Monday, June 30, 2014

My Birthday Gift to Myself

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Click here to get more Birthday Cake Greetings from MasterGreetings.com
It's my birthday week!
Last week on my Monday post, I talked about how my much-needed trip to the beach prompted some soul-searching on how much pressure I put on myself as a writer/mother/wife/homeschooler/working gal/etcetera. So this week, when I finally sat down to redo my Organized Writer schedule, I decided to give myself the birthday gift of not cracking the whip over my own back quite so much. 

There are times as a writer when I have to push past busy schedules, writer's block, and lack of sleep to get an story on paper. There are other times when I need to stop the merry-go-round and wait until the dizziness passes before I can get back on track. That's where I'm at right now. I'd signed up for CampNaNoWriMo, which kicks off tomorrow, but unless my muse suddenly wakes up July 1 with a story bursting out of his chest like a bad remake of Alien, I'm leaning toward not participating. This is especially true as it appears I'll be flying out to Texas in a couple weeks to visit my ailing mother.

So, while I'm still working on my current projects, I've eased up a little bit on my "do or die" deadline schedule. My app WILL be coming soon, but I didn't want to rush to release it until I complete the exclusive content I'm excited to be offering. Same with the birthday club, which I'd hoped to open for signups this week. My free story gift is still in the works, and it's surprising me as it shapes up to be a nifty and longer tale than I'd originally envisioned.


Paleo brownies and locally grown berries. Yum!
Other stuff this week: My kid has an ear infection, poor thing. Came on suddenly right after the pool party. Beyond that, I've been on a cooking kick lately. I made Paleo brownies that were awesome!  As soon as I'm finished writing this post, I'm going to make some Paleo pancakes with strawberry compote. Yum.

Ah, True Blood, why are you teasing me? This final season gives me little of the storylines I was interested in and too much "huh?" the rest of the time. Still, I'm hanging on. Teen Wolf's opener, while it kept me intrigued, had a lot of "huh?" factor as well. 

WRITING STUFF

I've been studying Holly Lisle's Writing Flash Fiction That Doesn't Suck workshop. Pretty good info. And I got a bit of short story work done, along with some outlining on my upcoming Sons of Herne short story series.


~~~~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hot Guy and Pink Buttercream -Snippet Sunday

12:00 AM 4 Comments
~~Warning: adult language, mature themes~~

On Sundays, I share tidbits of my works in progress as part of Weekend Warrior’s 8-Sentence Sunday


I'm still working on short fiction. This snippet is from an as-yet untitled piece that will be offered as a special gift to readers joining the birthday club I'm launching in a couple weeks. 


Rochelle fumbled beneath the desk for her purse, and in her hurry to reach it, she bent down so low that her nose squashed right into the cupcake frosting in front of her.
“Fabulous,” she muttered, coming up with her bag and enough pink buttercream that she could see it by glancing down at her face.
She twisted away, intending to retrieve a tissue from her purse to erase the evidence before the hot delivery man saw how ridiculous she looked. He beat her to it by producing a white handkerchief.
She took it with mumbled thanks, fighting the urge to wave it in surrender and run to the bathroom to hide—forever.
“Good thing the candle wasn’t lit,” he said. She shot him a glance, and the amused gleam in his eyes drove the heat from her cheeks through her face and down her neck.

 She wiped off the frosting and returned his hankie with a mental note to avoid cupcakes for the rest of her natural life.

So, what do you think?


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For more awesome snippets, check out 

~~~~
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Girl's Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse -Peggy Martinez

12:00 AM 3 Comments
As we all know, I showcase other authors and books here at Fiction With a Passion. But today, I interrupt this regularly scheduled blog for a zombie apocalypse. Guest author Peggy Martinez stops by on the Summer of Zombie tour to talk about how gals can prep for success. Take it away, Peggy!



