Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday's Book - Taurus - Scorpio Connection #MFRWauthor #medicalromance

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Features books by Karen Wiesner #MFRWauthor

My newest releases include:

TIL SUMMER COMES AROUND, Book 5, Adventures in Amethyst Series
Contemporary Romance Novel
When Quinn Rutledge and Summer Rosales met on a warm summer night on the shores of beautiful Lake Amethyst, they were both young, all was right in the world, and the only thing on their agenda was romance—one that neither of them wanted to end with the summer and closing of resort town Amethyst’s tourist season. Promises and plans were made. Promises were broken…
Find out more, read an excerpt and buy:

MIDNIGHT ANGEL, Book 2, Angelfire II Quartet
Contemporary Romance
Roxanne Hart has endured a jet-set life as a model with everything, but she’s never been satisfied by it. The love of her life was like a midnight angel—there and then gone, reality within a dream. Learning she has cancer, Rox’s determined to do all the things she’s always wanted to without regret…like letting herself love her midnight angel, even with the more-than-a-little-likely chance she’ll lose everything.
Find out more, read an excerpt and buy:

CLUMSY GIRL’S GUIDE TO FALLING IN LOVE, Book 1 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series reissue
Inspirational Contemporary Romance/Chick-lit
Return to the quaint little town of Peaceful, Wisconsin, from Karen Wiesner’s award-winning Family Heirlooms Series, where you first met and fell in love with these colorful, lovable friends. Now you can read the stories of those secondary characters in an all-new spin-off series. Nuggets of faith can be passed down as heirlooms from friend to friend, heart to heart, soul-mate to soul-mate.
They were two abnormal peas in an even stranger pod…
Zoë Rossdale is the clumsy girl who always has her elbows, feet, eyes, and brass-red hair going in the wrong directions. After a lifetime of being evaluated critically—and found wanting—she’s trying to change…until she literally runs into the only man she’s ever gone loopy over. Curt Bertoletti has spent years trying to forget the seriously messed-up Zoë. Even as he vows that he won’t stray again, he can’t help remembering how well they fit together. For better or worse, Zoë will always be Zoë—the clumsy girl with her dress tucked into her pantyhose, the girl whose idea of falling in love is to stand at the edge of the precipice, throw out her arms and confidently jump into a free-fall. Can they both live with that fact? Forever?
Find out more, read an excerpt and buy:

FIRST COMES LOVE, Book 4 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series
Inspirational Romance
At the age of fifteen, Chad Feldmann and Winnie McBride made an impulsive choice that led to pregnancy. Now, years later, they have a precious little girl, they’ve both graduated high school, and they’re married. But all is not well in paradise. They’ve done everything backwards— the baby carriage, then marriage—but, regardless of all the wrongs committed, first came love…
Find out more, read an excerpt and buy:

PERFECT REFLECTION, Book 5 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series
Inspirational Romance
Elaina Houston has been taught to look, act and speak perfectly. When she couldn’t live up to the impossible expectations, she threw herself away. Now she has a second chance. Ethan Lynwood, her best friend and maybe more, seems to accept her just the way she is even when she’s a mess…maybe especially when she is. Ethan found out the hard way that God is in control and we all need humility, humanity, and a helping hand. And sometimes the most accurate reflection comes from accepting that we’re not perfect but we’re loved unconditionally anyway. 
Find out more, read an excerpt and buy:

WOODCUTTER'S GRIM SERIES, Volume I and Volume II (Classic Tales of Horror Retold) reissues
Romantic Horror/Paranormal Romance Novellas
Volume I includes Books 1-3 and The Final Chapter sold separately as well as in a collection including Papa, Blood of Amethyst, Dancing to the Grave, and The Amethyst Tower).
Volume II includes Books 4-7 sold separately as well as in a collection) including Moonlight Becomes You, Bewitched, One Night of Eternity, and Beauty is the Beast.
For the ten generations since the evil first came to Woodcutter's Grim, the Guardians have sworn an oath to protect the town from the childhood horrors that lurk in the black woods. Without them, the town would be defenseless...and the terrors would escape to the world at large.
Volume II is a four-book miniseries within the Woodcutter’s Grim Series, dealing with the curse on the Shaussegeny family.
Find out more, read an excerpt and buy:






Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday -- Karen Wiesner is Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 109 titles published in the past 17 years, which have been nominated/won 131 awards, and has 38 more releases contracted for spanning many genres and formats. Karen’s books cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles such as her bestseller, First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel {A Writer’s Guide to Cohesive Story Building} (out of print; reissue available now in paperback and electronic formats under the title Cohesive Story Building). Her third offering from Writer’s Digest Books is Writing the Fiction Series: The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas, available now. Her previous writing reference titles focused on non-subsidy, royalty-paying electronic publishing, author promotion, and setting up a promotional group like her own, the award-winning Jewels of the Quill, which she founded in 2003 and disbanded in 2014. For more information about Karen’s fiction and series, consult her official companion guide The World of Author Karen Wiesner: A Compendium of Fiction. Visit her website at http://www.karenwiesner.com. Check out Karen's author page at Facebook, where you can like, friend and follow her: http://www.facebook.com/KarenWiesnerAuthor. If you would like to receive Karen’s free e-mail newsletter, Karen’s Quill, and become eligible to win her monthly book giveaways, send a blank e-mail to KarensQuill-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Day 1 

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

I write women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense, paranormal, futuristic, gothic, inspirational, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. I also write children’s books, poetry, and writing reference titles. I guess in some ways my reading choices affect my writing, since I have yet to write anything in the historical or western genres. I don't read a lot in those genres either. I haven't written a fantasy novel (though I ventured into futuristic). Haven't written a Regency or science fiction, though I do read a lot of all of these. My favorite genre to read is horror but there is so little truly good horror reading these days. I can't get enough of it so I'd like to write more of that. I never say never though--I might someday write in any genre I haven't thus far written in if a really good story idea came to me.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorites to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

I love heroes and heroines equally--creating these characters are my favorite part of being a writer. Villains…not so much. Funny you ask this lately because I've been reading a certain series I'm not going to mention by name here, and the villains are actual creatures from various locations--some anomalies of this planet, others not. The author keeps getting into the heads of these creatures, the villains in the stories, and I just think it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. It's like getting into the head a dog in a story. It never works, and what can this character think about beyond the mission as the villain? Kill, destroy. It doesn't work at all. Poor writing comes from this. I've also seen *human* villains, for the most part, done so poorly, they're not worth giving POV scenes to. I avoid writing from the villain's POV unless the story absolutely wouldn't work without it. I'm too aware that if it's not done perfectly, it's not done well, and therefore is a weak spot in the story.

4. Heroes and heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

Every book, this is different. I get ideas in so many ways. I've dreamed up characters and go on to put stories around them. I've dreamed up situations and I craft the characters to go around those. I do like to have physical pictures of hero and heroine before I start writing because it allows me to write about the characters is more realistic, fleshed-out ways. While I might include a trait here and there from a real or even another fictional person, the whole package is always unique. One of the most frequent genres I write in is romance. I have to say that romance writers have to delve into unrealistic areas in order to create heroes that women will love. It's just the way it is. Very few, if any men, are the knights in shining armor that women portray them as in romance novels. A truly realistic hero is someone most women would avoid reading because that's what they get in their every lives, lol. They read romance novels to believe it can be otherwise. We romanticize heroes to make them the man every woman will love. That sounds bad and I'm not saying men are bad in any way, but most are not fit for romance novels *as are*. To be fair, I doubt many women in the real world would make good romance heroines either--we romanticize most characters in romance novels so they can be honorable role models to us. Too much reality can kill fiction.

In my latest release, FIRST COMES LOVE, Book 4 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series, I did actually create a male character that is as close to realistic as I've ever made a hero in one of my novels. Chad is as "unvarnished" as I could make him in a romance novel and still have a satisfying story. I admit, I enjoyed writing his character and crafting a heroine who could live with him and all his traditionally unheroic traits.

5. What is your latest release? Who are the hero, heroine and or the villain?

FIRST COMES LOVE: Chad Feldmann and Winnie McBride were secondary characters in GLASS ANGELS, Book 4 of the Family Heirlooms Series--the Friendship Heirlooms Series is a spinoff of that one. GLASS ANGELS left off with this Christian teenage couple pregnant when they’re still children themselves. FIRST COMES LOVE starts three years later, when they’ve graduated high school with a baby they’ve been switching off caring for in-between getting their diplomas and working part-time to save for their wedding and a life together. I actually consider Chad both hero and villain in this story because most of the problems stem from his selfishness. Somehow Chad has grown up and not only accepted the situation, but he’s taken charge in ways Winnie doesn’t expect…and resents. This isn’t an easy scenario, and I really wanted to show an unclichéd complexity of emotions and reactions stemming from a tough situation. Writing the first draft was incredibly intense. I was so involved with all the characters, I had a hard time leaving them every day and their emotions became mine. The first draft felt like a final draft for that reason.

