While I’m grateful to this community for allowing me to talk about my work as a children’s book author over the last few months, the real reason I’m here is because I’m also an aspiring romance writer!!
Yes, I’m fully aware that children’s literature and romance are two entirely different genres. In fact, I can’t really think of two genres that could be any further apart from each other.
While my foray into children’s literature came rather easily, my journey with writing romance has been a different story (pun absolutely intended).
Romance is definitely my favorite genre to read. I love me a good HEA with swoon-worthy heroes and relatable heroines. I love the recipe of romance, the build-up, the steamy moments, and the heart-bursting grand gestures.
For me, writing romance all started with a cabin getaway on a beautiful lake in Minnesota. In the midst of consuming my second romance novel of the trip, a dangerous thought crossed my mind…could I write romance?
Side note- Describing the process of giving myself a writing challenge in the middle of Halloween season is giving me total Mary Shelley vibes. #goals
I am now in the process of finishing the first draft of my very first romance novel. The best part is that since I’ve started, several voices and characters have emerged and I find myself plotting the outlines for at least three additional stories.
It’s been challenging and draining (peep my post last month), but holy macaroni, it’s so fun!
I can’t wait to share more about it soon.
You can organize anything but family–and love.
Ambitious organizer Minn Evans resents being the only sane and stable person in her family. She wants a normal life with schedules and balanced meals and maybe a man who won’t fall for her sister.
Ford Hayes, a whiz at creativity and a dud at organization, becomes Art Director for a privately-owned TV station. But his office is a mess, his planning skills are a train wreck, and he can’t find his socks.
Minn needs a job; Ford needs an organizer. But Minn’s vagabond parents and man-stupifying sister aren’t the only roadblocks on their journey to love.
The building that might hold her future towered over her, glowing with promise. She put her hand on the brass plate, mentally crossed her fingers, and pushed. Uh-oh. She sprinted for the closing elevator door and risked a glance at her watch. Time for a stop in a bathroom, time to practice the carefully prepared answers to standard questions, time to chew a breath mint.
Her heel caught in the gap between floor and elevator cabin, catapulting her into a passenger. Arms that had been full of files now held only her. His files were on the floor, and her breast was in his hand. Heat prickled up her neck and into her cheeks. “I…uh…it was…oh, my…”
He stared at his hand—no, at her breast!
Minn lurched back and groaned, reaching for her broken heel. Her stomach fedexed bile to her chest. This couldn’t be worse.
A thoaty “Oh, crap!” drew her attention to a patchwork of paper and now-empty file folders across the floor.
“I-I’m so very sorry. I’m not usually so clumsy.” They both bent, heads collided, her feet slipped on the loose paper. Down she went.
Okay. It could be worse.
Jeanne Kern is a retired high school teacher who found her HEA when she met her husband on the internet. Together they love traveling and animal encounters: petting whales in Baja California, feeding rhino in Indonesia, walking with lions in Zimbabwe. Rich runs an award-winning volleyball website and Jeanne enjoys acting on stage and in indie horror films.
Date Published: October 21, 2020
Publisher: RedBird Books
He’s tired of running. She’s looking for an escape. Can they find a home
Joshua Canfield spent the last year hiding from killers. He’s done things he can never confess, especially not to the loved ones he was protecting. All he wants now is to reunite with his family and live a peaceful life.
Lila Grainger has one goal in life. To earn enough money to leave Providence Island and a family with no regard for the law far behind. She never expected to meet someone like Joshua. He’s the finest man she’s ever known, and he sees her as a woman, not as a Grainger. But she can’t expect him to leave his family to follow her.
Neither of them knows that a new threat lingers on Providence Island. One that puts Lila in danger and could expose Joshua’s past.
A second buzz emitted, this time with a text from Ben.
Parked out back. Lets go.
Josh flipped out the lights, grabbed the bag of trash, and headed out the door. He tossed the bag into dumpster then entered the car.
“How did the questioning go?”
