Showing posts from 2017

Writers Round Table-Promo Tips & Holiday Treats

In honor of the holidays, I'm extending an invite to the Writers  Round Table to fellow-romance authors.  Please answer these two questions in the comment section. Include a link to your blog or website. In order to have plenty of room at the table, please limit your response to 200 words.

What is one of your favorite marketing techniques?

What is your favorite holiday treat?

Hmmm marketing techniques....I have to admit I'm still learning the promo ropes especially advertising. As a lifelong chatterbox, I have learned to keep an ear open for new fans or potential guest interviews for my blogs. Keep the tag line of your latest book in mind and have your business cards ready.  Your next fan can't wait to meet you.

As for holiday treats, I like my desserts like I like my romances...sweet with some spice. Soft gingerbread cake topped with cream cheese frosting is irresistible to me. Santa can have plenty of cookies, just leave me the cake.

Wishing you all good eats and great reads…

Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

Many women long for a boy-next-door type. But nice guys can be hard to find especially if you’re a witch from Greenwich Village.  When Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) discovers her upstairs neighbor, Shep Henderson (Jimmy Stewart), is about to marry her college rival, she casts a spell on him to make him hers.  What starts as a vengeful impulse turns to love and Gillian must choose between the love of her life and her magical powers.

The 1958 film was based on a successful Broadway play of the same title by John van Druten. Garnering two Academy Award nominations (Art Direction and Costume Design), the film is visually snazzy and headed by an “A” list cast. While the film is more style, than supernatural, it is definitely worth a watch for fans of Novak-Stewart and Siamese cats.

Author Interview-Maureen Bonatch

What inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always been somewhat of a writer, whether by writing poems and short stories, filling a journal, or torturing teachers who chose essay questions. But about ten or so years ago, I spent a little time soul-searching and decided I wanted to pursue writing more seriously. I wanted to write novels. I began taking writing classes and eventually I started writing more than flash fiction and short stories. I discovered my characters had a lot to say when I began writing novel length fiction.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own)? My favorite romance characters are old school. Romeo and Juliet (I think I was one of the only kids in the eighth grade excited about the assignment) and Rhett and Scarlett.
Tell me what inspired this story. The usual question I hear (like most authors) is, “Where do you get your ideas?” My answer is often, everywhere since it’s a challenge to explain how a story brews in my brain and the characters whisp…

Author Interview-Christina George

What inspired you to become a writer? Well, I’ve always loved writing. I’d written poetry, some short stories. I’ve even gotten some work published as a freelance writer. But I only got serious about it after I started working in publishing. Seeing these authors inspired me to write more, to become this creative who just gets lost in her work. I find it so extraordinary when authors can do that. Like nothing else exists but the world they’re working on and the people they’ve created to be a part of that world.
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?) That’s tough! There are so many! Though I’m quite enamored with Jaime and Claire from Outlander! What a romantic story!
Tell me what inspired this story. A lot of things, actually. You know it’s the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana and anyone who is over 30 remembers where they were when it happened. I think my real fascination with royals started with her, when she married Charlie. So my fascination wit…

All Dressed Up & Somewhere to Go Part II

Besides choosing what to wear, deciding where to go can be one of the greatest challenges in dancing particularly if you’re flying solo. Even if you discover the latest trendy venue there’s nothing worse than cooling your heels at the hottest place in town.  Here are a couple of suggestions to get you out there.
Dance socials Many dance studios host a monthly/weekly social.  The social begins with a group lesson followed by a couple of hours of open dancing.  Often these events are free to the public as a means of attracting more students for private lessons. Socials are best for beginners, but are also great for experienced dancers to brush up on their skills.
Club lessons Some of the more savvy venues will host a weekly free dance lesson followed by open dancing.  The inspiration for Package Deal’s Eclipse generally attracts the twenty-something crowd willing to pay the cover charge and for pricey drinks.  On Friday nights at 7:30, this club waives the cover charge for their Latin Da…

Author Interview-Skye Taylor

What inspired you to be a writer?
Fred Keyes was one of the strictest English teachers in my high school and I had him for both my junior and senior year. He challenged me to think outside the box and to write beyond anything I’d thought myself capable of. I knew the basics of grammar, but he taught me how words can transform and create stories that capture the imagination.

Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?) Jamie Fraser is my all-time favorite hero in any book, series or movie. Long before the STARZ series on TV – I read Outlanderwhen it first came out, even before it was a best seller. Nils Sorenson, from a trilogy by Elizabeth OgilvieHigh Tide at Noon, The Storm Tide & The Ebbing Tide. I read these books when I was a teenager and loved the setting and the hero.  The heroine, not so much, Joanna was too much like me. Perhaps I saw the things I liked least about myself in her? But Nils was everything I pictured myself wanting in a lover or a husband. Jessi…

Read 'Em & Eat-Ladies Man

Clark Stevens has always had a way with women, but his teenage daughter despises him.  When his daughter comes to live with him fulltime, he enlists co-worker, Julie Wahl, to coach him on parenting skills. As a single mom and paralegal, Julie, has successfully balanced family, work and swing dancing. After heartbreak on the dance floor, the last thing Julie needs is an office romance.  But she can hardly say no to a colleague in need, especially one with dark brown eyes and a killer grin.
Since Ladies Man is as much about raising teens as swing dancing, I’d recommend pairing it with Cincinnati-style chili which features two ingredients favored by kids, ground beef and spaghetti. My version is cheap and quick which are key factors when cooking for ravenous teens.
1 pkg chili seasoning 1 pound ground beef 1 can tomato sauce 16 oz spaghetti Optional toppings: chopped onion, diced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese. Cook spaghetti according to package directions while browning ground beef. …

Dance & the Mind

“Let us read and let us dance-two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.” Voltaire
As if I haven’t mentioned enough reasons why you should be dancing, here’s another one. A study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dancing reduced the risk of dementia more than any other physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming and tennis. Apparently both the mental effort of learning new dance steps as well as the social interaction helped reduce the risk of dementia.
Sudoku and crossword puzzles are also reputed to be beneficial toward keeping dementia at bay. However pen and paper puzzles lack the awesome music and the people watching opportunities of the dance floor. Besides you're more likely to meet that special someone on the dance floor than noodling over a crossword.

Read 'Em & Eat-Package Deal

I’ve always liked dinner and a movie whether it’s on a date or the TV show.  You Tube’s, Cinema Sins, has added their take on the dinner/show by featuring professional chefs and their dishes inspired by a particular movie.  The chef talks about his favorite movie scene while the host and editing staff of Cinema Sins enjoy a delicious repast.  I’m always fascinated how one creative pursuit inspires another, so with that in mind, Read ‘Em & Eat posts will profile a delicious title flanked by a tasty accompaniment.
Package Deal was inspired by Reno’s Salsa scene.  While being one of my favorite dances, it is also the key ingredient in one of my go-to recipes.
Salsa Chicken (Can also use leftover Beef, Pork…Turkey you get the idea). Cut leftover cooked chicken into smaller pieces and place into medium sauce pan. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover chicken with salsa and cook on medium heat stirring and adding salsa as needed.  When the chicken shreds, it’s ready to be us…

The Third Man (1939)

Poor Holly Martins, not only did his parents saddle the pulp Western writer with an odd moniker, but when he travels to Vienna at the invitation of a school chum, he arrives just in time for his friend’s funeral. Harry Lime’s death leaves his lovely actress girlfriend, Anna Schmidt, to grieve and Holly with many questions. Though warned by British MP, Major Calloway, that Lime was a criminal, Holly is determined to uncover the truth and clear his friend’s name.
Set post-WWII Allied-occupied Vienna, The Third Man has all classic elements of noir, a grieving beauty who knows more than she reveals, chase scenes down shadowy streets and a hero intent on discovering the truth.  A common pitfall of mysteries is too many plot twists and not enough character development.   Thanks to Graham Greene’s script, the British film has both mystery and distinctive characters.
“A person doesn’t change just because you find out more,” Anna Schmidt declares.   A statement you’ll want to consider when y…

Why You Should Be Dancing

"We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once." Friedrich Nietzsche

If German philosophers aren't your thing, consider a University of London study which revealed that patients with anxiety disorders showed significant improvement when they participated in a modern dance class.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that dancing may boost memory and prevent dementia. The hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls memory) naturally shrinks as people grow older. Aerobic exercise (like dancing) can reverse volume loss in the hippocampus.

Plus dancing is a great way to meet people. Dancing attracts people of all ages from college to retirement from all walks of life. On the dance floor I've met architects, engineers, professional musicians even a doctor who kept her profession on the down low since she wanted to dance not diagnose on Friday nights at Salsa.

With one activity you can improve your memory, lose weight, redu…

Author Interview-Judy Penz Sheluk

Tell me about your latest book. Skeletons in the Attic is the first book in my Marketville Mystery series, which I envision as a trilogy. In the first book, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherits a house in the commuter town of Marketville from her father, who died in an “unfortunate occupational accident.” The catch? She didn’t know the house existed and there’s a condition: she must move into the house for the period of one year and find out who murdered her mother, a woman Callie believed had left, voluntarily, 30 years before, when Callie was just six years old. It’s what I would call a suspenseful amateur sleuth mystery.

What’s next for you? I’m currently working on the sequel to Skeletons, as well as the sequel to The Hanged Man’s Noose, the first book in my Glass Dolphin mystery series.

Who are your writing role models? Not sure I have a role model, exactly, but there are a lot of authors I read and admire. For example, Sue Grafton is a wonderful example of a prolific author who h…