Finding A Voice #MFRWauthor #mgtab #amwriting @RssosSisters @jacqbiggar



Every truly great book I’ve ever read the author has developed their characters to the point that they become more than words on the page. They’re people. People with faults, feelings, frailties, and triumphs.

These characters become so real to us that we almost hate for their stories to end, yet we can’t quit turning the pages to find out how it ends.

That’s stellar writing.

How do they make us invest in their stories this way?

I believe it’s through developing a voice for each and every character. One that’s unique to them.

This is from Ed Gaffney, the wonderful Suzanne Brockmann’s equally amazing DH 🙂

As lovers of romance, we all know how important it is to create realistic characters. If readers don’t connect with the people in the story we’re telling, they’re going to put the book down. It’s as simple as that. And that’s because it’s virtually impossible to care what happens to someone if you don’t believe the person is realistic. Or if you don’t like or relate to the person. Of if you don’t know the person.

But this isn’t exactly news. Writers — especially romance writers – are painfully aware of the fact that if their characters don’t work, their book doesn’t work. And that’s why we spend so much time building our characters. Height, weight, age, gender, sexual orientation. Eye color, hair color, skin color. Place of birth, parents, children, siblings, marital status. Education, employment. Hopes, dreams, values, beliefs. Likes, dislikes. Strengths, weaknesses, fears.

But one of the most overlooked elements in character — at least from my point of view — is voice. What do your characters sound like? It’s something they reveal almost every time they show up on a page, and therefore it’s an incredibly powerful tool when populating the world you are building. And yet, it’s very often ignored.

Here’s an exercise you can use to help analyze whether you’re using the voices of your characters well. Take a scene from one of your stories, and make a list of what each character says. Then compare the lists. Are they truly distinct? If not, you are not only passing up a huge opportunity to help give your characters the kind of nuance and color we all hope to achieve as writers, but you also risk making your characters less realistic. Because people don’t all sound alike. So there’s no reason in the world why your characters should all sound alike.

Taken from one of the great posts put out by the Romance University


Examples of strong, individual voices:


from Suzanne Brockmann’s Headed For Trouble:

IZZY: (uneasy) So how do you know if Suz is planning to toss you into one of those story arcs? I mean, shit. We were all major characters in Into the Storm.

GILLMAN: Obviously, Jenk’s safe. But damn, I could be in serious trouble. I’ve got a major crush on Sophia Ghaffari.

IZZY: (scoffing) Yeah,like you’re going to be the hero of her book. Two words. Dream on, fool.

GILLMAN: Two words—

JENK: Guys. Stop.

LOPEZ: I know I’m not the hero of the next book because Minnie’s cooking dinner for me right now.

IZZY: Minnie?

LOPEZ: Shhh. I shouldn’t have said her name. Bad karma.

GILLMAN: Someone light a match.

IZZY: (to Lopez) You’re actually dating a woman named Minnie?

JENK: (to Gillman) He didn’t fart, he just said her name.

GILLMAN: I thought it might help.

LOPEZ: Make fun of me all you want, Zanella. You just wish you were getting some of her manicotti tonight.

GILLMAN: (cracking up) I’ve heard it called a lot of things …


Brockmann, Suzanne (2013-04-30). Headed for Trouble (Troubleshooters) (pp. 118-119). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Each person has his own distinct way of talking and together they’re so much fun to read. You can actually feel the bond between these guys even though they constantly rib the hell out of each other 🙂

J.R. Ward’s Blood Kiss

This is between the brother, Vishous, and his best bud, Butch:


I need to go on a date, he thought. “Where are we going?” V asked in his ear.

Shit, he’d said that out loud. “Not you.”

“Hurt. Seriously hurt over here,” came the tinny reply.

“Marissa and I need. . . .”

“If it’s sex ed, I could have sworn you two figured that out. Unless all those sounds are just the pair of you thumb-wrestling.”


“You’re saying that shit is origami? Jesus Christ, the paper cuts . . . can’t fucking imagine, true?”

