Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

When Gilda Greco invests in an up and coming Greek restaurant, she expects the food to be delicious and the restaurant to be a success. What she doesn't expect is a murder involving the restaurant owners right before the big opening.

Gilda Greco ( A Season for Killing Blondes) returns in Ms. Guidoccio's latest mystery involving the Canadian lottery winner. After investing in David and Susan Korba's restaurant, Gilda is excited to be a silent partner in a venture that she thinks will be a huge success. When David invites a local photographer to a soft opening though, an opening that’s filled with many of Gilda's closest female friends, what promises to be an evening filled with good food turns into an acrimonious disaster with the photographer - a glorious wretch who slept with half the women at the dinner - being murdered.
The suspect pool Gilda's on again/off again lover, Det. Carlo Fantini has to choose from comprise all the women present at the dinner, the wait staff and even the chef.

Once again, Joanne Guidoccio has given her readers a plumb good mystery. I can usually figure out who the killer is in most mysteries, but this one had me guessing and guessing again until the killer was revealed. I love that! I love that an author could stump me. Kudos and Brava!
Oh, and did I mention the food? Gilda is every Italian mother's dream child - complete with aunts, cousins, and a mother who loves nothing more than to cook for her. As a wonderful added gift, there are several recipes from Joanne's and Gilda's recipe files at the back of the book that I will be making for sure!
I highly recommend this good book. 5 well deserved stars from me!
 Peggy Jaeger Writing about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Magical and Mysterious Cenotes

What is a cenote?

First things first, let’s learn how to pronounce it correctly. The word Cenote is pronounced “say-no-tay.” It is not pronounced “see-note.” It is a flowing three syllable word, much like the wonder of nature it describes.

Okay now that we know how to pronounce it, do you know what a cenote is?

Cenote’s are magical underground caves that exist in the Yucatán Peninsula… Deep holes under the earth filled with crystal clear fresh water containing minerals found nowhere else in the world. A beautiful sinkhole. The Maya discovered them centuries ago, calling them “dzonot,” translated by the Spaniards to the word “cenote” meaning in Spanish “a deep thing.”

When one steps up to this hole in the ground, it might appear surreal. Gazing at the iridescent clear blue water, one might think, they discovered a secret water hole in a fantasy novel. That's what happened to me when I first discovered cenotes in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. You can swim in them, snorkel and dive, although most are on private land and off limits to tourists.

My first thought: why have I never heard of them? I lived in Northern Mexico on the Sea of Cortez, for two years in a small charming seaside town, called Puerto Penasco (nicknamed Rocky Point ) where there are no cenotes. But, no one ever mentioned these wonders of nature to me before.

Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula does not have many streams or rivers on the surface. But, underneath this flat land are the three longest underground water systems in the world. Thousands of these fresh underwater caves exist in the Yucatan, some not even mapped as of 2017. They are underground, and some Maya thought they were the entrance to the underworld.

Go Pro has an excellent YouTube video series called “Place of Fear: Searching the Maya Underworld." Go Pro writes this description on YouTube, "On their mission to discover the world's biggest cave, veteran cave explorer Robbie Schmittner and his partner Toddy Waelde pledge to protect this Mecca of diving beneath the Yucatan. Robbie warns against the destructive forces affecting this area. Toddy discovers an unbroken Maya pot that could be thousands of years old." The video was posted on November 29, 2016, and has three parts. I hope there are many more to come-- the filming is amazing.

My debut suspense novel, A Deep Thing, was born in the Yucatan jungle. The setting of A Deep Thing, will lead you underwater to cenotes in the Yucatan and through the woods of Camp David. It is a suspense novel that will take you on a journey.

If you want to see it, feel it and touch it, get scuba certified (I recommend cave or cavern certification) and plan a vacation to Tulum or Playa Del Carmen. Schedule an epic cave dive in a cenote (my choice Dos Ojos) and contact one of the many dive shops. On my cave dive, I used Diving Cenotes Tulum, Paulo is the owner and was my guide.

Watch this YouTube video before you read the suspense novel, A Deep Thing. (If you can, view it on your television or the largest screen possible!)

If you've never heard of a cenote, this one's for you.

