52 Week Blogging Challenge: Weeks 25, 26 & 27

Secrets of a Romance Writer: oh dear, playing catch-up again…

Oops, I did it again! But I’m not Britney, so I’ll just pull up my writerly pants and do another 3-in-1 post. Brace yourselves!

 

Week 25: Do You Keep a Journal or Diary?

No, not anymore. I stopped when I got married because living in close quarters with my husband made me fear he could discover my diary/journal. Not getting deeper into this matter – but suffice to say that I used to keep one for almost a decade. I wrote in it every single evening, first in my mother tongue and later on in English. I’m not sure it ever helped my writing because it was never fiction in any form, but I do think it helped to keep sane during difficult times.

 

Week 26: My Favorite Indulgence

Is reading an indulgence? If so, then that’s definitely #1. I can’t go a day without reading (for pleasure, that is, in addition to all the reading I do as part of my job). I’m a bookworm through and through, and I can forego food and many other comforts as long as I have a good book to indulge in. (Also, I’m a chocoholic, so chocolate is my next biggest indulgence.)

 

Week 27: Most Fun I Can Have while Dressed

Excuse me? *snickers* There’s a lot of above-mentioned ‘fun’ to be had even while dressed. Just sayin’… But to keep things non-smutty, just look at the above answer. Reading is what I love most, and it’s always tons of fun. So is chatting with my amazing online friends from all around the globe (and spending way too much time on Tumblr *cough cough*).

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

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52 Week Blogging Challenge: Week 24

Secrets of a Romance Writer: Item I Can’t Live Without

 

Well, that’s easy: My computer – preferably with internet because without it, I could only use it to write (and read). Without my computer, I turn into a whining, desperate and desperately bored creature barely resembling a human. Ask my poor husband who’s had to deal with a computer-less wife three times before (migrating, moving & repairs) and miraculously survived to tell the tale. My computer holds my whole life, my dreams, my books – and my friends, if you include the internet.

 

And because this was so easy, I’m going to answer the Week 24 prompt from last year’s list too: If I Could Eat One Last Meal

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

52 Week Blogging Challenge: Week 23

Secrets of a Romance Writer: Word Counts Matter… How Much? How Often?

It’s not the size, it’s how you use it… *wink*

In the same vein, I’m not restricting myself by aiming for a certain word count per day/week/month or book. Rather, I set myself a goal that feels more natural to achieve: I write either a complete scene or a complete chapter per day, whenever I do have enough time for fiction writing. That way, I feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s done, and I also don’t have to ditch a scene before it’s done. As an added bonus, that makes it easier to return to a WIP after some time. I do love those writing challenges though where you’re supposed to write for 20 minutes each day or write 100 words at a stretch at a certain signal.

In the end, you gotta do you. What works for one author, doesn’t for another. And that’s perfectly fine. Why force it and right 500 words only to realize you’ll have to ditch half of them because you aren’t satisfied? Wouldn’t it make more sense to write only 100 but feel good about those?

wisdom-quotes-the-power-of-words

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

The Bet

My Guilty Pleasures

The bet aug 12 2018.jpg

The Bet

Educating Thalia

Prologue 2018 pt 2

Collaboration by devikafernando and avenger-nerd-mom

Professors AU

Thalia holds Tom to his promise- whatever she wants for a WHOLE day since she won their World Cup bet!

Warnings: NSFW, language, fingering, oral sex, household chores, intercourse

Word Count 3556

This is an interim piece, catching up with Thalia Barreo and her life. Right now, she’s with Tom, but that doesn’t mean Chris is forgotten… Find out how the story ends in the sequel to Educating Thalia, coming soon!

If you don’t know the story of Thalia and Professor Tom, or how Professor Evans fits into all this, start at the beginning! Read Educating Thalia on WordPress.

Thalia is in heaven today—even if her imaginary halo keeps getting caught on her horns…

She won the World Cup bet with her boyfriend, Professor Tom Hiddleston, and she’s chosen this day to have him be…

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52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 22

Secrets of a Romance Writer: My biggest pet peeve in a book

 

I’m a very tolerant reader, to be honest. And as romance is my favorite genre to read, you can feel free to bombard me with all the tropes. Friends to lovers? Gimme! Enemies to lovers? Hell, yes. Arranged marriage? Sure thing! Banging the boss? Sure, why not. Secret baby? Meh…okay, if it’s well written.

