Tag Archives: romance novels

Barb’s Writer Friends: Author Elaine Violette

Today I welcome author Elaine Violette to tell us a little about herself and her latest release, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn. First Elaine answers my five quick questions:

Someone just gave you the best compliment ever.  What was it?  “Elaine, Faith, Hope, and Love shine through in your books.” A dear friend once told me that, to her, I exhibited these qualities and it meant a great deal when I was going through a difficult time. I hope my heroes and heroines reflect these qualities as they overcome their struggles. My Redemption Series carries these themes beginning with THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN.

Name one thing that is guaranteed to make you laugh and one thing that will always make you cry.

This is such an interesting question. I’m not sure what direction to go in so I’ll give two scenarios. Personally, the antics of toddler grandchildren always make me laugh and remembering loved ones I’ve lost always make me cry. In reading novels, I love writing quirky, opinionated, often silly elderly aunts or servants in my books. They make me laugh and I hope they do the same for my readers. A compelling, heart wrenching novel where a character faces tremendous loss or ends with the sweetest happy ever after, will always make me cry.

Uh huh. I read GONE WITH THE WIND numerous times and cried every time Melanie died.

You get a month off from your regular personal life and writing routine to travel.  Where will you go? What will you do? Why did you choose this destination or trip? I would go to Ireland! I love the lilting Irish brogue, the legends, the music, the village charm. I’d roam the country sides, socialize in the pubs, and take a lot of pictures. I think I was meant to be Irish, but I don’t have a drop o’ the blood. I haven’t written a book set in Ireland yet but if I get that month in Ireland, I’ll soak up enough culture to create an Irish heroine who lives in a lovely cottage in Limerick and, perhaps, believes in leprechauns.

I’m on board! Two tickets please! 

You get one do-over from your life so far.  What is it?  Can I get the do-over, knowing what I know now?  I guess that’s the only way I can answer this question. I don’t have any regrets because I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.  If, however, I could use present wisdom, I would have stopped trying to be super mom, Mrs. clean, etc. I’d jump in the mud, play in the puddles, pop water balloons, roll in the grass. Yes, laugh more with my kids, and worry less.

You have no choice but to live your life from now on as one of your characters.  Which character is it and why?  I’d choose Emily Grace in A CONVENIENT PRETENSE.  Emily is beautiful, independent, and strong willed. She loves to read and write poetry. And though she uses her writing as a way to escape marriage, she learns soon enough to put the past behind her and reach out to love. Yes, I really like Emily. Oh, and being a Regency miss, I could wear such beautiful gowns!

Sometimes it IS all about the dress, isn’t it?

And now here’s the scoop on the The Diary of Narcissa Dunn plus a short excerpt: 

Scandalous secrets discovered in an old diary could shatter Olivia’s identity and destroy her family. Will it be its finder or a messenger from the grave who reveals its hidden truths?

The DiarY (3)

 

THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN, released on May 1st for Amazon and coming soon to other outlets.

THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN is a ghostly love story that combines historical fiction with romantic and paranormal elements. Set in New England, pre-Civil War, the story reveals the complex relationship between a father and daughter. When Olivia’s father tries to force his daughter into an unwanted marriage, mysterious events occur, leaving the family on edge.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Pratt, desperately in love with Olivia, discovers an old diary that exposes scandalous, long hidden secrets. He becomes an unwilling messenger, torn between revealing truths that will shatter her identity and destroy her family, or keep the secret and watch her marry another. Either way, he’s bound to lose her unless a mysterious woman intervenes.

Here’s a Brief Excerpt from The Diary of Narcissa Dunn by Elaine Violette:

“William believes it is God’s will we marry. He’s already talked to Father and received his blessing. What was I to say?  Do I even have a voice in the matter?”

Lovena’s large bosom lifted and sagged. She shook her head. “You been spending time with Mr. Tapley, goin’ for walks and carriage rides. Didn’t you plan to go with him to the spring dance the town been plannin’ after Easter?  In his mind, you and him were courtin’ in a respectful way.”

“Most of the time he was conversing with Father.” Olivia’s shoulders slumped. Had she led him to believe she was expecting a proposal? “I admit I was flattered by his attentions at first, but I hadn’t considered our relationship went beyond friendship…until recently.”

“A man’s attentions to a pretty young woman ain’t never a desire for only friendship.”

