Friday, February 05, 2016

And, the Plot Thickens

When I started writing Affliction, I had main characters in mind, the skeleton of a plot and a vague idea of how the book would start and end. The middle was a vast abyss of nothingness. When it comes to plotting, I usually fly by the seat of my pants. I’ve always trusted the process. The act of writing stimulates the creative part of my brain, resulting in forward progress. Sure, once in a while, I’d write myself into a corner and have to backtrack. But, it was usually an easy fix and I considered it a learning experience. Six chapters flew by and then my fingers froze on the keyboard. I was stuck. Here’s what happened next:


1.      I brooded and indulged in a lot of negative self-talk. What the heck’s wrong with you? Yikes! After eight books are you out of juice?

2.      I forced myself to write. As the saying goes, you can’t edit a blank page. When it took me an hour to write two sentences, I knew it wasn’t working. This was followed by . . .

3.      More brooding.

4.      I tried writing in long hand, a technique that sometimes works for me. Not this time.

5.      I comforted myself with junk food which, in turn, led me to . . .

6.      The Solution. Concerned about putting on weight from the aforementioned junk food, I hit the elliptical machine at our local fitness club. Something about the music feeding directly into my brain via ear buds, mindless repetition as I sweated and pedaled, plus the oxygenated blood surging through my body did the trick.


Remember my term, “vague idea of the plot line?” I realized I was a little too vague. I was writing romantic suspense, for Pete’s sake! I had a spunky little heroine named Mel. I had a sexy Harley-Davidson riding ex-Marine named Billy. I had dead bodies, nasty villains, stolen babies and human trafficking. Way too many moving parts for an author flying by the seat of her pants. I needed details. I needed more characters. I needed more plot details. OMG, was I becoming a plotter? Were my pantser days over?


Happily, I was soon back on track after taking some time to answer the obvious questions. Who? What? Why? Where? When? Part plotter, part pantser. It works for me. And, if it happens again, I know how to get through it.

Eat junk food.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Romance Reader Conferences:What You Love Most

Readers, how appealing are major reader conferences to you? Conferences such as RT Convention (RomanticTimes), RWA Conference (Romance Writers of America), and RomCon (RomanceConference)?

For those of you who have never been to one, or don’t know what they are, they are massive conventions where readers can not only have their books signed by the authors, but you get to mingle, party, and become friends with these authors. Most of the time they are a Saturday or Sunday event, sometimes a full weekend, or even a week-long event in large hotels with events going on all day and into the evenings. There are huge giveaways, free swag, great food, and even plenty of chances to meet a bunch of cover models, depending on which one you attend.
Last year was my first RT Convention in Dallas. The year before, was my first ever RWA Conference in San Antonio. I loved both conferences tremendously. It was a huge bonus that I was a published author by then, and could participate in the book signings.
As a brand new published author, though, I was an unknown. Therefore I didn’t sell many novels at either, so the cost of the conference registration alone put me in the red. But bottom line, I’d never had so much fun at an author event ever.
For those who know what they and have been to one, do you think the registration fees or ticket prices are worth it? Do you like to bring in your own books to have them signed, or do you like purchasing brand new books on the spot? Do you attend these events for specific authors, or are you that avid a fan of the genre, and love the opportunity to meet new authors and find new characters to read?
As a fairly new published author, I don’t have the budget to attend all of the events I’d like to in a given year. I normally have to pick 1 major conference a year, and then attend small signings more local to home. I LOVE interacting with readers, making new friends, and of course I always love an excuse to party! Not to mention all of the fabulous books! This year I’ll be attending RT Convention again, this time in Las Vegas in April.
Here are some of the major reader conventions coming up throughout the year. Can you add more that I’ve forgotten? Let me know which ones you’ll be going to!

The Novel Experience Event, Atlanta, GA – April 7-11th, 2016
RT Convention, Las Vegas, NV – April 12-17th, 2016
Book Con, Chicago, IL – May 14th, 2016
Romance Novel Convention (RNC), Las Vegas, NV – June 1-5th, 2016
Fresh Fiction’s Boas & Tiaras, Allen, TX – June 11th, 2016
RWA Conference, San Diego, CA – July 13-16th, 2016
Authors After Dark, Savannah, GA – August 3-7th, 2016
Historical Romance Retreat, Spokane, WA – Sept 22-25th, 2016
RomCon, Denver, CO – Sept 30th-Oct 1st, 2016
InD’Scribe Author & Reader Con, Burbank, CA – October 6-9th, 2016
Fresh Fiction’s Readers & ‘Ritas, Allen, TX – Nov 11-13th, 2016

Susan Sheehey 

Friday, January 29, 2016


I'm thrilled that my Contemporary Romance CERTAINLY SENSIBLE was released on Dec. 2, 2015. So far a few great reviews have been posted on Amazon and I'm optimistically hoping for more.

