Cover Reveal

Lyrical Press has released the cover for my second Jazzi Zanders mystery.  It’s due out April 23, 2019, but I’m always excited to see what kind of a cover they’ve created for me.  And this time, I loved it that they featured Cocoa, the chocolate Lab, in a similar pose as George, Ansel’s pug, in book one.  Only in this book, Cocoa’s digging up a fairly fresh corpse(:  That puts a real downer on the fixer-upper project Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel are working on.  Here’s the cover.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

TheBodyInTheWetlands_hires

High summer in River Bluffs, Indiana, is always sweltering and sweet. But the heat is really on when a decidedly dead body turns up in the neighborhood.

When established house flippers Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod donate a week’s worth of remodeling work to Jazzi’s sister Olivia, they’re expecting nothing more than back-breaking roofing work and cold beers at the end of each long, hot day. With Jazzi’s live-in boyfriend and partner Ansel on the team, it promises to be a quick break before starting their next big project—until Leo, an elderly neighbor of Olivia’s, unexpectedly goes missing . . .

When the friendly senior’s dog tugs Jazzi and the guys toward the wetlands beyond Olivia’s neighborhood, they stumble across a decomposing corpse—and a lot of questions. With Jazzi’s pal Detective Gaff along to investigate, Jazzi finds her hands full of a whole new mystery instead of the usual hammer and nails. And this time it will take some sophisticated sleuthing to track down the culprit of the deadly crime—before the killer turns on her next . . .

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/37414

I hope all of you have lots of good things to read, can sneak in a little writing, and enjoy a merry Christmas and happy holidays!

 

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Book Cover Reveal

I’m so lucky, because I get to share in the joy of Mae Clair’s book cover reveal.  END OF DAY is the second book in her Hode’s Hill series.  I read the first book, CUSP OF NIGHT, and loved it.  The blurb for this one sounds even eerier.  Here’s the cover:

EndofDay_Mae Clair's cover reveal Sept. 10

Awesome, isn’t it?  And here’s the blurb:

Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Supernatural Thriller
Publisher:  Kensington Publishing • Lyrical Underground Imprint

BLURB:
The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

End of Day can be read as a stand alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.

End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up  
Website & Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media

Bio Box for Mae Clair--Sept. 10

 

 

 

Too many book boyfriends

I think Julia Donner writes the best male characters ever!  I like ALL of her lead characters, but when I read her Regency, THE HEIRESS AND THE SPY–if I wasn’t happily married–I’d have wanted me a clone of Peregrine Asterly.  But doggone it if she didn’t just keep writing more and more wonderful men.  I didn’t see how she could ever outdo herself until I read her historical Western, AVENUE TO HEAVEN, with Jake Williams.  Drool worthy.  Her newest Regency–the 11th in the Friendship Series–is available for pre-sale now and comes out May 1st.  It has all of her usual–wonderful characters, a luscious hero, and wry humor.  So I invited her to be a guest on my blog today for a Q&A  session.  I hope you enjoy it and welcome her.

Q & A for Julia Donner, A Laird’s Promise:

  1. I never thought about being a writer until I had my two daughters and, as a surprise, my husband signed me up for a class once a week, WRITING FOR FUN AND PROFIT. He wanted me to have some fun, and he picked the perfect thing.  I fell in love with writing.  You’ve always loved to write, though, haven’t you?  When did you get started?  And what were some of the first things you wrote?

Julia: I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing. Did the typical angst poetry thing during the teens then got serious about the craft when I had to give up theater. The first thing published was an article, not my forte, but it was romantic and dramatic, about the Monterey Cypress.

  1. You grew up in Galena, IL, didn’t you? Did you develop your love of history there?  What are some of your favorite periods of history?  If you could have dinner with one historical character, who would it be?

Julia: Aunt Marie, curator of her own museum, fostered it, made history come alive. I love all history and particularly drawn to 1800’s, ancient Roman & Egyptian and especially applying those two eras to Biblical understanding. Then there’s the whole archeology aspect. I’d love a chat with Jane Austen.