“I hadn’t meant to lead him to thinking I’d want to marry him.” She covered her face with her hands.

Lovena pushed out a chair and sat beside her. “I think you been enjoyin’ Mr. Tapley’s attentions until the Pratt boy started showin’ up.”

Olivia couldn’t deny it. At first she was flattered by William’s desire to spend time with her but deeper feelings hadn’t grown, despite the time they spent together. Even his kisses were forgettable. It was so different with Ben. Her heart leaped in her chest the minute she saw him arrive to begin his work. Her body tingled into the depth of her womb when they were together.

Lovena wiped away a tear that rolled down Olivia’s cheek. “We can’t control those feelin`s inside, Livie, when the right boy stirs ‘em up.”

“What am I to do?”  she pleaded. “Father will understand, won’t he? He can’t expect me to agree to marry a man I could never love.”

* * * * *

2015-16 from cell 132 Elaine VioletteAbout the Author – Elaine Violette

Elaine writes British and American Historical Romances. Part of the fun of writing Historicals, she says, is doing research into the past and creating characters who live and love in those sometimes glorious and sometimes harrowing times. A veteran English teacher, Elaine holds a BS in English Education from the University of CT and an MS in Educational Leadership from Central CT State University. She presently teaches public speaking part time at a local community college. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and CT Romance Writers (CTRWA). Residing on the Connecticut shoreline with her golfing husband, Drew, she delights in being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Her favorite activities apart from writing are nature walks, kayaking, and playing Mah Jongg with friends. 

Buy Links:

The Diary of Narcissa Dunn: http://amzn.com/B01EBA54T6

Amazon Central for all her books: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books

Barnes & Noble NOOK:  http://bit.ly/26LniMo

 

 Author Links:

Sign up for Elaine’s newsletter on her website:  www.elaineviolette.com

Like her on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/elaineviolette.author

Comment on her blog: http://elainevioletteblogs.blogspot.com/

Visit on Twitter: https://twitter.com/elaine_violette

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Slut Shaming Anyone?

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http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2016/01/guest-rant-slut-shaming-in-romance/

Go to the above link and read the post and the many, many comments because you might find it as fascinating as I did. I didn’t comment because I had too much to say about it. Or thought I did.

This post hit a nerve not because I think I slut shame women in the books I write, but because of my age. At least one of the commenters mentioned the age of the authors and truly, you have to take that into account. Not that, as a reader, you’d necessarily know the age of the author.

We’re all shaped by the era in which we were raised. And the family in which we were raised. The views of an author who grew up in the sixties and seventies in a devout Roman Catholic family will be much different than a child of the eighties and nineties who is now penning romance novels.

I’ve had women older than me say they don’t like the word “slut.” I’d never heard of “slamp” until I’d read the above post, which (I assume) is a cross between a slut and a tramp, although I’m not sure what the difference is. Someone younger will have to explain it to me.

But as my current work in progress is about a former adult film actress, my editor suggested I didn’t need to clean it up so much. I want the only man my heroine has slept with prior to the beginning of the story be her husband on and off screen. A reader suggested I could pull off this story because of Pretty Woman. That story line worked. Remember Julia Roberts’s character saying repeatedly, “I say who, I say where, I say what” or words to that effect? She had control of her sexuality even though she slept with men for money. But…she didn’t sleep with Richard Gere’s lawyer when he wanted her to so she wasn’t a slut.

Maybe the better question is what constitutes a slut? Who decides that? Is it just a perception we have of women with a lot of sexual experience/partners? How do we know how many they’ve had or what they’ve done unless they tell us?

I love to watch reruns of Sex and the City, but sometimes it all just seems so exhausting. Remember the episode when Carrie couldn’t figure out why Aidan hadn’t attempted to sleep with her after they’d been dating for a week? I thought it was rather sad, this attitude of, “Hey, you bought me a cup of coffee, let’s hop into bed.”

What about today’s fifteen-year-old who sleeps with a kid because he bought her a Caramel Frappacino? Is that what sexual intimacy is worth these days? Are teenagers ready to be in charge of their sexuality?

I like a love scene as much as the next reader, but for me it has to have a purpose. Sex for the sake of sex or because a guy is hot or the woman is in the mood and a guy she just met is up for it leaves me cold. If that’s moralistic and old-fashioned, well then, consider the source.