Ward, J.R. (2015-12-01). Blood Kiss: Black Dagger Legacy (p. 93). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This is a perfect example of characterization by voice. Anyone who has read the BDB series (Black Dagger Brotherhood) knows of Vishous and his love of Butch (mostly platonic) and his propinquity for sarcasm. And “true” is his phrase.

You can easily tell who is speaking here and even something about their personalities. All in one paragraph. Brilliant.


Original image via Lucy Downey from Flickr Creative Commons


Always strive to bring your characters to life on the page. In both of the examples above, we connect with them because of  their humor and sarcasm. I think those two traits are as integral to strong characterization as insecurities and imperfections. We don’t fall in love with super heroes, (unless you’re Lois Lane) we fall for heroes and heroines who remind us of ourselves.

Your readers will thank you by holding a place for them in their hearts.


Finding Your Stride in Today’s Marketplace #mfrwauthor #mgtab #RSsos #BookReview


I don’t think truer words have ever been said.

In today’s market whether you are a singer, song writer, race-car driver, restaurateur, or like me, a writer, the challenge is to get noticed in an ever growing field.

A friend of mine recently told me she almost gave up, it was just too hard. I know what she means; sometimes the anxieties and disappointments make a person just want to walk away.

Fortunately, I’m stubborn 🙂

When we first bought our restaurant I knew nothing about bookkeeping, payroll, hiring (and worse, firing) or cooking. I went in blind.

Thanks to perseverance and a mother who kept telling me to never give up, we made that place a success.

Now that I’ve embarked on a writing career it feels much the same. I knew nothing about putting a story down on paper much less the marketing aspect.

But, thanks to the generosity of people within the industry, and a mom who tells me not to quit 🙂

I’m learning.

The point I’m trying to make is don’t quit! If you give up you’ll always wonder what you could have accomplished. Find that person who’s in your corner no matter what, and go for it.

What have you got to lose?

I’ve received my first ever video review for the book, The Rebel’s Redemption.

Check it out below.

I’m so happy now that I stepped out of my comfort zone and didn’t give up when I wanted to.

Exclusive Excerpt from The Rebel’s Redemption:

They stood close together in the dimness of the craft store. Jared stared down into Annie’s misty green eyes and fought the urge to pull her into his arms. The citrus shampoo she’d used filled his mind with memories of his hands combing through her silky curls. The taste of her sweet lips. The feel of her luscious body wrapped around him in pleasure.

And he’d let her go.

His gut twisted into knots. Why would anyone want to break into a little craft store? It wasn’t likely to have much cash on hand, and unless the guy was into knitting there wasn’t much in the way of valuables either. Suddenly the rest of what she’d said fell into place.

“Where’s your son?” His hold on her hands tightened. She looked pale, frightened. It was his fault. If that prick had harmed one hair on her head… “Tell me again. What exactly did he say?”

“He said to tell you there’s no place you can hide. And he wants repaid, whatever that means.” Annie frowned and pulled one hand free to rub the back of her neck. She straightened her spine. “Chris is fine, he’s at school. Anyway, Jack will be here soon and I’ll give a statement. Let him handle this, Jared, he knows what he’s doing.”

And I don’t? Is that what she thought? What did she think he’d been doing for the past eight years? Jared spun away before he said something he’d regret and paced over to the glass door. He took inventory of the busy street. Everything looked normal. He drew in a deep breath, needing a moment to get his frustration under control. She was only giving voice to what the whole town thought, but from her more than any other, it hurt.

Annie moved to his side. “Look, I’m sorry. That was uncalled for. I just want to handle this by the book. It was nothing more than a simple break and enter. Jack will catch the guy and then we can forget this ever happened, okay?” she pleaded, lifting her hand to touch his arm.

He tensed in response. But then she let it drop and something within him fell with it. He wished…he wished they could go back eight years to that next morning so he could have another chance. He really did.

Jared figured his old friend Sergei had managed to track him to Tidal Falls. The overcoat thing Annie mentioned confirmed it, if not the accent. He’d seemed to enjoy wandering around the casino looking like a mafia hit-man. Damn Russian. Jared regretted ever getting mixed up with the Golden Key.

