Tuesday, September 29, 2015 | By: Cafe

When Everything Falls Apart

I recently read a saying that made me laugh. It went something like this: Dear Whatever-Doesn’t-Kill-You-Makes-You-Stronger, Thank you. I’m strong enough now. 

Cute! But it started my brain thinking about what people do when everything falls apart.

Options are many. There’s always the “go to bed,” option. Just drop out of the world for a bit and let everything stop. Maybe there are tears and feelings of failure or loneliness to process or not. Of course the standard grab a cup of really good coffee, tea, or liquor offers a degree of solace when relationships fail or everything you’d planned, dreamed of, and worked toward falls apart.

 In my books, Dancing with Detective Danger and Always and Forever Love, about the Private Investigator sisters, Sterling and Lacey Agar, the sisters suffered much and early. Their world, consisting of their family, crumbled away in degrees. They each found ways of soldiering on, but they also each built coping mechanisms that kept them going into adulthood. Coping mechanisms are survival tactics, but they also can become outdated and destructive.

For Sterling, the younger sister, the loss of her father and mother and family as she’d known it prompted her to build walls that would keep her safe from getting close to anyone again. When her sister’s husband was killed, the walls got stronger and she broke up with her lover and detective, Ben. Here’s an excerpt in which Ben pushes her to try love again.

     Ben dropped his hands to his sides and stepped off the elevator. Thoughtfully, he rubbed his thumb against his chin. The rasping of his thick beard stubble sounded crisply inside Sterling’s head, drawing her in like a bee to honey. 
    “We found Jerry’s fingerprints on a glass in the bathroom,” he said, eyeing her as she stepped out into the night. 
     Sterling cleared her throat. “So they were enjoying a little early morning tryst. That would explain why there was no sign of forced entry and why the dog didn’t attack the killer. The dog must have known the killer. It seems pretty open and shut, huh?” 
     “Maybe,” hedged Ben. “Maybe a little too neat?” 
     “Yeah. But then, what’s wrong with neat? Well, here’s my car,” she said, stepping several feet away from Ben. Sterling pointed her remote key toward her car and put her hand on the door handle. Her hands still trembled, despite her efforts to calm herself. Nervously, she glanced over her shoulder and saw Ben standing on the other side of the lot. 
     “You know, it seems like you’re always walking away from me,” he said, his voice low. 
     Instantly, Sterling pivoted. “Don’t do that.” She faced him with as much composure as she could muster. 
     “Don’t do what?” A few succinct broad strides and he closed the distance between them. 
     “Don’t keep referring to the past.” 
     “I can’t help it, Sterling. Maybe that’s because what we shared isn’t really in the past.” 
     Standing close, he looked down at her with such sorrow, she wished she could reach out and hold him, tell him everything would be the way he wanted it. With strong emotions seething just under her skin, it would be so easy to tell him things could be the way they used to be. 
     Instead, she backed away. 

Like her sister, Lacey’s worldview was shaped by the loss of her parents. But when her husband died, she wore the grief of his death like a heavy mantle. That is, until her dead husband, Nicholas, returned to her as an embodied spirit. With him back in her life, and visible only to her, Lacey centers her life around him, repressing any desires for more. She fears the return of the terrible grief if he leaves. But what she doesn’t know is that Nicholas has come back to help her move back into the world and develop a new relationship, without him nearby.

     Brought out of her reflection by the sound of a car horn nearby, she realized Nicholas’s remark was part of a developing pattern he’d been presenting lately, and she wanted to nip it. “Jackson Carter is a snake who comes from a long line of snakes. I want nothing to do with him.” Initially she’d felt self-conscious about talking to Nick in public, but he’d suggested that most people didn’t notice because they were busy with their own thoughts, and she’d found out he was right. She glanced at the passenger side and smiled. “How long have you been watching, Nick, my love?” 
     “Long enough. I wanted to see Tyler off. But stop changing the subject.” He set his eyes, the color of crystal blue quartz, on Lacey. “Tell me about Jackson.” 
     Her heart clenched. “I don’t want to talk about him. The only two men in my life are Tyler and you.” She wanted the traffic driving by to distract him but she suspected his attention was elsewhere. 
     “You forget, I’m dead. I’m just a ghost. I can’t even keep you warm on a cool summer evening.” The wind flowing in through the open window lifted strands of Nick’s ash- blond, wavy hair. His face turned to savor the breeze, and he looked every bit alive enough to Lacey. 
     “You make me happy. It’s as simple as that.” She reached for Nick’s hand. He took hers in his, brought her fingers to his lips, and brushed them with a kiss. She savored the feel of his lips, never taking his very solid presence for granted. 
     “You deserve more, Lacey. You’re young, you’re alive. I’m not. Not in the same sense you are.” 
     His pressure on her to consider different options than the perfectly lovely and satisfying one she had with him made her stop breathing. “Stop.” She let out her breath as she turned into the parking garage across the street from the Aegar Investigations office. “You are alive. Just not in a way anyone would get. I do. And I get you. And if that means I get you as a ghost, as you put it, I’m grateful.”