FantasyMan72web
Fantasy Man releases February 2016 from Samhain Publishing

Back in the mid-nineties when I originally conceived and wrote FANTASY MAN (Samhain Publishing 2/2/16) the heroine was a virgin. Thanks to my editor she no longer is. Not that he deflowered her or anything! He merely suggested that the premise needed some work. As in most things editorial, he was right. I may have gone too far in the other direction because I can’t even excerpt the first chapter to post on this blog.  But I wrote it and I stand behind it. So maybe my attitudes on acceptable sexual behavior have changed since then like the rest of society’s. I know one thing. My 85-year-old mother would be just as appalled with FANTASY MAN as she was with the much tamer A MONTH FROM MIAMI.image001_edited

 

Abandonment Issues in Romance Novels

image001_editedI started to think about the books I’ve written and the role parents played in them. Kaylee in A MONTH FROM MIAMI: No father; abandoned by mother; raised by grandmother.

Haylee in A FOREVER KIND OF GUY: No father; unfit mother; raised by grandmother and aunt.ForeverKindOfGuy72sm

FirstTimeAgain,The72lg[1]FINALBaylee in THE FIRST TIME AGAIN: Alcoholic father; mother deceased.

Lesley in WHAT A RICH WOMAN WANTS: Father debilitated by stroke; not close to mother. (But both parents still alive and playing an active role in heroine’s life. Progress…)WhatARichWomanWants72sm

Jolie in NOBODY’S FOOL: A breakthrough! Her parents are alive, still married and not alcoholics. But she doesn’t trust her mother or confide in her, nor does she live near them.NobodysFool72sm

Annie in MISCONCEIVE: Close to father; difficult relationship with woman she thinks is her mother.

Indie pubbed
Indie pubbed
Indie pubbed
Indie pubbed

Amanda in SCATTERED MOMENTS:  Alcoholic father; mother deceased.

Melissa in NOT QUITE HEAVEN: Parents divorced, abandoned her, raised by aunt.nqh-thumbnail

Fantasy Man releases February 2016 from Samhain Publishing
Fantasy Man releases February 2016 from Samhain Publishing

Quinn in FANTASY MAN (2/16):  Mother deceased; raised by father and brother.

Cleo in CLEO’S WEB (11/16): Abandoned by father; raised by struggling mother.

Bree in (ANIMAL 4/17): Abandoned by parents; raised by grandparents.

I’ve mentioned before that in most of my books there’s a child who doesn’t belong and that child is a part of me. But what I also notice (look at the list above) is that there is never a strong mother figure for my heroines. The mothers have died, been unfit or untrustworthy. The fathers are either alcoholics or non-existent. The heroines are looking for love, of course, but also for someone they can trust who’s going to stick by them…forever.

In how many historical romance novels are the heroines orphans? Rich or poor, parents died young, leaving children to fend for themselves. Often there is an unscrupulous relative in charge of the child’s life.

In my career as an amateur psychologist I’ve always been fascinated by patterns. Nothing has fascinated me more than seeing authors’ life themes played out in their fiction.  Show me a happy family with little conflict and I’ll show you a writer with nothing to say. Dysfunction drives everything in fiction, especially internal conflict and motivation.

http://www.barbarameyers.com​

http://amazon.com/author/barbarameyers

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/author/210/barbara-meyers

Barb’s Writer Friends: Rosanna Leo Answers Five Quick Questions

Rosanna and I connected online through Twitter and Facebook and we share the same wonderful editor at Samhain Publishing. Based solely on our social media link I think Rosanna’s one of those people I’d totally click with if I ever met her in person.  So here’s a little about her and her upcoming release, VICE:

Someone just gave you the best compliment ever. What was it?

My husband recently complimented me in a way that was uncharacteristic for him. Usually he says the things men do, compliments such as, “You look nice” or “That shirt looks good.” Straightforward, not too flowery. However, a while back, he told me I have “kind eyes.” I blushed and thanked him and gave him a ton of invisible points, to be cashed in the next time we argue.

You have no choice but to live your life from now on as one of your characters. Which character is it and why?

That’s a tough decision to make, but if I had to choose, I’d pick Kate Callender, the heroine from my upcoming Samhain romance, Vice. I don’t want to give away the ending to that book, but let’s just say Kate and I share a passion and she gets to live it. However, she goes through a lot of trouble to get to that point, so perhaps I’ll pick one of my shape shifter heroines instead and live life as a sexy wild woman.

