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Tag: romance

Home > ArchivesTag: romance

Get Real! by Meriam Wilhelm @meriamwilhelm

October 20, 2017 by in category Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Give Up
Give In
Get Real

I hit an unexpected writer’s block this past year. I sort of lost my way and it had me really wondering what to do next with myself. I have always been a goal driven person who needed to be reaching for that next carrot in order to feel good about myself. Yes, I agree that may not be the healthiest way to live, but I guess it’s just how I’m wired. The other part of me is that I expect that dedication and hard work will more times than not – result in success. But it’s the definition of that word – success – that suddenly had me paralyzed, and more than a little uncertain of my writing future.

It all started three and a half years ago. After thirty-five years in education, I retired. I had loved being an elementary school principal and there were still a thousand stories, strategies and recommendations racing through my head. I wanted to share all that I had learned and decided to try writing parenting books. I poured out my heart and soul with strategies on bullying, homework issues, parent/teacher relationships and more.

Six books later I realized that I was getting bored talking about the same old stuff I had for the last thirty-five years. I needed to do something different. I took a chance, deciding to throw my hat into the world of fiction writing. And I had a blast creating my first fictional series The Witches Of New Moon Beach. I created a welcoming – albeit quirky, action packed world filled with witches, magic and love, all at the beach.

Although I was happy with how the series did, I guess I had hoped for more. After all, I felt like I had worked really hard, spending endless hours in front of my computer. Suddenly I was wondering what the “more” was that I was looking for? More sales..more exposure more…
more what?

A couple of my friends gently suggested that I might consider giving up. Why spend so much time if it wasn’t truly productive. “I mean are you even making any money?” one asked. Others said that I should give in to the fact that the e-book market may have shrunk. Maybe I’d missed my chance and I’d never make it big. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough. It left me considering, who was I to think that I might actually make it in this gigantic world of publishing?

It was my husband who caught me feeling down one day and said something rather life changing – Get Real! What the heck did that mean, I asked – not really wanting to know the answer.

Then he asked me four powerful questions.
1) Did I still have a passion for writing?
2) Was I having fun?
3) Had I done all that I could to improve my writing skills and publishing opportunities?
4) Was I really ready to throw in the towel and walk away from writing?

After dropping these atomic questions on me, he calmly reassured me that whatever my answers were – he’d still have my back.

I spent a lot of time thinking about his queries. And in the end, it was the answers to those questions that helped me to redefine my idea of success and happiness.

I do have a passion for writing. I love creating fictional worlds over which I have total artistic freedom and control. My mind is constantly spinning with new characters, themes and plot lines.
I love creating new characters. It’s fun. In fact, I wake up at night to jot down new ideas that just popped into my head while I was supposed to be sleeping. I carry around my Book O’ Names with me so that when I hear an unusual name I quickly jot it down for later use.
Ouch! No, I hadn’t done everything that I could to improve my writing skills. I listened to writer podcasts, read articles by other writers and secured new support software. I knew that I needed to do a better job editing my books. I’d been zinged for it in the past and recognized that it was one of the areas I could strengthen. I secured the help of a fab editor – Jenny Jensen. She has been a godsend and has made all of the difference in the world in helping me to tighten up my story lines and confirm correct grammar usage. Most importantly, I feel better about my work with her support.
Hell No! I am not ready to throw in the towel. I love writing and even though I still hit bumps in the road; writing makes me happy.

So what did I do with all these newly found answers? I put my head down, recognized that this was what I’m meant to be doing right now – and wrote. I reawakened by imagination and had fun creating a new story – one that I am ready to share with you.

Murder By Magic is my first cozy mystery and I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And should you feel stuck along the way, you are more than welcome to borrow my husband’s four questions to get you headed in the right direction – right for you that is!

Oh, and thank you Paranormal Romance Writers Guild for giving me a 5 star review!

MURDER BY MAGIC
Buy now!
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A Q & A with Author Laura Drake by @JannRyan

October 2, 2017 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

Laura Drake is a New York published author of Women’s Fiction and Romance. Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She also published a four-book small town romance series with Harlequin’s Superomance line. Her latest women’s fiction released January 2016, and she has just accepted an offer to write three more western romances for Grand Central.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

 

Jann: Today I’m chatting with Author Laura Drake, who writes about ‘Ordinary women at the edge of extraordinary change’. Welcome Laura to A Slice of Orange.

