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Becca A. Miles: Learning the Ropes of Romance …
Monday, July 3rd, 2017

I’ve always enjoyed romance—reading it, that is. Growing up, my mother would trade paperback romances with her best friend, and I would get to rummage through the giant bags of books that appeared on a regular basis, selecting out my favorite and tearing through them at a rate of a book or two—or more—a day.

As I started showing an inclination to write, my mom suggested, “Well, you’re a fast writer … why don’t you write a romance?”

It seemed like a good idea, and so I decided to try it, only to run up against the wall of not knowing what in the heck I was doing. I didn’t know about tropes, I didn’t know about the “HEA” (happily ever after), and I sure didn’t know about the rules for point of view, alpha male, etc. Worst of all, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and so that first attempt petered out at around the six-page mark and eventually got lost when my hard drive burnt out.

Although I continued to enjoy reading the genre, my writing meandered slowly through the world of military journalism, then epic fantasy, then urban fantasy, science fiction, and a little dab of literary fiction. As I kept writing, I learned important things about character, plot, narrative, and how each genre had its rules that it was best to learn in order to meet your reader on happy ground. I even delved a little bit into erotica, with two stories published in charity anthologies.

I wouldn’t say I knew the ropes of romance, but I was learning how to write, and becoming a better writer brought me to the attention of my writing and romance mentor, Emmy Curtis, author of the Alpha Ops series. She invited me to her house, plied me with wine and Aaron Sorkin shows, and then repeated the same question my mom had once asked: “Why don’t you write a romance?”

When I explained I had no idea how, she told me about romance tropes—how each story followed a certain genre convention, and that stories could have more than one. She explained the HEA, and that you couldn’t write from one POV—you switched between the male and female protagonists (and no one else!) to get the reader into their heads and emotions. She talked about the three-act plot structure, as well as the huge market for romance.

It might have been the wine, or my tendency to get caught up in my friends’ enthusiasms, but I woke up at two o’clock in the morning to jot down the plot and characters for what eventually became my first attempt at romance.

So why am I sharing this story? First, to show that romance isn’t a genre you can just dabble your way into. There are very specific intentions behind the development of characters and the twists and turns of the plot. Romance readers love the genre and they have certain expectations that you need to meet.

Second, I wanted to share my particular journey into the genre. It’s not the same for everyone—some people start out knowing that they want to write romance, and go for it immediately. But for every writer, there is a journeyman/woman period of learning the craft, including how to write within genre conventions. These are not restrictions—rather, they’re the ropes to guide you where you need to go, and help you get there.

Third, I highly recommend finding yourself a writing buddy or mentor within your genre. I found Emmy at my local writers’ group, but I have also found buddies online in Facebook groups or conventions.

Last but not least, I hope this post has inspired some of you to dust of the keyboard or open the notebook and start writing. That story I started in Emmy’s guest room? It eventually became my first romantic suspense novel, Negotiating Her Release, published this spring by Boroughs Publishing Group. If you’ve ever wanted to write, and maybe you, too, shelved your first couple of pages, I encourage you to get them out, do some research, go meet some authors, and above all, keep writing.

And then send me your ARCs, because I still love curling up with a great HEA!

Becca A. Miles

FOR AUTHORS: Rose’s Online Plotting Bootcamp: September 4 – 29, 2017
Monday, July 3rd, 2017


Permission granted to forward

This message is for any authors or aspiring authors who might be interested in some intensive help developing their next stories.

Don’t let that word “intensive” scare you away; I’ve led newbies, as well as multi-published authors, through our plotting process numerous times. Everyone comes away with new knowledge and insight, or at the very least, some terrific brainstorming support!

While lessons and exercises will be posted throughout the month of September, this is truly a self-paced class. We all have busy lives, and the workshop is designed to accommodate any schedule. Enjoy the pitch below!

Back by popular demand!

ROSE’S ONLINE PLOTTING BOOTCAMP

Dates: September 4 – 29, 2017
Last date to register: September 4, 2017
Cost: $50.00—cheap, considering everything you get!
Your DI (Drill Instructor): Delilah Devlin
Offered through:
www.rosescoloredglasses.com

What you can expect:
LOGLINE (Lunges)
PREMISE (Pushups)
CHARACTER (Strengthening exercises)
CONFLICT! CONFLICT! CONFLICT!
Breaking through the STORY STRUCTURE stronghold
Battling the PLOT LINES

We do more in one month than some people do all year! Get tough! Get motivated! Get plotting!

Join your Drill Instructor, Delilah Devlin, to learn a methodical approach to harness your creativity in order to produce an in-depth plot for your next novel.

Sound scary? It is!!!! Especially when you’re staring at an empty page without a compass and a map to guide you through the novelistic jungle. Your DI will lead you through four weeks of tactics, exercises, and training that will help strengthen your abilities. Delilah will accomplish this with weekly lessons, bi-weekly chats, and daily online communication. Join her for bivouac in September!