You can never write another work of fiction. What will you do instead?

Just reading this question makes my heart hurt. If I was told I could never write again, the men in white coats would likely have to cart me away to a padded room. Writing is my therapy and my consolation. But if I couldn’t do it any longer, I’d probably become a professional tour guide and travel all over the world.

You get a month off from your regular personal life and writing routine. You can spend it doing which of the following? Feel free to elaborate.

Reading

Traveling

Cooking

Sleeping

Other (fill in the blank)

Ha! See? I love traveling so I pick that one. If I had a month to do whatever I wanted, hubby and I would head to Great Britain and stay in a cute cottage. From that base, we’d tour the country, meandering over moors and exploring castles. I’m a history nut and studied a lot of British history so I’d love to spend a significant amount of time there.

You get one do-over from your life so far. What is it?

I’m not much of a believer in do-overs because I feel everything happens for a reason. Even still, I’d love to revisit my insecure teen years in order to talk some sense into myself. It would be great to have an opportunity to show that girl life isn’t so bad. I was pretty impressionable in those years and got hurt a lot. I wish I knew then what I knew now. I wish I’d relaxed more.

VICE BY ROSANNA LEO 

Vice_EPUBRelease day- Sept. 22 at

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/

He’s much more than a bad habit.

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protestor hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler.

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control…and losing themselves.

Warning: Contains a sexy, damaged hero who’d really rather just be having sex, and a no-nonsense redhead who makes him want to roll the dice on love just one more time.

Excerpt:

He meandered toward her and forced a smile. “You seem to have had a busy day.”

She whipped around and her eyes widened. He saw her give him a quick once-over. Did she like what she saw? Interesting. There was some perverse satisfaction in that.

“It has been busy.” She narrowed her hazel eyes at him. “Do you work here?”

So, she didn’t recognize him. Good. “Yes, ma’am, I do.” He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, noting how her gaze dropped to his exposed forearms. Her lips parted. Clearly, working out had its merits. “And word inside is you’ve upset the big boss.”

Her nostrils flared as she dragged her gaze away from his arms. “About time.” She put her sign down and picked up her purse. “Do you know Liam Doyle?”

“I’ve heard one or two things about him.”

She stepped closer and her lips did the most amazing thing, curling into a flirtatious semi-smile. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to share them with me? The other guy kept on sucking up about him as if he was wearing a wire.” She paused. “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”

He laughed out loud. He couldn’t help it. This was way too much fun. He sidled close to her, leaned in conspiratorially, and put a hand on her elbow. Her very soft elbow. “I’m not wearing a wire. But are you sure you want to know the truth about Doyle? I don’t know if you can handle it.”

She gawked at him and then at his lips. Her voice came out in a whisper. “Try me.”

He murmured in her ear, taking note of her lilac scent. “Well, I hear at midnight he sprouts black wings and horns. And he’s always searching for innocent maidens to add to his coven.” He bit on his bottom lip, suddenly wishing he was gnawing on hers.

At first, her eyelids did this fluttery thing that made his imported pants spring to life. But then she blinked and began to laugh. “And here I thought I was dealing with a mere businessman. I didn’t realize Doyle was cousins with Lucifer.”

“What’s your name?”

She regarded him from out of the side of her eye, her mouth still bearing the same flirty grin. “What’s yours?”

“Consider me a friend who wants to give you some advice.”

The smile disappeared from her face. “And what would that be?”

“Don’t mess with Liam Doyle. He doesn’t take to it kindly.”

The coquettish shine in her eyes hardened. “Is that a threat?”

“No, sugar. That’s not my style.”

“What exactly do you do here? Are you in security?”

“Never mind that.” He waved his hand. “Look, you’ve had your fun. Why don’t you run along home now?”

She reached for her sign and tucked it under her arm. “I will go where I damn well please. And you can tell your friend Mr. Doyle to expect me tomorrow. Maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to confront me himself.” She turned on her heel and walked down the manicured pathway leading to the taxi bay.

Liam stared at her ass as she walked away. Brave?

Game on, sugar. He’d show her brave.