So I had to think really hard whether I really have a pet peeve. And I guess I do, but it stems from being a writer. If there are any glaring mistakes or it ‘sounds’ totally wrong, then I might give up on the book after all. That happens with a lot of the free stuff and series starters that I download, by the way. None of us is perfect; we all started with a debut and now cringe when we re-read it. That’s not what I mean. But some people really aren’t meant to be authors. Especially not if he has an angry-purple, bristling erection and she shrieks when he batters her love cave.

  • Inconsistencies annoy the hell out of me. Switching from past tense to present tense all the time? WHY? Having your hero say he’s oh-so badass and a dominant and then he takes her the vanilla way once? Nope, not working. Making her the shy, nerdy introverted virgin and the next chapter she does three men at the same time while moaning obscenities? Nuh-uh.
  • For heaven’s sake, don’t think you need to use obscure synonyms or outdated big words to sound sophisticated. You won’t. You’ll just end up ruining the chemistry in a sex scene or making a perfectly normal hero sound like an underpaid comic book villain.
  • You’re a writer. Don’t tell me you don’t know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.

 

Sorry, I’ll get down from my high horse now…

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

Michael James Movie Cast

Lisa Andrew

As most of you know, I’ve been working on a novel for a long time. Maybe a bit too long. Because whenever I go back to work on it, I forget what’s happened in the book. Lol

Michael James is an international CEO who has come across a problem he can’t solve easily, and enlists his successful CEO wife, The Queen to help him. With their own personal struggles, attempts at fixing Michael’s problem and obstacles along the way, it’s ultimately about a very realistic celebrity couple attempting to save their marriage.

It’s my baby, and I’ve been working on it for a very long time.

Also, I typically have some inspiration when I write, therefore you won’t be surprised to hear I’ve already (in my mind) cast the entire list of characters if it turned into a movie. And yes, I’ve seriously considered turning the book (once it’s officially…

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52 Week Blog Challenge: Week 21

Secrets of a Romance Writer: A Childhood Memory

 

Let’s do it like this!

 

Little Gisela lay in bed, eyes wide open. She was supposed to go to sleep.

Her mother had come into the room to read her a bedtime story–and then another one because one story was never enough. She’d been tucked in, received a kiss on the forehead, and should really be asleep by now.

But she wasn’t.

How could the adults ever expect you to simply close your eyes and let go when there were so many loud thoughts in your head? So many unanswered questions, so many images from the stories you’d listened to.

With a sigh, little Gisela turned the other way to gaze at the closed door of her room. From beneath the wood, a narrow strip of light was visible. It seemed to beckon to her, enticed her to crawl out from all the blankets and explore the mysteries of late evening.

She sat up, slipped a foot out from under the cover–and froze with her toes touching the cool floor when an ominous sound reached her ears.

What was that?

She’d never heard this before. It was…she didn’t have words for it. Something that didn’t sound human. Something that spoke of a struggle, that was threatening yet also weird.

The sound repeated itself, a sort of retching and rasping. Then the scratching of claws on wood and more odd noises.

Were monsters real? What about aliens? Had somebody entered the house and would do unspeakable things to her parents who hadn’t sought the safety of their beds yet?

Heart in her throat, little Gisela clutched the blankets tighter.

Should she scream and alert her parents? Or would that only encourage their intruder?

She debated as the mysterious noise got louder, then made up her mind.

Wrapping one blanket around her for safety, she slid out of bed and walked slowly to the door. Standing on her tiptoes, she grabbed the doorknob with both hands and turned it. Slowly, oh so slowly, holding her breath.

The door opened soundlessly, and she had to brace herself for a moment. Pushing it open inch by inch, she finally dared to stick her head out and peek into the dimly lit hallway.

The sound came from around the corner.

Shaking with fear but also thrilled to be going on an adventure, little Gisela put one bare foot in front of the other, avoiding the middle floorboard that she knew creaked in protest if you stepped on it.

Holding her breath once more, she peeked around the corner and nearly squeaked when a distorted dark shape’s shadow was visible on the opposite wall. It was a hideous creature. A monster.

She needed to be sure before she warned her parents, though.

Pulse racing, she took another step closer to catch a glimpse of the beast–and swayed with relief.

It was Cat, the neighbor’s cat that often stayed at their home. He was hunched over and convulsing, vomiting something gross onto the floor.

“Eeew, you silly thing. You’re not a monster!”

