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Showing posts from April, 2015
I've been studying the creative mind for a while now and I've shared some of my findings in a workshop setting. Here's the description of my workshop: You always knew you were a little different from so-called normal people right? Did you ever wonder why some of those normal types just didn’t seem to ‘get’ you? Or why a group of writers can sit in a box of rocks, and a good time will be had by all? It’s because we think differently. Yup. We’re actually hard-wired in a distinctive way. The bad news is, we’re a little crazy. The good news is, we’re a little crazy—and only another creative mind would get that.     Ashlyn Chase was a psychiatric nurse for fifteen years. She chose that field because she was fascinated by the human mind and the amount of uncharted territory there was to uncover. She has also been trained as a hypnotherapist, which taught her even more about the subconscious mind. Oh, and she’s written and published a bunch of novels to keep her cr

And the Snow Was Where???

I’m writing a teasing post about all my Northern friends who have been plagued with snow and flurries and the like and will probably get more before the spring is through. But I saw so many trees and flowers in bloom, I said I’d post about that and show what it’s REALLY doing up north. lol Then I couldn’t download my pictures from my camera to my Surface. *sigh* I’m home now, but my camera’s on switch was turned on while it was being jostled in my bag, and so charging up my camera now. Unpack, washing towels from the disaster before I left, and repacking. :) Daffodils at the zoo in Milwaukee We went to the zoo in Milwaukee, but didn’t get to see the wolves. I asked someone who works there and she said they’re sixteen years old. They were out in the morning, but sleep most of the day. But they had peacocks all over. They are truly beautiful. Milwaukee Zoo And Jaguar Pride cupcakes at Barbara Vey’s Reader’s Luncheon. Lots of fun!! What a cupcake, eh?

Things I Wish I’d Known about Writing a Series

by Amanda Forester Little did I know when I began writing my first Highlander book that it would become a series. I wrote it for myself without the slightest thought that it would become published. In fact, I had my laptop password protected so nobody could sneak on and read my fledgling novel. Somehow, my feelings about this changed dramatically over time and I eventually sent it into Sourcebooks, who have published not one but three Scottish Highland books, thee Highland novellas, with two more novels on the way.   As I am now writing my 8 th Highland story, I find I wish I had known from the start that I would be writing a series and taken some steps to help myself along the way. If I could create a time machine and give myself a little advice when I started, here is what I would say:   1)       Keep track of all your characters . You have no idea how much time you’re going to waste, going back through previous books to remember the name of somebody’s mother, or the eye

A Smidgen, A Dab, A Dollop By Linda Broday

I love to read old recipes and imagine the pioneer women cooking up a batch of Hopping John, Son-of-a-Biscuit Stew or Molasses Cookies on their wood stove. I can just see them gathering their ingredients and setting to work building a fire. But getting it the right temperature was a problem all its own. **A side note: Pioneer women gauged the heat of an oven by holding their hand inside and counting. If she could hold her hand inside for a count of 40, it was right for baking bread. A count of twenty would be sufficient for baking cakes and pies.** Good heavens! Can you imagine? Old-time recipes called for a smidgen of seasoning, a pinch of this, a dab of that, or a dollop (usually butter) the size of a walnut. And sometimes the recipe called for a dash of something or “enough flour to make a stiff dough.” I’m guessing that housewives pretty much cooked by trial and error and adjusted things to suit them because it would be extremely difficult to know what some of these


Michele Summers Tonight my son is going to his Junior/Senior Prom and I’m almost more excited than he is. Of course, he shoots me a huge-ass eye roll when I insist on taking his picture, looking all dapper in his tux with his Lilly Pulitzer bright-colored cummerbund and bow tie. But as he poses in front of the mantel, and outside next to the flowering trees, he smiles and hams it up and I know he’s secretly thrilled that I’m pulling an obnoxious Beverly Goldberg from the TV show The Goldberg’s. Having attended an all-girl high school, I didn’t experience Junior/Senior Prom in the typical fashion. We had dances, for sure, and getting an invitation was coveted, (what guy didn’t want to attend a dance at an all-girl school?) but we had to do all the asking/setting up, etc. And since 90 percent of us were boarders, no parents hovered to take our pictures. We more resembled a sorority, running around the hallways with curlers in our hair, squealing and helping each other with

Beadaholic: I Know I Have a Problem

I love beads. Shiny, wooden, expensive, cheap. Take me to a bead store—the overhead lights bouncing off rows and rows of colors and hues, blinding me with their brilliance—and I’m in heaven. Do not get me started on gem and mineral shows, because I will have a beadgasm right now. When I first started beading, my blingtastic friends warned how the beads would take up all of my disposable income. I laughed. But their warnings were true. Beads take up time, money, and lots of space—odd, considering how small they are. Here’s where those bead merchants gettcha. Say you want buy a blue bead. Do you want Czech glass, Swarovski, acrylic, or gemstone? For purposes of this little exercise, let’s say you want Swarovski. Once you pick your shade—you can’t go wrong with blue zircon—you need to decide on which coating you’ll want. R egular?     AB?  2X AB?  Ha! I tricked you. A bling whore would never choose. She’d get all three, of course. Next we


I was looking at data yesterday, and I came across this interesting info from the RWA Romance Reader survey. The top ten tropes that readers love are: (1) friends to lovers ; (2) soul mate/fate; (3) second chance at love; (4) secret romance; (5) first love; (6) strong hero/heroine; (7) reunited lovers; (8) love triangle; (9) sexy billionaire/millionaire; (10) sassy heroine We also know that some demographics go with this, for example, mature readers like the “second chance at love” trope, while younger readers prefer “first love.” (This seems natural and obvious, doesn’t it?) So, it occurred to me that, in a subgenre that attracts a particular demographic (for example, romantic suspense and historical tend toward the more mature readership), we could stick with the tropes that this demographic favors OR, we could consciously focus on the tropes that the other demo looks for, thereby cultivating that

Marie and The Very Bad Interview

I wrote this blog two years ago, but it's so relevant to what I'm doing now that I wanted to share it again. It has to do with research, and since I'm currently researching the heck out of my current characters for my next Sourcebooks series, I wanted to share the laugh. (And for the record, there is A LOT to know about the worlds of automechanics and nurses.) Note: I wrote this post while doing research for How to Handle a Heartbreaker. I thought I’d talk about research today. I write steamy romance, and one of the most common questions I get from people is how I do my research. My usual instinct is to answer with something sarcastic, like, “Why, I just had a foursome the other day. I can honestly admit   that you can fit many things in places you never thought you could.” Or, “Why yes. I did just enjoy sex with a werewolf in the backseat of my Benz while a vampire watched.” I mean, really. I’ve had sex. Yes. There. I admit it. I’ve also read a lot and seen se