After receiving his discharge papers he’d decided to move to Las Vegas with the half-baked plan to start up a security company after taking a little time to wind down. He’d heard about some high stakes games going on at the Key and decided to try his luck. The place rocked, full of socialites and wealthy businessmen. Jared won a few grand and returned often over the next couple months, making friends with the dealers. Then came the fateful night. He’d always been good with numbers. When he noticed some discrepancies in the cards, he started counting. One thing led to another and next thing he knew he was hustled to a back room and physically warned against returning by head of security, Sergei the Serious. Jared’s Scottish temper got the best of him, and he retaliated by screwing with their mainframe computer system. The cops hadn’t liked his reasoning, or the pandemonium that broke out when he set off the casino’s fire alarms and caused winning tickets to spew forth out of almost every VLT in the place. He’d ended up on probation and been warned against any more gambling. Just as well, it was time to get serious about setting up his business anyway. He’d been looking at locations when Nick called.

“You’re not mad, are you?” Annie’s voice at his elbow snapped his attention back to the here and now. If Sergei was here, how had he known to come after Annie? And if he knew about her, what about…Ma.

“I need to check on my mother. Come on, let’s go.” He pushed open the door and waved her through, frowning when she didn’t budge. “What? I’m not leaving you here, so just forget it.”

Her head shook, curls flying, even as she gazed with worried eyes up the street to Grits and Grace. “I can’t, Jared. The creep ruined my lock. Everything I have is in this store. I can’t leave it unattended.” She turned grass green eyes up to him. “I’ll be fine, Jack will be here right away. Go, please. Make sure Grace is safe.”

He hesitated, torn between the need to check on his mom, and the overwhelming desire to keep Annie safe. A moment later the decision was made for him as a siren’s scream rent the air and a cop car roared around the corner and squealed to a stop on the wrong side of the street in front of The Craft Shack. The sheriff swung open his door almost before the car came to a halt. He grabbed his hat off the dash and jammed it on his head as he climbed out and started for the store. When Jack caught sight of the two of them by the door he paused, a frown pulling his eyebrows into rigid lines over his brow.

“Annie, you okay?” Jack’s brown-eyed gaze stayed focused squarely on Jared except for a quick up and down catalog of Annie’s body, his hand firm on his weapon.

“I’m fine, Jack. The guy’s gone.” Annie brushed by Jared, moving between the two men. “We’re attracting attention. Do you think you can turn off the lights now?”

The sheriff held his rigid stance for a moment longer, then reached in and snapped off the flashing red and blues. He grabbed his radio, canceled the callout, slammed his door and moved up to Annie’s side. “What happened, honey?”

Jared stiffened.

For more information on the books within this series check out the My Books link at the top of the page or click here:

And be sure to enter your name on the contest page:

What about you? Have you ever thought of giving up and then were glad you hadn’t? Share your inspiring stories with us.


Covert Danger Banner

Covert Danger

by Jo-Ann Carson

Series: Mata Hari, #1

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: April 1, 2015

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I’ve lived most of my life on islands off the the west coast of Canada, surrounded by snow covered mountains, lush rain forests and pristine beaches. While I enjoy traveling, I’m most at home on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

​In my twenties I wanted to become a writer, but being practical I chose a career in teaching.  I loved working with children for many years.

​Time flew by, but the writing itch stayed with me, as much a part of me as my skin. My family has grown up and I’m retired. Now I spend my days spinning sexy, suspense stories edged with adventure.

Presently, I’m working on the Mata Hari series.

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A single woman — A double life

High fashion model, Sadie Stewart, is a dedicated undercover CIA agent used to getting her man. But this time she’s chasing a power-hungry international arms dealer stealing ancient Egyptian amulets. Brilliant, ruthless and slightly wacko, he’s a hard catch. She’s willing to risk everything to stop him, but the handsome Sebastian Wilde, who looks like a modern Viking, keeps getting in her way. Her independence is shaken as he stirs feelings in her that she thought only existed in fairy tales. Can she put their attraction aside and get the job done?