I wish I could say how I got the idea for this novel. I had never written one before, so the fact that I suddenly started writing a book amazes me. I think what nudged me along was a(nother) viewing of the Emma Thompson 1995 film "Sense and Sensibility." With a degree in English literature, a love of all things Jane Austen, and the naivety that first-time authors sometimes have, I sallied forth. I finished it, refinished it, re-refinished it...You get the idea. It took years. I want to thank TWRP for taking me on, and thank my editor Kinan Werdski who saw the potential and helped me whip CERTAINLY SENSIBLE into a salable form.

CERTAINLY SENSIBLE is set in 21st century Indianapolis, and I hope Austen fans will embrace my novel, as well as readers who just like a nice romantic story. Spread the word! Check me out on Facebook:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hello From a New Wild Rose Press Author

Wood rotates against stone as the grinding wheel of writing is slowly set to motion. Low rumbles and a high-pitched squeal register its complaints. Five solid years of studying craft, writing, revising, and searching for representation has finally gained me some notice. The cog completes a full revolution. The Wild Rose Press has accepted my story. Let the edits begin!

"Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about." Winston Chruchill

Karen Ginther Graham

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: Melt My Heart by Marie Tuhart

Release date 1/20/16

I received a free ARC copy of Melt My Heart in exchange for an honest review.

Veterinarian Lexi Mallory wants to submit to the sexy new Dom from the club, but trauma from her past keeps getting in the way.

It's a good thing Gabriel Huntington has a special way with difficult subs and sees the gorgeous Lexi as a delicious challenge.

Relinquishing control is an issue for Lexi, but when Gabriel brings an injured puppy to her clinic, she takes control to save the puppies life. Gabriel is happy to stand back and watch her work. The mutual respect is just what Lexi needs to let Gabriel  take their relationship to the next level. Will it be enough?

 Can Lexi lower her barriers and allow Gabriel's touch to melt her heart?

From beginning to end, I was invested in the characters and their struggles.  The puppy was an unexpected, adorable addition that added interesting insight to both characters.  I highly recommend Melt My Heart.  It’s a wonderfully romantic Valentine read worth five stars!
Tena Stetler
Remember the Magic for Happily Ever After!
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Sweet Kiss by Judy Ann Davis

I love small towns, hence why I was immediately drawn into Sweet Kiss. The characters are ones you might expect to see in your own home town, at the coffee shop & bakery where Kate works. Her little shop was described in such detail that I could envision it perfectly in my mind, and it had my mouth salivating for the baked goods! Two sweethearts, who still carry the flame of their youthful romance must overcome misunderstandings, gossip and family drama to find love. A heartwarming story to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day, and an opportunity to reminisce about your own youthful memories as you share in Kate and Tappe's walk down memory lane. 
Maureen Bonatch
Making the ordinary extraordinary and laughing all the way.
On Amazon
Release Date - January 6, 2016
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: For Keeps A Candy Hearts Romance

FOR KEEPS (A Candy Hearts Romance) By Veronica Lynch

Reviewed by Peggy Jaeger

5 stars

Decisions, decisions. How does a girl decide between being with the greatest guy she’s ever known and a job that fulfills her in every way? For Meghan Muldoon it’s no easy choice.

Or is it?

In 1986, women’ s defining roles in law enforcement and victims counseling services were in their infancy. Meghan Muldoon is a trailblazer. As the Director of Crime Victim Services in upstate New York, she works hand in hand with the police, one member of law enforcement in particular, Keenan Rossi. They keep their relationship a secret, separating their personal from their professional lives, but it’s a hard fought battle. Rossi wants to take their relationship public and have everyone know Meghan belongs to him. Meghan’s not sure she wants to belong to any man. Her work is soul-satisfying and important, and she doesn’t want to have to make compromises or sacrifices between job and love life.

But Rossi is a determined man and he loves Meghan – the lifelong, happily ever after kind; the FOR KEEPS kind.

When an incident at work with her boss brings the question full force again, Meghan knows where she wants to be. With Rossi. For ever. For Keeps.
Pre-order on Amazon

Veronica Lynch’s FOR KEEPS is a wonderful addition to the Candy Hearts Romance series. Keenan Rossi is that rare kind of hero: alpha with a sensitive side, and I am so happy Meghan decided to stick with him FOR KEEPS.
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