Wednesday, March 3, 2021

#IWSG: The Reading Spice of Life - Variety!

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for March is: “Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choices?”

I started picking out books from our local Bookmobile as soon as I was old enough to have a card. My mom’s only codicil was that I could read whatever I could reach (the children’s books being on the lower shelves). Silly Mom. There were step stools! Though I started out with all the Black Stallion books, I quickly branched out to The Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden mysteries. Then a Folklore phase when I devoured the stories and legends from every country I could find. Georgette Heyer Regency romps were followed by Alistair MacLean’s thrillers and Ray Bradbury mindblowers, all the way to Stephen King and Dean Koontz horror and anything suspense. There was never enough time to get between the pages of everything I was dying to read.

Actually, I voraciously read every genre except what I finally started out writing: Romance. I blame Kathleen Woodiwiss for changing that.

Even while writing romance, I enjoy paying homage to the genres I cut my teeth on, adding in action, adventure, suspense and the paranormal. Everything I was tall enough to read and eventually able to add onto my Kindle gets sprinkled into the huge, ever boiling pot of plot ideas, bringing spice, heat, spooky times, and variety to the expected love story in genres from that first historical Regency and western historicals to category suspense, vampires and shapeshifters.

Variety is more than the spice of life. It’s also the spark I look for when I read and what keeps my titles, now entering 70+, interesting enough to keep me at the keyboard.

I can’t wait to find out what motivates you?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the March 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, February 28, 2021

#WeWriWa: Last Chance . . . and Last Day for $0.99 S*A*L*E!

Max Savoie and Charlotte Caissie are the “Happily Ever After” couple from my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series. But the love they’ve fought for and struggled to maintain is now threatened by a presence from his past who has stolen away his memory of the enduring love they share. This might be their last chance to recover what they once had. Here’s a clip from REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT . . .

“I’m so used to you getting me. You know me better than I know myself. I don’t have to say a word for you to read between the lines, always been one step ahead, knowing what I want, what I need, just the right things to do or say. I never had a connection like that to anyone else. Not to my father who I thought walked on water, not to Babineau who’s had my back on the street for years, not even Mary Kate who shared all my secrets. None of them understood the things I kept in my closet.”

Silence, then a husky, “What do you have in your closet that you only shared with me?”

She chuckled and gave him a swat. “Not a literal closet, Savoie.”

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

“Oh. Forgive me for thinking naughty thoughts. You tend to inspire them, sha.”

Her arm tightened about him as he lifted her other hand to his lips for a light stroke.

“It’s where we locked away our fears, our darkness, our pain. We’d just started to do some serious housecleaning together when—I lost you.”

“You haven’t lost me, Charlotte. I’m right here.”

“I know you are.” Her voice hitched slightly. “It’s just so hard, Max. So hard to be with you and still feel so far apart. To expect things that aren’t returned. Silly things like a joke that only we understand. Signals that aren’t received. I feel like I’m standing on the outside again, and I know it has to be the same for you. I tend to forget that I’m not the only one frustrated here. I’ve been too focused on my own situation to consider yours. That’s why I’m sorry. I want us to be in this together, not standing apart and alone. I don’t want to lose you, Max. I can’t go through the pain of that again.”

He turned, releasing her hand so his could cup her cheek in his palm. His thumb brushed away the tears that threaded through rain drops. His features were drawn in dramatic plays of light and shadow, his eyes bright, the only splash of vivid color upon that stark palette. He was breathtaking, and hers was gone. She held herself still and left herself open, something she’d never been able to do with anyone but him. She didn’t try to hide to her vulnerability. Or her longing.

“I’m not going anywhere, Charlotte.”

Today is the final day of my $0.99 sale for REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT and for MIDNIGHT REDEEMER from my “Touched by Midnight” vampire romance series – two books for half the price of one! Time to celebrate that gorgeous full moon out there with these paranormal favorites.

Having survived the reroofing of our tri-level house (yes, in the middle of a Michigan winter!) and the necessary shoveling of several hundred pounds of ice and snow (all 12” of it!) from driveway and patio to prepare for it, I’m wishing for a hot tub but am grateful to have a hot pad and a warm cat (or three). And for the arrival of March, that capricious month of winds that blow both warm and cold . . . depending upon the day. But it’s one month closer to spring and five days until my second vaccination. I’ve hauled out my Ireland itinerary for September and am refusing to be discouraged after already postponing it three times. This is obviously the fourth petal on that clover leaf!

Now then, back to the getting close to final edit of my romantic suspense while trying not to choke at the thought of marketing it . . .

Happy Almost Spring and Happy Writing, fellow Warriors!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

WeWriWa: Sink Your Teeth Into Midnight Redeemer - $0.99!

I love smart men and women playing dangerous cat and mouse games. But which one is which? Scientist Stacy Kimball is looking for a cure for the blood disease that will eventually kill her, as it did her mother. Gorgeous, reclusive philanthropist Louis Redman could provide the answer. All she needs is a sample of his rare blood type. What Stacy doesn’t know, is they share the same driving interest. He wants her blood, too. Here’s a peek at MIDNIGHT REDEEMER.



Then, Stacy made herself look beyond the logical. In this case, the impossible could be the only possible answer.

But that led to another question.

How did one go about tracking down a supposed vampire to ask for a sample of his blood?

She had a name: Louis Redman. Redman’s influence on the Powers That Be was like a seducing drug. No one wanted to risk alienating his affection. Well, she wasn’t interested in his affection. She was interested in his blood chemistry.

I loved writing this book because it’s got a bit of everything I like to read: A paranormal love story, a Who Done It mystery, Frankenscience ethics, sneaky government ops, and a return of characters and complications I adored from previous books (You don’t have to have read them to appreciate them here). And a setting that’s almost another character – Seattle! All this for only $0.99 through the end of the month!

