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Romancing the Holidays—Writing Holiday Romances that Sell

June 18, 2022 by in category Ages 2 Perfection Online Class, Online Classes tagged as , , ,

Romancing the Holidays–Writing Holiday Romances that Sell

Presented by: Rebekah R. Ganiere

Date: July 1 – 31, 2022 (one month)

Pricing: A2P Member fee: $15

Non-A2P Member fee: $30

About the Workshop: 

What is the hype with Holiday Romances? Have you ever wondered why so many people write them? Or why there are so many people that read them? This year alone Hallmark will come out with over one hundred new holiday romance movies!

So what does it take to write a Holiday Romance? When do you publish it? When do publishers even send out calls for them?

Find the answers. Join the thousands of writers who are publishing Holiday Romance short stories, novellas and novels to move their careers forward. Learn what you need to incorporate into your story, how to write a sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal holiday story and more. Come learn what it takes to write in one of the hottest selling sub-genres of romance!

About the Presenter:

Rebekah is an Award Winning USA Today Bestselling author and Emmy-nominated screenwriter and producer. Her debut novel Dead Awakenings, hit the bestseller list on release day. She has won several awards in both writing and screenwriting. Books in her popular fairytale retelling series Fairelle have won many awards including the Golden Palm and was a finalist for Rone Award as well as won Best Fantasy Series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Rebekah is a prolific author releasing upwards of five books a year and is currently working on six different series.

Rebekah is the former President of the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA as well as a member of several local and online chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her teaching on Savvy Authors or at RWA. Rebekah is also known for her elaborate cosplays with her family and has been a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con, Wondercon, Salt Lake Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con, Comikaze, Fyrecon and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, Romantic Times Convention, RWA, InD’Scribe, Genre LA and Authors After Dark and Book Lovers Con.

Rebekah R. Ganiere ~ Books with a Bite

USA Today Bestselling Author and Award Winning, Emmy-nominated Screenwriter and Producer

Producer – No More Goodbyes

Newsletter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Amazom

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Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras

October 27, 2020 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Spotlight tagged as , , , , , ,

Happy Release Day to Priscilla Oliveras, her new Holiday Romance, Holiday Home Run is AVAILABLE NOW!

Romance, Holiday Romance 

Date Published: October 27, 2020 

Publisher: Kensington, Zebra Books 

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Event planner Julia Fernández is in Chicago for an internship that she hopes to turn into a full-time job. She’s ready to live on her own, out from under her familia’s expectations that she take over their catering business in Puerto Rico and away from their year-round baseball fever thanks to her three ball-playing brothers.

Ex-MLB pitcher Ben Thomas knows what it’s like to have different dreams than your family intends for you, but since his injury-caused early retirement, he’s been struggling to find the sense of family baseball once brought him. When he volunteers as the emcee for Julia’s big holiday fundraiser for a local youth center, he finally begins to find a sense of purpose working with the kids and alongside Julia.  

She’s focused on organizing the best holiday event the youth center has ever seen, not on romance. But Ben…he’s got a game plan for them that includes both. 


Holiday Home Run was previously released as part of the holiday anthology A SEASON TO CELEBRATE.




About the Author

Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today Best-Selling author & 2018 RWA® RITA®
double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Her books have earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly & Booklist, hit
the top 5 on Barnes & Noble’s Top 100 Book Bestseller list, &
notched Amazon #1 Bestseller status. Her latest release, Island Affair, made it onto O, The Oprah Magazine’s “28 of the Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020” list.

Priscilla earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the program while also teaching the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. She’s a self-professed romance genre junkie, who’s also a sports fan, beach lover, Zumba aficionado, and hammock nap connoisseur.

Follow her at prisoliveras.com and on social media via @prisoliveras and Facebook.

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Author Melanie Waterbury Debuts Her Sweet Holiday Romance!

October 2, 2020 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , ,

Melanie is proud to live and write in Iowa City, IA, the only UNESCO City of Literature in the United States, with her husband and four children. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Spanish. She loves languages, history, and goofing around with her kids. She’s been writing stories ever since she could put pen to paper and reading romances since she was old enough to sneak her mother’s books from her. Melanie loves a HEA and isn’t afraid to admit Hallmark Christmas movies play all year round in her house!