Cat meowed once before making that awful retching sound again and spitting out a big ball of something fuzzy and dark.

Well, she wouldn’t have to save her parents after all…

 

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

52 Week Blog Challenge: Weeks 18, 19 & 20

Secrets of a Romance Writer: Playing catch-up

I swore to myself I’d see this blogging challenge through. But I was busy, and some of the prompts were confusing or uninspiring. Just when I despaired, writer friends of mine who’re doing the challenge too found last year’s list. So from now on, I’ll be choosing whichever topic works for me. All right, let’s roll our sleeves up and get this sh*t done!

Week 18: Work up character/setting profiles?

I’m a mix of a plotter and a pantser (nope, I’m not talking about wearing pants), which means that I rely on a framework for each book but also see where the story takes me. I write a general outline for a story and/or series before I start actually working on it, and that includes a few notes about the setting and short character profiles. Mostly just the important facts because the characters develop as I write them. If it’s a real setting, there’ll be research, of course. I love that phase where I’m still not too sure but do know that I’ll be writing this. And I have to confess I often lose myself in the research because it’s just so much fun learning about other places.

 

Week 19: The Ideal Romance Hero (from the 2017 prompts list)

I don’t think THE ideal romance hero exists. We all go for different types, and even different plots or sub-genres can necessitate other character traits.

I like my men a bit alpha, but I’m not into assholes. Confident – yes! Cocky – no! With my ‘sweet’ romance alter ego, I prefer the caring types who know how to take charge but also allow themselves to become emotional. They’re no softies but gentlemen with some amount of power and determination. As Gisela Grey, I write sexy-as-hell men who know what women want and how to give it to them. They’re ‘harder’ but also kind-hearted and honest, often loyal to a fault and sometimes brooding and bossy. Very protective, somewhat secretive, and burdened with a dark past.

Let’s go for visual inspiration instead, huh? WARNING: EYE CANDY AHEAD!

Here’s my inspiration for Derek, the wolf shifter from Big and Beautiful: Tyler Hoechlin

150628-news-tyler-hoechlin-news

 

My inspiration for Damien, the shifter from Big and Brave: Jason Momoa & Brock O’Hurn

And my inspiration for my upcoming hero in Big and Bold: Nick Bateman

Sorry, gotta run off to have several cold showers before I can tackle the next prompt…

 

Week 20: Favorite Social Media Platforms

I love ’em all, for different reasons. I use Facebook to stay connected to all my friends from around the globe, Twitter to network with fellow writers as well as to reach readers, and Tumblr to wallow in smut, gang up with other fangirls, and uh…find inspiration! *wink wink nudge nudge*

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Want to know about other authors’ answers? Lucky for you, my fabulous friends are part of this challenge too. Hop over to their blogs and/or Twitter to find out more!

Autumn McKayne

https://autumnmckayne.com/secrets-of-a-romance-writer/

https://twitter.com/autumnmckayne

 

Charlie Knight

http://cknightwrites.com/

https://twitter.com/CKnightWrites

 

Felicity Davenport

https://felicitydavenport.com/category/52-week-challenge/

https://twitter.com/FelicitysQuill

 

Cass Michaels

http://www.writercassmichaels.com/blog

https://twitter.com/WriterCMichaels

 

Lisa Andrew

https://lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/TheWife101

 

Clara Blackstone

https://clarablackstone.com/category/52-week-blog-challenge/

https://twitter.com/kinkislove

Goals

My Guilty Pleasures

prologue goals july 8Goals

Collaboration by devikafernando and avenger-nerd-mom

AU Fiction

Professor Tom Hiddleston and Thalia Bareo place a wager on the FIFA World Cup 2018 outcome

Warnings: language, fluff, teasing

Word Count: 1725

This little drabble doesn’t offer any answers to “What’s Thalia been up to?” or “Who is Thalia dating?” This is just a summer Saturday, a little peek into her life…

If you don’t know the story of Thalia and Professor Tom, or how Professor Evans fits into all this, start at the beginning. Read Educating Thalia on WordPress.

Prologue 2018

“Bloody hell, that was clearly offside!”

With an indignant half-yell, Tom sets his chips bag down on the table with somewhat too much force. To his right, Thalia shouts her support.

“At least by a foot! Is the side referee blind or what?”

God, she truly is the perfect football companion, Tom thinks to himself with a grin…

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