When Sebastian sees Sadie in a high speed motor-boat flying down the Grand Canal in Venice, with the Italian military police hot on her tail, her beauty and courage intrigue him. He has a personal vendetta to stop the trading of looted art, and when it looks as though she’s involved in that shady world, he decides to stop her. Could the femme fatale really be that evil?

Their adventure spans the globe with scenes in Venice, Florence, Amsterdam, Cairo and New York.

Can they work together and stop the heist planned for the Met Museum of Art? Protecting the relics becomes their shared goal, but it’s not all about ancient magic and power. Love hangs in the balance.

A cross between Indiana Jones and Covert Affairs

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A Cross Between Indiana Jones and Covert Affairs

I love the adventure in Indiana Jones and the personal intrigue in Covert Affairs.

I want to write exciting stories with a strong, but not perfect, heroine who loves danger and adventure. I created Sadie Stewart, the modern Mata Hari.

In Covert Danger she meets her match in Sebastian Wilde, a Dutch art dealer with a past. The attraction sizzles as they fight to stop an arms-dealer with an insatiable thirst for power.

The bad guy believes in the magic of ancient Egyptian amulets. He adds an element of the supernatural to the storyline, and allows us to understand what made him go bad.

It was a really fun story to write.

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Sadie conning her fence, Delilah, to get closer to her mark:

“Sadie, sweet Sadie, do you really think you can keep evading the police by sneaking around, or leading them on spectacular boat chases? Get a grip, woman. I give you six months as a jewel thief

and then you’ll be in some cold European jail cell with Bessy.”


“A big girlfriend you don’t want to meet.”

“Oh. You gotta help me, Delilah. You know people. There’s got to be a better way. I figure I need twenty million Euro to retire in style. That’s all—twenty mill.”

Delilah smiled her gotcha-smile. “If you’re not going to marry it, honey, you’re going to have to steal it or…”

“Or what?”

“Smuggle it.”

* * * * * * * * * *

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I’ve joined with Book Boyfriends Cafe for a weekly blog hop. This week’s theme: Post a scene of a Hot Kiss between your hero and heroine. 

This scene is from book #1 in my Wounded Hearts series, Tidal Falls.


Her long legs dangled over the edge of the old countertop. Mouth-watering breasts stretched her sunny t-shirt right at eye level. The more he saw of her, the more she fascinated him.

Tracing a slow path up her slender throat, he noticed her pulse fluttering just under her skin. Zeroing in on her plump lips, he groaned under his breath as the pink of her tongue flicked out to moisten them. A banquet for him to savor. Just a little.


“Look, I’m fine, Jessica can…” She sputtered to a nervous halt as he stepped forward and nudged her legs apart with his hips.

His jeans scraped her bare skin, and he caught the awareness in her expressive eyes. At least he wasn’t alone in this. Cradling her hips on the cool countertop, he leaned in, giving her ample time to back away. A few light sips, that’s all he needed. His heart pounded so hard it threatened to leave his chest. The plump softness invited him to taste, to feast. His tongue flicked out teasing her, until with a soft sigh, she opened to him. Ravenous now, he sank deep, indulging in the honey and cinnamon taste of her.

Sweet, so sweet.

He forced himself to stop, and leaning back a little, cupped her jaw. His thumb rasped back and forth over her satiny skin, waiting for her beautiful eyes to slide open. And yes, there it was. The same want and confusion and mistrust plaguing him, filled the amber depths.

“Sara.” Her name a sigh, he moved in just as she backed away, clunking her head against the cupboard door behind her.

“Stop, Nick—I can’t do this. I’m sorry, I just can’t.” Her gaze avoided him, a shaky hand rubbing the sore spot on the back of her head.

Running slightly unsteady hands of his own through his mussed hair, he stepped back with a wry grimace, shifting to find some relief from the pressure behind his zipper. They had to quit meeting like this, she was going to end up with a concussion. Her arms were crossed over her chest while she contemplated the wall over his shoulder. She refused to look him in the eye, so he attempted some damage control. “Look, I’m sorry. I had no business kissing you like that.”