  1. Your eleven Regency books are part of the Friendship series. Some writers use a setting to connect their books.  Lord and Lady Asterly help to connect yours.  I was taken by Lord Asterly before I’d finished the first chapters in THE HEIRESS AND THE SPY, and happily, he and his Elizabeth play different parts in most of your novels.  Can you explain how that works?  How does friendship hold this series together?  How are the men in your novels unusual for their time period?

Julia: Asterly has a mysterious air, and Elizabeth is crafty, a bit sly. They have insights and talents as insiders in the political/social climate and offer aid to friends. In every book of the series, an aspect of friendship is realized, sometimes discovered and then strengthened. The series came into being to honor my friends. They’ve always been there when I needed them. It’s one of life’s most precious gifts.

  1. A LAIRD’S PROMISE takes place in Scotland, for the most part. Why did you choose that for your setting?

Julia: The fascination with Scotland became visceral when I first visited. There is something about the country and people that is very like US Americans. But it’s more than that. Something almost spiritual. The setting was chosen because it fit the characters and the plot. Not a very interesting answer, but that’s why.

5.The book before this was a departure from the Regencies.  AVENUE TO HEAVEN was the first book in your new Westward Bound series.  It’s historical, too, but tells of the American west.  Did you have to do a lot of research to write about a new setting and time period?  And what prompted you to write it?

Julia: Working in my aunt’s museum was like living in that time period. A great deal of research was needed about Native American cultures, which tribe would work with the story, its warfare history and cultural aspects. So many inaccuracies about Native Americans thrive to this day that it was important to get it right. I was fortunate to be able to speak with a Lakota tribal historian and find John Stands in Timber’s book.

I was prompted to write this story for reasons too personal to list. It’s the first book I’d attempted and put away for many years after endless revisions. Readers of the rough drafts encouraged it back to life.

  1. In your blog, you’ve said that you need new challenges to keep your writing fresh, and that’s why you write other genres under M. L. Rigdon. Do you have more Regencies and historical fiction to share with us?  Please, say yes.

Julia: The next book in the regency series is To Jilt a Corinthian, released this summer.

Every book has its own atmosphere and some are a bit darker or with aspects of mystery. For a change-up, I like to make the following one brighter with more humor. Here is a partial blurb for Corinthian:

Beatrice Allardyce is too busy for something as inconsequential as marriage. And love? A waste of time when there are so many books to read and a father who needs her care. Getting caught in a compromising situation with the haughty Sir Joceyln Warfield is definitely not a part of her agenda.

😊7.  Would you like to share an excerpt from A LAIRD’S PROMISE?

How about the blurb: Secrets from the past stand between Caroline’s determination to protect her mother and the struggle to hold fast to a love society deems above her station. In childhood, she and Alisdair were inseparable, but social rules and obligation to the title he will one day inherit tear them apart. When the truth is revealed, it isn’t Caroline whose station is lesser, but Alisdair, who must regain her trust and connive to bring the only woman he will ever love back home to Scotland.

And thanks Judy/Judi for this blog interview and your unequaled support and friendship!

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Follow M. L. Rigdon/Julia Donner on Twitter @RigdonML
Website http://www.MLRigdon.com
Blog: https://historyfanforever.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julia-Donner
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/julia-donner

The link for A LAIRD’S PROMISE:  https://www.amazon.com/Lairds-Promise-Friendship-Book-11-ebook/dp/B07CHS3JBP/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1524939361&sr=1-1

Laird3 minimized copy

 

 

Memes

I shared Mae Clair’s blog with you about using memes to promote your work.  (https://maeclair.net/blog/)  I’m not trying to drive you crazy with too many posts in one day, but I wanted to follow through on her advice.  If you read the comments under her blog, one of the people mentioned that she didn’t read posts that didn’t have visuals with them.  I think more and more tweeters, writers, and social media users expect graphics, etc. along with your words. And while I was feeling inspired, I decided I’d see what I could come up with.

