A Slice of Orange

Home

Drama King ★★Now Live on Audio★★

February 4, 2023 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , , ,

Drama King, an all-new snowed-in romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is LIVE on AUDIBLE! Narrated by Joy Nash and Ryan Lee Dunlap, we’ve got your next great listen right here!

★ ★Grab your copy TODAY★ ★

http://bit.ly/40ez3vG

★★Blurb★★

Stuck with her off-limits, taciturn, hunky movie star client during a sudden snowstorm on Christmas Eve, an extremely capable and highly professional bodyguard must keep him alive and warm without letting the tension building between them get too hot.

Bathsheba (Beth) Ryan can’t thank her best friend enough for helping her land the job of her dreams. After being relegated to second-string security for politicians in DC, being hired as an undercover personal security specialist by a giant Hollywood studio is exactly the kind of action she’s always wanted.

Until she meets her first assignment.

Cyrus Malcom can’t thank his agent enough for arranging a blind date with seemingly the woman of his dreams. After spending the past several years playing all the parts and climbing all the ladders, the lonely mega movie star finds himself actually enjoying a night on the town for the first time in ages when he meets the gorgeous, funny, and genuine Ryaine O’Rourke.

Until she shows up at his studio meeting the next day with a completely different name.

A world-wide press tour and too many late-night parties later, Beth simply needs to get through a short, one-day visit during the Christmas holiday, and then she’ll be free of Cyrus Malcom’s confusing hot looks and cold shoulders for good.

But just as they leave the airport, it starts to snow . . .

‘Drama King’ is the second book in the Three Kings Series, is a full-length, contemporary romantic comedy, and can be read as a complete standalone. 

0 0 Read more

BOOK RESEARCH—PEOPLE WATCHING by Will Zeilinger

February 3, 2023 by in category Book Research, Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger tagged as , , ,

Researching for a book takes many forms. When it comes to finding unique characters, I love to people-watch. That activity allows me to discover interesting physical characteristics and mannerisms I can use to flesh out some of the people (and animals) who make up the cast of characters. For most of my working career, I was a visual artist, which included being a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, and cartoonist. Most of my projects involved sketching out how an ad or layout would appear. I always carried something to sketch out interesting people or places I encountered.  

People-watching is especially helpful when writing a contemporary piece. Fashions (especially among teens) change quite often. Different age groups have certain “uniforms” but it’s best to avoid clichés. In the summer, for instance, older male baby boomers are fond of Hawaiian shirts or silk-screened T-shirts, cargo shorts, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and sandals. While women of the same age can be found wearing crop pants, tank tops or French-cut tees, and thin-strap sandals. Both genders are often found with a “fanny pack” strapped around their waist or slung over their shoulder. This doesn’t apply to everyone in that age group. More artistic women may gravitate to a caftan or flowing broomstick skirt and maybe a load of clunky costume jewelry.  

Besides clothing, the way a person wears their hair can give clues about the character you are building in your mind. Do the men look like they get haircuts every week, once a month, or is it shaggy like they rarely ever get it cut at all? Do they get it cut as if they are still in active military service? Hairstyles can tell you if your character is one who is trying to recapture their youth, or if they go to the same salon/barber that their grandparents did. 

Watching people can expose you to a multitude of variations. Don’t forget to look at their posture and stance. That can say a lot about the character’s attitude or general mood.  

I live near the beach, and although it is not summer at the time of this writing, teens can still be found with a skateboard in hand, earbuds, and, of course, the ubiquitous cell phone.  

If your story takes place in the Midwest or in New England, the whole scenario changes. 

Some great places to watch people being people are checkout lines at big box stores, sporting events, airports, doctor/dentist waiting rooms, parks, libraries, post offices and other public places. Parents and grandparents are very interesting to watch when they are picking up kids/grandkids from school.  

Wherever you choose to observe potential characters, remember to be courteous and subtle. Especially if you are researching children or young people. Don’t make it obvious you are taking notes. Of course, many writers rely on those they know to provide these character clues, but since we all belong to different socio-economic groups, using only those around us can skew your character descriptions.   

Be open-minded and have fun looking for characters in the people you watch. It’s a great lunchtime activity—just, don’t stare. We’d all like to see these people in your book. 

The Skylar Drake Series Co-authored by Will and His Wife Janet Elizabeth Lynn

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN
0 0 Read more

Debut Author Barb DeLong–writing the magic of love and laughter and happily ever after!

February 2, 2023 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

Barb loves reading, writing and animals, not necessarily in that order. She writes contemporary and paranormal stories of love, laughter and magic, and you’re going to know there’ll be a feature creature in there somewhere. Her short stories appear in several anthologies, including Secrets of Moonlight Cove, Love for Christmas, The Truth That Can’t Be Told, and The Truth That Can’t Be Told 2. She is currently working on a paranormal romance series called Keepers of Magic, about a society of witches desperate to keep their existence a secret. The first in the series, The Witch Whisperer, is currently under contract with The Wild Rose Press. A transplant from the Canadian cold, she enjoys sunny Mission Viejo, California, with her husband and a pampered, blue-eyed, ragdoll cat.