What’s a girl to do during the zombie apocalypse?

by Peggy Martinez


The Zombie Apocalypse has finally occurred. Thousands of drooling, mindless, flesh-eating zombies are walking around, looking for their next meal. Shit has seriously hit the fan and absolute chaos has erupted all over the globe. Masses panicked, the government was overwhelmed and annihilated. And that leaves little ‘ole you all by yourself to face the oncoming horde. What the hell will you do with no one there to save you? You’re female. Weaker physically than a man, and yet … being a woman during the Zombie Apoc might have its advantages.
First, let’s rewind a bit and take a look at one simple thing you could have done before the apocalypse to make your survival statistics rise higher than the average female facing certain death by the undead.

B.O.B.
No, not Bring Own Beer.
B.O.B., or Bug Out Bag. In non-prepper terms, a bag filled with essentials to help keep you alive for about 3 days if crap ever does in fact hit the fan. A bug out bag could end up making the difference between life and death in those first few days of the Zombie Apoc. So, why not make sure you have one ready? What woman doesn’t like to buy new bags? Just because this one is a matter of life and death, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a lot of women, according to their nature, are preparers. So, let’s use that love of bags & preparing and get a bag ready to save our lives.

Here are some things you might want to pack in your handy-dandy Bug Out Bag:

·        Small First Aid Kit
·        Knife
·        Water/Water purifying tablets
·        Energy bars/beef jerky
·        Collapsible water bottle.
·        Waterproof Matches. Lighters.
·        Flashlight. A few small candles.
·        Small tent or tarp.
·        Clothes. An outfit or two. A poncho. 
·        Gun & Ammo (Dude. You’re gonna need this!)

So, depending on how serious you take your B.O.B., we can see that having these essentials on hand would definitely raise our chances of survival. Oh! And a quick tip. Don’t leave the bag where it would be impossible to get to in a hurry. Up in the attic buried with fifty Christmas decoration boxes won’t do you any good. ;)

Now that we’ve established our survival those critical first few days, and assuming we are smart enough to get out of hugely populated areas, let’s take a look at the different ways a woman might actually have some advantages during the Zombie Apoc.

First of all, WE MAKE DO. I don’t know how many time I’ve looked in my cabinets and fridge a few days before grocery shopping day and pulled out flour, butter, and milk and made several different types of meals with those minimums. Biscuits. Dumplings. Pancakes. Pot Stickers. You get the point. And no, we may not have butter available during the end of the world, BUT the point is a lot of women can take very little in the name of survival for themselves and their family and make it turn into a LOT.

Secondly, WE JUST DO IT. We get it done. We see something that has to be done and we don’t hesitate, and if it means our survival or the survival of the ones we love, all the easier. Women are some of the most ruthless creatures on the planet when it comes to protecting themselves and their loved ones. The term “Mama Bear” didn’t come out of nowhere.

Thirdly, WE ADAPT. To our surroundings, to our situation, and to any crappy hand we’ve been dealt. Women are fighters and when they believe there is even the tiniest glimpse of hope, they will pull out all stops and fight until the end.

Finally, WE HOPE. Never underestimate this during bleak times. Sometimes the ability to hope, the ability to see whatever miniscule amount of beauty there is left in the world can mean the difference between going to bed ready to fight for another day and going to bed contemplating opting out.

So, if you’re a woman and wondering if you’d have even a chance during a Zombie Apocalypse without a man by your side, chin up! Things are definitely in your favor. (Just don’t forget your B.O.B. and maybe some cardio, some shooting lessons, & of course some nail polish & Twinkies for those really bleak days) If you’re a guy and you’re wondering if a woman would be a good asset to your team and your survival … well, I’m not sure how long you even survived this long thinking such things. ;)

Peggy Martinez



State of Decay
Peggy Martinez
Buy Now

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie


AND so you don't miss any of the posts in June, here's the complete list, updated daily:




Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday With Guy Ogan

12:00 AM 2 Comments
It's Throwback Thursday!
My newest feature is Throwback Thursday, where I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to have Guy Ogan, author of The Immortal Relations series. He's here to share a throwback to his very first work--and tell us how one man's trash truly became another's treasure.

