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Dancing Down Under

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“All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” 
― Martha Graham
As much as I love to travel, the best thing about visiting other blogs is no packing is required. Today, I’m visiting Australian author, Monique McDonnell chatting about Lovestruck Two Step and the best writing advice I ever received.
And on January 26th you will have the opportunity to get to know this former exchange student to America when Monique is a guest on Mariposa’s Musings.

It's a Wonderful Life-More Behind the Scenes

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I've posted about how Philip Van Doren Stern's Greatest Gift became It's a Wonderful Life.  But there are so many interesting behind the scenes connections to this film, I can't resist sharing some of them.

Wartime Connections
While our hero, George Bailey, was ineligible for service during WWII due to his damaged ear, his brother Harry became a Navy pilot and a war hero. Jimmy Stewart was a pilot in the US Army Air Force and flew 20 combat missions during the war. He became one of the few Americans to rise from private to colonel in only four years during WWII.

A Civil War historian, novelist and editor in his own right, Philip Van Doren Stern served as general manager for Armed Services Editions during WWII. Also known as ASE's, these inexpensive paperbacks were published from 1943-1947 and provided to servicemen on the front lines. Featured authors included William Faulkner, Zane Grey, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain and H.G. Wells.  ASE's were immensely popular…

Lovestruck Two Step-Release Party

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Since Lovestruck Two Step is all about a making dive bar a local favorite, I asked my production team to describe their favorite hangout.
Harris Channing-Cover design Not only has Harris designed all of the covers for The Rhythm & Romance series and Hot Flash, she is also an author. And she did a cool job with Ever After, one of Susan Winters’ titles.
What's my favorite hangout?  I am a homebody.  My favorite part of the day is when everyone is home safe and sound and we're just hanging out.  I love watching movies with my daughters. Sitting next to hubby and catching up with how his day went.  Home is my favorite hangout. May seem boring but since I spend most of my time here, wouldn't it suck if I didn't just love it?
Marian Kelly-Editing Marian could truly be called a “Writer’s Editor” and she's worked with me on all four Rhythm & Romance titles. She also writes Regency romance as Colleen Ladd.

My favorite hangout is a tiny restaurant called The Wandering Moos…

Read 'Em & Eat-Mesquite Turkey Quesadillas

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Like most physical activities, dancing presents a challenge when it comes to dinner.You don’t want to feel weighted down by a heavy meal, but you don’t want to hit the dance floor hungry either. Also any lengthy prep time in the kitchen takes away from primp time in front of the mirror.😉
 Fortunately Mesquite Turkey Quesadillas are short on prep time and long on satisfying hunger. They are perfect to enjoy before a night on the town or for a quiet evening reading a good book like Lovestruck Two Step.
Mesquite Turkey Quesadillas
1/4 to 1/2 pound-sliced Mesquite Turkey from your grocery deli counter. Shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 white onion-chopped fine. Several tablespoons Balsamic vinegar (I like to use Golden Balsamic vinegar for milder taste). 
Marinade chopped onion in Balsamic vinegar for a few minutes. Assemble chopped turkey, shredded cheese and marinaded onion into flour tortilla and heat in skillet on stove until cooked through. 
Lovestruck Two Step
With her marriage and danc…

The Story behind Lovestruck Two Step

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One of the more unusual assignments in my college literature classes was to write a cocktail party scene involving the various characters from the stories we had read during the semester.  I heard the murmur of collective dismay from my classmates.  I could hardly wait to start writing.  All semester I endured the harsh glare of reality as reflected by American literary icons, Theodore Dreiser and Sinclair Lewis. Now it was time to have some fun. I don’t remember the final grade on that paper only that my ruddy-faced professor with a Hemingway complex noted positive comments in the margin instead of his usual acerbic barbs . I intended to end the Rhythm & Romance series with Wedding Tango. After all, how do you top a whirlwind adventure in Buenos Aires?One of my girlfriends who’s strictly Ballroom mentioned that her group’s dance socials featured a live band.Hmmmm…a live band could be interesting.I started Lovestruck Two Step with notions of a two-man band in a dive bar, but once…

Author Interview-Lynne M. Spreen

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Dakota Blues:
In this award-winning debut novel, workaholic Karen Grace is fired after attending her mother's funeral in her Midwestern hometown. Now Karen is fifteen hundred miles from home, just one more middle-aged worker out of a job in a tough economy. To make matters worse, her husband recently left her for his pregnant girlfriend. At a crossroads, Karen must find the courage to change. Needing time to think, she agrees to take an elderly neighbor on one last road trip, but on a deserted highway in Wyoming, Karen is forced to make a lethal and life-changing decision.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’m one of those kids who wanted to write from the time they were old enough to hold a pencil. I kid you not: I invented a genealogy chart for my plastic horses!
But even though I craved writing, I wasn’t able to publish my first book until I was 58 years old. With work and parenting and life in general, I just couldn’t do it, although I took classes and wrote bits and pieces al…

Lovestruck Two-Step-Available as a Pre-Order

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"Why walk when you can dance." Ellen van Dam

I'm thrilled to announce that Lovestruck Two Step, the final title in the Rhythm & Romance series is available as a pre-order.

Lovestruck Two Step

With her marriage and dance studio wiped out by divorce, Becca Collins reluctantly agrees to teach Two Step lessons at a country bar. Carson Quill isn’t thrilled about spending his Saturday nights playing guitar in a local dive, but a certain dance instructor with long legs and dark curls caught his eye. Does love have a shot in a bar called Last Chance?