I went to canva.com to get started, and I’m no whiz kid with multiple computer skills, but honestly, canva made it fairly easy for me to create a meme and a twitter header for my accounts.  A meme doesn’t count in your 140 characers for tweets, so it’s an added bonus. Yes, I failed a few times, but if you just let yourself play around for a while and trash your worst efforts, (they supply the trash can for rejects), I had a meme designed before I knew it.  The twitter header took a little longer because I was downloading more covers. But it was pretty easy, too.

Mine didn’t turn out as classy as Mae’s.  If I fiddle more with backgrounds, I’ll get better, but I’m all right with what I came up with in a short time.  I always read Kathy Palm’s blog (https://findingfaeries.wordpress.com/), and she always includes gifs in her posts.  I haven’t done that yet, but thought I’d start now with this one, since I’m working on mysteries now:  giphy

It reminds me of the beginning of PBS’s mysteries.  Someone falls.  Someone dies.  Lots of fun.  Anyway, here’s a link to find some free gifs:  https://giphy.com/search/royalty-free. There are more sites that offer royalty-free gifs, too, but…hey!  I’m new at this.  I’ll start small.

Anyway—-and don’t judge—-here’s what I came up with in a short time today.  My twitter header:

MILL POND ROMANCES--Friendly people & a recipe for love

My meme:

First Kiss, meme

Okay, that’s all the excitement I can stand for today.  But if you decide to give gifs or canva.com a try, have fun!  And happy writing.

If anyone has more suggestions, feedback, I know I’d appreciate it.  Someone else might, too.

Kyra Jacobs!

Hi, all!  I’m so happy to spread the news that Kyra Jacobs’s third and last book in the Checkerberry Inn contemporary romance series will be out on July 17th, and it’s available for pre-order now.  I love Kyra’s writing–both her romances and her dragon series–so I asked her to do a question and answer for us and to tell us a little about her new book.  Here goes:

Questions for Karen:

  1. This is the third and final book in your Checkerberry Inn series. How did you enjoy writing a series?  Did it have any challenges?

I love series writing, and being able to draw on the supporting cast from prior books to help drive new stories. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to plan ahead. I’ve got to be careful not to make a future hero/heroine act contrary to what you want them behaving like in their upcoming books.

  1. You tend to write about feisty heroines. Freudian, maybe?  A little bit of you sneaking into your fiction?

Hah! I’m pleading the fifth, here. Pleading. The. Fifth.

  1. Besides writing romances, you skip off to write PNR novels, too. How did that happen?

Honestly, I don’t know. The dragons struck me out of the blue (re-releases coming 7/31!) , as did my latest fantasy/PNR novel (work in progress). But I’ve found that keeping a foot in each genre tends to help balance me out, crazy as that may sound. With my contemporary stories, I have certain plot rules for romance to follow, as well as making the story/setting/characters believable. With fantasy, I get to break all the “normal” rules while I create new ones that shape my alternate worlds.

  1. Your third book features a female chef. Do you love to cook?  Are you a secret cookbook hoarder?

Ha! No, not a cookbook hoarder. Though, I’m certainly a cookbook/recipe user. If I don’t have directions to follow, I’m lost. Maddie, the chef in my story—she’s a wiz in the kitchen. Me? Not so much. I do love to bake (again, all about following the recipe) and have been trying my hand at grilling this summer. So far, so good!

  1. What about the hero, Cole? He’s a musician, isn’t he?  Can you tell us a little about him?  You’re a little addicted to music, aren’t you?  Do you listen to it while you write?

Ah, Cole. He’s such a sweetheart but so misunderstood. I was glad to bring him a much-needed HEA. And yes, I do love music. If I’m in the car, I’m singing along. Working in the yard or on a walk, headphones are likely in (but I spare the neighbors from hearing me sing). During writing time, though, the music stays off. I need quiet for the stories in my head to make it onto my keyboard.