“Hunter seemed disappointed that our stories matched. He asked why I wasn’t driving the same car as I had that day. Told him both were rentals. When I travel, I turn in one and rent another when I return.” Ben chuckled. “He also tried to trip me by asking where we ordered the pizza.”
Josh frowned. “I told him it was leftover.”
“He was fact checking.”
Except their alibis consisted more of half-truths than solid facts.
“Good thing you remembered those security cameras along Federal.”
Ben shrugged. “We needed a cover story anyway. Did you get the impression they were considering if you and Stoddard were collaborating?”
“No, but Tom suggested I had reason to want to kill him.”
“Speaking of killing, did you dispose of that gun you had?”
“Yes, I broke it down the way you taught me. I took a trip upstate and dropped off pieces along the way.” Rest stop. Gas stations. Dumpsters. “What about the one you used?”
A side-eyed glance burned its way across the car. “Taken care of. Should be interesting to find out what Wallace does with Hunter’s suspicions.”
“You’re getting a kick out of this, aren’t you?” Josh twisted in his seat, sending a glare of his own. “This isn’t a game. We could end up in prison.”
“Take it easy, Sundance. We’ve covered our tracks. Nothing links me to Stoddard. Hunter’s trying to make something out of a ten-second video of two buddies getting together.”
Josh glanced out the window. “Where are we going?”
“To dinner. Eddie’s work for you?”
Josh snorted. “Ben Hampshire is going to eat at Eddie’s Sea-Shack?”
“Don’t be a snob, Canfield.” A smile tugged at the corner of Ben’s mouth. “We’ll go over the reports I have on those systems. When Hunter spills his guts to Wallace who in turn asks Paige, she’ll confirm our story.”
Josh sank down in his seat with a grunt. “One of these days, you won’t be the smartest guy in the room.”
A laugh tumbled out of Ben’s mouth as he flipped on the blinker to turn south at the Crossroads. “Like that’s going to happen.”
A wisp of something cold washed through Josh’s soul, and the memory of odors from a greasy kitchen pushed into his throat.
“It did happen.” He turned his head to catch Hampshire’s scowl. “That night at the diner when Stoddard set you up.”
Ben’s eyes widened then he gave a slow nod. “I had my suspicions from the beginning about that meeting. I didn’t expect to him to send three people. Didn’t expect you to show up either.” He gave a short laugh. “Did I ever thank you for saving my ass?”
Josh snorted. “You said—and I quote—‘thanks for back there.’”
“Glad I didn’t forget. As far as that parody Hunter put on today, forget it. He’s on an ego trip and taking advantage of Wallace being out of town. We have nothing to worry about.”
Except Tom Hunter’s determination to solve Nathan Stoddard’s murder put both Ben and Joshua in the spotlight. As brilliant as Ben was, Tom’s ambition could prove to be way more dangerous.
Dianna Wilkes is an award winning mystery romance author, known for the
Providence Island mystery series.
Reading has always been an important part of her life. “I learned to
read when I was four years old. Writing my own stories seemed a natural
Dianna holds a B.A.in Visual Communication and a M.Ed.in Instructional
Technology. She worked as an Education Consultant for a medical technology
company before leaving the corporate world. Despite all that nerdy stuff,
she loves creating stories of romance and mystery with touches of
When she isn’t writing, Dianna is deep in researching various branches and
twigs on her family tree or fulfilling entries on her travel bucket
Holiday Romance, Contemporary Romance
Date Published: November 2020
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Christmas is in the air at Mia Loughry’s Yellow Butterfly Café, the heartbeat of Azalea Valley serving up Mia’s legendary matchmaking and renowned home-cooking. For years, local track coach Buck Chance has flirted but failed to leave the starting gate in pursuit of Mia. Could love have passed her by?
Temperatures rise when a mouth-watering stranger, Chance Stengle, enters the café and steals her attention from Buck. A singer/songwriter and owner of a construction company, Chance believes Mia is exactly what he’s been looking for. Faced with fresh competition, Buck is not ready to yield the field to the new guy and lose Mia for good.