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and a founding member of the Sassy Scribes writers’ group.

Jann: Your debut sweet romance, Healing Her Heart for the Holidays, is part of the Snow In Love: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection available October 14th. How does it feel to have your first story published?

Melanie: It’s so exciting, of course. You put all this work into building characters that you love and to get to share them with other people is awesome.  I hope this is just the first of many stories I get to share.

Jann: Which came first when writing this story—character or plot?

Melanie: They really just grew together. I loved the idea of two broken people, one who knows they are and one who doesn’t, finding each other in the midst of a Christmas season neither wants to celebrate. And in that connection finding a reason to celebrate. I also knew I wanted to have a bed and breakfast in an old Victorian because I love those, and I wanted to pay homage to the Czech heritage of my husband’s family. And then everything just flowed from that.

Jann: Would you tell us about your characters Izabela Dobry and Mark Novak?

Melanie: I love these characters, and I was so mean to them making them so broken and needing each other so much but not wanting to need anyone. Izabela is born and bred Iowan. She lives in this big Victorian home that’s been in the family for generations and because of that she’s really rooted in traditions and heritage, all of which she’s avoiding at the start of the book. She’s thinks she’s weak and has nothing to offer anyone, but she’s completely wrong. She’s actually a very strong person and has such a capacity to give.

Mark is a workaholic from Florida, where he just fills his life with his job as a financial advisor. It’s how he sees himself contributing to the world. He doesn’t have much of a personal life, but he’s a really caring and generous person. He’s just never met anyone to make him think about what he’s missing and that his priorities might be wrong. Until, of course, he ends up on Izabela’s doorstep.

Jann: Are you working on something now that you can share with us?

Melanie: I’m working on a romantic suspense where the heroine is a security specialist and the hero is an action-film star. He’s being stalked by a cult who think he’s the reincarnation of their god, which he doesn’t see as a real threat while the studio wants to secure their investment and hires a woman bodyguard. I actually really like writing fight scenes. I was raised on 80s and early 90s action movies and I think it’s influenced me there.

Jann: Who are the Sassy Scribes?

Melanie: The Sassy Scribes is a group of romance authors that connected mainly over Facebook. We did some Nanowrimo challenges together and from there it just organically led to the idea of writing collections together. We’re hoping to publish at least 2 a year. And we have all types of writers, from those who do more romantic suspense to rom-com to paranormal/sci-fi. And those who will write steamier too. They’re awesome and we just have a blast when we get together on Zoom calls.

Jann: In your books, who is your favorite character and why? 

Melanie: I love my heroine in the romantic suspense I’m working on named Autumn. She is a take-charge, fierce woman who doesn’t back down from a fight. And she’s super smart. She’s ruled by passion and very intense. I love writing her. The book is tentatively titled Chased Down and I hope to have it out shortly after the New Year.

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

Melanie: I’ve always loved acting and was a theater major at one point.  Someday I’d like to have time to get involved in the local community theater but with four kids, working, and writing there just isn’t time right now!

Jann: What’s on your To-Be-Read pile? 

Melanie: American Queen by Sierra Simone, Soul of Valor by Ann Malley, and Murder at Mistletoe Manor by Holly Tierny-Bedord.

Thank you so much Melanie for spending time with us on A Slice of Orange. Congratulations and good luck with the debut of Healing Her Heart for the Holidays!

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Christmas old home movies… and my mom bring back Christmas Once Again

September 11, 2019 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Christmas memories are forever…better yet if they’re on film.

Until you can’t find them.

I’m a good record keeper, my accountant loves me…my handwritten notes from trips abroad often help me shape a story, but I was devastated when I couldn’t find my old Christmas movies when I was a kid.

A mad search finally showed up a lost reel my dad shot at Christmas when I was in grade school. It was the only time we took movies at Christmas. We moved around a lot (I went to fifteen schools), and over the years the old movie camera stopped working…and well, you get the idea.

But this year I wanted to resurrect the old movies because of one short piece of film.

My mom hanging up Christmas stockings.