A Deep Thing by A. K Smith:

Dive into A Deep Thing
A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith is a high concept thriller--think The Da Vinci Code of the deep--that grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go. A roller coaster ride of romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, this page-turner surprises at every turn and offers a stunning ending you'll never suspect. M. Baron- Author of Stumble Stones: A novel

What was her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico?
Take the trip--Join the journey. A Deep Thing, a debut suspense thriller by A. K. Smith is available in print and e-book from The Wild Rose Press. Available on Amazon. Readers Favorite 5-star Review.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Interview with John Anniscote, Duke of Guysbridge

Q: Today we’re speaking with the new Duke of Guysbridge. Congratulations on your recent elevation, your grace. How did you feel when you received the news of your brother’s death?
A. I confess ‘twas a surprise, though it should not have been, considering his habits.

Q. What are your plans for the future, sir?
A. I hardly know. I must undo years of neglect of the family properties and I suppose I must marry and beget an heir.

Q. Do you have any young lady in mind?
A. My dear fellow, until my brother broke his neck, no hostess in England would introduce me to any unmarried lady.

Q. And yet the ladies are fascinated by you, though your dress is almost Puritan in its simplicity. You seldom wear an embroidered or brocade waistcoat, your coats are of the plainest and always in dark colors—
A. (Laughs somewhat derisively) When I was 18, my dear papa gave me a living allowance of £25 per quarter. He intended to buy me a commission—probably in a line regiment, that being less costly than cavalry—and thought to starve me into accepting. Try living in London on that amount, with lodgings at £7 the quarter, and silk stockings at 17 shillings. Dark fabric shows wear less than light colors.

Q How could you possibly live like a gentleman on such a pittance, your grace?
A I had clothing and I was careful with it. When I needed a garment I bought it from a Monmouth Street bow-wow shop—a seller of used clothing. Valets and maids, you know, are often given their employers’ castoffs, and sell them to dealers. I avoided expensive entertainments. And I supplemented my income by gambling, for I played cards with my grandsire as a boy, and learned to be very good at it.

Q: Do you have any advice for young people, sir?
A. Study. Read. Always behave with perfect courtesy—unless you intend to be rude. Learn to dance. For boys, I recommend fencing lessons.

Q. But not for girls?
A. Ah … I believe a lady’s hoop and profusion of petticoats would prove a bar to fencing. However, a dainty pocket pistol, of no more than seven inches or so in length, can be carried in her muff. A stout hairpin is also useful in discouraging unwanted attentions. Now if you will excuse me, I am due to meet with my second to arrange an affair of honor.

Kathleen Buckley

Friday, May 19, 2017

Is Anyone Safe from Crazy People?

When they said "Write what you know" I took it to heart and wrote a book about an internationally-loved rock singer with a deadly stalker.