“No, you didn’t”

“Mom, which towels should I grab?” Jess yelled from down the hall, and he cursed. He’d been so caught up in Sara he’d forgotten the kid was even there.

“They’re under the sink.” She called out to her daughter, still not looking at him. “Maybe this isn’t a good idea,” she murmured. “You should go. I’m sure Tess can find someone else to finish the repairs.”

He was about to let her know what he thought of that idea when Jessica came racing back into the kitchen, a towel trailing on the floor behind her.

“Mom, how could you say that? Nick’s doing a great job.”

After a very pregnant pause, which had him almost shuffling his feet like an errant child, she reluctantly agreed. “Yes, he is. Fine, you can stay. Unless you’d rather not?” It was more than obvious she hoped he’d turn her down.

He wanted to. Nearly as much as he wanted to go back to her vulnerable mouth and finish what they’d started. The damn woman drove him crazy.

I think Nick is in for a tough time, don’t you? 🙂

Check out some other HOT and STEAMY kisses here:


It is a true pleasure to introduce you today to a good friend and critique partner, Reggi Allder.

As an author of and romantic suspense and contemporary novels, there’s nothing better than tales of love lost and then found or stories of heroes and heroines who discover love but wonder if they’ll live long enough to enjoy it. 

   My main characters cope with longings, secrets, lies and betrayals. They control their panic and manage their passion as each fight to discover a hidden strength. It’s a strain for them to remain motivated as the world offers temptations and puts them in untenable situations. Can they survive multiple ordeals and carry on to reach their goals and find true love?

   I’ve lived in small towns and big cities and have enjoyed both as each is special in its own way. In my latest contemporary, I’ve created Sierra Creek a small town with big love. I’m now planning a series of novels that take place in the town.

   I studied screen writing and creative writing at UCLA, and I’m a past chapter president of Romance Writers of America and current RWA member. I have a great husband, two nice kids and three frisky dogs, though one is not a lively now that he is older.

   Besides my family, I love books, movies, puppies, chocolate, apple pie and long walks but not necessarily in that order. : )

Hi Jacquie, thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog and for the thought provoking questions. I had to smile when I read the one about the best date ever. Before I married I had some awful dates, some were in the right place i.e. a wonderful restaurant with a panoramic view of the city but with the wrong guy. Some were in the wrong place and with the wrong guy. Then I went out with a friend, someone I’d known since high school, but we hadn’t dated. Everything clicked. I don’t even remember where we went that night, but we talked until dawn and I knew he was the one. We’ve been together ever since.

What do you write?

I write romantic suspense and contemporary books about love in a small town.

Do your characters talk to you?

Yes. My heroine Kelly from Shattered Rules was originally called Helen. I wrote much of the book with her named that. But my character was having none of it. She told me it was an old fashioned name. It was not right for a college student. She wanted a more modern name. So she became Kelly and it works for her. My apologies to anyone named Helen. I still like it. 🙂

What is your writing process?

I’m a pantser too. I tried to plot when I first started writing and had my first bout of writer’s block. Making lists and outlines and plotting every scene is a great idea but it just didn’t work for me. I stopped plotting and the writer’s block disappeared. Now I let ideas percolate. Feelings and plot twists come to me as I write. I do have a general idea of where to story will end up. Often I know the end of the book before I have a beginning. I don’t work backward, but when I begin the first chapter, even though I don’t have all the characters and the plot turns, I know how the book will end. Not knowing all the details until I write them makes it is an adventure for me as well for the characters.

How do you approach starting a new book?

When I am writing my work in progress, ideas for other books often come to mind. It may be an idea or a character’s name or even a place. While writing Money Power and Poison I thought about a city gal, a rodeo cowboy, and high school crushes. That became Her Country Heart, coming soon.

Though I may never use them all, I keep a file and write down ideas and then come back to them when I’m ready to start a new book. And there are times when a minor character from a current book asks to have their own book.: )

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I love mystery and suspense because it takes me from the day to day to an exciting place where danger is around any corner. I especially like it when romance is added to the plot. It increases the tension that is already heightened by the danger.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax? Going for walks with my dogs is very relaxing. The dogs are patient and sit in my office with me when I write so I feel obligated to take them out, though it is sometimes hard to leave the computer. I know it’s good for me too. I usually bring my camera; I studied photography in college and enjoy takings candid photos of life as it passes by. Walking clears my mind and I often come back with new ideas.