The defenses the sisters have in place are not far from what people do in real life when tough times hit and call into question how we’re going to go on. When a book project is rejected, many of us go through the routine of reassessing our ability as a writer and consider quitting. I’ve done it many times when a reviewer has rated my book anything less than a 5-star. Reassessing can be helpful. So can going to bed and grabbing a hot coffee, talking with a good friend, or really processing the sorrow.

Then what? It’s up to you. Because as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”

What do you do when facing a hard situation? Do you have any sayings that give you strength?


Friday, September 25, 2015 | By: Cafe
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. 
- Edward de Bono

Thursday, September 24, 2015 | By: Cafe

The Curse of the White Screen

The Write Way Café welcomes Jami Gray. A prolific writer, she shares the terrifying experience of trying to write when the brain goes on hiatus. 

     If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve faced the horrifying reality of a blank screen.  Generally, this terror strikes when you’ve finally completed the roller coaster ride of your last work in progress.  You’re flushed with the sweet knowledge that you managed to get your characters, their world and a magnificent plot etched into electronic stone. Some writers may decide to take a small breather, a day, a week, a month, before attempting the next great journey.
     Others (who are much braver than I am) give themselves a whopping hour before setting fingers to keyboard.  Regardless of when you start, everyone encounters the same picture—a white screen where words tremble on the edge of existence.
     Since I can’t speak for all of us out there (and we are legion!) we’ll say the views stated below are solely mine.
     Follow me back three books. After mending the rips and tears from my writing partners on my second Urban Fantasy, SHADOW’S SOUL, I sent it on to my editor so she could dissect it and throw it back.  The apparition of my third book, SHADOW’S MOON, loomed ahead like a large writer-eating slug.
     Strapped to my office chair with chains of headphone cords and superglue dusting my fingertips, the urge to run was greatly dampened as I prepared to face my nemesis—a white screen.  The decision had been made that SHADOW’S MOON would follow Xander, a secondary character, so as to give our main character couple a break.  As the screen mocked me, my brain whirled. Plots and subplots flew around in a maelstrom. Faced with the fact that Xander, the heroine of my third book, was actually a fairly well adjusted, not too tormented being, I panicked.  I don’t do well-adjusted characters.  Dark and edgy are the two biggest components of character creation for me.  Granted Xander can kick butt with the best of them, but she comes from a loving family, she’s confident in herself and her abilities, she’s unique and she just happens to be involved with a not-so-well-adjusted alpha male.
     Slowly, bit-by-bit I started to carve out the plot, but it was like pulling teeth—without painkillers.  I got halfway through, and felt like I just completed a 5K run in flip-flops. I sent out an SOS text to my partners in word slinging.
     “Do I have to do it from her POV?”  I whine.
     Their responses are instantaneous:  “Don’t be wimpy!” “Suck it up!” “YES!” and so on.
     Resigned to my fate, I set Siri aside and continued on.  Years and years later, I have a plot. HOORAY!   Now to come up with the opening scene.
     NOOOOO!!!
     I reached into my emergency stash of chocolate and caffeine. I harbor a futile hope that this edible combination will save me from the bleak fate waiting on the other side of the screen.
     I spent days lost in my head running through various scenarios.  It got so bad I ended up walking around my house muttering constantly, hair sticking every which way, and wearing clothes that show why stripes and plaid should never go together.  It’s horrible and my husband seriously considered contacting the local psych ward for help.
     Finally, I dragged my weary, abused mind back to the computer.  Six hours later, all I had to show for my efforts were seven measly pages.  Tears of relief played havoc with my vision as I powered down the computer.  That night I’m thrilled I’ve gotten something down, and even managed to go to sleep.
     Then morning came, and with it, the realization that the scene would not work—not for the opening, and probably not in this book.  My creativity threatened to implode.  Now my inner critic pipes up. Maybe two books are all you have. You’re all written out.  My creative well was empty.
     I contemplated new hobbies such as…maybe….cooking, the kind that doesn’t involve a microwave, or rock collecting…a wisp of something drifted through my mind.  It teased the edges of my consciousness with subtle pokes and prods, finally it snapped me out of my self indulgent whine-fest.  That teasing temptation whispered, “What if…”, and suddenly I was tripping across the floors (it’s a super talent) and stumbling to my desk.  Fingers raced across the keyboard and the most wonderful sight ever….WORDS started to spread across the white screen.
     With six books under my belt, I have complete confidence I will face the challenge of the white screen again, rather soon actually. Any writer will warn you, this situation will pop up with frightening frequency…in the beginning of the story, in the middle of the story, at the end of the story.  No matter how many times you manage to beat it back, it will endure, but so will you, because that’s what writers do.  We endure and push through all those walls and blank screens so we can share the magic of our worlds and introduce readers to our wickedly cool peeps.


