Friday, November 27, 2015 | By: Cafe
Once you learn to read you will be forever free.
- Frederick Douglass
Thursday, November 26, 2015 | By: Cafe

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

- Lynn and HiDee
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 | By: Cafe

Love vs. Compatability

My husband and I recently celebrated our thirty-second anniversary. Wow, thirty-two years as husband and wife. Some would call reaching that milestone an accomplishment. I would agree.

Ours was a second marriage for both of us. Blending a family of completely different lifestyles was challenging. My husband and I went through lots of those. Challenges, I mean. The first year I was so nervous that we would become part of the statistics that report second marriages don't last. But we have! Not just survived, but each of us has grown and our relationship evolved. Our relationship is something I'm grateful for every day. For Thanksgiving, it's at the top of the list, along with having wonderful children.

In romance novels, there are no obstacles too big for love to prevail. Not distance, not differing lifestyles, not status, not ethnicity, not different belief systems, not even different solar systems.

In real life, it’s similar. Many of the former restrictions in our society have gone by the wayside. When we meet someone who trips our trigger, we’re typically willing to become involved, regardless of potential obstacles. In romances and real life, not much thought is given to compatibility in a developing relationship. We’re more inclined to follow our heart, believing simply the heart wants what the heart wants, and, of course, the heart isn’t wrong.

But humans are so complex. Is it that simple? Just follow your heart and you’ll find the person who will love you and you will love for a lifetime? Do opposites attract or does love find better luck between two similar people?

I don’t think anyone actually knows the answers to those questions. But according to Carolyn Hack, a relationships columnist for the  Washington Post  no matter what draws a couple together or the character of their relationship, compatibility is key to a workable mutually satisfying relationship.

“…The best way to find out whether you’re compatible is to communicate your needs clearly. And the best way to communicate your needs clearly is to trust them, vs. spinning them in the most favorable way or second-guessing your own normalcy. And the best way to show respect for normalcy as a range, vs. a fixed point, is to treat all (non-destructive) emotional styles and needs as equally valid, just different. Starting with your own. … If you can give each other what each of you needs without taking a chunk out of who you are, then you’re compatible. If you can’t, then you aren’t. Getting this cold calculation right is the secret to warmth that endures,” Hack wrote in a recent column.

Being compatible is not about being different or having similarities as much as accepting the individual as is and loving him or her for being themselves, wrote Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC Board Certified Coach, for Love to Know web magazine.

“You cherish the person for who he or she is and respect his or her differences.”
In book four of my Fierce Hearts Series, Probabilities, were-lynx hero Quinn Arons is attracted to perky, vivacious heroine Tizzy Sands, also a were-lynx. But his life experience as a genius has taught him that average people find him difficult to engage with and reject him easily. He expects the same from Tizzy, because, after all, he’s serious and geekish, while she’s outgoing and normal.

Here’s an excerpt from Probabilities in which Quinn is feeling his differences around Tizzy.

Quinn watched her slip effortlessly into the conversation. He wished he could do it as easily as Tizzy did. A faint whiff of her scent, no perfume, just simply her unique scent with a touch of vanilla-scented soap, wafted to him. Dressed in a deep blue dress that hugged her slim curves and ended just above her knees, she dazzled. Her short blond hair framed her heart-shaped face in a delicate caress. At about five-foot-three inches, she made a petite but powerful package of bubbly personality and strong passion. He’d known her for five years, since she’d joined the colony. Their opposite personalities, his reserved, hers vivacious, made it hard for him to feel as close to her as he’d like. She fascinated him. Made his brain freeze. They were friends, sure, but strong feelings for her had always been there.
But he knew the odds. The probability of her finding him attractive in any way was slim. It wasn’t that he was insecure or lacking in confidence. His brain gave him a broad and rich perspective of the world, and he loved that. He simply was pragmatic and knew it was a challenge for “averages” to connect meaningfully with him.
He didn’t believe she was inferior or stupid. She was an asset to the colony and had proved it many times, especially in the most recent clash with The Nexus Group when they’d kidnapped Casey and gone to war with the colony over the group’s hunting services for trophy animals, animals that had been “hunted” in confined areas. The organization had been a threat to the colony and the community for years, but they had recently progressed to a very dark place of death and destruction. Tizzy had been integral to Casey’s survival during that battle.
She glanced Quinn’s way and lit up his insides with her smile. “Hey, Quinn. Big day for the colony, huh?”
Her hand on his arm sent his mind spinning. “Yeah. Big day.” Doofus. Your mind is racing with thoughts. Say something. “You look nice.”