Join this elite force now!

For those who don’t know, my sister and I co-founded the website for writers called Rose’s Colored Glasses in 2004. From that site, we run a critique group and provide workshops—some free and some for pay. In September, I will be leading a month-long plotting bootcamp. It’s a great time to join—something you can do for yourself to get ready for NANOWRIMO in November! Join me if you can! ~DD

How’s our workshop different from every other one out there? I’ll provide feedback and brainstorming every step of the way!

Interested? Follow this link to sign up:
http://www.rosescoloredglasses.com/Online%20plotting%20boot%20camp.htm

And feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think might be interested with my thanks!

Delilah Devlin
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author & Freelance Editor
Get in bed with Delilah. Everyone else has!

Toni J Strawn: The one night stand…
Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

There is something wickedly tempting about the thought of a one night stand. Throw away your inhibitions, be somebody else for a night, go a little crazy. More often than not, the one night stand is between two people who already know each other—that forbidden friend moment when you ‘try’ them out to see if there might be a spark of something more. It either explodes into the beginnings of a full-blown relationship, or feels like you’re making out with your brother. Blech.

With nearly fifty percent of the adult population admitting to participating in a one night stand, what is it about these three seemingly innocuous words that turns the average, self-controlled human being to a lust-fuelled predator stalking their prey. While alcohol is often used as an excuse, it’s not the only reason we shake off the last of our restraint and get down and dirty without the emotional connection.

Perhaps that is part of the answer too, the lack of attachment which is the only real difference between a first date and a one night stand. There is no promise of on-going affection, no declaration of love. It is sex, pure and simple. And with less than twenty percent of one night standers admitting to having regrets, it is no wonder the one night stand is still a popular way for people to meet their happy ever after.

So, have you ever indulged in a naughty one night stand? In the deliciously erotic One Night Stand Series, our heroes and heroines explore the many of the reasons for an illicit night of pleasure. Who knows, it may even end in love.

HIS RULES 

One Night Stand Series

Who will break first… 

Abby Harkness believes sex is a full-contact sport to be played by the rules.

Rule #1? One night only.

That is, until she meets the one man who makes her body scream for more. Instinct tells her to run, but Abby is determined to exorcise the demons of her past and prove she can handle anything he has to give.

Marcus Brookhein is competitive to the core, and he will bend the rules to win Abby’s heart. Its all-out war . . . and it’s about to get dirty.

Get your copy here!

Author Bio

Toni J Strawn is the author of the super-spicy contemporary One Night Stand novels, which include His Rules, The Rebound and Her Release, with His Redemption coming soon. These can be read on their own, or as a trilogy.

Toni loves everything romance. Hot, bad, crazy, out-of-control romance. In the One Night Stand series the characters are set up for ultimate one night stand, before turning it into happily ever after—no matter how much they have been through. Because everyone deserves to find love. Right?

While not locked away in her Romansion—a tiny writing shed at the bottom of the garden—Toni can be found with super-hubby Chris and the kids, or feeding her addiction to reading…you guessed it…romance.

What are you doing for the holiday? Play my puzzle!
Saturday, July 1st, 2017

This is a huge travel day for a lot of folks here in the U.S.! If you’re sitting in the passenger seat, and you’re bored with the company or the scenery ( :) ), I have a fun little puzzle for you. I’m trying to find games I can embed in my posts, because I’m addicted, and don’t addicts love leading their friends into the same addiction?

Let me know whether you enjoyed it! And share your 4th of July plans!

Hidden Words

Puzzle by mypuzzle.org

Love cowboys? Adore Blue Collar bad boys? Lust for Navy SEALs?
Friday, June 30th, 2017

Is your summer flying away like mine? I can’t believe tomorrow’s the first day of July! I’m renewing my vows right now to swim every day, enjoy the kids every day, and figure out how to write and have a life… Too many promises? Probably. Which do you think will fall by the wayside? Yeah. Probably the last one.

But that’s good for you, right? Seeing as this is Friday and you have the weekend stretching out in front of you, I’m here to remind you of the stories you may have missed this month. If you start now, you can read every one of them this weekend! You don’t have to waste time at Amazon, flipping through screens to find something you love. Love cowboys? Adore Blue Collar bad boys? Lust for Navy SEALs? Well, you’re in luck…

And don’t forget to drool over the covers of the stories coming in July…

If you missed this month’s releases…

Sometimes it takes a cowboy, or maybe four, to unleash a woman’s wild child…

Being the pretty daughter of the town whore was reason enough to ensure Shauna Davies lived a circumspect life, stepping out of line only occasionally with her favorite cowboy, boyfriend Bo Crenshaw. But her untamed spirit is forcing her to make a new start in another place where no one knows her past–but not before she fulfills one last wicked fantasy…

Cowboy Bo Crenshaw has loved Shauna since they shared their first sexual adventures as teenagers, but he hasn’t found the way to show her he accepts the wild child she keeps hidden inside–at least, not until she confesses a long-held fantasy. Now Bo is determined to give her a send-off that will make her think twice about blowing out of town.