6. What are you working on now?

I always have a lot of projects going in different stages of the process, including researching/outlining, writing the first draft, revising, editing and polishing, final read-through before editor revisions.  During the first half of this year, I've been switching between the following projects:
PRETTY FLY, Book 5 of the Falcon's Bend Series (coming September 2015)
CLUMSY GIRL'S GUIDE TO HAVING A BABY, Book 5 of the Friendship Heirlooms Series (coming November 2015)
SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT, Book 2 of the Angelfire II Quartet (coming February 2016)
ROSE AND THORN, Book 5 of the Adventures in Amethyst Series (coming April 2016)
CROOKED HOUSE, Book 3 of the Bloodmoon Cove Spirits Series (coming August 2016)

Interested in what else I’m working on? Visit
http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/WIP.html to view my annual WIP, along with information on new and/or unsold projects.  Look for my WIP Moments on my Facebook author page, where I post about what I'm working on and the progress I'm making with each stage of my projects: http://www.facebook.com/KarenWiesnerAuthor


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thursday's Villain - Petan from Lines of Fyre by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #fantasyromance


Lines of Fire (The Guild House - Defenders Hall)  


The older woman’s eyes opened. “A bondmate’s duty is to see to her mate’s comfort. You will understand once you wear Petan’s bracelet.”

“I won’t.” Kalia drew a deep breath. She wouldn’t tell her mother how she planned to flee rather than be bonded to him.

“You must. When Robec is named Swordmaster he will need a strong Right Hand. Your father believes Petan will be the one.”

Kalia rose. “I won’t argue with you today.” She walked to the door. ‘Rest and regain your strength. I’ll send someone with broth, citren and kafa.” How long would the recovery take this time? After her mother’s last visit to her mate, a week had passed before her mother’s lines had brightened.

Her hands tightened into fists. Tomorrow was the day of choosing. On the day when the returning patrols celebrated Ingathering, her father would allow Petan to name her as his bondmate. If she must duel, she would. Better to die beneath the blade than be milked of her essence by a man she believed was evil.

Kalia left the area where the women who either weren’t bonded or didn’t live with their bondmates stayed. She raced along the corridors until she reached her father’s office. She tapped on the door and wished for once he would listen. Could she convince the Swordmaster that a bonding with Petan would mean her death? Did her father care?

Petan was a leech. Just the other day his touch on her arm had drained some of her lines of fire. She shuddered. Just like her father changed her mother’s lines.

An image of the pale wiggling creatures used by the Healers to clean wounds made her stomach lurch. Rather than essence, the creatures removed dead tissue from wounds.

Thankfully she had pulled free from Petan before he had stolen more than she could spare. During her mother’s days with the Swordmaster, her father stopped before depletion occurred. Petan wouldn’t. He was greedy. The deaths of his former bondmates told her the truth of his nature.
She knocked louder.

When her father called, Kalia stepped inside and paused before the desk. “I have something to say.”
The Swordmaster’s mouth curved into a smile. His eyes remained cold as bits of green glass. “I’m sure you’ve heard what will happen tomorrow. Secrets are few in the Hall. As you suspect, Petan will claim you as his mate.”

Kalia stared at her father. She dare not cave to his demands. “I heard but I didn’t believe you would do this to me. I will refuse.” A shudder shook her body. She forced the words past her tight throat muscles a second time. “I will refuse.”

He rose and pressed his hands against the mahogany desk top. “You will do as I command. You are my daughter. Your bondmate will stand as your brothers’ Right Hand when he takes my place as leader.”

Kalia quieted her desire to attack her father. She needed to remain calm. “Find another mate for Petan. He has killed his last two mates. Will you see me become the third?”

With a quickness she hadn’t expected he moved around the desk. “Those foolish young women refused to give him what he needs. You are stronger and were bred to do this, just as your mother was.”

So he knew of Petan’s tainted lines. Kalia drew a deep breath. Her fisted hands hung at her sides. “I will refuse. That is my right. I’ve read the archived records. From the first days when our people came to this land, mates were to be freely chosen. She backed toward the door.

“You will obey.” He stalked toward her.

“I would rather die by the sword.”

She didn’t expect his reaction. Like a striking snake his hand lashed out. The blow landed on her face hard enough to send her back until she collided with the door.


“Do not defy me.” He fisted his hands. “I will beat you senseless but you will accept Petan. Go to your chamber and prepare for tomorrow. Do you understand?”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wedensday's Writer's Tip - Third Person Viewpoint #MFRWauthor #amwriting


There are a number of ways to use third person in viewpoint. The first is using the protagonist, or the main character. The advantage here is the intimacy, close to the I viewpoint but you lose the I. Disadvantages - mainly that the reader will only know what this character knows. This can leave a stumbling point or two since the reader can't know what other characters are thinking or actions that may be important that happen off stage.