Today is a day I’ve been waiting for—to interview my close friend, author Barb DeLong, about her debut novel. So, let’s get started.

Jann: When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? Barb: I loved creative writing classes in elementary and high school and won a few writing contests. I was in ninth grade when the writing bug really bit. My favorite TV shows were westerns, so I decided I’d write a historical western. It wasn’t until years later that I realized it was a romance. I still have those pages, typed on an old typewriter with a faulty ribbon that tinted the bottom of all the letters red. I’ve been writing one thing or another ever since (my letters are all black now).

Jann: Tell us about your journey to publication.

Barb: I’m self-published with short stories in a number of anthologies, but my dream was to sell or contract one of my books to a publisher. I’ve started and abandoned many stories, some of which I pitched to editors at conferences in years past but never submitted. Lost opportunities. Had a bite from Harlequin on an early completed novel. My stories have won or finaled in several contests. I decided in 2019 that it was now or never to fulfill my dream, so I knuckled down during NaNoWriMo that year and by May 2020, completed a rough draft of my first fantasy romance, The Witch Whisperer. Since one of my problems is letting go of my work, I took way too many months editing and revising. Finally, by early March 2022, I put a pin in it and sent out my first round of query letters with the first three chapters to publishers that didn’t need you to be agented. Within a week, The Wild Rose Press, a small but popular e-publisher, asked for the full manuscript. By April I had my first publishing contract. I was over the moon! My editor is anxious to see book 2 in my series, which I’m more than half way through.

Jann: Is Fantasy/Paranormal your preferred genre to write?

Barb:  I’m romance through and through, whether it’s contemporary romance or fantasy/paranormal, I love to write both.

Jann: Why Witches?

Barb: Out of all the paranormal/fantasy beings, like vampires, shifters, fairies and the like, witches appealed to me more with their magical powers, and the fact that people who were believed to be witches were persecuted through the ages. Visit Salem, Massachusetts today to see the modern appeal of witches.

Jann: January 30th your first novel, The Witch Whisperer, book one in the Keepers of Magic series made its debut. How exciting for you! What inspired you to write this novel and series?

Barb: I’d been writing paranormal romance for a few years, witches in particular, trying to get a handle on the genre while reading extensively. Oddly enough, the title came to me after rewatching The Horse Whisperer. I thought, huh, The Witch Whisperer. Just the title. No plot. I usually let an idea (in this case, a title) roll around in my brain for weeks, even months before putting much down on paper. Then I started jotting copious notes while still editing a story that was proving difficult. Finally, the story of the Witch Whisperer became my focus. Difficult story went in the drawer. Soon into The WW, I recognized it was more fantasy than paranormal, and that I’d have to make it a series. Fantasy series sell better than standalones, I was told. Yikes! Three books. I named the series Keepers of Magic. Book two, The Keeper’s Code, is a work in progress.

Jann: What sort of research did you do for the book?

Barb: I read a lot of fantasy and paranormal romance. I researched conventional witch lore and covens and wiccans. I decided that my secret, pacifist witch society, having come from another realm to this modern world, would worship a goddess of nature and have their own form of governance and ritual. I did keep some conventions, like magical powers, elemental magic, herbs and potions, and other details. No magic wands. I took world building and fantasy workshops, read every blog I came across about writing fantasy and series writing. I have a giant book of spells that I refer to frequently. I went down so many rabbit holes. Ended up in Wonderland a few times.

Jann: Your main characters, Willow Gladstone and Never Ravenwood are fabulous. What challenges did you set for them to overcome? Will they achieve their HEA?

Barb: Willow seeks perfection in all things, especially herself. She already feels flawed because she has weak magical powers, so not in keeping with her magically Elite, over-achieving and judgmental family. When her already weak magic becomes glitchy, she must seek a cure or risk incarceration in the secret witch society’s dreaded Haven. The legendary Witch Whisperer, the one person she’d like to avoid, is her only other option. He’s messy, undisciplined, frustrating and way too sexy.

Never Ravenwood, The Witch Whisperer, likes his solitary existence. He’s happy to live out his sentence for past misdeeds on a secluded estate while treating witches with magic problems through his on-line forum. Then along comes beautiful Willow for a rehab residency to disrupt, beguile and baffle him. She forces him to confront his greatest fears, and to question a guilt so heavy that living without love seems an apt penance.

As for achieving their HEA? The Witch Whisperer is first and foremost, a romance, so…

Jann: Did anything about your characters surprise you when you were writing?

Barb: Yes. I began to realize during the editing stage how much I identified with Willow and her need for perfection, to never feeling good enough. I became quite attached to her. Never Ravenwood’s love for his blood brother Blaise became much deeper than I’d first imagined. Nev demanded I add emphasis to their relationship throughout the story.

Jann: When starting this series, did you think of character, plot or theme first?

Barb: As I mentioned above, the title came to me first, then the character Never Ravenwood as the WW himself. I did extensive character analyses in One Stop for Writers’ Character Builder on the main characters and major secondary characters. Once I had an idea of their goals, motivations, and conflicts, I could work on an outline to achieve their character arcs and story ending. Theme is almost always something I discover after a first draft.