Hoping he’s found the key to unlocking her heart, he turns to the Kinzie brothers, his three closest friends, to provide her a single night of unrestrained passion.

Get your copy here!

* * * * *

Romance sparks between a bounty hunter and a SEAL on the hunt for an escaped terrorist…

A former military police dog handler, Jamie Burke, along with her former bomb dog Tessa, are still trying to adjust to civilian life. With a jaded, testy personality, Jamie has few friends. Now, a bounty hunter, she’s tasked to help federal and local law enforcement search for an escaped terrorist in the Crazy Mountains of Montana.

Former SEAL, Sky Reynolds can’t believe Jamie Burke is part of the task force. The last time he saw her was in Afghanistan. Back then, he thought he’d never stand a chance with the pretty, ballsy blonde, sure she had someone waiting for her back home. But here she is, still single, still prickly as hell. Assigned to stick close to her and her dog Tessa during the hunt, he’ll use the situation to get close. This time, he’s not letting her slip away.

When Jamie’s captured by the terrorist, it’s up to Sky, his fellow SEALs, and her motley crew of bounty hunters to save her…

Get your copy here!

* * * * *

When it comes to love…Blue Collar is better!

It’s time to set aside those sexy billionaires and enjoy stories about the everyday, even sexier bad boys you meet in real life. They may have dirty hands and wear tool belts and jeans instead of Rolex watches, but they’re earthy alpha males unafraid to get down and dirty when face to face with a woman in need–whatever her need may be!

Just a few of the titillating stories inside…

In “Elevation” by Megan Mitcham, an always-in-control policewoman trapped in an elevator shaft gets a sexy rescue from the handsome repairman. A lonely woman drives a thousand miles to meet an oil field roughneck ready for a long night of laying pipe in Mia Hopkins’ “We Drill Deep While Others Sleep”. Jennifer Kacey shows the lengths to which an enterprising gal will go to get the owner of an oil change shop to check her fluids in “The Boss”. And those are just a few of the sexy stories inside this collection about the everyday hero next door.

These are men who’ve built their powerful muscles from hard work rather than inside any gym, and they sure know how to use their hard-earned skills to pleasure a woman…

Get your copy here!

* * * * *

Three cowboys…one for remembrance…one for healing…and one to steal her heart forever…

Chrissi Page has tried to find one man who heats her bed the way the Kinzie brothers did one shameful night years ago. She’s failed miserably, leaving her with no choice but to bank that inner fire–and keep a lid on her inner bad girl.

Way back when, she’d been weak, unable to choose between three cowboys who appealed to her in very different ways. After they’d each tried to win her for their own, they’d confronted her, demanding she choose. Confusion and anger had boiled over into a passion so wild, that to this day, she’s still trying to live it down.

Since that night, Ezra, Cade, and Joshua have individually sewn their wild oats with pretty much the entire available female population of Two Mule, Texas. Yet nothing and no other woman has ever erased the attraction they still feel for Chrissi. When she’s stranded on the road near their ranch, it’s their last chance to turn their mutual obsession into an unusual proposition…

Get your copy here!

* * * * *

See what’s coming in July!

  

Psst! Four-Gone is ready for pre-order!

Desiree Holt: Happy Birthday to me with a lot of gifts for you (Giveaway)
Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Today is my birthday. Yup, today I am 81 years young. And you now what keeps me young? Writing my books and “talking” to you, my readers. Now, I’m not giving away 81 books today (pause to giggle) but I will give away three titles which I’ll post at the end.

I’m really celebrating today, because June 27 was release day for Where Danger Hides. I love all my books but this one is extra special. I wrote it while still living in Texas (as I did with so many of my books). The hero is part Comanche. I lived near Fredericksburg, the center so long ago of Comanche settlement in that area. My husband and I drove to Fredericksburg to do some research at the museum there and (gasp!) you’ll never believe it but a man walked in to give something to the museum who look EXACTLY like my hero, Noah Cantrell. My husband had to promise I wasn’t crazy when I asked if we could take him for coffee. The soul of Noah was born out of that conversation.

I had lived in Tampa before moving to Texas, so I tried to give a flavor of the city by having my heroine live there. But when she goes to Texas, she is seduced by the nature and raw beauty of the state, just as I was.

Where Danger Hides is a revised and revitalized edition of the earlier release, and I am so much happier with this one. Not only that, my publisher, Totally Bound, liked it so much they asked me to develop a series from it, so this is Book One in Corporate Heat. Books 2-4 are currently in development.