Do you like chocolate or chips?

Lol, I like both. I’m sure my chef from Money Power and Poison could come up with something yummy that uses chocolate and chips. Ha ha.

Thanks again for having me, Jacquie.

Best, Reggi Allder


Money Power and Poison Can love survive against the odds? Five star review: “A mystery novel thrill ride. Fast-paced, plot-driven conflicts and characters that you can’t tear yourself away lift it from an ordinary story to a darn good read.”

Money Power and Poison

Chapter One

In the midnight gloom of a residential street in Carmel, California, business owner Kathryn Carlyle watched the city’s dim lights from the back seat of a speeding police car. She gasped for air as dread tightened her throat. This can’t be happening to me.

The catering van she drove to billionaire software developer Conner Harrison’s birthday party had been impounded by the police as evidence. She rubbed her throbbing temples to release the pain accumulated there.

Two blocks from her beachfront condo, she snatched a breath of air. “Please stop. I have to get out.”

The middle-aged officer guided the patrol car to the curb. “We’re not finished with you. Go, but don’t leave town.”

He’d probably been waiting all night to use that cliché. Don’t leave town. She almost laughed, except nothing funny had happened tonight.

She exited the car and inhaled the sea breeze as it rustled her hair. It was such a welcome change from the stifling atmosphere that contaminated the police station where she’d spent the last few hours. How long before the man came back to arrest her?

Relieved to be in her safe neighborhood, she took a deeper breath, kicked off her black leather pumps and sat on a driftwood log overlooking the serene bay.

She swallowed as nausea swirled in her stomach. The fact that she hadn’t eaten since breakfast didn’t help. Always nervous before an event, she’d planned to eat after Mr. Harrison’s party. Now he hovered near death. The thought of eating brought bile to the back of her throat. Why did the authorities think she’d poisoned a man she’d only met once?

A nightmare had snared her and was holding her in its grip. When Mr. Harrison died the charge against her would be murder in the first degree.

As the realization crept through her, she tensed. Two deep breaths calmed her, but didn’t stop the headache forming over her right eye.

True she’d had the opportunity to poison him, but no motive. She only met him because he’d asked her to cater his birthday party. With his death there was nothing to gain and a lot to lose, her reputation, her business, her life.

In the morning the police would sort out the truth of her innocence. Still, adrenaline caused her heart to race. She rubbed her temples and tried not to think anymore.

A gust of wind circled her. She shivered and folded her arms in front of her. Damn. Her suit jacket was still in the patrol car.

She stood, brushed the sand from the back of her skirt, and picked up her high heels and shoulder bag. Time to go home, sleep was doubtful, but at least she’d put up her sore feet.

Leaves crunched somewhere in the shadows of the nearby trees, she squinted into the darkness but didn’t see anyone. Even so, fear gripped her.

She forced her swollen feet back into her pumps and walked quickly up the dimly lit street. The click of her heels echoed in the quiet night air. The desire to flee from an unknown danger increased the speed of her footsteps.

With the exception of a black truck parked at the curb, the street was empty. The pickup’s engine revved. The cab light came on and cast an eerie glow on the driver’s face. He smiled at her.

As she thought about waving to let him know the headlights were off, the vehicle drove straight at her. It jumped the curb, sideswiped her, and sent her flying.

With a thud, she landed on the muddy front lawn of a neighboring condominium. The sound of the engine faded as the vehicle disappeared.

She lay motionless on the ground. Cold mud oozed into the fabric of her skirt. A twinge jabbed her and terror banged against her rib cage.

Overriding the sense of shock was her need to get home where she’d be safe. She grabbed the strap of her purse and attempted to stand. Pain shot through her hip and down her leg. She fell back into the mud.

