And They Lived Happily Ever After…

By Stacy Connelly

So just a week or so ago, I typed the final line of my most recent manuscript (tentatively titled “Healing the Cowboy’s Heart” and scheduled for early 2015) and sent it off to my editor. By no means is this the last time I will see this book, however. There could be revisions. There definitely will be line edits and copy edits and AAs to come. Then there’s the Art Fact Sheet to fill out where I describe scenes to be used for the cover, the Dear Reader letter and the dedication. But for right now, it is DONE. the end

Seeing that this is the second book in my three book contract, I do have a whole ‘nother manuscript to start working on :), but I was wondering what you do after you’ve accomplished a large or long term task… Whether it’s some kind of craft or hobby or home improvement project, when you’re done, do you take some time to relax? Or do you feel motivated by what you’ve accomplished and immediately jump into something new?

Leave a comment and I’ll draw a winner of a $10 gift car

Posted in Books, Giveaways, Special Edition series, Writing Process | 16 Comments

A Whole New Light…and Win a Gift Card!

–by Christine Rimmer

The Prince's Cinderella BrideLately, I find myself writing a lot of Friends-to-Lovers stories.  There’s just something so romantic to me about two people who have history together—good history of good times as great friends—suddenly finding they want to be more than friends.

Is there such a thing as too much of a good-friends thing?  Not to me.

My book, THE PRINCE’S CINDERELLA BRIDE, out this month, is a friends-to-lovers story.  Maximillan Bravo-Calabretti, the heir to the Montedoran throne, and Lani Vasquez, nanny and aspiring novelist, have a lot more in common than you might think at first glance. And they mostly discover their true commonality in the palace library.  He goes there to research.  She goes there to write. Both of them are fascinated with his country’s history: he studies and lectures on it, worldwide.  She’s writing a trilogy of historical novels set in Montedoro. Oh, I had fun with those, as her novels are about his bloodthirsty, ambitious ancestors who will poison their relatives for a chance at the throne.

Anyway, both of them have lost at love big-time.  She plans never to marry.  He will never marry again.  They start as friends.  And then, at New Years…well, you know how it goes.  When you dance with the prince,  you just might end up in a Cinderella moment.  Lani definitely does.  And then all she wants is to forget that moment and go back to the way they used be.

Yeah.  Good luck with that, Lani.

I’m just crazy about that moment or that night or that kiss or…whatever it is that makes two good friends suddenly Holiday Royalesee each other in a whole new light.  In my last Christmas story, HOLIDAY ROYALE, that moment happened because Lucy Cordell asked her good buddy, player prince Damien Bravo-Calabretti, to be her first lover.  Dami has never thought of sweet Lucy “that” way.  But once she asks for that certain intimate favor, well, that has him seeing the light pretty quickly.

And right now, I’m working on this year’s Christmas story, A BRAVO CHRISTMAS WEDDING, in which Princess Aurora  Bravo-Calabretti and Walker McKellan, rancher and mountain man, start out as very good friends.  But then her mother, the ruling princess, talks Walker into being her bodyguard for a two-week visit to Colorado where her favorite Bravo cousin is about to marry her own best friend.  There’s just something about having to be together round-the-clock that can change a friendship in a really big way.  And then, when they get stranded in a mountain cabin during a blizzard….

But wait.  I haven’t written that part yet.  Suffice to say that there will be a lot more than friendship going on in that isolated mountain cabin….

Do you like friends-to-lovers stories?  Do you know any couples that started out as friends?  How about you?  Ever had a big crush on your very good friend?

Leave a comment here by Friday.  Saturday, I’ll draw a winner for a $10 Amazon gift card.   Hugs and love and happy reading to all!

Posted in Books, friends to lovers, Special Edition series, Uncategorized, Writing Process | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Where Everybody Knows Your Name Winner – Tammy Y

Thanks to everyone who commented! Tammy, you’ve won a copy of ‘A Brevia Beginning’ and a Starbucks GC. Please email me at michelle@michellemajor.com.

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Where Everybody Knows Your Name….by Michelle Major

I was flipping through channels recently and came across a re-run for the show ‘Cheers’ – one of my favorites from the ‘80s. It also had (IMHO) just about the best theme song, with the tagline ‘Where Everybody Knows Your Name’ and the words that begin the song still resonate today:

Making your way in the world today….Takes everything you’ve got….Taking a break from all your worries….Sure would help a lotcheers-header

It made me laugh a little to think of my own ‘grown up’ life and the places I frequent enough where people know me. They are (in no particular order):

The grocery store. Exciting, right? This is definitely where I know people the best. One of the checkers in particular is very outgoing and will sometimes keep my books at the front of the store and sell them to the customers around me as I stand in line. It’s embarrassing and sweet at the same time.

My favorite breakfast restaurant. Never underestimate the power of a good waitress – my grandpa used to request to sit in one section each time we went out to eat and now I do the same thing. I don’t eat out that often, but I could have breakfast every meal of the day and Huevos Rancheros top my list. I don’t make them at home, so they’re always worth the trip to my local morning eatery.