Jann:  How many books do you have planned for this series? Are you working on Book Two? Can you tell us about the characters and their story?

 Barb: I mentioned that I’ve planned three books in the Keepers of Magic series. I’m working on the first draft of book two, The Keeper’s Code. I took a secondary character from the WW, powerful witch Ash Hunter, and made him the protagonist of book two. He’s a Keeper of magic in their secret witch society that is desperate to remain secret, an ever-more difficult task in this contemporary world of cameras on every corner, cell phones, and social media. He’s adept at lying, can mesmerize with a touch, and wipe memories. Who to pair him with? Why not a beautiful Reg (a person with no magic—think Muggle), who’s an award-winning investigative journalist with major trust issues and a killer witch stalking her.

Jann: What do you hope readers will take away from this series?

Barb: I hope they will be entertained, chuckle here and there, and wonder if that weird next-door neighbor is actually a witch. Seriously, books one and two have underlying themes, like perfection is unattainable (accept yourself for who you are), and something like learning to trust and trust in love. Still working on that one for book two.

Jann: Do you plan to stay with fantasy/paranormal genre?

Barb: For the foreseeable future. I need to finish the Keepers of Magic series in some kind of timely manner because I have so many other witchy stories I want to write.

Jann: The Great Leaving is an origin short story you wrote for the Keepers of Magic series. What is it about? Is it available to purchase?

Barb: I wanted to tell the emotional tale of the witch society’s forced abandonment of their homeland, the fantasy realm of Tae-wen, back in our time of 1690. For this snapshot in time, I chose the point of view of immortal witch Aris, whose adopted name in our world is Elizabeth Trowbridge. In The Witch Whisperer, she’s still alive, living in the society’s Haven and the owner of Trowbridge House, the secluded estate where The Witch Whisperer is incarcerated, and where Willow comes to have her broken magic fixed. She plays a much bigger role in book 2. I plan to use the short story The Great Leaving, a small e-booklet that is available through BookFunnel, as a free promo item at various events and for an eventual sign-up bonus when I start my newsletter.

Jann: I see that you have also written several short stories that are published in several anthologies. Would you share a bit about those stories?

Barb: I like writing short stories in between longer novels. Secrets of Moonlight Cove anthology was a fun one because all the authors got together and mapped out a fictional coastal town and set up a Google doc so we could share the details of our stories. In our own stories, we referenced characters in other stories and their businesses. Mine was a contemporary romance called Maggie’s Mystery Man.

Love for Christmas anthology was a labor of love with my critique group. I wrote a paranormal romance called Love for Christmas, about a cursed witch with a Christmas deadline.

In both volumes of The Truth That Can’t Be Told anthologies, I wrote a darker fantasy in two parts about cursed witches, plus a couple of contemporary pieces. All are available on Amazon.

Jann: Barb—Wishing you all the best on your debut novel, The Witch Whisperer and the Keepers of Magic series.

Barb’s Books

(Hover over the cover for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.)

9 0 Read more

Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

February 1, 2023 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as ,

Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

You can read Kidd’s monthly column, Infused with Meaning, here on the 25th of every month. More information about Kidd is found on her website, make sure you take the time to read her “about me” section.


A selection of books that include Kidd’s short stories.


0 0 Read more

**Book Alert** Totally Folked is only 99 Pennies

January 31, 2023 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , , , ,

Totally Folked, a standalone friends to lovers celebrity romance from New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is only 99 PENNIES for just a short while on Amazon US and Canada.

Have you checked out Penny’s Green Valley spinoff series? Now is the perfect time.

★★⁣⁣Grab your copy TODAY!★★⁣⁣

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35yF77N

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3oHrMRT

One unforgettable night leads to an unlikely shared connection, and unlikely connections never go unnoticed by the good folks in Green Valley, Tennessee. . .

★★⁣⁣Blurb★★⁣⁣

Jackson James follows the rules. He has to. He’s a sheriff’s deputy in a super small town with a super big personality. However, strict adherence to the law during the day has been enjoyably balanced by rakish rules at night. Jackson, typically happy to protect and serve (and serve, and serve), starts questioning the value of wayward evenings when getting laid starts to feel more like being waylaid. Could it be that Green Valley’s most eligible—and notorious—bachelor longs for something (and someone) real?

Mega movie star Raquel Ezra follows only one rule: always leave them wanting more. Studio execs, reporters, audiences, fans, lovers—no one can get enough of the smart, savvy, and sexy bombshell. But when “generous offers” begin to feel more like excessive demands, years of always leaving has the elusive starlet longing for something (and perhaps someone) lasting.

When Raquel abruptly returns to the quirky Tennessee hamlet, her path crosses with the delectable deputy with whom she spent one unforgettable night. Unfortunately, scandal and intrigue soon follow. Raquel and Jackson must decide which is more important: following their rules? Or, at long last, finding something real.

TOTALLY FOLKED is a standalone, contemporary romantic comedy novel and book #1 in the Good Folk: Modern Folktales series.

★★⁣⁣Grab your copy TODAY!★★⁣⁣

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35yF77N

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3oHrMRT⁣⁣

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>