Find Jami at: 
Black Opal Books
Muse It Up Publishing
Website 
Facebook
Facebook Author Page 
Twitter 
Goodreads
Google+  
Amazon Author Page     Newsletter       Pinterest

BUY LINKS:
You can find all the buy links for both The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams, in all formats at:
http://jamigray.com/kynkronicles/
http://jamigray.com/psyivteams/







Tuesday, September 22, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Katie Meyer

Katie Meyer


Sit, Stay…Fall In Love? 

Veterinary technician Jillian Everett has met plenty of canines—and some men who deserve "dog" tags. But when millionaire hotelier Nic Caruso strides into Paradise Animal Clinic, a scruffy border collie muddying his designer suit, Jillian has to sit up and take notice. Nic might be gorgeous, but she's had more than enough heartbreak for one lifetime in dog years. 


Nic doesn't expect to fall for a dog in need—or his beautiful caretaker! The big-city bachelor is on Paradise Isle to wreak havoc on the town Jillian loves so much. For the first time in forever, Nic realizes there's more to life than work…and love might be worth a shot. But can Jillian tame this stray for good? Or will Nic remain a lone wolf forever?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes


About Katie:
Katie Meyer is a Florida native with a firm belief in happy endings. A former Veterinary Technician and dog trainer, she now spends her days homeschooling her children, writing, and snuggling with her pets. Her guilty pleasures include good chocolate, Downton Abbey, and cheap champagne. Preferably all at once. She looks to her parent’s whirlwind romance and her own happy marriage for her romantic inspiration.

Website           Facebook           Twitter @ktgrok

Monday, September 21, 2015 | By: Cafe

Cravings Sale

Right now Cravings, the second book in my Fierce Hearts series, is on sale at $0.99 https://t.co/HTXLlmkrxP


Here’s an excerpt from Cravings:
Kennedy quietly slid open the window, grateful Lara’s apartment was located on the first floor, climbed over, and jumped the short distance to the ground.
Her skin itched, and the longing to shimmer—to change into her lynx form—pushed up her adrenaline several notches. The urgency in her gut sent her racing down the street, past the line of apartments, past the strip mall, until finally she found an alley to disappear into while she made the transition. She pulled at her sweatshirt, then stopped. She caught a whiff of another were-cat.
“What are you up to, Kennedy?” It was Asher Monroe, a were-bobcat who was one of the colony cats and Lara’s brother, standing at the opening of the alley.
She sagged to the ground, clothes still intact. She watched him shuffle toward her and with little effort tamped down the adrenaline surge she’d been running on. She was all about control of her body and its mechanisms and emotions, thanks to her training with her fake parents and her handlers with The Nexus Group.
Asher’s blond hair caught a glimmer of sunlight, and suddenly, it was all she could focus on. The mussed-up look fit his devil-may-care expression. His broad shoulders and muscled biceps under his jacket spoke volumes about his fit physique. She might be numb inside, but she wasn’t dead, and her rapid heartbeat proved it. “I’m not up to anything, you idiot. I just needed some air.”
He looked down at her, his eyes a startling, pale yellow rimmed in brown, and chuckled. “I get that.” He squatted near her, not so close that her invasion alarm went off but not so far that he felt impersonal. “The colony can crawl down your neck without knowing it, but they mean you no harm.”
She sent him a glare. “What are you, the sentinel? Making sure the subject doesn’t escape?” Her remark landed hard, she could see that in his eyes, but she wanted him to know no one was pulling the wool over her eyes. They didn’t trust her any more than she trusted them.
Asher shook his head and pursed his lips. “You’re a tough one, aren’t you,” he stated rather than asked.
Friday, September 18, 2015 | By: Cafe
The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.
- Ayn Rand