Okay, I took some poetic license to embellish what I know. I created a stunningly gorgeous, rock goddess with heart, beloved and supremely talented as a singer/songwriter/dancer, but in my younger life, I sang with a rock band. That part I knew. Years later, as a singer in a show on Maui, I did have what is now called a stalker. I was one of the lucky stalker victims in the world in that he didn't follow me. Instead, I was pursued by letters and threats that got more twisted and threatening as the weeks passed until finally he wrote a letter to the producer of a show he'd seen me in to say we'd had inappropriate relations in the parking lot while I was still in costume and I'd promised him inappropriate things. My stalker suggested I be fired. The producer was like a big brother to me and knew none of this would be true. All this happened because I sang to him as part of the evening's entertainment, in character.
Picture a warm Hawaiian evening with the scent of plumeria in the air as the lights go up at the historically charming Lahaina Towne hotel, The Pioneer Inn. The Thursday show in the private courtyard was called The Whaling Party, a dinner and two hours of entertainment re-enacting the days when Lahaina was a stop over for raunchy whalers. The show involved a lively group of actors playing whalers, Can Can dancers, missionaries, a pirate-style MC and musicians. The band dressed as pirate/whalers and the singer dressed in a colorful, ruffled floor-length skirt, slit to her thigh and a lingerie-style bodice decorated in ribbons and feathers.
I was the singer.
Every Thursday was the same show. Every week, when I went into the audience to sing to one lucky man at a front table, I would twirl his hair in my fingers, sing provocatively to him with the spotlight highlighting the tongue-in-cheek, amusingly embarrassing moment for my victim. It was always met with giggles from the audience.
One such night, we were doing a special performance for a group who arrived in handicap-worthy vans and I chose a sixty-ish, grey-haired gentleman in a wheelchair in the front row. He was a good sport and as a seasoned performer and actress, I thought nothing more than usual about the evening's performance.
Then the letters began to arrive at the Pioneer Inn, addressed to Over the Rainbow, the singer in the Whaling Show. He didn't know my real name, but said when I sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow, it was a heavenly moment for him. Then he went on to describe how heavenly, using lewd descriptions of his pleasure in remembering me. Let's just say, the experience of receiving these letters was surreal. In my performing career, I'd had men ask for my autograph, a date, a moment to talk, but I'd never had threatening fan letters. In the first one, he wrote me a love poem, telling me that he was smitten. I didn't contact him. For one reason, I wasn't interested and it would be extremely weird (and unprofessional). Also, I was married, something I'm sure he didn't know. Another thing he didn't take into account as he mailed letters that became increasingly threatening, was that I was playing a part in that Whaling Party show. As an actress, I wore a designated costume that happened to be flouncy and sexy, and I was following a script that told me to go into the audience, find a man to sing to and flirt with him.
I still have the letters, although I haven't read them in twenty-five years, but I remember how horrifying it was to know that someone out there was fantasizing about me and imagining doing things to me. I felt lucky in some ways that my stalker was confined to a wheel chair. The last letter was to my friend, the producer asking that I be fired for taking advantage of a man in a wheelchair in the parking lot. The producer wrote him back, telling him that he was glad my fan enjoyed the show but if he persisted in writing these letters, he'd report the man to the police.
Only one other time in my singing career did I encounter a threat that left me frightened for my safety and this man was angry at my husband. He threatened to cut out my tongue with a broken Coke bottle so I would never sing again, in retaliation to my husband firing him. That got him on the RCMP watch list. (We lived in Canada at the time.) They reported that he moved to Arizona after that.
Being stalked is a feeling of horrifying helplessness, reducing someone to a fear that dogs them every waking moment. Are they watching me now, waiting to attack? What did I ever do to them to make them target me?
It was with those memories that I wrote my novel Necessary Detour, the story of a world-famous rock star very familiar with adoring fans and even stalkers. But when the threatening letters get increasingly more heinous, she escapes to her remote lake house in northern Washington to hide. The story is part Bodyguard (the movie with Whitney Houston) and part Rear Window (Hitchcock's movie about spying on neighbors.) For Goldy, staying safe in the lonely forest of Louisa Lake is two-fold. She's just found that she's pregnant.

Writing about the fear of the unknown is a theme that speaks to me and I hope you find Goldy's quest for safety and normalcy after the life of a rock goddess, an interesting and chilling reminder that no one is completely safe from the crazy people out there. Especially rock goddesses in skimpy clothing singing about hot love on stage.

NECESSARY DETOUR has enjoyed great success, including being ranked #1 in Romantic Suspense on Amazon

Happy Reading!
Kim Hornsby
Bestselling Romantic Suspense Author

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Finding Magic and Myths in Scotland

Thistles and heather. Kilts. Castles. Ruins. Craggy mountains. Rain. Sheep.

Magic. Mystery.

My trip to Scotland fulfilled a bucket list goal and fed my imagination for writing about this windswept, mystical place. When I finally made it there in 2008 (after living in the fictional world of Scotland courtesy of my favorite authors), Scotland upheld its reputation. It rained. A lot. Many of our supposedly breathtaking sights were shrouded in a gray cloud of heavy precipitation. Aside from our mishaps, Scotland fulfilled my preconceived notions, with my own Scottish knight by my side to escort me through the perils of winding highland roads, haunting castle ruins, and dark alleyways.