  1. Okay, tell us a little about you. If you were gifted a perfect day, what would it be?

Oh, wow. There are so many “perfect day” scenarios to choose from! I’m thinking one that has a little of all my favorite things in there—time with my boys, time in my flower gardens, time writing, maybe even a bit of yoga thrown in the mix. And something tells me, music will be included as well. 😉 

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Can you share your new book’s cover, a blurb, and excerpt with us?

Thank you so much for having me here today, Judy!

herunexpectedhero-900px

Blurb:

Maddie Frye, the Checkerberry Inn’s snarky, introverted chef, just wants to be left alone. But with the inn’s upcoming gala, Maddie’s boss has matchmaking on the brain. So when the gorgeous new guy in town helps her out for a night, she comes up with the perfect solution to her problem…

Cole Granville is looking for a fresh start. When a part-time job opens in the Checkerberry’s kitchen, he takes it without a second thought. The only catch? He’s got to help his sexy new coworker snag a date for an upcoming dance. But as he coaches Maddie on attracting her crush, Cole realizes he’s the one falling for the curvy brunette. 

 

Excerpt:

“Hey! You!”

Cole froze, his heart racing. The last time he’d heard those words, they were followed by “Stop! Police!” Resisting the urge to run, he turned toward the voice and stared. The Checkerberry’s spitfire of a chef was running toward them, apron flapping in the wind.

“Uh-oh,” said Brent. “What’d you do to make Maddie leave the kitchen at this hour?”

“No idea, I haven’t seen her since church on Sunday. Maybe she’s yelling at you?”

Brent chuckled. “Looks like we’re about to find out.”

She came to a stop a few feet back, her peaches and cream complexion flushed from exertion. “Hey, hi. Cole, right?”

The men exchanged a glance. Brent offered him a victorious smirk.

“Yes, ma’am. What can I do you for?”

“Ma’am? Good grief, I’m not ninety. Even if I do feel that way sometimes. It’s Maddie. Just Maddie.”

She put a hand to her chest. Cole’s gaze followed the movement but he did his best not to let it linger there. He’d admired her curves from a distance many times, but never this up close. Today, her top was unbuttoned farther than it usually was on Sundays…

She cleared her throat and brought the hand down to plant on her hip. “You still looking for work?”

Cole stared at her, momentarily dumbstruck.

“Work.” She waved a hand in front of his face. “Are you still looking for work?”

He blinked, trying to clear the fog of surprise from his mind. “Yes, ma’am—I mean, Maddie. Did you need help moving something? Or lifting?”

“No. More like washing dishes. You got two working hands and arms?”

“Yes, ’um.”

“Then you’ll do. Please tell me this was your last run of the day.”

“It is.” More like his only run of the day. Probably wasn’t even necessary, but Old Tom hated to see him sit around bored on the days he filled in at Granville’s Hardware. Not that he’d ever complain—those days were what graciously supplied the roof over his head until Cole got on his feet financially.

“Perfect. You finish with Brent, I’ll call your grandfather.” She hurried back toward the inn, leaving the men to themselves once more.

“Come on,” said Brent with a grin. “I’ll help you unload so you can get to our queen bee.”

Cole smirked. “Thanks.”

“I hope you didn’t have any plans tonight. Big gathering up there, lots of old biddies. They stay longer than you’d expect.”

“Nah, no plans.” Cole looked back toward the inn, seeing it for the first time as a possible ticket to success. Who knew? If washing dishes paid a decent wage, maybe he’d find a way to stay longer than expected. And a cash advance.

In fact, his dream studio was counting on it…

 

 

 

Sagging

I’m not young anymore.  Things that used to be perky…aren’t.  Gravity takes its toll, and things shift and sag.  The same thing can happen to your writing.  The sales take a dive, and you have to work to lift them again.

When I got a publisher, I thought I could spend more attention on writing and less on marketing.  Not so.  Yes, Lyrical Shine lists my romances on their Facebook page and twitter.  They create covers and do cover releases.  For my first book, they did a great blog tour with Gallagher services http://gallagherauthorservices.com/author-assistant-services/.    I got good feedback.  For my second book, they only advertised on their own Lyrical sites, and that book fizzled and died.  Any momentum I had disappeared.  For my third book, I got excited because they were doing another blog tour, but this tour listed the book cover, a blurb, and the same excerpt at every site.  People yawned after the second one and disappeared.  For my latest book, SPICING THINGS UP, they did the bare basics.  It was sad.