Thursday, September 17, 2015 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Katie Meyer


The Write Way Café welcomes Katie Meyer, who draws inspiration for her writing from her real-life hero and heroine, her parents.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
After I got divorced I was in limbo for a while, and starting a book seemed like a way to figure who I was again. But life got in the way, and I put down that novel only about 10K words into it. Years later I was remarried, with two more children and the urge hit me again. My husband had been telling me to write a book for quite some time, so I knew he’d be supportive. I kept the main character from my first attempt at writing so many years before but the rest of the story was totally different.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I started the book in July of 2014, just a bit here and a bit there. Then I found out about Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write Contest and decided to enter. That gave me a deadline, and something to work towards. I entered, and to my complete surprise ended up one of the top ten finalists. I didn’t win the contest, but I did end up with a fantastic agent, the lovely Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons, and a few months after the contest was over I got THE CALL, an offer for a three book contract with Harlequin Special Edition.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
The Paradise Animal Clinic series is based on my own experiences working in the veterinary field for almost two decades. Also, a major theme in the book is the idea of home, and how that can change over time. I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about the place I grew up and how it has changed over the years and I think that came out in my writing.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I’m a Floridian through and through, and so I knew I wanted my book to be set there. Paradise Isle is unfortunately fictional but elements of it are drawn from the Merritt Island area of Florida, as well as my own recollections of growing up in North Palm Beach, Florida.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Jillian was originally based partly on my best friend Jilda, but by the time the story was done the only real resemblance left was her dark, curly hair. As for aspects of myself, I’m sure there are. I identify with her desire to protect the place she calls home, and her love of animals. And some of the foods mentioned in the book are personal favorites.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
I think every writer has points where they stare at the screen and think, “I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next.” Usually if that was happening too much or I was really stuck I’d go for a long drive, generally over to the beach. Something about being in the car, watching the scenery go by helps me to get ideas and work past stuck places.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
The biggest surprise was finishing it! And then getting published, that was a shock. Other than that, I think the amount of other “stuff” that goes into publishing a book was surprising. Things like art fact sheets, author bios, that kind of thing.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world. 
I learned that writing a book is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I also fell even more in love with Florida as I researched different aspects for the book. Oh, and I learned a lot about the process of registering a building as an historic place. The most important thing I learned while writing this book is that it's okay not to know what you are doing! You can fix it later, just keep writing. I also learned a lot about my process...I need empty space and quiet to come up with ideas and think them through, and long car rides turned out to be the best time for this. The shower is also good :)  So now, when I'm feeling stuck, I try to drive for a while, go to bed early, or otherwise come up with some quiet time just to think.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I don’t really have a writing space, unfortunately.  For this first book I wrote at the desktop computer on my desk in the middle of the living room. I had kids climbing on me throughout the day and was trying to balance homeschooling my oldest son, being a wife and mother, and writing all in the same place and often at the same time. After the book was done my husband bought me a MacBook so I could hide out in my room to write or go to a coffee shop for some peace and quiet. That’s been a tremendous help.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
I am never good at answering this question! There are SO many books I love! I guess if we mean the ones I tend to reread over and over I’d say Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, and Stranger in a Strange Land.  As for recent favorites, I’d say Melinda Leigh’s She Can series and Rosalind James’ Kincaid Brothers.

What are you working on now?
I’m desperately trying to finish the third Paradise Animal Clinic book on time. For some reason this book has been the hardest for me, and I’m having a hard time getting it right. Hopefully by the time people are reading this I’ll have finished it and be moving on to my next project. I’ve got a non fiction book on homeschooling in Florida that I want to finish up and self publish, and then I’m going to work on another series set in Paradise.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
I’d LOVE to write Romantic Suspense at some point. It’s my favorite genre to read, but I’ll have to get a lot better at keeping my timelines straight before I attempt one. I have a bad habit of mucking up time in my books and that won’t work with suspense.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
Being a homeschool mom to my kids really is my dream job, so I think I already have that. Otherwise, maybe working with rescued tigers in some way.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
I’m not good at description. I tend to skip over large sections of description when I read so I don’t have the background to write it well myself. I’m working on that though. Other than that the hardest thing is just making myself stay focused. I actually have software downloaded on my MacBook to keep me from getting on the internet when it’s time to write. I also use the program Write or Die, to keep me focused and moving forward during short writing sprints.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
My Mom and Dad. Probably not the answer you’re looking for, but they  have faced good and bad times and are still in love with each other and each other’s biggest supporters. That’s the essence of romance for me.