Lone sheep wandered down the middle of a meandering country road. Windswept moors, heather fields, and green rolling hills flanked our drives. Wild rocky trails and impressive mountains greeted us on our hikes. Blue lochs were aplenty (yes, Loch Ness is a deep beautiful loch and no, we didn’t see Nessie – but we did see the ghostly remains of Urquhart castle) on our two-week trip in this geological gem of a country. I think I gasped on the tarmac when I emerged from the plane in Glasgow.

My husband and I jam-packed our itinerary because when we go tramping, we set the bar high and want to soak in all the sites! What can a couple do in less than two weeks? Well…

• Visit a dozen castles and palaces (Threave castle required a rowboat across an overflowed River Dee)
• Kayak on the astutely named Loch Awe to the ruins of Kilchurn Castle
• Hike through Highlands and mountains
• Watch a Highland game
• Partake in culinary delights such as haggis and fish and chips
• Carry on conversations with locals (about the upcoming American presidential election)
• Drive over sketchy bridges to reach Rua Reidh, a lighthouse hostel on the North Minch of Wester Ross (no, not the Westeros of Game of Thrones fame, but I saw the striking similarities)
• Expand our navigation skills on double-roundabouts (like a figure 8), one lane roads, and left-side driving
• Meander through abbey and church ruins
• Take a moment of reflection at the remains of Culloden battlefield
• Stay at the haunted 14th century tower keep Borthwick Castle

Oh, certainly there were lows…blowing out a car tire on a rock, getting a manual car instead of an automatic, while driving on the opposite side of the road (it is the UK, after all) – oops!, castles closing before we got there, getting lost on city roads, not finding our hostel while plodding trough the deluging rain), and hiking a washed out trail through Glencoe, while hundreds of midges made a home in my hair…. Nonetheless, I left Scotland feeling rejuvenated and inspired and ready to take on the next big novel!

The setting in A Hundred Kisses takes my hero and heroine on a journey across Skye and to the isles. Their journey begins at a signature castle, Eilean Donan, and remarkably, we were gifted with sunshine and a rainbow during our visit! This castle is as resplendent and utterly romantic as all the pictures portray. Loch Ness (another sunny day) was unfathomable and mystical. Walks among ruined castles and abbeys, reflective and inspiring.

So, thistles and heather – check! Kilts, castles, ruins, craggy mountains, lots of rain, sheep – check!

Magic. Mystery.


Jean M. Grant

Author of A Hundred Kisses
Writing where my heart takes me…from castles to craters to crags of all kinds

Monday, May 15, 2017

Six Essential Elements Every Love Story Needs

What's your favourite romance novel? Now think of your favourite scene from that novel. Is it the ending when, despite the obstacles, both leads get their happily ever after? Or is it the first kiss...or the first fight?

Regardless, there are more players on stage and circumstances that helped create the tension/opportunity/obstacle that led to your favourite scene.

Here are a few handy tips for making sure your own romance story has the right support system for those unforgettable scenes!

Six Essential Elements Your Romance Novel Needs

1. The Rival

There needs to be a rival for the protagonist’s romantic intentions, but this doesn't necessarily mean a love triangle. This could be someone who takes time away from the romantic interest as well.

In my upcoming contemporary romance, The Right Fit, Antony is desperate to reconnect with Maxine, but his brother Marc is a controller and feels it's his responsibility to shape Antony into a successful pro-hockey player, regardless of what Antony truly desires.

2. Helpers vs Harmers

As you can guess, helpers are characters who assist in enabling the relationship grow while harmers are motivated to keep the couple apart. It should be noted that a helper can sometimes unwittingly become a harmer. It's common in romantic comedies to have a character who is truly invested in the couple's happiness, but ends up becoming bad luck by always doing or saying the wrong thing at the worst time, thereby taking the role of harmer.

In my novel, Maxine has enthusiastic support from her younger sister. However, in the end it's her own self doubt that is the most destructive harmer to her relationship with Antony.

3. External Need

This mechanism acts as a motivation that brings the two characters together.

As an example, Antony is certain his new found luck on the ice is entirely due to his one night with Maxine. Desperate to stay in the professional hockey league to pay his brother's medical bills and support them both, Antony pursues Maxine at all costs, including keeping his true identity a secret. As a result Maxine is overwhelmed by his attention and begins to believe she can love again after having her heart broken by her ex-fiancé.