With two handsome men vying for her attention, Mia is determined to give each a chance to win her heart for life. Her destiny becomes uncertain when a confrontation reaches a boiling point after a fateful trip. Will Buck make it to the finish line or will Chance reconstruct her future?
Torn between two loves, indecision could cost her both Christmas Chances.
Mia struggled to keep from staring at the man who took her breath away. “Good morning. Welcome to the Yellow Butterfly. Table for one?”
“Unless you want to keep me company,” he said with cocky confidence of someone who always succeeded and attracted any woman he wanted.
Keeping him company? A lot more than that came to mind. “In your dreams. I have a café to run.” She grabbed a menu and led him to a table. “I haven’t seen you around. Visiting, or new in town?”
“My grandmother, Jeanine Stengle, passed, and I’m here to attend to her estate.”
“I’m so sorry. I loved Mrs. Jeanine.”
Surprise flashed across his face. “So you knew her?”
“Hon, I know everybody in Azalea Valley, and she was one of the best. When she was well, she came in here often. Mama and I visited her after she got sick, and we went to her funeral.”
“Thanks. I’m Chance Stengle.” He held out his hand.
His heart-stopping smile almost caused her to forget her name. “Mia Loughry.” She slipped her hand into his large, calloused one. When he didn’t let go, warmth rushed to her face as though she’d opened the oven door. Unsteady, she grabbed the edge of the table to keep her balance. Seldom at a loss for words, she waited for him to speak.
He stared as if memorizing her face. It had been way too long since any man looked at her like that.
“A pretty name for a pretty lady.” He settled into his chair.
Considering herself average, she questioned his motive for the blatant flirting. People didn’t describe her as pretty except for her mama and the boy in high school who wanted to get into her pants. But Chance . . . his powerful jaw and well-defined facial features made it hard for her to look away—or speak. “I’m not . . . Y-you don’t have to tell me stuff that’s not true.” She’d blathered like an idiot, but it wasn’t every day someone strolled in as good looking as him. She glanced at his empty ring finger. “Coffee?”
“Strong and hot.” He didn’t mean his coffee. “For the record, I tell it like I see it.”
“That makes two of us.” And Jeanine’s grandson or not, if she told him precisely what she was thinking, he might run for the closest exit.
“I’ll be right back to take your order.”
To settle her nerves and regain control of her senses, she spun around and hurried to the kitchen. On impulse, she glanced over her shoulder. Oh my, Buck stared at her like he saw her for the first time. Competition wouldn’t hurt. Hmm, Buck Chance and Chance Stengle. Not one, but two chances. She chuckled at her own joke.
After she took a deep breath, she returned to the newcomer’s table who tracked her movements all the way with his smoldering eyes. Her mind blanked for a second.
She delivered the steaming cup and handed him a menu. “So, how long will you be in town?”
“Depends. I’m hoping to finish by Christmas.” He blew on his coffee with enticing kissable lips.
“Must be nice to take that much time off work.” She pressed for more information.
“I own a small construction company in Nashville. Finished a major project. Not as much going on this time of year. My men can handle it. I like to work with my hands, and this will be a perfect break for me to get out of the city.”
Hmm, another business owner. They had something in common. “I understand what you mean. Although I run the place, I love to interact with customers.” Especially when they’re as sexy as you. “I know almost everything about this town. If you need anything, you know where to find me.”
“Don’t you worry, I’ll be around.”
Those words and his attentive gaze shot a tingle up her spine. “Well, well, well” she whispered after she grabbed the coffeepot and sauntered away.
About the Author
Influenced by travel, Hope Malory writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense in whatever destination she finds herself. Her descriptive settings transport readers to the places she has experienced first hand.
After a career in education, Hope traded in a commute, traffic, and early mornings for inventing delightful, adventurous, strong-willed characters and putting them in unpredictable situations.
She and her husband live near Nashville, Tennessee. Now, whether relaxing on the beach, traveling with her husband, or spending time at home, she is busy writing her next novel.
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