Preorder links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vice-Rosanna-Leo-ebook/dp/B00Y05TZ02/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/vice-20

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vice-rosanna-leo/1121969539?ean=9781619227194

Author bio:

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com

Author Links:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826852.Rosanna_Leo

Tsu: http://www.tsu.co/RosannaLeo

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rosannaleo/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LeoRosanna

Picky Reader Interview – Confess by Colleen Hoover

confess

Since my blog is called Reading, Writing and Romancing I thought I’d find out what readers are reading and why. This is my second Picky Reader Interview:

Briefly describe yourself:

My name is Danielle and I’m a cake decorator in my mid-(oh god, or is it late!?) twenties, married with 3 fur babies, descended from a long line of book lovers (2nd generation at least).

Have you read a book recently that you loved? Title and author name please if you have it.

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Why did you love this book? 

I love all of this author’s books. I guess they are considered New Adult. They are well written with convincing voice (written in 1st person, this one with alternating narrators) The storylines are dramatic and soap-operaesque, and Ms. Hoover is an expert at dropping just enough hints that you think you know what’s going on but you never do until she ties it all together so completely perfectly at the end.

Where did you get this book?

I have read this author before. I think I found her through friends’ reviews on Goodreads.

Do you have a favorite genre? What genres do you regularly read?

My favorite genre at the moment is romance, but I also like New Adult and Historical Fiction. I used to read Young Adult but I haven’t for a long time, and I’ll ready some general fiction or literary fiction from time to time.

Do you have a favorite author? Who? Why?

I’m not sure I have a favorite author, but authors who I will buy every time they release a new book would include Colleen Hoover, Monica McCarty, Alessandra Torre, Donna Thorland…I guess it’s a long list but these are authors I will even pre-order books from because I know I’ll want to read them and I don’t want to forget to get their new books.

What will make you put down a book you’ve started and refuse to read any more of it? 

Too stupid to live heroines, slow and pointless plots, “dominant” heroes who border on abusive and cruel.

Do you read primarily print versions or digital versions?

Digital; I rarely buy print books any more.

If digital, what is your primary device?

Kindle or Kindle app on my iPhone.

As a general rule do you feel books are reasonably priced?

Yes, especially on Kindle.

Would price stop you from buying a book you really wanted?

If it was a book I really wanted from an author I knew I liked, I don’t think price would stop me. The other day I saw a romance that looked cute on Goodreads, but was $12.99 on Kindle and I deemed that too much. 

Thanks, Danielle. Maybe you’d enjoy Nobody’s Fool, my latest romantic comedy from Samhain Publishing.NobodysFool72sm

 

If I Only Had a Plot

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Lighting a candle is not helping me come up with one for my current wip.

I have several scenes written. I know the characters fairly well, especially the hero. But I’m in that “what is this book about?” stage because I don’t exactly have a plot. I have a blurry idea of a plot that won’t come together in my head or anywhere else. Certainly not on the page.

As part of my novel-writing process, for every book I have a file entitled “notes” usually attached to a character’s name, in this case, the hero, Niko. My earliest entry in “Notes Niko Morales” is 6/28/10 which is probably when I first had the idea that Niko, who appears in A FOREVER KIND OF GUY could have his own story.

Why, you may wonder can’t I come up with a plot? Contemplate this gem of an entry from my notes file:

7/18/10 OR…

She keeps the kid because the child’s mother is actually her half-sister, although maybe she doesn’t know it at the time. Maybe her father had an affair with this woman’s mother (history repeats itself) who was a maid in their house 20 years ago…and his wife found out??? And sent the woman back to whence she came, but the woman was pregnant with his child and he knew it but before he could make other arrangements his wife got rid of her. So then he tracked her down and maybe has been sending her money all these years to help support his child and he’s the one who got her into the States and got her work in his household? But she doesn’t know he’s her father? Or does she? But he encourages the heroine to keep the child. I think maybe he’s had a stroke or somehow been disabled and the heroine is like his voice. Or he can instruct her to do as he wishes but is somehow impaired and needs her to carry out his wishes. So maybe he knows the woman is his child. Maybe he tells the heroine? Or she has suspected and he confirms it? And neither of them knew about the affair between his daughter and her husband.

So…internal conflict, loyalty to her father, hatred of her ex, responsibility to an innocent child who’s actually her father’s grandchild. Where is mother in all of this? Bitchy and oblivious? She can’t know and never wanted let’s just call her Leslie to keep the kid.