Throwback Thursday with Guy Ogan


Immortal Relations 1

My first novel, Immortal Relations,  was the result of finding a photograph of my late father while cleaning out his many cabinets of documents dating back to the 1930s. I'd finished the last drawer of final cabinet when I saw an old envelope, yellowed by age with coffee cup stains on it. I picked it up to toss it into one of the 55 gallon drum size industrial strength trash-bags, but when I prepared to launch I heard a click...something inside. If I had just tossed it, I probably never would have written the first novel let alone the series. But, being too inquisitive for my own good I opened it and "THE PHOTOGRAPH" fell out. Looking at it I saw my father when he was in his 20s or early 30s standing in front of a very old building with a huge clock. When I flipped it over I recognized his handwriting, "Prague, Czechoslovakia" and on the bottom of the back was written, in a very feminine hand, "I'll always be waiting here."


Seeing that brought back memories, long forgotten, of my childhood when my mother said things like, "He's over there with that woman!"  But I was far too young to understand and she would never tell me what she was talking about...but seeing the picture I realized that my father had had a tryst while assigned there after WW-II. Unable to sleep that night, I felt compelled to go to the computer and write the story with the picture (page two of "Immortal Relations") as well as a realization that I wanted to travel to Prague to see where it all had occurred (if only in my mind).  Thus the story began!


The story is set primarily in The Czech Republic with added action in England and The Russian Federatio. Gary Logan, my own character, goes to investigate where his own father was sent to help the Czech people, recently liberated from the grasp of the Nazis, to hopefully form a more democratic – republic form of government (some might have called it a “fool’s-errand” since the Soviet Troops were stationed there and most unlikely to allow anything other than a puppet communist government to take over. While there, Gary’s father struck up a close friendship with a young lady who was serving as an interpreter. Love was in the air; however, it wasn’t too long before the American advisors were asked to leave by the newly formed soviet style government. 

Many decades later, having found the photograph, Gary travels to Prague, now freed from communist control, to see where his father worked and loved. There he meets and falls in love with a younger lady who know far more about his father than seems possible and who exhibits supernatural abilities. Gary realizes that he has found “the love of his life” but knows she is something other than a mere human. Unfazed, he rushes in (as-fools-are-want-to-do) and professes his devotion to her. Fortunately, she feels a similar pull toward Gary but knows there are problems consummating their relationship. Gary’s reaction is his statement, “Change Me!” However, there are traditions and procedures to follow in order to grant such a request and these mean meeting the head of the “Residency Coven of Guardian Vampires” (the majority of whom were turned against their will by evil vampires). 
Having had the fortune of been turned rather than drained, these, mostly females, have sworn to fight against evil, be it the out of control type of vampires/human criminals/or evil politicians. Gary is accepted into the group and enthusiastically participates in efforts to destroy evil and protect the young, innocent and weak. There is a good deal of “explicit togetherness” (sex) in which Gary, not the most worldly even in his human-days is humorously asked to perform in ways that shock him. He quickly finds that even the good vampires don’t have the hang-ups about sex humans, including Gary, exhibit.     
Immortal Relations Love and WarBook 2
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Immortal Relations Coming OutBook 3
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About the Author
I grew up in Arlington, VA and Los Altos, CA, I was commissioned in the USAF in 1968 and served in Colorado, Illinois, Okinawa, Austin, Iceland, Holland, Abilene and California retiring in 1988. I taught college courses in Psychology, Sociology and Counseling after the Air Force. Then, after completing my second graduate degree, went to work for the State of Texas in their prison system, retiring as a Psychologist when my father passed away in order to care for my disabled mother. I have A.A. degree from Foothill J.C., B.S. from TCU, M.A. from Ball State (when they had a European Campus) and an M.Ed. from Hardin-Simons (none in English or Literature as my writings will verify). My passions were running marathons in my younger years (and I had articles published in running magazines), cars and motorcycles, again with many articles published. I still have performance and antique automobiles, but I mostly enjoy reading and writing in the Paranormal-Romance field (with emphasis on action). 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Mexico Green Chile Stew -Guest Author JC Conway

12:00 AM 1 Comments

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious! Today I'm happy to have special guest JC Conway, author of Hearts in Ruin, who's here to share a recipe for New Mexico chili. Take it away!