I still like working with Lyrical, but I learned a valuable lesson a little too late.  Even if you have a publisher, you’d better have a plan in mind to promote yourself when you’re a new author with little or no name recognition.  And hopefully, you’ll have a book cover that grabs readers’ attention.  When I self-published my urban fantasies, I never sent a bundle/book out into the cold, cruel world without paying for some kind of advertising.  Sometimes I’d go the $20 or $30 route, and once I went for broke and used BookBub.  NOTHING beats BookBub.  The problem is that it’s almost impossible to get BookBub to accept you, and it’s expensive.  But I more than earned out what it cost.  Using it when you only have one book online is a risky proposition.  It’s useless if you make the book free.  How will you earn back any  money?  But if you have a series, it’s awesome!  At least, it was for me and my writer friends.  I had a lot of luck with the Fussy Librarian, but it did nothing for my friends.  The type of genre you write makes a big difference on which site is best for you or not.

I can’t set the prices of my books on Lyrical, so can’t offer sales or specials on my own, so I’m going to try a different tactic this time.  I paid $65 to start a blog tour with something original on each blog, using Goddess Fish Promotions.  http://www.goddessfish.com/services/virtual-book-tours/  They’ve been every bit as nice to work with as Maggie Gallagher.  I chose a little different approach.  I’ll be featured on a different blog each Tuesday for 8 weeks.  It’s an experiment.  I don’t know what I think works best yet, so it will be interesting to see what happens.  And yes, once April 25th comes, you’ll be pestered by me every Tuesday for a couple of months.  And I’ve answered more questions than I’ve answered for a long time.

Every writer writes for different reasons and has different expectations.  I know some wonderful, talented writers who are happy just putting their books on Amazon and hoping people find them.  That’s fine.  If you want to build an audience, though, advertising has worked better for me than other things I’ve tried.  Social media helped until I switched to romance.  There wasn’t much carry-over.  Urban fantasy readers aren’t impressed with kissing.  I get it.  Kickass battles don’t compare to relationships and angst.  But if you want to find readers for the genre you’re writing, advertising can help.

If any of you have any methods/tricks that have worked for you, and you want to share, I’d love to hear them.   In the meantime, have a great Easter/Passover/holiday and happy writing!

 

 

L. A. Reminicki

Where Theres Faith ebookI’m so honored to help spread the word that today’s the release date for fellow local author L. A. Reminicki’s novel WHERE THERE’S FAITH.  Maybe you’ve met her at one of the Author Fairs at the main library or at a writers’ meeting at the south Barnes and Noble book store.  It’s great for local authors to support one another, so here’s the info on her book:

Small-town romance with a paranormal twist!

Where There’s Faith, Fairfield Corners Book 3 

By L.A. Remenicky

Release date: April 4, 2017

 

A past she can’t remember. A love he can’t forget.

 

After hitting rock bottom, Robert Newlin embraced sobriety and tried to live his life quietly and alone at his family’s lake cottage. Blaming himself for the accident that claimed his wife and unborn baby, he spent most of his time alone and grieving until Faith moved into the cottage next door.

 

Faith McMillan had no memory of her life before that day three years ago. The physical scars had faded but the emotional ones were still fresh and raw. Living rent-free seemed like a great way to finish her second book and would give her the time to figure out her next move. But then she met the reclusive guy next door.

 

Robbie and Faith – can two broken people who vowed to live their lives alone find happiness together?

 

Amazon: myBook.to/WTFaith

 

Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/FateSteppedInGR

 

#WTFaith #Romance

 

Author Bio:

L.A. Remenicky ~ Love Stories With A Twist

L.A. Remenicky is a wife and mother of two fur kids. An avid reader all her life, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) during NaNoWriMo in 2012 and has never looked back. When she’s not typing away on her latest story with music playing in the background, she can usually be found spending time with her family and friends.