So there’s a parallel here. Leslie’s father had an affair with a maid which produced a child and then Leslie’s husband did the same thing. Only she ends up with the child even though she has mixed feelings. Maybe she tries to love the kid, but isn’t quite there. Maybe she’s afraid to be free or to let her guard down. In her experience, men are not to be trusted. Somehow through Niko she will learn to trust and to love and be herself. She’s tightly wound and holds herself inside. A control freak.

I think my mother let me watch way too many soap operas when I was a kid.

Apparently I started thinking about and making notes about this book three years ago.

I hope if I keep writing this story will straighten itself out and all will become clear. That’s what happened with THE FIRST TIME AGAIN. That’s what happened with all of them, I suppose but it’s a frustrating process, which leads me to wonder once again why more writers aren’t bald.

Visit me at http://www.barbarameyers.com where you can check out my next release, THE FIRST TIME AGAIN, from Samhain Publishing.
FirstTimeAgain,The72lg[1]FINAL

Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

I’ll Call You

“I’ll call you” is what “friends” might say right before you never hear from them again. What you may expect is that said friend will call you later the same day, or once they’re free from whatever kept them from talking to you. But “I’ll call you” is open-ended. There’s no pressure. No deadline. No meaning. It could mean I’ll call you back as soon as I leave the doctor’s office, or I’ll call you in ten years. It means nothing. So why do we say it?
Picture 1

We say “I’ll call you” because we don’t want to talk to someone right at that moment because it’s inconvenient or we are simply not in the mood for a conversation with that particular individual. So we offer to call back at a later unspecified time to escape. It might also be the politically correct way of saying, “I don’t care if I to talk to you…ever again.”

Back in the old days, “I’ll call you” meant a call could be expected within a reasonable time frame, say twenty-four hours. But today it means that call could occur any time from ten minutes later to never.

I can’t say I’ve never told a friend “I’ll call you” and then didn’t. But these days I try not to because I know how much it bugs me. Even if I have to write myself a reminder note to return a call at a specific time, I will make that call. I cherish those who say “I’ll call you” and do.

My question for my “I’ll call you” friends is, if you can’t talk to me, why not send my call directly to voice mail? You know I’ve called. Maybe I’ll leave a message. Either way you can avoid fibbing to me by saying “I’ll call you.” Like you I have the benefit/detriment of a cell phone. I can tell if someone called me (back) and when. Or if they didn’t.

I wish my “friends” would stop saying “I’ll call you.” I actually still expect them to follow through in a timely manner. As you can imagine, I am often disappointed.
Picture 2

FirstTimeAgain,The72lg[1]FINAL
THE FIRST TIME AGAIN, Book Three in The Braddock Brotherhood series from Samhain Publishing eBook release May 7, 2013. ISBN # 978-1-61921-532-0

Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

Visit me at http://www.barbarameyers.com

Barbara Meyers, Author – February 2013 Newsletter

Time is flying by if it’s time for another “news” letter. Where did the first month of the year go? As I write this, it is January 22nd which is my mother’s 82nd birthday. I sent her a card and a Valentine cookie and some extra thick socks. I read that socks get lost in the laundry in assisted living/nursing home facilities. Mom always had cold feet. I sent the package to my aunt to take when she visits Mom. I found out if I send things directly to my mother they tend to disappear. Mom is nearly blind from macular degeneration, nearly deaf with or without her hearing aids, and has no idea who anyone is or where she is.
FirstTimeAgain,The72lg[1]FINALWriting news: THE FIRST TIME AGAIN is done! Oh, the editing, the line editing, the back and forth about the cover, the niggling details to changes in the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy). It’s enough to make a writer crazy because I’ve already looked at and edited this manuscript several times before. But here’s the fun part about editing my books: sometimes I get caught up in reading and forget I’m supposed to be editing. I enjoy the stories I write so of course, I hope my readers do as well. I remember reading an interview of Clint Eastwood where he said he likes to make the kind of movies he would want to watch. I write the kind of books I would like to read. Yes, they’re heavy on the romance because I love a happy ending. But there’s enough of “real” life going on, too, because none of us get our happy ending without a few bumps in the road along the way.

Sitting in my e-mail inbox is the contract for “Katy’s Place,” a short story accepted into the 2013 edition of The Novelists, Inc. Anthology.