Hearts in Ruin New Mexico Green Chile Stew
My new novel, Hearts in Ruin, takes place in and around an archaeological dig in the New Mexico desert. New Mexico is a breathtaking place of ancient beauty and from its high-desert climate comes some of the best Green Chile in the world. This recipe is easy to make and accentuates the rich flavor of New Mexico Green Chile. There is no one way to make Green Chile Stew. But this version is the basic, every-day variety that remains my favorite.

Ingredients
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 lbs. ground turkey meat*
3 large potatoes, red or white, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1-3 cups (1 cup hot, 2 cups medium, or 3 cups mild) roasted, peeled, chopped New Mexico Green Chile
Salt to taste
2-3 pinches ground black pepper
Water
*We use turkey burger, which blends well with the Chile and garlic and does not require draining grease. But other ground or cubed meat can be used.

Directions
1. Heat oil in pot over medium-low heat. Add the ground meat, onion and garlic. Cook for about 3- 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to brown the meat and prepare the onion and garlic.
2. Add the green chili, potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir well for about a minute.
3. Add water to cover everything. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are just soft.
4. Serve with warmed tortillas. Optionally garnish with cilantro, chopped tomatoes or cheese.


Hearts in Ruin
By JC Conway
Buy Links:
Also available in the iTunes Store

Andrea had one goal in life, a quiet career as a mainstream archaeologist—nothing more nothing less—and she's one ancient secret away. When she is teamed with maverick prodigy Daniel Fuchs at his controversial pre-Clovis dig on tribal land, she soon realizes his wild theories may sidetrack her career. Her smartest move is to expose him and that is exactly what she plans to do. Except…he’s hot, sexy, and there is a chance his theories may be right.

As the dig deepens and outside forces mount, Andrea and Daniel find their careers and their shaky relationship on the brink of ruin. Who can she trust? To survive professionally and emotionally, Andrea must decide between what is expected and what she believes, because time is running out and the developers' bulldozers are poised to level the site.

Delve into the mystery and excitement of an archaeological dig in the New Mexico desert and experience the drive, determination, and passion surrounding the quest to unlock the Paleolithic past in this contemporary, romantic suspense. Hearts In Ruin…no shovel required to join this spicy adventure to discover an ancient truth!

About the Author
J. C. Conway is a romance, science fiction and fantasy author, writing novels and short stories for adults, young adults and teens. Hearts in Ruin is his debut novel. He is a grand prize winner of the Yosemite Romance Writers Smooch contest. He will have short stories published this summer by The Colored Lens and Comets & Criminals. J. C. Conway attributes the spark igniting his writing to a grade-school assignment that he write a story about anything he liked, which, at the time, included dinosaurs, robots, army heroes and alien invaders. Since then he's added deep simmering passion, tense internal conflict and emotional dilemmas. To learn more, visit his website at http://jcconway.com, check out his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/J.C.Conway.Writer, or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jcconwaywriter.

Monday, June 23, 2014

When the Muse Needs a Stress Day

12:00 AM 0 Comments
Ever feel you're juggling too much?
Last week, I vowed to stop the clown circus that has become my daily life and sit down to revise my Organized Writer schedule. Well, there were two problems with this plan. First, there are several up-in-the-air additions to my routine that I have to make a decision on. Second, I just had no juice left in me for brainstorming. I've felt mentally flat-lined, and at a time when I'm supposed to be working on a number of writing projects as well as some things at home. So I didn't come up with a perfect, shiny and new version of my schedule. But, I DID take off the clown nose long enough to stop the circus train and do something to revitalize my spirit.

