soon, and I am so looking forward to that. Please hop over and visit me at Ronnie’s place.