Meanwhile, I’ve been heavily contemplating a story I started years ago which I take out and peruse and update and think about periodically. The working title is Fantasy Man, but it is turning into a romantic suspense. A manuscript is like a live thing, it moves and shifts and changes direction, sometimes unexpectedly. I’ve agonized over how to make this story work and I think I’ve got it.

Another amusing tidbit, I saw a call for online workshops conducted by published authors so I pitched an idea I’ve had for awhile which is “What NOT to do if you want to be successfully published.” Every time I see writers groups looking for workshop pitches I always think this is what I know best—what NOT to do! This particular site loved the idea, although they may not schedule it until 2014. I’ll keep you posted.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day which made me think about who we honor on national holidays. If you were going to have a holiday named after you, what would it be for? What great, memorable thing have you done with your life?

There is a four-lane road I often travel which intersects another four-lane road a couple of miles from my home. Along the medians of the intersection there are always panhandlers holding signs. “Homeless Need Help” was the one I saw yesterday, held by a guy who looked to be in his early twenties. Most of the other panhandlers I see are older and look beaten up by life. One is a woman with straggly blond hair and weathered skin. One is a shaggy, toothless man. They are on this same corner, walking along the medians, holding their signs day after day after day. Where do they live? In the woods next to the nearby train tracks? Their clothes are not always the same. They don’t appear to be starving. Do they go to a shelter? How did they get to this place in their lives?

I am beyond curious about them but I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to walk up to one of them and ask if I could interview them. There’s a McDonald’s on the corner. Would they talk to me if I bought them a burger and fries? Would they tell me the truth about their circumstances?

My father used to say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I think of this each time I pass that corner. It’s hard to imagine falling so far although I remember saying to my husband a few years ago how hard it was to imagine losing what we had then. It happens more easily than we think it could.

If I give those panhandlers money, what will they spend it on? Meth? Coke? Alcohol? Am I enabling them? There are shelters in the area. Many churches doing good to help the poor and disenfranchised are constantly featured in the newspaper for one good deed or another. Those people on the corner aren’t without resources. Are they there by choice?

These are the questions I want to know but am afraid to ask. Perhaps because it hits a little too close to home. That could be me one day.

Visit me at http://www.barbarameyers.com
Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter @barbmeyers and @ajtillock

Barbara Meyers, Author January 2013 Newsletter

_DSC0063PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS…
Time is an odd concept, isn’t it? We say things like “time heals all wounds” and “in time it will get better,” but I think what we mean is that “time” will simply distance us from thngs we wished hadn’t happened.

2012 was a year of significant change in our household. I spent a good part of the last half of 2011 praying and hoping for a way to keep the house we’d built and lived in since 1995. Faced with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen, I spent most of 2012 praying for it to sell. Do you ever wonder if God answers prayer? I believe He does…in His own time. In the case of our house sale it took almost a year. A year of lowering the price, finding the right buyer, negotiating, potential deals falling through, but it happened!

Now I wonder about the space/time continuum, how you can pick up your life and relocate it so easily. After nearly thirty years on one place, you can land somewhere else and it’s almost like all that previous time didn’t exist. You are where you are. This is your reality, your present moment. The past is the past and for me at least, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

There’s also this sense that as we age time moves faster. I’ve told numerous people why this is so, something I read years ago in Marilyn vos Savant’s column in PARADE magazine. When you’re five years old, one year is 20% of your life. When you’re fifty years old, one year is 2% of your life. The days and weeks fly by. Taking books out of the library for the initial two weeks is nothing to me. I can’t believe they’re overdue before I’ve read them and I can’t believe I forgot to renew them in time.

My life is measured out in day job work shifts, days off when I write. Big events, especially the ones when I get to see my kids or spend time with my friends. Little things bring me joy.

2013’s going to be great!

WRITING NEWS…
ForeverKindOfGuy72smAs I compose this a few days before Christmas, I have editing to do on THE FIRST TIME AGAIN. eBook publication date is May 2013. If you haven’t heard enough about this book, it is the third in The Braddock Brotherhood series of contemporary romance novels published by Samhain Publishing. I love my determined-to-change-his-ways ex-pro quarterback hero, Trey, who made his first appearance in A FOREVER KIND OF GUY.

My short story, Katy’s Place, has been accepted into the 2013 Novelists, Inc., anthology. I don’t usually write short stories, but as a writer, you should be able to write anything, right? I decided to challenge myself and pitch this idea and I got the green light. I am not certain when the anthology will be available, but I’ll include that information in a future newsletter.