The breakfast burrito drive-through. A bit of a theme is emerging here. We have a local taco shop in town that my kids and I love so any time we’re out and about, this is where we stop. We’ve pulled up so much that now they recognize us.

The Indian restaurant in my neighborhood. More food – what a surprise! My hubby doesn’t appreciate Indian so whenever my girlfriend and I go out for lunch, we hit the Indian buffet. The place we like has recently started winning ‘best of’ awards in town, but despite the new crowds they always find a place for us.

The library. Last but not least! I’m not at the library as much as I used to be because of borrowing books online for my Kindle, but I’m still friends with our branch manager and like to catch up with her when I can.

This list tells you a lot about me. I like to eat and read. That pretty much sums it up.

What about you? Do you have any go-to places in your community where people ‘know your name’ or do you prefer anonymity? I’d love to hear what you have to say and will draw one name to win a copy of my June release, A Brevia Beginning, and a $10 Starbucks GC.

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I have a confession to make – Lilian Darcy

I hate shopping.

I know. I should probably be banished from womankind for this.

When I was first married, my mother-in-law, who lives to shop, flat out didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t love shopping. She thought I was just being a dutiful newly-wed trying to please my husband by not breaking the bank. It took years for me to convince her that I meant it, and then she came back with the worst possible response to give to a non-shopper like me. “Oh, I’ll take you shopping! Then you’ll love it!”

No.

The idea of trailing around a huge New Jersey mall for hours and hours with a woman who buys so many Christmas gifts each February that they are found hidden in the backs of her closets years later because she’s forgotten all about them is…

Well, just no.

My main shopping tactic is like that of a military commando squad. Go in hard and fast, hit the target, pull out and retreat to base. I have a list. I get what’s on the list. I leave.

There is one exception. Garden centers. If I’m at the garden center I suddenly turn into my mother-in-law, browsing and picking up little things I didn’t even know I wanted, spending way more than I’d intended.

Today – probably as you’re reading this – my daughter and I are off on a different kind of shopping trip. We’re horse shopping. It’s not fun at all. I may have mentioned this before. Wish us luck!

And tell me about your most favorite and least favorite kinds of shopping.

Posted in Uncategorized | 55 Comments

Happy Endings…

by Olivia Miles

9780373658107I’m a sucker for a happy ending – in books, movies, and of course, in life! A good ending will stick with me long after a story as been brought to a close, and the lingering feeling can often shape the impression of the journey up to that point. As a romance writer, creating a solid HEA is an essential part of my process when I sit down to write a book, and today my editor, Susan Litman, and I are discussing the perfect ingredients for creating a happy ending on the Harlequin SOLD! blog. (Check it out here.)

To coincide with our post, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my personal favorite happy endings:

  • You’ve Got Mail – The scene where the dog, Barkley, comes around the corner gets me every time :-)
  • Dirty Dancing – I won’t even admit how many times I have replayed that final dance sequence.
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love – Many people I know haven’t seen this great film, so I won’t give the ending away, but…it was perfect.
  • Mermaids – One of my all-time favorite movies, I love the the way the ending stayed true to the delightfully strong and quirky family dynamic.
  • Silver Linings Playbook – As if that ballroom dance scene wasn’t perfect enough, the ending not only addressed each of the carefully threaded conflicts, but the heroine finally got to kiss Bradley Cooper. (It doesn’t get better than that, folks.)

I can think of many more favorite happy endings, and many more perfect endings that were not necessarily happy. One of the things Susan and I discuss in our post is making sure the ending is as true to the essence of the characters and storyline as it can be, so a satisfying resolution can be made. In my current release, RECIPE FOR ROMANCE, I worked hard to bring all those pieces together, and to celebrate the happy ending (i.e. release!) of this book, I’m giving away a signed copy to one commenter.

So tell me, what are some of your most memorable happy endings? :)

 

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The Soundtrack of Your Life – Penney Wilfort–You are a winner!

Penney– Email me at stacyconnelly@cox.net for your gift card! Thanks to everyone for participating!

 

by Stacy Connelly

Growing up in the eighties, I was a huge Duran Duran fan, and hearing one of their songs can take me back to those pre-teen years. record

A few eighties songs even take me back to The Civil War. Crazy, right? :) Let me explain. What happened is that back in the day, I used to record songs off the radio. I had a tape that probably had no more than 30 minutes of recording time available and had only 5 or 6 songs per side, and I listened to that tape over and over as I wrote a report on The Civil War. All these years later, and Glen Frye and Tears for Fears will still make me think Abraham Lincoln. :)

Then there’s the song that played at my cousin’s wedding and other songs that immediately remind me of high school. How about you? What songs take you back to that “Time of Your Life?”

Leave a message, and I’ll draw a winner of a $10 gift card.