Sit, Stay…Fall In Love? 

Veterinary technician Jillian Everett has met plenty of canines—and some men who deserve "dog" tags. But when millionaire hotelier Nic Caruso strides into Paradise Animal Clinic, a scruffy border collie muddying his designer suit, Jillian has to sit up and take notice. Nic might be gorgeous, but she's had more than enough heartbreak for one lifetime in dog years.

Nic doesn't expect to fall for a dog in need—or his beautiful caretaker! The big-city bachelor is on Paradise Isle to wreak havoc on the town Jillian loves so much. For the first time in forever, Nic realizes there's more to life than work…and love might be worth a shot. But can Jillian tame this stray for good? Or will Nic remain a lone wolf forever?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     iTunes


About Katie:
Katie Meyer is a Florida native with a firm belief in happy endings. A former Veterinary Technician and dog trainer, she now spends her days homeschooling her children, writing, and snuggling with her pets. Her guilty pleasures include good chocolate, Downton Abbey, and cheap champagne. Preferably all at once. She looks to her parent’s whirlwind romance and her own happy marriage for her romantic inspiration.

Website           Facebook           Twitter @ktgrok

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Becky Lower

Becky Lower



In 1862 America, the Civil War has raged for twelve months. Pepper Fitzpatrick Brown’s heart was broken when her husband died with the first volley at Manassas. Now she’s a widow raising three young boys and plans to honor his sacrifice by volunteering at the army hospital.

When Colonel Elijah Williams can grab a few minutes to nap between his duties as head surgeon at MacDougall Army Hospital in the Bronx, his sleep is invaded with nightmares of the atrocities he’s seen. His life has narrowed to nothing but the bloody war … until he meets Pepper Brown. But her father is concerned Elijah doesn’t have the best intentions, and Pepper is fearful of loving and losing again.

It’s hard to find happiness in a war-torn United States, but these two stand a fighting chance—if they can save what’s left of their hearts.

Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1DZipEE
Intl Link: myBook.to/AWidowsSalvation

EXCERPT:

New York City, July 1862

     Pepper Brown yanked open her bedroom armoire and stared at the sea of black. Her widow’s weeds, as people called them. They were showing up in increasing numbers on the streets of New York, on women of all ages. The Civil War, which both sides had thought would be over in a matter of weeks, marked its one-year anniversary today. Which meant today was also Pepper’s one-year anniversary as a widow. She drummed her foot on the floor while she perused the black dresses. Was she ready to move on? Michael had thought she would be. In fact, he extracted a promise from her before he left for the war. One year and not one day more, he had said. Her mother thought so, too, or she wouldn’t have planned their outing for today. All Pepper now needed was the courage to convince herself they were right. The churning in her stomach told her she had a ways to go yet.
     She straightened and turned her back on the black.
     “Molly, please come help me dress,” Pepper called down the hall to her lady’s maid. “I’m going out today.”
     “Aye, ma’am.” Molly, a young Irish girl with light brown hair and matching freckles across her pert nose, came quickly into the room. “Which gown would you be liking?” She began fondling the various dresses in the armoire.
     “None of these. I’m done with these dresses. Besides, most of them are maternity gowns. I want to wear something fresh, something different.”
     Molly nodded vigorously, and the little white cap on her head bounced askew. She righted it before she spoke. “Perfectly understood, ma’am, and you should be stepping down to half mourning. Perhaps I can find a nice gray or deep purple gown among your other things.”
     Pepper shook her head. “No, no half mourning for me. What kind of silly term is that, anyway? I’m going out with Mother, and I want our day to be special. I want to wear something bright. I think the periwinkle dress Jasmine created for me right before Michael’s death will do. Yes, the periwinkle.”
     Pepper smiled at Molly’s horrified intake of breath. She obviously disapproved, which meant it was the right decision.
     “Periwinkle? Forgive me saying so, ma’am, but isn’t it a wee bit too much of a difference?”
     “Why yes, it is, Molly.”