A man dressed in black came out of the darkness and stood over her. Before she could cry out, he bent down and covered her mouth with his huge hand.

“Don’t scream. You’ll wake the whole neighborhood. I’m not going to hurt you.” He helped her stand.

The streetlight lit his face and a lock of coffee brown hair fell over his furrowed brow. Five o’clock shadow covered his jaw and his full lips formed a grim line. Compassion shone in his obsidian eyes. It was incongruous to his hardened expression. He reminded her of someone, but she couldn’t think of a name.

“Your uncle sent me,” he said in a deep voice.

“You were at the police station.” She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

“Yeah. Thought I could talk to you. They wouldn’t allow it. Can you stand by yourself?”

“I think so.” A spasm shot into her leg and her knees buckled. She grabbed him and reluctantly leaned on his lanky but muscular body for support.

“I’ll call 911.” He held her to him.

“Don’t phone them.”

“You’re hurt.”

“I’m okay.”

“The police need to know about this. Use my cell.”

“No. I can’t handle it. Not tonight. I’m cold. I’m muddy. I just want to go home.”

“Can you walk?”

“Yeah,” she said, hoping she could. The first step sent pain racing through her. She gasped.

With one hand he steadied her. With the other, he yanked a smart phone from his pocket. “What’s your address?”

“330 Sea View Avenue, number three.”

He punched in 911. “There’s been an accident. A woman’s hurt. I need an ambulance sent to 330 Sea View Avenue number three ASAP.”

After he pocketed his phone, he carefully scooped her up in his arms. “Let’s get you home.”

Never one to ask for help, this time she had to admit she needed it and balanced herself by putting her arm around his neck. His body heat warmed her as her cheek rested against his solid chest. Odd how protected she felt, almost as if this stranger were an old friend.


You tube: Money Power and Poison and Shattered Rules

Reggi Allder


Great excerpt, Reggi. I agree, that’s the exciting part of writing, not knowing what’s coming up around the corner. It’s like extreme reading, lol. A new sport maybe? 🙂 Reggi loves to to connect with her readers. What’s your favorite type of romance?





So now you’ve written, rewritten, revised, edited, critiqued, and hopefully had beta readers look at your baby and tell you how great it is, right? RIGHT?

What’s next?

We’re lucky enough to be publishing now when there are so many options available.

  • E-book publishers– Lyrical Press, Montlake, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain, & many more.
  • Traditional Publishers– The big five as they are affectionately known. In the romance genre, this would be, Harlequin, Kensington, Avon, Hachette, & Penguin. Some of these will let you submit without an agent, check their guidelines and follow them, exactly.
  • Self-publishing– This is becoming more and more popular as authors get tired of waiting for their manuscripts to find first an agent and then a publisher, all of which could conceivably take years. Self-publishing puts the onus on the author to pay for everything it takes to get the book in front of the public eye.

Some of the things you need to plan for are: Covers, editing services, formatting, advertising.

Writer groups such as both local and on-line RWA chapters, and internet searches are vital research tools. Use them.

The best advice I could give is to remember why you’re doing this. For myself, it’s because I love books, everything about them. This community suits me and my goals.

What about you? Why do you write?

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WANACon 2014
by Kristen Lamb

I just took part in my first ever writers convention, online. Best experience ever. I was able to rub virtual noses with some of our industries brightest stars.
I learned a little about blogging, small press over self-publishing or traditional publishing. The importance of character traits, good and bad, taught by the wonderful Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are writing coaches and co-authors of the bestselling writing resource, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, as well as the newly released Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes and its darker cousin, The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws.

They both can be found at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse), a description hub for writers, editors and teachers.

For those of us brave enough to put our best face forward, via audio, webcams and chatboxes, a chance to pitch our stories to some of the best agents in the business.

I came away from the conference, rejuvenated, even more excited and yes a little overwhelmed with all the information flying around the chatrooms.
How about you? Have any of you ever been to conference? Did you enjoy it, or find it too much? What about online conferences? Have to admit sitting in the security of my own home probably gave me the courage to be more vocal than I might otherwise have been.

A great experience though, glad I went, 🙂