Third person from a supporting character viewpoint can present problems particularly if they are of the same sex. There is the he or she problem. Is the writer referring to the major character or himself. This can also on occasion present a problem when using the protagonist as the viewpoint character.

Third person from a minor character viewpoint gives a different picture and can be rather detached, This character can view not only the protagonist but also the other characters in the story. This can break boredom.

Third person shifting viewpoints is often used and can be very effective. One thing here to remember is to firmly establish each character in the reader's mind. The switch should be clear. Some writers use this and tend to do what is head-hopping and this can confuse the writer. If you're going to shift within a scene make the break complete so the reader knows who. One or two sentences in another viewpoint can make the reader wonder what it going on. I've found there are ways to show how a character who isn't the viewpoint character in a scene reacts by expression, especially facial and also in dialogue.

Right now I'm writing a story where there are four viewpoint characters, hero, heroine, villain and dragon. I try to do a little backtracking when doing this to show reactions through a characters eyes but I do separate them. This story is a fantasy romance. When doing straight romance I generally stick to hero and heroine except when the story has a great element of suspense.

The one thing to remember is to choose first or third person for viewpoint using what you are familiar with and also what won't turn the reader off.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - The Seeds of the story #MFRWauthor #Amwriting


Suddenly the idea appears. This is the seed for a story. So what do you do. Some people plunge right in writing thousands of words and then they're stuck. The idea has run out of steam. So what do others do when there is a seed for a story.

Not sure about what others do but I take that idea and plant is deeply in my unconscious mind and allow it to germinate. Sometimes. Other times I play around with the idea adding little bits of newness to the idea. Then I bury it again and allow the idea to germinate.

Ideas are always inspiring but not all ideas will ever bear fruit. Sometimes that idea is limited in its scope. Sometimes that idea needs a catalyst to make it germinate. I'm working on an idea that came to me when I was writing the first few books in a small series. Books one and two were finished and I was sure I knew the idea for the third book had come. But it didn't. The seed never sprouted then. So I put it with all those other seeds that seemed to go nowhere. Until several weeks ago.

The seed sprouted and sent tendrils in many directions. I sat and followed those tendrils and suddenly I had a sort of outline for the story. At least I thought I did. Then the story stalled. I put it away for almost a week. Some of the tendrils had died leaving others to flourish. This time the plan for the story emerged from beginning to end.

The moral of this is that most story ideas need time to germinate. Forcing them seldom works. So bury them for a bit longer and go onto another idea. When the seed is ready to sprout, you'll know.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #amwriting #romance


Meander 1 - Finding time. These days I'm having to pull time out of the air. About five hours of my day is taken up with things other than writing. Then my study was moved that means I have to traipse up and down stairs about ten times a day. The TV is also in my study now. Thant can be a time waster but I've learned to mute the beast during my favorite shows and write during those times. Usually I stop writing at nine PM. Not these days since I need the time.

Meader 2 - Promoting I am not doing. But books seem to be selling slowly and surely. The blog is taking off. This month there have been almost my personal high in views. Not in comments but few people comment. I belong to a blog run by one of my publishers. Every day when I go on to read, I try to make a comment. Try to comment on others that I read but my granddaughter's name comes up on them. Not sure how to get it off but she has commented on a few other blogs.

Meander 3 - The latest of my books is now in the mode where it has to rest for a short amount of time. I will do the CAF sheet for it soon. I've started on a new one and hopefully the rest will go as good as the first chapter seems to be going.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday's Blurb - Five-Alarm Fudge by Christine DeSmet #MFRWauthor #mystery

Five-Alarm Fudge

By Christine DeSmet, published by Penguin Random House, April 2015


The national-bestselling Fudge Shop Mystery Series continues with Ava Oosterling and her Grandpa Gil getting mixed up in a fun fudge felony—this time involving romance, royal relatives, and revenge. And of course more yummy, original recipes.

In this installment, a Belgian prince asks Ava to unearth a priceless, 1800s divinity fudge recipe. A legend says the recipe was hidden by a famous nun who was an immigrant to Door County, Wisconsin, and whose life was miraculously spared during the time of the Great Fire that swept the area. The handsome prince’s request fans the flames of foul play, with murder possibly marring Ava’s Cinderella dreams.

This contemporary fairy tale brings to life real history and places from Door County, Wisconsin.