About Becky: 
Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com

Becky can also be found here:      Facebook       Twitter        Pinterest         Blog
Goodreads         History Imagined         Amazon

Becky’s other books:

The Cotillion Ball Series
The Reluctant Debutante
The Abolitionist’s Secret
Banking On Temperance
The Tempestuous Debutante
Blinded By Grace 
The Duplicitous Debutante 
Expressly Yours Samantha 
An Unconventional Courtship 
A Widow’s Salvation 
Bundle of Books 1-3 




Friday, September 11, 2015 | By: Cafe
Every book you've ever read is a just a different combination of 26 letters. 
-GDFalksen.com
Thursday, September 10, 2015 | By: Cafe

Creative Liberties

The Write Way Café welcomes Angela Adams, who discusses creative liberties, as in “Can you get internet access and cell phone reception in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?”

As fiction writers, we sometimes have to be “creative” and ignore common sense, or reality, in order to make things work. The best example of this comes when watching police dramas on television. I’m always amazed how they can get DNA results and autopsies back in 60 seconds.

In my novel, Magic Moment, Chase Donovan heads to the boat he keeps docked in Magic Lake Island, New Jersey. He stumbles upon two men assaulting Laura Roberts, the bookkeeper employed by his father. The men, assuming Chase is aware, refer to his father having approved the use of the boat to kill Laura. Although taken aback, Chase decides it's safer for Laura if he plays along with these men. Insisting he’ll finish the job, Chase runs them off the boat.

After freeing Laura from her restraints, Chase convinces her that his words were pretense. He has no intention of hurting her. He’s bewildered by what’s taking place around him and the implication of his father’s involvement, fears for both his and Laura’s safety, and persuades her they need to leave the area. He decides they should sail to his aunt’s house on the Chesapeake Bay.

While writing this story, I needed Laura to initially be suspicious of Chase and for an act to take place where she eventually became convinced of his sincerity in wanting to help her. I decided to have her find him reading articles from the Internet on how to help a woman who has been assaulted and traumatized. I also needed for Chase to be able to hear voice mail messages from his father on his cell phone.

When I wrote the first draft of this novel several years ago, I posed these questions. “If you’re in the middle of the Atlantic, can you get online? How about using your cell phone?”

The answers I received ranged from “no” to “maybe” to “interesting question.” I searched the internet myself and found, “yes, for a cruise ship, but very expensive.”

As I worked on the scenes, I decided if a cruise ship could have internet access and cell phone capabilities, so could Chase.

And, there goes my “Creative Liberty.”

If you’re curious, here’s a sneak peak at the Internet scene:

As she opened the cabin door, a pleasant, tangy sea breeze tickled her senses. Stiff limbs hindered her movements, but she climbed the stairs to the deck. The sun blazed in the clear blue sky. The boat teetered, alone, in a vast mass of water. A brisk chill nipped the air, and Laura hugged herself.

“Chase,” she called. No answer. She called his name again, this time her voice having an edge.

He wasn’t in the wheelhouse. She darted back down the stairs. If he had been moving around in the bathroom or “head” as he had called it, she would have heard him.

“Chase.” Panic gripped her. “Chase.”

Her heart pounding, she ran through the narrow corridor and stopped dead in the eating area. Propped up on the stool, he was asleep at the bar with a half-filled liquor bottle and an empty glass. His head rested on folded arms, his breathing deep. A laptop was also on the bar. The monitor was dark, but the yellow light blinked. Laura hit the space bar and print appeared on the screen. Several windows had been minimized.

Clicking on one minimized window, she skimmed the on-screen print and gasped, amazed at the words she read. She clicked another window and saw a search engine page. Chase had been reading articles on women who had been assaulted. Her eyes scanned the list of titles. He had wanted to understand, wanted to know how he could help her. From what she had observed of Chase in the last three years, she never guessed he had this sensitive, compassionate side to his personality. Her perception of Chase had been that of a friendly, but overindulged, self-absorbed playboy.

Who would have guessed?

*******
Magic Moment is one of the many Crimson Romance digital backlist titles now available exclusively through Amazon Encore.

For more information on Amazon Encore:
https://www.apub.com/imprint-detail?imprint=4

Paperback edition of Magic Moment

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About Angela: Angela Adams writes and reviews contemporary romances. Her work has appeared in Romance at Heart, Oysters and Chocolate, Whipped Cream  and The Long and Short Reviews. Her short story, "Burgers and Hot Chocolate" appeared in the Whimsical Publications' anthology, Winter Wonders. Her first novel Magic Moment, was published by Crimson Romance. This past October, Magic Moment was included Crimson Romance's romantic suspense bundle, limited-time only release, Running to Love.
     Angela is a member of Romance Writers of America, and its chapters From the Heart Romance Writers and Elements of RWA.