Posted in Books, Giveaways | 32 Comments

Whatever Happened to Spring Break? by Judy Duarte

Whatever Happened to Spring Break?

 biker

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always looked forward to spring vacation.  As a kid, the school year really began to drag by the time March rolled around.  So having a week off was a nice way to take a breather from homework and class projects.  Just having that ten-day break allowed me to hang in there until summer.

 

As a mom, I enjoyed having some time off from the daily grind of fixing breakfast, searching for missing shoes and backpacks, while rushing everyone to the car—or the bus stop.  Boy, did that get old!  J

 Now, that my children are grown with little ones of their own, I thought it might be fun to plan a family trip to Disneyland.    spring3

 

 

 

But with everyone having a different spring break, that’s not going to work out the way I’d hoped.

 

It doesn’t seem that long ago when everyone took off the week leading up to Easter.  But, now, it seems that every school district and college operates on its own schedule.  As a result, we’ve evolved into a spring break season.

 

I suppose there is an upside.  The vacation destinations get to see a bigger sales boost over a longer amount of time, but it’s not so great for those of us who want to plan a family vacation without being subject to the higher prices.  And it also means that college students can’t all make a mad rush to places like Fort Lauderdale or Palm Springs…

 

No, Spring Break—or Easter Vacation—ain’t what it used to be.  

 

Do you have any fond memories of your spring break?  I’ll be giving away a copy of my latest book to one lucky commenter.  A HOUSE FULL OF FORTUNES! is an April release—and book 4 in the new 2014 Fortunes of Texas series.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments

APRIL FOOLS!

funky concept illustration for april fools dayLynne Marshall here.  It’s been ages since I’ve blogged at the Special Edition Authors blog, so some of you might think I’m pulling an April Fool’s Day joke and am highjacking the site.  Nope. I really belong here.  I’ve been fortunate enough to write a book or three for the Special Edition line over the past couple of years.  I’m also very excited to say I’ll have my third SE out in July 2014.  A DOCTOR FOR KEEPS is the kick-off book for a trilogy, which I’ll talk more about as July approaches.

As for today, I want to spotlight a few of the bigger and better April Fools jokes.  According to the Museum of Hoaxes top 100 of all time, I’m sharing a sampling of the pranks: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

  1. 1957: BBC news reported a bumper spaghetti crop for Swiss farmers since eradicating the dreaded spaghetti weevil.  The picture shows a family picking strings of spaghetti from a large tree.
  2. 1985: George Plimpton pulled a good one for Sports Illustrated magazine, revealing a new pitcher for the Mets who could pitch a ball at the speed of 165 miles per hour (65 miles faster than ever previously recorded).  Plimpton left clues throughout the article about the magical and elusive to professional sports pitcher.  Only the savvy readers noticed the acrostic spelling out Happy April Fool’s Day.
  3. 1996: The Taco Bell Corporation took out ads in several papers stating they had bought the Liberty Bell and were renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. (I remember this one)
  4. 1992:  National Public Radio convinced a large portion of their listeners that Richard Nixon was running for president again and his slogan would be – “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”
  5. Burger King took out full page ads in USA Today one April 1st saying they’d created the Left Handed Whopper where “all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers.”  Before the next day when they admitted the ad was a hoax, apparently thousands of customers had asked for the new sandwich.Close up portrait of hard laughing young man. Isolated on white

The only prank I ever pulled that was of any significance (and worked) was to call our good friends, who’d recently experienced a small tornado touching down in their unlikely community – a strange phenomenon that blew through their town without doing much damage.  I changed my voice and said I was from a newspaper and wanted to interview them about their experience.  Their middle-school aged son answered the phone and gave me a great interview.  Then I asked to speak to his mother (my good friend), and could barely get the first question out without breaking into laughter.  It’s a good thing she has a great sense of humor, because she’d just sat nearby as her son earnestly told me (the fake interviewer) the whole story, including sound effects.

Pulled any good ones lately? Or had a good one pulled on you?  If not, which of the five examples I gave did you like best? Care to share? Do Tell!

 

Watch for A DOCTOR FOR KEEPS this July. No book cover to share yet :(

Her lifelong search for home…  

Desdemona Rask never knew much about her family. Now she is finally getting a chance to learn about her roots in the town of Heartlandia. For the first time, Desi feels like there’s somewhere she belongs…but there’s more to her welcome home than she expected! Her grandmother’s next-door neighbor looks like a Viking warrior, and he’s giving Desi all sorts of unwelcome feelings….

might be closer than she thinks! 

Caring for his son, Steven, is single dad Dr. Kent Larson’s first priority. But the boy’s stunning new piano teacher makes him take a second look at his to-do list. Still, he’s lost at love before—how could he risk another heart-battering? Does the doctor dare to go all in?

 

Posted in Holidays, Quirky stories | Tagged , , | 35 Comments

C-Jay M wins a $10 gift card

pearls headshotC-Jay, congrats!  You won on my What I Love Most About Writing Romance blog.  Email me at christine@christinerimmer.com or message me on Facebook to collect your gift card.

Thanks everyone for the visit!  XOXO!

Christine Rimmer

 

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