At bookstores everywhere, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday - Christine De Smet is talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #mysteries



Interview with author Christine DeSmet, The Fudge Shop Mystery Series


1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
           
            I create stories in many forms or fields, often see-sawing among three or four projects. While my Fudge Shop Mystery series is my latest big project, I’m also working on a TV series proposal, short scripts, another mystery book series, and I’m marketing a true-story screenplay that won an award several years ago.

The stories themselves gallop across genres, including romance, mystery, historical action, and contemporary women’s fiction.

            My reading choices vary. I try to read many genres so I’m aware of the broad marketplace. I just finished a delightful middle-grade novel with a Hispanic boy protagonist by Bibi Belford called Crushed and Canned, and Michael Perry’s first adult novel, The Jesus Cow. I’m currently reading Lucy Sanna’s new historical women’s fiction novel set in Door County, The Cherry Harvest, as well as the new suspense novel, Weepers, by one of my past adult students, Nicholas Chiarkas.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

            I love my heroines because they seem to present complications to me all the time. Ava Oosterling in the Fudge Shop series is a woman who’s made big mistakes in her past and she’s still making mistakes, often with plenty of humor involved. She came easily for me at the start because I like writing humor. She also loves her family, especially Grandpa Gil. Her love of her Grandpa makes her a joy to write.

            Next favorite are the villains and murder suspects. I like figuring out what tips a person over into “evil” status. Evil is somehow comforting to a villain. I find that fascinating.

3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

            The heroes in my stories walk up to me in my imagination. I’ve never cut pictures from magazines or used photos of models or movie stars.

The heroes usually come after the plot and story idea, but it always feels like they’re lurking in the background just waiting for me to hurry up and get them on stage in the story. Dillon Rivers was so eager to get into the Fudge Shop series that I actually had to hold him back.

4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

            My heroines come from my imagination. I don’t use pictures or photos to conjure them. I woke up at 5 a.m. one day three years ago, for example, and “just knew” who Ava Oosterling was. I heard her voice and the cadence in it. I saw her movements in the fudge shop. She moves very differently from me—a lot more agile, for sure. This creative conjuring is what gives me joy about writing.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

            In cozy mysteries, the antagonist can sometimes be the love interest and also a foil who is causing the protagonist/heroine lots of trouble. Because I set up Ava Oosterling as a woman who makes mistakes and needs to learn why she makes them, I needed to find somebody to bug her about that and force her to change. Thus Mercy Fogg entered my story.

Mercy Fogg is a no-nonsense school bus driver and the driver of the county snowplow and road grader. She’s literally “down to earth.” Ava needs that type of foil to keep her from being too silly. Mercy Fogg’s pestering of Ava makes Ava work harder to be successful.

            As for the villain or murderer, sometimes I wait for several good candidates to show up in my manuscript. In my latest novel, Five-Alarm Fudge, I didn’t know who did it until almost halfway into the book. My characters were arguing with me as to which one got the role of murderer. On the other hand, I knew before writing First-Degree Fudge who did the deed. 

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

            My latest is the April 2015 release, Five-Alarm Fudge, part of the Fudge Shop Mystery series from Penguin Random House.

When a visiting European prince asks Ava Oosterling to unearth a priceless, 1800s divinity fudge recipe, the request fans the flames of foul play, with murder marring her Cinderella dreams.

            Ava is the heroine. With her Grandpa Gil, they run Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer on the harbor in a fictional village set in the real Door County, Wisconsin, which is known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest.

            Dillon Rivers is back as her love interest and this time he’s changing in big ways. Dillon is refurbishing the Blue Heron Inn and trying to change his bad-boy ways.

I can’t reveal the villain, but there are plenty of foils for Ava. Those include Mercy Fogg—the former village president now driving buses and road graders for a living, and the collection of church ladies who insist on helping Ava run her fudge shop, to Ava’s despair at times.

A true hero in Five-Alarm Fudge is Grandpa Gil. He steps forward to save Grandma Sophie from some nasty rumors and a family secret which threatens to cause much grief and embarrassment. The love Grandpa has for his family is of true heroic proportions.

7. What are you working on now?

            I’m working on a new cozy mystery series set in Wisconsin, and a TV series proposal about a true-story female missionary in California in the early 1900s.

I also teach fiction for University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, including online and in person at our events including the annual June “Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Retreat,” the UW fall weekend for novelists, and the spring Writers’ Institute conference. I stay very busy helping other writers get their start and find success in publishing. 

8. How can people find you?

            Website:  www.christinedesmet.com and also at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/writing

            Email:  cdesmet@dcs.wisc.edu

            I’m also on Facebook.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday - Just released - The Gemini - Sagittarius Connection #MFRWauthor #medical romance