4. Secrets

One or both leads are keeping something from the other. The motivation for not telling the truth must be greater than the risk to the relationship.

In The Right Fit, Antony is not only keeping his true identity a secret, but also the fact that he considers Maxine his good luck charm and is using her to keep his hockey career on course. Meanwhile, Maxine considers Antony a rebound, as a way of getting her confidence back and helping her forget about her ex.

However, it's important to acknowledge that characters often lie to themselves to justify their actions/decisions.

5. Rituals

These are the cute little idiosyncrasies a couple naturally develops with each other, those shared intimacies that only they know about.

It's most effective to use when the couple is apart and something triggers the memory for one of the leads. This can motivate a change of heart at the realization that they truly need that person in their life. *cue the rush to the airport to stop their true love from leaving forever*

As a result of mistaken identity, Maxine assumes Antony's name is Ace. This leads to a nickname which creates a moment like the one described above as the name 'Ace' pops up when Maxine least expects it. 
Maxine rolled her eyes and instead told her to pick out a nail color for them both. It was a bright ruby shade and when Maxine looked at the name on the bottom of the bottle, her heart filled and then slowly deflated—Ace of Hearts.

6. Moral Weight

In essence, the moral weight is how the lovers changed for the better over the course of the novel. It's always satisfying for the reader if the ending scene is a mirror opposite to the beginning where their flaws were highlighted.

At the beginning of The Right Fit, Maxine was still trying to find a way back into her ex-fiancé's arms convinced he was the only man she could have a life with. And Antony was carrying a secret guilt fueled by the belief he didn't deserve to be loved. By the end of the story, Maxine realizes she's beautiful and desirable enough for any man and Antony's past sins didn't preclude him from happiness.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this useful! Happy writing! THE RIGHT FIT is available now at the Wild Rose Press and all major online retailers

Daphne Dubois writes steamy contemporary romance and loves putting her characters in awkward situations. She believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sugary sands and stories in my head.

Clear blue water. Sugary sands. Salty air. Those are just a few of the things I fell in love with July 2010 in Orange Beach, AL. If you remember, that was right after the horrible oil spill that tainted the waters and the beaches. A devastating event. Even so, my family had a wonderful vacation. And the wheels in my head began spinning.

While walking along the shore, I kept envisioning a beach bar owned by a hot alpha male. Of course he would have a dangerous past that left him injured and betrayed. Running the bar was his new life. He was done with danger… and women. So, what kind of woman would tempt this man and twist his heart like no one ever had? A strong New Orleans lady, of course. A woman who witnessed a horrific murder and drug deal. Strong willed, but she would still need protection.

The ideas ran rampant in my head. I just knew a beach setting would have readers lost in soaking up the sun, squishing sand between their toes, and tasting the salty air. It sucked me in. Hard. So in order to share a little piece of paradise that I experienced that summer (and several since then), I set out with Abby and Graeme’s story in Smoke and Mirrors.

I am such a summer, beach person. Where else would I have my hero’s and heroine’s stories take place?

Taylor Anne

Thursday, May 11, 2017

7 Elements Every Scene Should Have

Imagine your novel as a storyboard; a series of graphic organizers (sticky notes on the wall above your writing desk) displayed in sequence for the purpose of visualizing your story.

Each sticky note represents a scene with a brief description or illustration detailing what happens.

Now, pick one sticky note.

Is this scene essential to moving the plot forward?

Could it be more effective at another point in the story or should it be pulled off the wall and out of your novel completely?

If you're not sure, go down this check list and see if your scene has what it takes to keep the reader interested.

Using THE RIGHT FIT as an example, I'll be taking excerpts from Chapter three, the scene where Maxine and Antony meet for the first time.

1. Setting 

Ground the reader in place and time, but instead of saying it was a hot morning, describe how your protagonist is already sweating in their shorts and flip flops at the breakfast table.

Chapter three of THE RIGHT FIT is from Maxine's point of view and it's obvious from the beginning she's uncomfortable with this setting.