I know you had a long road to publication. However, when you did sell your first book The Sweet Spot you won the 2014 Romance Writers of America Rita for Best First Book. What was that like?

 

Laura: I’m still pinching myself – it was the highlight of my life (but don’t tell my husband – he thinks he is 😉  After writing three books, and living through 417 rejections, I’d only hoped to be published. A RITA was beyond my wildest dreams! I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve watched the video of that . . . it’s like a well-worn touchstone I use to prove to myself I can do it, when I’m struggling with the writing.

 

 

Jann: You also have a love for Women’s Fiction and self-published Days of Glass.  Where did the idea for this book originate and share a bit of your experience self-publishing the book?

 

Laura: I fully intended on Glass being NY published. When I finished it, and my agent submitted it to Publishers, they all loved it, but didn’t think the market for Western Women’s Fiction was large enough to acquire it.

I didn’t care – this was the book I wrote in memory of the sister I lost to cancer, twenty-five years ago. None of the events are biographical, but the relationship between the sisters in the book is ours.

Self-publishing – The control, the technology and the learning curve – I loved every part of it!

 

 

Jann: You have a new book deal for a Western Romance Series. The first book is scheduled to release July, 2018. How exciting. What’s it about?

Laura: I’m very excited (when I’m not nauseous, thinking about the deadlines). It’s tentatively titled, Hand Me Down Dreams, and it’s the story of the perfect country girl-next-door, and what happens when her boyfriend won’t come off the rodeo road to marry her. Sounds fun, and it is, but if you’ve read any of my books, you know there’s some heavy stuff in there!

Jann: What kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?

Laura: I’m a tortoise, a workhorse, a slogger. I take my deadline, and figure out how many words I need to write a day to make it. I add a 10% ‘stuff happens’ factor, and that’s it. I write every single day. For me (and everyone’s different), it helps me stay immersed in the story. Since I’m a pantser, that’s critical. 

Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?

Laura: It was from our very own Char Lobb (who the Charlotte is named after, for anyone who doesn’t know). She told me after the first time she met me that I’d be one who ‘made’ it. At first, I thought she said that to everyone, because really, how could she know? I asked her about it when I knew her better, and she explained that she could see that I would keep at it, until I did. She was right. So miss that beautiful soul.

Jann: What’s the worst?

Laura: Whenever someone tells you they have THE answer. The method, the outline, the character sketch, the anything. There are as many ways to write a book as there are writers. You have to discover what works for YOU.  I have a theory, that our brains already know how to do this, but they’re not talking – we all have to learn through trial and error. Try everything – but don’t listen when someone tells you what will work for you. 

Jann: What sound or noise do you love? 

Laura: My husband saying my name. 

Jann: What sound or noise do you hate? 

Laura: Voices raised in anger. 

Jann: What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?

Laura: Photographer! But I cut people’s heads off in photos, so… 

Jann: What profession would you hate to do?

Laura: Attorney.

For more information about Laura, here are her Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

Writers in the Storm

Jann: Thank you Laura Drake for chatting with us today. We’ll be sure to talk again next year when your new Western Romance is released. If you have any questions or comments for Laura, you may use the comment box below. 

Jann Ryan


Jann Ryan | A Slice of Orange

Jann Ryan grew up with the smell of orange blossoms in Orange County in sunny Southern California, where she has lived her entire life and dreamed up stories since she was a young girl. Never an avid reader, she was in her thirties when she picked up her first romance quite by accident. She fell in love with happily ever after and has been reading romances ever since.

Wanting to put pen to paper, Jann joined of Romance Writers of America®. Currently, she is working on a romantic suspense series set in Stellar Bay, a fictitious town along the California central coast to fulfill her publishing dream.

 

 


Some of Laura’s books are available below. The rest can be found here.