You see, I’ve just finished copyedits and proofreading my upcoming Boldwood Books release, Christmas Once Again and I dedicated my story to my mom.

So although her picture won’t appear in the dedication, here’s that special piece of film from my old home movies.

Thanks, Mom, for making every Christmas special.

Time travel back to Christmas 1943 on the home front

Exciting news re: my holiday Women’s Fiction novel CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN — release day is October 10th! It’s now up for pre-order at $2.99

On a cold December day in 1955, I got on a train to go back home for Christmas.
This is the story of what happened when I got off that train.
In 1943.

Christmas Once Again:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V1QT9Z6

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Once-Again-Jina-Bacarr-ebook/dp/B07V1QT9Z6

More about Christmas Once Again as we get closer to pub date…

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Christmas in August by Jann Ryan

August 2, 2019 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , ,

Jann Ryan is on vacation and while she’s away, we thought we would reprint one of her more popular interviews. Jann says she’ll be back in September with her usual column. Until then enjoy and little Christmas in August.

Love for Christmas | Jann Ryan | A Slice of Orange

Love for Christmas:

Writing a Holiday Anthology

by @jannryan

Love For Christmas | Writing Something Romantic | A Slice of Orange

Jann: We’re here today talking with five dynamic authors, Ottillia Scherschel, Jill Jaynes, Angela Shelly, Kathleen Harrington and Barb DeLong, members of the Writing Something Romantic critique group who came together to publish a collection of holiday short stories entitled Love for Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology.

Jann: Tell us about your critique group and how you came together?


Kathleen: Our Writing Something Romantic critique group started some years ago with a few writers who belonged to OCC. We wanted a small group to critique our romance writing. Angela Kyle, Carol Persinger, and I were original members. Shortly after we began to meet, we invited Barb DeLong, Val Millette, Jann Ryan, Ottilia Scherschel, and Jill Jaynes to join us. Ever since, we’ve met once a month to critique each other’s manuscripts. We celebrate birthdays and, of course, each others’ successes.


Jann: The anthology covers a variety of genres—a cursed whimsical witch, a woman looking for Mr. Right, a Montana suffragette, a woman on a dangerous and thrilling train ride, and an artifact hunter who finds hope and love. Was it difficult to blend these stories into the anthology?


Barb: We decided as a group to write to our strengths and particular genres with a unifying theme of Christmas time for our first anthology. Hopefully the anthology will appeal to a wide audience because of the different genres.


Jann: This question is for Ottilia Scherschel. Your novels take place in foreign countries. Your short story for the anthology, Night Train to Hong Kong, a romantic suspense which takes place on a train ride from Beijing to Hong Kong. Why did you decide choose China for your location? Are all your novels romantic suspense?


Ottilia: My mother liked to say I was born with a foot in a suitcase. I’ve always loved to travel. Growing up, Hong Kong seemed mysterious, so far away, and its history with the British fascinated me. I sought out movies set there and visited San Francisco’s Chinatown to gawk at all the finery from Hong Kong. When my husband and I were married, he presented me with pearls he had bought in Hong Kong for his future wife while he was in the Navy. Years later, when my brother started doing business in China, I decided I had a reliable source and the time had come to write about that country and its customs.

Not all my novels are romantic suspense. I also write historical fiction, but all my novels have an element of suspense and are set in foreign countries at least in part.

Jann: Jill Jaynes—your contemporary romance, The Christmas Wish, has a woman looking for Mr. Right. Your story has Allie making a wish on a magical ornament for true love. Did you ever make the same wish?


Jill: Haha! More than once, I’m sure! I think most of us wish we could get a little help finding that guy. I definitely settled for a few frogs before my true love finally swept into my life and showed me what I’d been missing all along. In my story, Allie finds out that nothing is as easy as it seems, even with a magical wish in your pocket. But hey, it’s Christmas! I’m pretty sure something good will happen…

Jann: Angela Shelley, you also write novels for children as well. Did this have anything to do with basing your story, Winter’s Warmth, on the Snow Queen myth?