       Maxine was already lonesome for her bed and laptop as Crosby pulled her through the crowd. A line had been snaking along the sidewalk when they’d pulled up in the cab, but Crosby knew the doorman—she always knew the doorman. Maxine cringed under the glare from the other patrons still waiting outside in the frigid late February night as they were swept inside.
      “Is it always like this?” Maxine asked, shouting above the music.
      “Of course,” Crosby said, smiling widely. “Uniun is the hottest dance club in Toronto.”

2. Tension

What's at stake for the protagonist? What is preventing them from reaching their story goal? There should be some kind of conflict in every scene.

Too embarrassed to tell them that she was stood up, Maxine lies to her friends about her botched blind date, but then the guy shows up!

       "A mojito with extra mint leaves for the cougar,” Stuart teased. Then he nodded toward a group of guys even younger than he and Westley. “Crosby tells me you’re in the market for meaningless sex. I think delta-gamma-go-all-night over there is a good start. Might as well go for the sure thing.” He squinted across the room, then added, “Or sure things if you’re feeling adventurous.”
       Over Stuart’s shoulder, Maxine saw a slim man with a crewcut walking through the crowd, a pint of beer in one hand. “Oh God!” She panicked. It was the divorced high school teacher with a phobia for dentists.
     She spied the neon sign for the washrooms, then grabbed her clutch, and quickly left the table. Stuart called out something, but the music was so loud it drowned out his words.

3. Emotions

Show how your characters are feeling. Describe body language. Connect the reader to the POV's emotional state. Don't forget about senses.

Ah! Their first kiss...

“Hide me!” Maxine blurted out.
        He frowned back at her, not understanding.
        The crew cut was about to pass them, he was only seconds away from seeing Maxine in her stained dress, her breasts covered in food.
        She panicked. What would Alexis Colby do?
        “Est-ce que—”
        Maxine never heard the rest of his question. His words disappeared against her lips as she grabbed him by the t-shirt and pulled him to her, pressing them both against the wall.
      She breathed in a spicy scent, and his stubble grazed her chin. Shocked by her own actions, Maxine stayed locked in the embrace. The kiss was chaste, but as the seconds passed with neither one moving from the other, the moment changed, becoming heavier, more charged.
     She was all too aware of the warmth of his lips, the pressure of his mouth against hers. Then he leaned back. His surprised expression matched her sputtering pulse. “Merci, Ms. Dior,” he said.     
      Maxine blinked a few times, her footing felt wrong, like the floor was tipping. “I…uh,” she started. “Sorry about that. I must have slipped.”

4. Dialogue

Employ key phrases for characters, but be careful of repetition. Nail the voice. Does it move the plot forward or is it just chit chat?

Since Antony is French, their first conversation in a loud dance club gets construed, but his assumption that her name is Ms. Dior is quickly established as her nickname and is played out as a cute quirk between the two of them as the novel progresses.

 “Est-ce que ça va?” he asked, bending down closer to her ear.
       “Excuse me?”
        His look of concern melted into a wide-eyed stare. “Belle rousse?” he said.
       “Bathrooms?” Maxine shouted up at him. “They’re down the hall.”
        He gave her a mischievous grin. “Are you okay?” His gaze wandered her face, then lowered and fixated on her chest.
       She looked down and saw her green dress was stained, and the extra mint leaves from her drink had settled in between her ample breasts like some kind of cleavage dam. A wave of mortified embarrassment collapsed over her. And in addition to everything else, the outfit was ruined. Carmine would be so upset. “It’s vintage Dior,” she said, her voice crumbling a bit.
       A complicated series of frowns played across his features. “I can pay for dry cleaning,” he offered. There was a pause, then he added, “Ms. Dior.”

5. Action

Action can be as simple as your protagonist finally calling up her secret crush, or as complex as a car chase through road blocks and marching bands.