Email: LARemenicky@LavishPublishing.com

Website: http://www.laremenicky.com

Blog: http://laremenicky.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laremenicky

Google+:http://www.google.com/+LARemenickyauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/remenickywrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191202.L_A_Remenicky

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/laremenicky/

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/laremenicky

Facebook Street Team/Fan Group ~ Remenicky’s Remenions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1425708337682216/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/remenickywrites

Newsletter signup: https://www.laremenicky.com/contact-subscribe/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-a-remenicky

 

 

 

A nice compliment

I had Scribes last Wednesday.  One of our members brought in a newspaper article about Louisa May Alcott with a few lines highlighted to share.  I never realized how hard Alcott had to work to make ends meet.  “She taught school, went out in service, sewed, and most of all, wrote.  She read all the magazines, figured out their style, and gave them what they wanted.  She wrote thrillers and mysteries, sentimental romances, modern fairy tales, and Gothic horror.”  (from Sarah Young’s column).  And then Rachel smiled and asked the group, “Does this remind you of anyone?”

I’ve never sewn, but yes, I’ve written a lot of different kinds of fiction over time.  And I appreciated Rachel’s compliment.  I’ve written a short Christmas science fiction story for a newspaper tabloid, and they bought it, but accidentally published it under another author’s name.  I’ve had short horror fiction in two anthologies.  I’ve sold dark fantasy, urban fantasy, and short mysteries.  And romances.  I like playing with genres, but I’m glad to be working on a mystery again.

Since it’s been a while since I’ve written one, my hubby and I went to the bookstore to see what kinds of mysteries are out there.  I read my old favorites, but they aren’t very helpful for research.  They already have built-in audiences.  They can break the rules and still sell books.  I haven’t kept up with new writers in the field.  I wanted to see who’s selling today and what they do.  I asked my editor what mysteries he likes, and he sent me a stack of Kensington authors, most of whom he works with.   They were all “niche” mysteries. Every book had a protagonist with a specialty of some kind–one runs a bakery and includes recipes in her books, one writes “clambake” mysteries and includes New England type recipes, another entered poodles in dog shows and gave details about that, and yet another runs an organic farm and spa.

At the bookstore, to my surprise, I found the rows of mysteries all clumped under the “mystery” title, but the first half of the shelves were filled with “niche” mysteries in alphabetical order, and the second half was filled with “serious” mysteries.  The books were kept separate from one another.  I’m assuming that means that readers who buy the niche, cozy-style mysteries rarely buy the heavier ones, and vice versa.

I’m writing the niche style.  That’s what my editor likes.  And yes, like Louisa May Alcott, I’m going to try to give him what he wants.  That also means that my agent won’t have much luck if she ever tries to sell me to a bigger publisher.  They want books with higher stakes, bigger themes, more drama–page turners.  I’m okay with that.  I like the idea I thought of for mysteries, and I’m having fun writing it.

In the meantime, Kensington sent me an AWESOME book cover for my sixth romance, due out in November.  Thought I’d share, and whatever you’re working on, happy writing!

SpecialDelivery

 

Some Characters…

My fourth romance is available for pre-sale now.  It’ll be a long time before its release–the day after spring solstice on March 20, 2017.   I’m a horoscope junkie, so I hope that’s a good sign:)  But you met Tyne and Daphne in book 3.  Tyne is Paula’s fellow chef–the guy who doesn’t mince words and says what he thinks, Mr. Hot Stuff.  Daphne is the girl Chase fantasizes about.  At the beginning of LOVE ON TAP, Paula and Chase both have a thing for someone who’s not right for them.  I’ve met plenty of people who fall for Mr. or Miss Wrong over and over again, and always with disastrous results.  That’s what I wanted to show in book 3.  It’s not the traditional way to start a romance or plot it out, and it confused some readers, but I liked it.  To me, it was realistic.  And Tyne, as a friend to both Paula and Chase, was happy to offer his opinions on their romantic mishaps.