Crystal Cove-gorgeous spot for my muse to unwind!
The family took a "stress relief day" and headed out to the beach. A day of investigating tidepools, sunning between a cave and a waterfall, hanging out with overly curious squirrels, and enjoying the surf left me with a very zen, contented feeling that I'd been missing for a while. My muse really needed that boost of relaxation. Call it a mental revival or a spirit-feeding, chi-stirring activity, but either way it helped clear my head enough to do some thinking about my writing and daily life. And it made me realize once again that when I look at my stress level, a lot of it has to do with deadlines and expectations I place squarely on myself--and far too many of them. It's something I do at least a couple times per year, and it doesn't do squat for my sanity. I made a couple of mental adjustments that will be of great help this next week as I finally sit down to revise my schedule.

Who watches Hell's Kitchen? I can't quite decide who I want to win. Joy seems the steadiest overall, even though she had a bit of a meltdown on last week's episode.  I'm also wondering whether I'll bother watching the final season of True Blood. I told myself I'd watch the first episode to see what happens with Eric Northman. After that, they'd better really grab my attention. I'm just kind of bored with it all. On the other hand, I was impressed with the Season 2 opener for Defiance, and I'm looking forward to this season of Teen Wolf.

WRITING STUFF

I did put in 2k or so this past week, working on more short stories that will be freebies for readers who join my mailing list and birthday club. I'll be giving a sneak peek at my birthday read in this week's Snippet Sunday.



~~~~
On select Mondays, I like to gab about whatever's going on with me. For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than twenty-five books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lone Wolf -Snippet Sunday

12:00 AM 7 Comments
~~Warning: adult language, mature themes~~

On Sundays, I share tidbits of my works in progress as part of Weekend Warrior’s 8-Sentence Sunday


I've been busy working on some short fiction this week. This is from Lone Wolf, a story based on my Lone Wolves of Shay Falls series. 


Sue's limbs were shaking while she forced open the squeaky truck door and stepped out into the blazing sun. A warm breeze blew strands of pale hair into her face, and she brushed her vision clear while she carefully approached the injured animal. It lay without moving, save for the erratic, rapid rise and fall of its ribs. As she came around in front of the wolf, she saw his eyes squeezed shut and his long, pink tongue hanging out. Blood seeped on the ground beneath him—a glance confirmed it was, in fact, a male-but not so much that blood loss alone would have killed him.
Guilt and an odd sense of responsibility pierced her stomach, even though there was nothing she could have done to avoid hitting the creature. An idea struck that she never should have considered, but it took hold of her heart and squeezed hard. She headed for the flatbed of her truck and dug around until she found the old blanket and a snow shovel.

So, what do you think? I'll be offering this story as an exclusive freebie for readers signing up for my mailing list.


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For more awesome snippets, check out 


~~~~
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Top Ten Romantic Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

12:00 AM 2 Comments

From time to time I showcase other authors and books on my blog. Today I'm happy to have Anita Philmar, author of In Too Deep. She's here to give us her top ten romance ideas that are easy to use--and won't burn up your credit card. Take it away, Anita!

My Top Ten Romantic Ideas That Won't Break the Bank
by Anita Philmar

1.) Simply say “I love you.” When our lives gets busy, it is very easy to forget to say how much we care to those we love.

2.) A kiss - both the hot ones and the butterfly ones on the cheek. Make a game of how many you give and receive during the day.

3.) Write a quick note and hide it where your lover will find it. Can’t think of anything to say? Draw a picture.

4.) Touch – a simple brush of the hand across your lover’s shoulder, a hand on their waist, the nudge while waiting in line.

5.) Be playful – tease, tell a joke, start an impromptu dance.

6.) Time – making the time to spend with just you and your lover.

7.) Holding hands – while taking a walk around the neighborhood or while sitting on the couch together.