Despite their differences, as they begin to get to know each other better, they start to appreciate the differing qualities in each other. Tizzy sees that Quinn’s mind is fascinating, and his heart is tender. Quinn sees that Tizzy is self-confident, but also very vulnerable. Whereas he can calculate solutions to any problem instantly and she can’t, Tizzy can easily contain and empathize with a member of colony’s sorrow or despair. A quality that is not Quinn’s strong suit.

Different but compatible? Potentially, if the colony geek and the colony party girl can cherish both their similarities and their differences to form a life-long love.
Friday, November 20, 2015 | By: Cafe
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. 
- W. Somerset Maugham
Thursday, November 19, 2015 | By: Cafe

Robyn Bachar Writes Magic and Mayhem

The Write Way Café welcomes Robyn Bachar, an author who loves to combine epic love stories with magic and mayhem.

Your first book is being re-released as part of a boxed set. Tell us about it!
Blood, Smoke and Mirrors is now available from Samhain Publishing as part of the Five Past Midnight boxed set. It includes five tales of suspenseful paranormal romance, each the first book of a series. It’s a really fun read! My favorite in the set is Veiled Target by Robin Bielman. It’s like an action-packed mashup of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
For the boxed set we settled on Five Past Midnight because there are five stories and most of the paranormal shenanigans happen after midnight.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
We have a Kanaxa cover! All of my book covers with Samhain have been designed by Kanaxa. She’s awesome to work with and always does a fabulous job.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I love paranormal romance. It’s always fun to combine epic love stories with magic and mayhem.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?
Blood, Smoke and Mirrors was my first novel, and I’ve learned a lot since then. I’d definitely fix Lex’s dialogue. He tends to drawl and drop his “g”s, which drives readers insane. I know better now, I swear!

Do you have any writing rituals?
I need noise in order to write. If I’m on the couch with my laptop I’ll pick something bland to have on in the background like a nice, soothing cooking show, or something I’ve seen a million times. If I’m at my desktop I turn on one of my instrumental Pandora stations, otherwise I get distracted and try to sing along with the music.

What is your favorite part of the publishing/writing process and why? What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process and why?
Getting author copies! My copies for Sunsinger arrived in the mail recently, and it made my day. My least favorite part of the writing process is coming up with a synopsis, or even worse, the blurb. I have a hard time boiling my stories down into a few words.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
My best advice is don’t read reviews! I only read reviews from review sites, like RT or Dear Author. I feel that readers are entitled to their opinions, and I expect that some of them will hate my books. That’s fine. I know I don’t like everything I read. I focus on the positive and don’t let myself get dragged down by the negative.

Do you have a favorite place or way to meet your readers?
It’s always fun to meet readers at book signings. I’m going to be signing at RT in Vegas!

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
If you like it, recommend it. I love finding new books and sharing them with my BFF Diana. The squee is better when you can squee together.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Oh geez, this is hard. Hmm… “Do you know who Harrison’s soul mate is?” Yes, yes I do. I’ve had a few starts and stops with writing his book, which will be the last in the Bad Witch series. It’s going to be tons of fun.

Falling in love has never been so deadly.
Five supernatural thrillers packed with action and romance, each introducing you to an exciting series. Honorable heroes, strong heroines and relentless suspense combine to bring you five page-turners you won’t soon forget.