Where to find Angela Adams:
http://www.facebook.com/authorangela
http://authorangela.blogspot.com
http://www.amazon.com/Angela-Adams/e/B00D0R03A2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0





Tuesday, September 8, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Morgan O'Neill

Morgan O'Neill

The Thornless Rose
An Elizabethan Time Travel Novel

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul....

Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.

It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining...

Entangled          Amazon         iTunes          Kobo          Barnes & Noble


Begun by Time
The Prequel to The Thornless Rose


In 1945, a man disappeared into thin air...

In the final days of World War II, Catherine Hastings meets the man she wants to marry. Flight surgeon Jonathan Brandon isn’t just handsome—he’s everything Catherine could hope for in her betrothed. But her dream of a happily ever after is shattered when Jonnie disappears shortly before their wedding...leaving Catherine bereft, broken-hearted, and with a lifetime of unanswered questions.

Arthur Howard is smitten with the lovely Catherine the moment he sees her. He’s certain he’s found the woman he wants to marry. Yet behind Catherine’s sparkling green eyes is a haunted look—the look of a woman who has known loss. But can he love a woman who still grieves the loss of her fiancé? Now Arthur wants answers about the man Catherine intended to marry.

But the truth about Jonnie’s disappearance is far stranger than fiction…

Entangled          Amazon         iTunes          Kobo          BN


About the Authors:
     A chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution - and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.
     Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.
     The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest.

Author Links:
Website           Newsletter          Goodreads           Facebook           Twitter          Entangled





Friday, September 4, 2015 | By: Cafe
Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.
- E.L. Doctorow
Thursday, September 3, 2015 | By: Cafe

Writers Read What? by Jami Gray


The Write Way Café welcomes Jami Gray, who never eats what she's writing.

Confession: I’m a writer, and I can’t read in the genre I'm writing in, until my story is done. Weird, right? Maybe.

Writers are told, if you write, you must read. And read I do. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest blessing of having an e-reader is that it doesn't take up as much space in my purse/backpack/luggage as paperbacks, nor does it encourage my Igor impression since one e-reader weighs weigh less than five to six paperbacks.

I'm a huge reader of a wide variety of genres because, if the story's good, I'm there. Those characters and worlds that suck you right in and haunt your every waking moment are like boxes of the finest chocolate for me. So, imagine my surprise when, early on in my writing career, I discovered what I read impacted what I wrote.

Now, I wasn't going around repeating word for word what I read, but my developmental process on story arc or character motivation would take turns that weren't true to my story. For a bit, I worried perhaps I'd lost my writing mojo or my Muse had decided to go into the witness protection program. Then, one day as Raine and I were discussing a potential situation, I realized why her voice sounded...well, off.  Somehow, she was channeling the heroine of the book I was currently reading.

Horrified, I immediately cut of all communication with Raine and sent her far, far away.  Then I quickly finished up the book I was reading (because you do not quit half way through a damn good book, ever), took a deep breath, and began examining the puzzle pieces of my creative process.

When I identified the exact moment, the actual decision Raine made that was completely foreign to her nature, I was then able to correct it, and get my story back on track.

Phew, crisis averted. I then had to deal with the very real withdrawal effects of not reading for the next few months as I finished my story. No way did I want to fall into that sneaky little trap again.

Of course, after the words THE END were typed, I engaged in a reading binge to end all reading binges. When I finally surfaced, I realized that because my creative process is a constant spinning mess in the back of my mind 24/7, I needed to keep a clear line between my current works in progress and what I read when working on them.

When I work with Raine, Xander, and Natasha, I suddenly devour romantic suspense or non-fiction pieces. When Cyn took up residence, I went right back to my first love, Urban Fantasy and Fantasy. So long as I can stay away from the same genre I'm writing in, I'm okay, and my story lines tend not to tangle. Plus, I find some really cool books out there. (THE HERETIC by Joseph Nassise is awaiting my dining pleasure).

Right now, I’m in-between projects, and am pondering a new series. I’m indulging in the finest selection of chocolates books—offerings by Joseph Nassise, Christine Feehan, Jennifer Ashley/Jennifer Lyon, Suzanne Johnson, Cristin Harber, John Patrick Kennedy, and oh so many more.