8.) Reading a story together – if it’s a hot story it might spark of other types of fun.

9.) Playing a game... board, bedroom, or chase around the house...(clothes optional.)

10.) Take a bubble bath together.


Need more ideas...check out my blog – Spice It Up  http://anitaphilmar.wordpress.com/



In Too Deep
by Anita Philmar
Find at: 
Amazon | smashwords | 
All Romance

 In Too Deep was just released at the beginning of this week. It is the second half of "In Deep Water." These two stories start with two women just trying to cool off on a hot summer day in Texas. They have no idea how hot things are going to get for them.

Blurb

 On the banks of the Trinity River, Sadie Pepperman is looking for a chance to escape the demands of her in-laws. With her husband’s dead, they want her to marry her brother-in-law so they can take control of her farm.

Suddenly, the peace of the day is shattered when her best friend steps too far into the river. Rushing to save her, Sadie meets a handsome stranger that ignites her dormant lust. She sees her friend rescued by a steamship and backs away from Logan Jansen, only to turn her ankle.

The agonizing pain leaves Sadie with the inability to walk. Needing help, she offers Logan a place to stay if he’ll help with the chores on her farm. With his agreement, Sadie adds another problem to her list. Now, not only does she have to worry about how to bring her crops in from the field and run her farm alone but she also has to fight her attraction to Logan.

 Can Sadie end her in-laws’ interference in her life,  run her farm alone,
 and give love another chance?


 Have a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy my book,

 Anita


About the Author

Anita Philmar likes to create stories that push the limit. A writer by day and a dreamer by night she wants her readers to see the world in a new way. Influenced by sci-fi programs, she likes to develop places where anything can happen and where erotic moments come to life in a great read.
Naughty or Nice?
Read her books and decide.

Email: anitaphilmar@yahoo.com



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday with Joan Leotta

12:00 AM 1 Comments

My newest feature is Throwback Thursday, where I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to have Joan Leotta, author of  A Bowl of Rice. She's here to share a throwback to her very first fiction.


Throwback Thursday with Joan Leotta



So, the very first piece of fiction I ever wrote, was probably the crayon scribbling I put onto a piece of construction paper, folded and then "read" to my mother. Next came the brother and sister adventure stories. Inspired by the Bobbsey Twins, these works that featured two sets of twins were just a few words on  paper but mostly they were scripts--which I forced my younger cousins to act out. No wonder my cousin Ernie would escape into the woods leaving me with just one set of twins and a spare! They all still talk about it!

Plots took us under the forsythia, on parades into neighboring yards, sent some of them up trees and in the house, under the bed , hiding behind doors, in closest and under desks. In school, I wrote the plays for holiday skits and acted in them.

Short stories and poems appeared in school publications and county-wide publications for the Pittsburgh and Allegheny county schools. But my first published work for pay was a poem--and the teacher who was promoting the submission process didn’t even ask me to submit. She told my friend to send in her work. I asked my friend for the address and I was accepted. I wrote for work, then got a start in journalism and began to act again as a story performer when I had my children. I soon began writing stories and skits for them. After working for many years at non-fiction with some poetry, I began to write short stories again when we moved to North Carolina.

A Bowl of Rice
by Joan Leotta
BuyLink-Amazon

Anna Maria seems to have the habit of selecting men who love her as long as she is doing what they want! Breaking up with one such man to serve her country as a nurse in Vietnam, she finds another much the same over there. Fortunately her friendship with Kathy, another nurse seems to offer the good advice she needs. When Kathy is captured by the Viet Cong while on a mercy mission to a local orphanage, Anna Maria tags along as triage care for the rescuers.  George, who has been wounded by the VietCong draws a map for the rescuers--is it also a map to Anna Maria's heart? A true map by a man who will love her for herself?