I intended Tyne to have a small part in book three.  When I plot a book, I start with an idea. For book three, it was a girl with a crush on Mr. Wrong and a guy who fantasized about a girl who had nothing in common with him, and the two had to figure out that they were REALLY meant for each other.  After the idea, I think about what characters will work for that story.  Paula is a widow, raising two young children and trying to balance being a mom and a chef.  All she’s done since losing Alex is work and spend time with her kids, but she’s finally ready to dip her toe in the dating pool again.  Except that she’s always attracted to a bad boy.  And Tyne is happy to tell her that Jason’s a loser and she should move on.  Chase owns a bar and can have any woman he wants–except Daphne–and he’s ready to settle down and thinks he wants her.   Tyne makes a few comments on that, too.  After I decide on my characters, I do character wheels for them.  I learned that concept at a workshop by Shirley Jump, then tweaked it to work for me.  (Shirley’s offering a workshop on intensive revision starting Monday, if you’re interested:  https://www.margielawson.com/lawson-writers-academy-courses/detail/2-writing/299-jan-2017-intensive-on-revision.)  Anyway, Shirley recommended having a close friend for each of your characters, because then the character has someone to talk to, to spill your gut.  I gave Paula her fellow chef, Tyne.

I meant Tyne to be there for Paula to bounce ideas off of.  The thing is, Tyne just won’t keep his mouth shut.  He has opinions about everything, even though he’s well-meaning.  I loved Tyne, but I had trouble writing his dialogue.  He’s SO not like me!  He says things I’d never say.  I had the same problem with Brody in book 2.  I’m an “early” Libra.  I try to smooth things over and avoid confrontation.  I hate conflict.  When I’m really direct, it’s been a long time coming.  (I’m working on that for 2017, though.)

Brody and Tyne don’t give a damn.  Sometimes, they push peoples’ buttons just to see what happens.  When they do, it’s outside my comfort zone.  I’d never do it, so I needed to “hear” someone else.  For Brody, I heard my grandson Tyler–a Gemini.  With Tyler, you get what you get, whatever he’s thinking–and he tends to think he’s right and you’re wrong. If he annoys people…well, life happens, right?  But he has a BIG heart.  He won’t win an award for tact, but he’s funny and warm, and he CARES.  For Tyne, I “listened” to my grandson Nate.  Nate–an Aquarius–has a million ideas buzzing in his head all the time. He thinks outside the box, gets restless easily, and doesn’t mind sharing his opinions.   If he annoys you, he’s sorry, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop.  And he has a big heart, too.

I liked Tyne so much in book 3, he changed my writing.  I was using single POV for the romances, but when I started book 4, with Tyne and Daphne as the stars, I wanted Tyne to be able to express himself, too.  Tyne just wouldn’t stay in the background.  That’s what Daphne liked–to sort of disappear if she could, to go unnoticed.  So book 4, SPICING THINGS UP, is the first time I did the girl’s AND the guy’s POV.  It added a lot.  What was implied before became in-your-face, irrefutable, so that’s what I’m doing from now on.  (I’m a slow learner.  I’ve already told you that.)  Anyway, characters can push and prod a writer.  It’s a good thing.  And bless Tyne, he wanted a starring role, and he deserved one.  I hope you like  him as much as I did.

 

For my books:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34332

Webpage:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Author Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypostspicingthingsup

Cover Reveal

I’m late sharing the cover reveal for my third romance, LOVE ON TAP.  I’m new to having a publisher, and Kensington planned an entire cover reveal tour, which is awesome!  They even wrote the blurb for the book–something a hundred times better than I’d have thought up.  Not my strong point.  Maybe that’s why they did it??? 🙂  Anyway, if you’re interested in the blogs that will show the reveal, or the blurb, here’s the info:  http://bit.ly/1SOW401  I feel like a newbie, because I didn’t realize the reveal date–April 29–was in the same link as the cover, so I’m behind. But here it is now.  Paula and Chase. Hope you like it!  The book comes out in November.

LoveonTap