 

THE SWEET SPOT

Buy now!
THE SWEET SPOT

NOTHING SWEETER

Buy now!
NOTHING SWEETER

SWEET ON YOU

Buy now!
SWEET ON YOU

DAYS MADE OF GLASS

Buy now!
DAYS MADE OF GLASS

HER ROAD HOME

Buy now!
HER ROAD HOME

THE REASONS TO STAY

Buy now!
THE REASONS TO STAY

 

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Hop aboard The Magic Christmas Train — nominate my book & get a Free copy from Amazon if it’s selected for publication by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2017 by in category Blogs, Christmas, historical, Jina’s Book Chat, Reading, Research, romance novel, Storyteller, Writing, Writing Contest tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Magic Christmas Train from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Ever since I could hold a microphone, I haven’t stopped telling stories. I used to record fairy tales on an old tape recorder when I was a kid . . . then later I went on to radio doing live commercials, news, voiceovers, interviews, talk radio, etc.

I love to tell stories and add pictures and music.

Which is why I couldn’t resist putting together this 2:00 video about my Kindle Scout book “The Magic Christmas Tree.” Imagine if you could go back to a special Christmas, see family and friends you miss, and change the course of your life . . . and save the man you love from being killed overseas during World War 2.

If you ever wanted to go home again . . . this is the story for you!

A hot, sexy hero, a spunky heroine who tries to save him, and the magic of a small town Christmas . . . and plenty of good food!

So hop aboard the Magic Christmas Train and meet the Arden Family doing their best to support the troops during that Christmas of 1943.

I’d really appreciate your nomination . . . part of the process is getting your book “Hot” and it’s not easy! So any help is much appreciated. Thank you!

You can check out The Magic Christmas Train HERE =

Jina

 

Facebook: http://facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

Once Upon a Story blog: http://jinabacarr.wordpress.com

Videos: https://vimeo.com/user216350

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jbacarr

 

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Why I believe in time travel by Jina Bacarr

August 11, 2017 by in category A Fantasy Life, Blogs, Jina’s Book Chat, The Romance Journey, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

***UPDATED***

Here is the info about my latest KINDLE SCOUT book up for nomination!

What is Kindle Scout and how does it work?

Kindle Scout is where you, the reader, choose which books are published! http://kindlescout.amazon.com

If the book(s) you nominate are chosen for publication, then you receive a FREE advance copy from Amazon.

My Kindle Scout book is called “The Magic Christmas Train

It’s a Holiday Time Travel romance: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2KIO6Y23OFN2J

Imagine if you could go back to a special Christmas, see family and friends you miss, and change the course of your life . . .

So hop aboard the Magic Christmas Train and meet the Arden Family doing their best to support the troops during that Christmas of 1943.

`

I first read Jack Finney’s time travel novel, TIME AND AGAIN, when I was in college.

That time in your life when you believe you can change the world. That you can build new things, create new art, set the world on a new course of diplomacy. I wanted to do all those things, but most of all, I wanted to time travel.

In Mr. Finney’s novel, he sets the stage for the time period where his hero wants to go–like a stage set–then teaches him how to use his mind to go back in time. Imagine my joy when I discovered I could do the same thing–travel back in time by using my mind.

How? you ask.

By writing my own time travel stories.

I first wrote about Naughty Paris in 1889 . . . then Love Me Forever during the Civil War in 1862 . . . and now the home front in 1943.

I’ve almost finished my novel–over 100,000 words–and I plan to enter it in the Kindle Scout program (my Civil War time travel romance LOVE ME FOREVER, is a 2015 Kindle Scout winner).

It’s a Christmas story about a woman who gets a second chance to save the man she loves from being killed in the war by going back to 1943.

I have the cover finished . . . and blurb written. I’ll update this page when I’m ready to upload the manuscript to Kindle Scout.

Till then, here’s some info about my Civil War TT romance:  

Family is the theme of LOVE ME FOREVER. Two very different women, Liberty Jordan and Pauletta Sue Buckingham, with different ideas are thrown together in a mad, crazy scheme of spying, lost love, and passionate desire for what they can’t have.

The men they love.

Do they get their men?

Well, it is a romance, but it’s also a wild dramatic journey based on actual events in the Civil War. Liberty and Pauletta Sue will make you cheer, then cry, then hold your breath when it looks like all is lost…

Civil War time traveler, belle…and spy: Love Me Forever from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Go to Naughty Paris in 1889: erotic romance

Go to “Naughty Paris” this Halloween from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

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