       Standing against the wall in a daze, Maxine watched his broad for cut a path through the crowded bar. What the hell had she just done? Maybe he was going to tell a bouncer about her. She could imagine the conversation. “There’s a large woman in an old tight dress grabbing guys by the bathroom.”
       “No problem, sir, we’ll have her contained immediately. Grab the tranquilizer gun!”
        Snickering to her left snapped her back to attention. Two girls who looked barely old enough to drink were standing in skintight dresses with their heads together laughing behind manicured nails, cutting glances across the way. Maxine stood wearing her stained vintage Dior that now seemed musty and antique.
        Expecting to be tossed for violating hot lumberjacks, Maxine rushed to the closest exit, not even bothering to get her coat. The sharp winter air almost took her breath away. 

6. Internalization

Internalization is what the character is thinking, it takes the general and makes it personal. It's a great tool for handling infodumps, just make sure to keep it in their voice (let them internalize and judge what they’re thinking about) then it comes across more naturally.

Maxine opened her clutch and looked at her phone. She’d actually gone fifty-five minutes without thinking about him. That was a record. But now, of course he was all she could think about. Did he think about her? Did he miss having coffee in bed on Sunday mornings while she read the comics and he did the crossword—he always used a pen, never a pencil. She loved that confidence about him. In fact, she still had the last puzzle he’d done.
      The familiar stone lodged itself in her heart. She loved Johnny. She still loved Johnny. They had been together for four years.
      Four years!
      Four years of sharing and dreaming. Four years of walking through Umbra making imaginary purchases for their future home. Four years of waiting in the arrivals at the airport every time he came home—she was always there to meet him.
     And four years of walks in the park when they would make spontaneous plans, like the time they decided to adopt a rescue dog…except neither one of them filled out the forms.
      Four years.
     The burden of all that time was too much for Maxine to ignore. She simply refused to accept all that time, all that work with Johnny was for nothing.

7. Hook

A development the reader wasn't expecting that throws more conflict toward the protagonist, and keeps the reader invested and turning the pages.

       The cabbie beeped his horn and swore at the traffic, unable to pull into the lane.
       “I have no place I need to be,” Maxine said, picturing her bed and laptop. She thought back to the kiss with the stranger and how foolish she must have seemed to him. “Alexis Colby never looks like a fool,” she whispered to herself. “She would have kissed him again—no that’s not right. She would have slapped him first, then kissed him back hard, and then left him wanting more.”
        The cab driver narrowed his gaze at her in the rearview mirror.
       “Wouldn’t it be great if life was like 80’s TV?” Maxine asked him. “Everyone was in shoulder pads and size double zero didn’t exist.”
       He shrugged then turned up the radio.
       Maxine hugged her elbows. The traffic lights reflected off her fingernails.
       A sharp blast of frigid air ripped through the backseat. A massive upper body wrapped in a thin cortex jacket jumped in the backseat. Before the cabbie could protest, Maxine turned and was face to face with an ACE Towing ball.

THE RIGHT FIT is available now!

So, how does your scene measure up?

What are some of your favorite scenes from novels?

The Right Fit by Daphne Dubois

Daphne Dubois writes steamy contemporary romance and loves putting her characters in awkward situations. She believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ghost Walk by Pamela Woods-Jackson

Last night I accompanied a couple of friends on a local ghost walk. It was great fun, but that's not why I'm writing this. My newest book TEENAGE PSYCHIC ON CAMPUS just came out on Friday April 28, and it's all about psychics, spirits, ghosts, and a haunted house. I happened to have a bookmark in my purse, and at an opportune moment I gave it to the tour guide, who is also the author of nonfiction true-haunting books. She seemed pleasantly surprised and promised to mention my book in future walks.

Since we're always looking for ways to promote our books, I thought I'd pass along what I learned last night: Make use of local groups that are in your field of expertise. Women's book groups, ghost hunters, paranormal fans, Bible study, whatever it is, reach out. Your book may be a perfect fit for their next meeting!

Teenage Psychic on Campus by Pamela Woods-Jackson

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Heartfelt by Carol Owen

As soon as my first novel, Heartfelt, was published by WRP, April 2016, I started a second romance, titled Love X 2. The idea for it came from something I heard many years ago. I asked a woman how she met her husband, and she said they met at their parents' wedding. I never forgot that, and it became the premise of Love X 2. I finished it recently, and it's now in the hands of my editor. I'm looking forward to her comments.
Meanwhile, I've started book # 3, tentatively titled 6 Steps to Forever.