Besides this fantastic sale, I’m celebrating the finish of my second edit of my WIP, An Untarnished Hero, which is a return to my contemporary romantic suspense roots and another of my favorite settings, West Texas. My current conundrum is whether to use my own name or return to my Dana Ransom pen name to tie the Texas setting into the planned reissue of a series of historical western romances I’ve gotten the rights back to. To self-pub or go back to a traditional publisher? Things to brood over when the world outside looks like this . . .

I plan to spend the rest of this wintery day visiting your excerpts before our roof comes down – literally, tomorrow. With leaks galore all over the place, we’re hoping to have new shingles to keep the weather out and our heat in. If the roofers can get through a foot of snow . . .

Stay warm and Write On, fellow Warriors!!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

WeWriWa: Who was he? . . . LOVE’S OWN REWARD - $0.99!!

It’s Valentine’s Day, the favorite day of romance writers! Actually, my favorite is payday, but that’s just me! With all thoughts turning to love, I’m featuring the start of an . . . interesting relationship that began with admiration but quickly dissolved into distrust that only an uncomfortable truth can resolve. Here’s that first meeting between scientist Charley and reporter Jess – opposites who shouldn’t but do attract . . .

“You undressed me.”

A very slow, very wide, very sexy smile. “No need to thank me. It was no trouble at all.” He was still grinning when he began to crack eggs into one of her little-used skillets.

Just wait a minute, Charley thought. There’s a man in my kitchen whom I’ve never seen before making me breakfast in his bare feet. He’s talking about filling my prescription and taking off my clothes as if he’s been doing it for years. And I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee when I should be dialing 911! Except she didn’t feel threatened.

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

Whoever he was, he could have done anything he wanted to her while she was knocked out cold. For all she knew, the entire Detroit Lions backfield could have filed through to have carnal congress with her. She’d have no way of knowing. But she didn’t believe he’d taken any unfair advantage. And she didn’t think he meant her any harm. So that left one last question.

Who was he?

LOVE’S OWN REWARD by Dana Ransom, a BelleBooks/BellBridge Classic

Dana Ransom was one of my pen names (along with Lauren Giddings and Rosalyn West) back when I was working with three different NY publishers. Garnering the courage to go up to the head of Zebra/Kensington at an industry party to ask her what they were looking for got me a four-book contemporary deal as a launch author in a brand-new line after writing historicals for them. I adored writing these “Lucky In Love” books and was thrilled to have BelleBooks reprint them. LOVE’S OWN REWARD is on S*A*L*E for just $0.99 through tomorrow.

Don’t forget . . . REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT from my Nancy Gideon “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series is also $0.99 through the end of the month . . . if you like the taste of something a little darker.

I’m spending my Valentine’s Day working the soreness out of my shoulder after the first of my two COVID vaccinations. An hour well spent in the car along with more than hundred fellow Lansing-ites at a drive-thru vaccination site set up in a Michigan State University pavilion that took in six lanes of ten each at a time. What amazing efficiency from the Health Dept and its volunteers! Check out the line behind me in the rearview mirror!

Another three week wait (actually four counting the week after #2) and I can go hug on my grandguy, which is what I wish I could be doing today!

Happy V-Day, fellow warriors! Write On!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

WeWriWa: In the Line of Duty . . . An Untarnished Hero and a $0.99 S*A*L*E!

So, it’s a month with THREE different sales going on in three different series! Hard to keep an eye on what else is important . . . that work in progress! I’ve finished the first draft of my Texas-set romantic suspense and am digging into round two of the edits. All the surface corrections are finished. Now, it’s time to dig into the meat of the story, fleshing out (pardon the pun!) the scenes, deepening the backstory and picking apart those pesky inconsistencies. So far . . . still loving it. Especially the fun scenes like this one, early one when our estranged married couple are two-stepping around their issues.

“Gun or knife?”

No use sugar coating it. “Knife, in the line.” In a roundabout way that was kind of true.

“So, you decided to use your forced medical leave to . . . do what exactly?” She turned on him then, looking way up with fireworks crackling in her fierce glare. “Check on the long abandoned marital property?”

He angled toward her, letting his gaze do a slow assessing sweep from tousled blonde hair to the impatiently tapping toe of her well-heeled Ropers. What that female could do to a plain denim shirt and Levi’s . . . “Looks to be in mighty fine shape to me.”

That threatening squall blew up in his face. “Look all you like but don’t even think of touching.”

“Yes, ma’am.” A smoldering stare locked with hers. “Not unless invited.”

(and the rest of the scene . . .)

His smile tempting all sort of trouble, he turned to lean his back against the fence as he appraised the rest of the nearby property from neglected house to meticulously tended outbuildings and barn. “Could use another set of hands. Whatever you need, just ask. Injured or not, I’m both willing and able to take on any job.”

I love feisty banter and these two are experts at dancing around what’s really behind their problems – Hers: A family ranch going under, His: A killer released and coming for evens . . . against his wife. We’re still early on in this scene so there’s still hope they’ll get to the real heart of the matter soon . . . in more ways than one.

S*A*L*E*S Galore! Shapeshifter, contemporary romance, and vampire . . . oh my! February has them ALL . . . and for only $0.99. (I was planning to offer Remembered by Moonlight for free all month but . . . Amazon threw in the proprietary monkey wrench. Sigh!) Here’s a look at these Sweethearts of a Deal for February . . .
Baby, it’s cold outside here in Michigan . . . just the time cuddle up to (or sink your teeth into!) a good book . . . while it’s on SALE!

Promo over. Back to edits. Hope you all are staying warm, staying healthy and staying close to the keyboard!

Write on, Fellow Warriors!

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.