About the Author

Since childhood, I've been writing and performing. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, I lived most of my life in the Washington DC suburb of Fairfax, VA and now I live in Calabash, NC with husband Joe. Our daughter, Jennie, still lives in the DC area. My award-winning poetry, short stories, books and articles and photography have been published in many journals, magazines and newspapers. My folklore shows and one-woman shows on historic figures, have been enjoyed by many at venues up and down the east coast. You can learn more about my specific work at www.joanleotta.wordpress.com.

Creativity is an explosion of expression and a way to share my love or interest in something or someone with others, what I see and how I see it.  My best images,  in photography, poetry, or other writing, “speak” my thoughts but leave enough creative space, room for thought and to allow the viewers to interact with the photos. My hope is that from the work of my imagination, the  imaginations of my audience/readers  will flourish.

Favorite subjects are ordinary objects and people—I want to share with others the beauty that I find in the ordinary. Shy faces, rounded sides of an ordinary object, the forgotten nook or cranny of a large place—these are the subjects that draw me.

Creating on paper with pen, with light  through a camera or onstage in performance, my artistic goal is always the same—to show the beauty of the ordinary and lift up my audience—encouraging others through pen and performance.


FB and Blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Top Ten Best Things About Writing Contemporary Romance

12:00 AM 2 Comments


From time to time I showcase other authors and books on my blog. Today I'm happy to have Margo Bond Collins, who's stopping by to share her latest book and give us her Top Ten. 

The Top Ten Best Things About Writing Contemporary Romance
A Guest Post by Margo Bond Collins

This month, my debut contemporary romance novella, Taming the Country Star, is being released by Entangled Publishing. This book is the kick-off for the forthcoming Hometown Heroes series, set in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s also the first romance novel I’ve written, and I had a fabulous time learning to be a romance author after writing paranormal mysteries and urban fantasies!

In no particular order, here’s my list of the top ten things I love about writing in the contemporary romance genre:

1. The happy endings! I love being not only able, but required, to come up with a story that ends with an HEA or an HFN.

2. The dreamy heroes. My Hometown Heroes series (kicking off with the novella Taming the Country Star) is all about men who are both strong and kind. And sexy. Don’t forget sexy.

3. Creating strong heroines. Far too many of the romances I read when I was younger included women who weren’t able to take care of themselves. The women in my romances are strong enough to match the men who love them!

4. The quirky sidekicks. I definitely drew upon the romantic comedy tradition to create the sidekick characters in this book. You’ll be seeing more of them in later books, so it was great fun to make sure they were interesting here, too.

5. Writing about home. All of my other books are set in fairly exotic (to me) locations. In this series, I’m writing about Fort Worth, Texas and the surrounding area—the places I see every day. Although this won’t always be true in my romance novels, I’m currently enjoying the chance to write about the city I love.

6. Writing about things that are really possible. My other books are all paranormal in some way—they include ghosts and vampires and other out-of-this-world characters. I enjoyed taking a break from the occult to write about things that might really happen.

7. Stretching my writing muscles. I love adding to the genres in which I can write! Contemporary romance requires an eye for the real, the possible, the love that surrounds us. Like most writers, I immerse myself in the world of the work in progress. Writing contemporary romance means I can spend my time in a world of love—and that meant changing my writing style a bit for this series.

8. Meeting other romance authors. As a result of  beginning to write contemporary romance, I’ve joined several online groups and become friends with a number of other romance authors. I’ve been impressed by how welcoming the community is and I’m looking forward to meeting a number of my new friends in person!

9. Meeting some of the women who read romance novels. I’ve been astounded and delighted by how many romance-novel readers are willing to reach out and say hello, or that they enjoyed the book, or that they’re looking forward to the series—or all of the above! The community of romance readers has been every bit as welcoming as the community of romance writers.

10. Did I mention the sexy heroes? Yum. . .




Taming the Country Star 

by Margo Bond Collins

He'll do anything to win her heart. She'll do anything to keep him away.

Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.


Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…





About the author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them. She currently writes for Entangled’s Red-Hot Bliss line.

Connect with Margo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy


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