I submitted another poem entitled “My Husband the Car” to the Lakeland Ledger. This newspaper seems to (eventually) publish whatever it receives so I’ll let you know when it appears.

2013 PLANS…
finalGRcoverMeanwhile, I have three or four other projects I jump back and forth with:
NOBODY’S FOOL, FANTASY MAN, RICH WOMAN (#4 in The Braddock Brotherhood series) and COOL BEANS (#2 in the Grinding Reality series written under my pen name, AJ Tillock). Apparently, this keeps me from getting bored! I have always done this and accept it as part of my writing process. I get stuck and start something new. Or I get stuck and go back to of one my early unfinished manuscripts to see what I can do with it after I’ve had some distance from it.

Why am I such a slow writer? The idea is always there. I start writing without a plan, a plot, a goal, motivation or conflict. Case in point, two years ago I wrote 160 pages of THE FIRST TIME AGAIN, mostly the love scenes and thought, yes, but what is this book about? What do these characters want? Who are they? You see how long it took me to figure it out. Lest you think that was the end of it, it was not. My editor suggested two rounds of editing before offering a contract. I may be slow, but I never give up.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I did make a list of things I want to accomplish in the coming year. I wish you all a happy and successful 2013.

Come visit me at http://www.barbarameyers.com

Follow my infrequent posts on Twitter at @barbmeyers or ajtillock or both!

November 2012 Newsletter from Author Barbara Meyers

This is the first of many newsletters, I hope, although I can’t promise one every month.  I’m not sure I’d have enough “news” to bother with every month!

My web site has been redesigned.  Check it out at www.barbarameyers.com

I think everything works, including the buy links for my books.  We are still tweaking it, however, so if you have problems, contact me at barb@barbmeyers.com.

I also re-did my Facebook author page.  Another work in progress.  I hope you “like” it. Have I mentioned how inept I am at all things techie and internet related?  Please bear with me.

The last couple of months have been super busy because I moved.  After thirty years in Southwest Florida I relocated to Central Florida.  I lived in this area of Florida when my family moved here from Idaho when I was nineteen.  (I swore when I left Idaho if I ever saw snow again it would be too soon.  I haven’t seen it since and I do not miss it.) 

Many have asked why we moved.  The simplest answer is “the economy.”

Not only did we move, we downsized.  For months I’d lie awake at night wondering how I’d manage this.  It seemed overwhelming to me, but like most things we worry about it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I anticipated.  I gave away things I didn’t need, didn’t have room for or no longer had a use for.  I did a “first wave” garage sale and then a “final wave” sale a few months later.  Even after the move I had more to donate.  After what seemed like a lifetime of acquiring “stuff” I discovered how little most of it meant to me.  I cherish my family and my dear friends.  I am blessed to have them.  The stuff?  It won’t hug you or listen when you need to vent.

For the past nine years I’ve worked for a worldwide coffee chain.  I wear a green apron and “supervise” a group of mostly 20-somethings.  I tell myself I stay with this company because of the great benefits (i.e. health insurance) but I realized the other day this job also supports my writing career.  I’m not rich from writing romance novels.  Yet. 

Then again, I was inspired to write my GRINDING REALITY series because of my observances in this environment.  Book One: The Forbidden Bean is available in both digital and print versions.  I am currently working on Book Two: Cool Beans.  This series is mixed genre, sort of a screwball fantasy concept that would be rated PG-13 or maybe even G if it was a movie.  No profanity, no sex, no graphic violence.  Some adult situations.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written or read and probably unlike anything you’ve ever read.  This series is written under the pen name AJ Tillock, so as not to confuse readers with my romance-writing Barbara Meyers persona.

My third book in The Braddock Brotherhood series entitled THE FIRST TIME AGAIN, is scheduled for digital release in May 2013.  The first two, A MONTH FROM MIAMI and A FOREVER KIND OF GUY are both available in digital and print.

Independently published NOT QUITE HEAVEN and SCATTERED MOMENTS are both available as eBooks.  The print versions are coming soon.

You can follow my periodic comments on Twitter @barbmeyers or @ajtillock (or both).  I do try, but I can rarely think of anything to say that seems like it’d be worth posting.  Almost all of my AJ Tillock Twitter posts are quotes from The Forbidden Bean.

Visit me at www.barbarameyers.com