However, I'm not starving, because as soon as those are gone, I have a very long list to pick my next entrée from. So long as I don’t eat what I write, I should be good to go.

Since I know I'm not the only one out there, here's a question:

Readers--do you tend to stick to one genre at a time or do you mix it up?

Writers--what do you find yourself reading when you're in the midst of writing?


Find Jami at:      Black Opal Books          Muse It Up Publishing          Website

Facebook          Facebook Author Page          Twitter          Goodreads

Google+          Amazon Author Page          Newsletter          Pinterest


BUY LINKS:
You can find all the buy links for both The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams, in all formats at:
http://jamigray.com/kynkronicles/
http://jamigray.com/psyivteams/





Tuesday, September 1, 2015 | By: HiDee

Parental Influences

In my mid- to late-20's, I witnessed my two youngest siblings (8 and 12 years younger) being disrespectful to my parents in ways I would never have dreamed of behaving. Frustrated, I asked my dad why he let them get away with it. He told me he was tired. In my infinite wisdom, I remember telling him - very haughtily - that he couldn’t quit being a parent just because he was tired.  

Fast-forward 25 years. I apologized to my dad because now I understand. Now that I'm actually a parent, and not just the oldest sibling, I understand how tiring parenting can be.

Our oldest, now 23, wanted to be a social butterfly. She drove me crazy almost every day of her life from 8 to 21. Drama was her modus operandi. If you would have told me when she was 16 that one day we would be close, I wouldn't have hesitated to call you a liar. Our youngest, now 19, was totally different: quiet, athletic, and too smart for his own good. No drama, thankfully, but he holds everything close inside. It’s like pulling teeth to get anything out of him at all. Today, my daughter and I are close enough that she can at times be too honest with me, but I am thankful for our relationship. Our son, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with me outside of the creature comforts in life: food, laundry, and more food. I hope, in time, he will be more willing to spend time with his parents. 

Psychologist Carl Pickhardt calls the 18-23 age group the Fourth Stage of Adolescence: Trial independence. At this last stage of adolescence, parents must change their role from being MANAGERS (providing supervision and regulation) to becoming MENTORS (providing consultation and advice—when asked).

When asked? That's it? I think I've failed that part... Changing from a manager to a mentor is difficult, particularly for bossy first-borns like myself. Why can't my kids just learn from MY mistakes? I've told them many times what not to do. Why do they have to find out for themselves? I could save them so much grief, if only they would listen!

As our children become adults, they question our parenting skills. As parents, we may question our own skills. There are no instruction manuals for parenthood. We’ve made mistakes, particularly with the first-born. We may adjust for the next child, only to discover that each child is different and what worked with one doesn't work with, or apply to, the next. I believe the ways we parent our children are directly related to how we were parented. If we agree with how we were raised, then we may use the same rules or guidelines for our children. If we disagree, then we change the rules to try to manipulate our children into different behaviors. But the bottom line is our own parents are a huge influence on each of us. 

In my current WIP, working title Fugitive Heart, my heroine has a younger half-sister whom she adores and resents at the same time, due to the family circumstances.

     “Dad, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you.” Dana scowled at her reflection in the hallway mirror. He would call when she had no idea where the heck Christy was.
     “How’s my girl? Are you and Christy having a good time together?” His jovial voice boomed from the receiver.
     “We haven’t had a chance to do much yet, Dad. Christy is busy catching up with Cara.” She crossed her fingers and hoped she didn’t get struck down for the lie.
     “Cara Mason? I didn’t leave her there so she could hang out with that crazy girl. She needs to be spending more time with you, learning to be responsible and hard-working.”
     “Dad, I hardly think teaching her to be responsible and hard-working is my responsibility, now is it?” she retorted.
     Silence from the other end. Now she’d done it. Just because she’d thought it didn’t mean she should have said it out loud, not to her dad and especially not that way. But it was the truth, and she couldn’t quite force herself to take back the words and apologize.
     He cleared his throat and sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, Dana. You’re right. She’s not your responsibility. We’ll change our plans and come get her. We’re in Arizona so it will take us a couple days to get there.”
     “Dad, no. No, it’s fine. I love Christy, you know that. I just meant she needs to have fun and hang out with her friends sometimes.” Besides, you can’t come home now because I don’t know where she is.

Being a parent - of children or characters - can be extremely tiring, but it is also extremely rewarding. 

Have you written your parenting experiences into your books?  Please share!