Angela: Children’s stories lend themselves particularly well to myth, legend, and symbolism–all things I’ve been fascinated by as long as I can remember. (As does the fantasy genre.) This is probably why I find myself writing (and reading) mostly in those areas, even though I enjoy contemporary, scifi, mystery, historical, romance, and other genres as a reader.

Old tales, religion, psychology, and modern storytelling speak in the languages of archetypes and symbols. We use them to layer depth and glean meaning from our world. That’s why I enjoy writing stories based on myth—these old stories give me worlds in which I can explore the deeper connections that live in us all.

Jann: Barb DeLong—A Witch for Christmas, is a humorous paranormal romance, and you’re also writing a series with the same theme. What triggered your interest in witches?


Barb: I knew I wanted to write a paranormal story because I love reading them. I write humorous and absolutely loved Jill Barnett’s Bewitching. I thought whimsical witches and their magic were right up my alley. My work-in-progress is a paranormal romance series called Charmed by a Witch, with the first book being Charm’d.

Jann: Kathleen Harrington—you have published several historical romances and for your short story, you selected Montana in the 1880’s and the suffragette movement. Was it Montana, the time period or both that attracted you to use this time and place?


Kathleen: My genre has always been historical romance. I’ve written several romances set in Montana during the 1880’s, so my familiarity with the setting made for an easy choice. While doing some research on Helena, I came across a photo of a suffragette from Great Falls. She was identified as a librarian and was standing so straight and proud beside the bicycle she rode to work, I felt an instant admiration for her and all the ladies who strove to secure the women’s vote. And so, Paulette Winslow, spinster and librarian, sprang to life in my imagination. My hero came just as easily. I’ve previously written a romance set in Butte, about a wealthy mine owner. This time my hero, Brent McFarland, comes from Butte to Helena to take over the local newspaper.


About our Authors:

When Ottilia Scherschel started sixth grade, she learned her fifth language. Her immigrant parents wandered throughout Europe and Latin America, waiting for papers to enter the United States. Today, she lives in Southern California. After a successful career in international communications, she took up writing romantic suspense stories set in foreign climes.

Her first novel DARING THE DRAGON, takes place in China and her second, A KISS TOO LONG, is set in Hungary and Italy. You can read one of her short stories in ROMANCING THE PAGES, an anthology by the Orange County Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. https://writingsomethingromantic.com/

Jill Jaynes began her love affair with romance when she was a teenager growing up in Southern California, spending many a late-night under the covers with a flashlight and good romance novel.

This early addiction stuck, and she discovered one day that telling great stories was even more fun than reading them. Today she writes stories with happy endings her own way- with a dash of magic that means anything can happen.

When she’s not writing, you can find her (still in Southern California) occupied with one of the following activities: a) wine-tasting, hiking or otherwise hanging out with her hot husband, b) walking her two high-maintenance dogs, c) plotting her next story with her writer-daughter or d) working at her day job in her spare time. http://www.jilljaynes.com

Angela Shelley was twenty-two when writing became a passion. She’s been doing it in one form or another ever since. As a technical writer, she published science articles for magazines, grant proposals, software manuals, and online help systems. She won Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for her first and second novels, Ennara and the Fallen Druid and Ennara and the Book of Shadows.

Angela Shelley is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In her spare time, she makes book trailers and volunteers for her writing organizations and twins’ classroom. Visit her at http://www.angelashelley.net.

Barb DeLong, long-time member of the Orange County Chapter/Romance Writers of America, is a member of RWA’s PRO community. She has been writing one thing or another for as long as she can remember. Her stories have won and finalled in several contests, and she published a short story in the Romancing the Pages anthology. Barb is currently working on a humorous paranormal romance series called Charmed by a Witch.

She’s excited to share with you the magic of love, laughter and happily ever after! https://writingsomethingromantic.com/

Kathleen Harrington, multi-published, award-winning author, has touched the hearts of readers across the country and the world with her sparkling tales of high adventure and unending love. Her historical romances have been published in Chinese, Russian, Italian, and German. She lives in Southern California with her American Bulldog, Auron.  http://www.kathleenharringtonbooks.com/

Thank you ladies for sharing with us about your critique group and your holiday anthology, Love for Christmas.

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