Veiled Target—USA TODAY bestselling author Robin Bielman: Tess wants revenge, but thrust into an inconvenient alliance with her sexy enemy, she must trust the shifter she’s supposed to kill or risk losing everything.

Blood, Smoke and Mirrors—Robyn Bachar: Hunted by a powerful evil, exiled witch Cat must entrust her fate to the man who betrayed her. Now Lex faces the fight of his life to keep her safe. If they both survive.

Slayer’s Kiss—Cassi Carver: Fallen angels Gavin and Julian have been sent to protect Kara, but she’s determined to track down a killer, even when she realizes her target may be the creature hunting her.

Soul Bound—Anne Hope: Jace is no longer human. Something dark and powerful has taken root within him. Something that that could destroy the one woman he’d sacrifice everything to protect.

Phoenix Rising—Corrina Lawson: Everyone looks at firestarter Alec Farley as a weapon. Beth is the only one who sees a hero. But proving that could be deadly.

Warning: Contains shifters, vampires, witches, fallen angels, a firestarter and troublemaking faeries. Watch out for gratuitous violence, gripping emotion, unconventional sex, some foul language, and a love triangle that gives new meaning to the term hot-wings.

Amazon       Barnes and Noble       All Romance eBooks      Kobo       Samhain

Robyn Bachar enjoys writing stories with soul mates, swords, spaceships, vampires, and gratuitous violence against the kitchen sink. Her paranormal romance Bad Witch series, historical paranormal romance series Bad Witch: The Emily Chronicles, and spicy space opera romance trilogy Cy’ren Rising are available from Samhain Publishing. Her books have finaled twice in the PRISM Contest for Published Authors, twice in the Passionate Plume Contest, and twice in the EPIC eBook Awards.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Lynn Crandall - Probabilities

Lynn Crandall 

     Bubbly were-lynx Tizzy Sands thought she knew the path of her life: teaching kindergartners, eventually marrying, and starting a family. But when cancer stole her dream of having children, she fell into a dark place where she believes her life would be too short and too empty to engage in a lifelong relationship. As a member of a were-lynx colony that faces constant danger from nefarious The Nexus Group, she focuses on helping the colony defeat them and tunes out any developing feelings for colony mate Quinn Arons.
     With his genius IQ, Quinn isn’t the most socially skilled were-lynx in the colony, and can’t imagine party girl Tizzy could give him a place in her heart. Though his past of molestation as a boy and alcoholism as a young adult haunts him, he cares deeply for Tizzy and can’t accept her attitude that cancer will return and claim her life soon. Instead of persuading her she’s wrong, he patiently shows her life is what you make it.
     When working as partners to prevent powerful TNG from launching its Project Powering and changing the world, Tizzy and Quinn begin to wonder whether their individual paths lead them together or send them apart.

Amazon          Barnes and Noble  

     "I still have nightmares and want to douse them with alcohol. That’s when I turn to Lara and her healing touch. But times when I’m keenly aware I’m different, I’m back in my childhood when being different made me a target.”
His shoulders hunched over, he still stared at the table, his head in his hands, as he seemed to struggle with regaining his composure.
Tizzy let down her walls and felt the entire room, the whole house, vibrate with energy. It streamed through her, grounding her in the moment alone with Quinn and his pain.
Gently, she touched Quinn’s shoulder. “You’ve been through so much and still you’ve been so very successful at remaining true to yourself. I’m proud of you, Quinn.” She took his hand and pulled him to his feet, then tenderly cupped his face in her hands. “You bring so much good to the world. You’re beautiful.”
Love, the kind that can bear anything, powered through her. Slowly, she leaned up to his face and placed a soft kiss to his lips. She stood back, breathless, and sought his eyes.
Bright and clear, his eyes welcomed her in. Tizzy lifted her lips to his, and he pressed them to hers, hard and needy.
Her legs got weak, but she wanted more of him. Leaning against him for support, she ran her fingers through his hair and savored his presence, so strong yet vulnerable.

Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down.


Friday, November 13, 2015 | By: Cafe
An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.
- Stephen King