Here is a taste of the book below. I hope you’ll all help me celebrate my birthday by taking home a copy. And if you leave a comment, you might win a choice of an ebook from my backlist.

Where Danger Hides

Corporate Heat Book One

Taylor Scott thought she had it all—a good life and a great job. No relationship? No problem. But her world is turned upside down when the father she never knew she had first refuses to acknowledge her, then makes her the sole heir to the major conglomerate he owned. It’s the last thing she wants, but circumstances leave her no choice. She steps into a world of corporate greed and treachery where no one is what they seem.

And the only person to guide her through the treacherous waters? The man with whom she had the hottest one-night stand ever, Noah Cantrell. Noah isn’t what he seemed at first, either, but now he’s the only one Taylor can trust.

As danger stalks her at every turn, she must rely on him for everything. The man who makes her scream with pleasure is the only one who can tell her where the danger hides.

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/where-danger-hides-4
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Danger-Hides-Corporate-Heat-ebook/dp/B0716YXRD5/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1495833969&sr=1-1&keywords=Where+Danger+Hides
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hide-and-seek-desiree-holt/1125531148?ean=9781516103676#productInfoTabsTotally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/index.php?route=search%2Fget%2Fresults&q=Where+Danger+Hides

Excerpt

Leaning back in her chair she closed her eyes and as always these days, unbidden, the image of The Man danced across her brain. She rubbed her eyes, trying to erase the images that were always there no matter how she wished them away. That night had been at once the most erotic and embarrassing night of her life. At least she’d broken out of her shell with a stranger, someone she didn’t have to see again. You want to see him again, though. Quit kidding yourself. You want all those things he did to you, made you do. Maybe even more. That’s why you can’t stop thinking about them. About him.

A commotion in the reception area broke her train of thought and drew her attention. She heard the voice of Sheila, the receptionist, raised in protest over something and the angrier male voice overriding her.

“You can’t go in there,” Sheila was saying as the door to Taylor’s office flew open.

“I’m in. Miss Scott can throw me out if she wants to.”

There he was, standing in front of her.

Him, The Man.

She blinked hard, thinking for a moment she’d conjured up his image. But when she opened her eyes again he was still there. Alive. In her office. In full alpha mode. The man she’d never expected to see again. The man who’d taken her far beyond the boundaries set by her inhibitions and beckoned to her in her dreams each night.

He was even more impressive than she remembered, his presence filling her office and surrounding her. His custom suit and silk dress shirt—were they his uniform?—were window dressing for the barely leashed panther beneath the fabric of civilized clothing. Expensive hand tooled leather boots on his feet. His hair tied back with a leather thong as before. His face still an unreadable mask. The sense of controlled power still there. A man larger than life. The panther was caged today but just barely. This might be her office but he was definitely the person in charge.

Even as embarrassment and anger warred within her, her nipples hardened, her breasts tingled and her panties dampened with moisture. She felt every bit of blood drain from her face and drop to her feet. Waves of hot and cold rolled through her and she was sure all the air had been sucked from her lungs. Gripping the arms of her desk chair for support she licked her lips, trying to moisten them.

Quick, lithe movements brought him to the front of her desk where he stood facing her, his face set, dark eyes probing hers. Eyes that for a brief second held a knowing look.

“Miss Scott?” Sheila’s worried voice cut through her fog. “Shall I call one of the partners?”

Taylor managed to find a functioning part of her brain. “No, thanks, Sheila. It’s all right.”

“Would you like me to send someone in to carry your boxes for you? Walk you down to the garage?” Sheila wasn’t quite ready to let go.

Taylor forced a smile. “No, I can manage. Thanks for your concern. And for all your good wishes today.”

Sheila gave her a last worried look before she closed the door.

His eyes burned into Taylor’s, mesmerizing her as they’d done that night in San Antonio.

What is he doing here?

As if he’d heard her, he reached into his inside jacket pocket, extracted a card from a small leather case and dropped it on top of the folder. She picked it up with fingers that trembled and stared at it.

Noah Cantrell, Vice President of Security, Arroyo Corporation

Her father’s company.

Oh, hell!

*~*~*

Check me out at:
www.desireeholt.comwww.facebook.com/authordesireeholt
@desireeholt

Happy Birthday to Me! (Giveaway)
Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

This giveaway is now ended! Thanks to everyone who dropped by to help me celebrate by birthday!

* * * * *

My Facebook is blowing up already this morning with good wishes. Thank you, all! How does one celebrate her own birthday in a public way? I’d look foolish singing “Happy Birthday” to me, so instead, I’ll keep this easy…

I’ll give away the gifts. For everyone who posts a birthday wish below, I’ll give away a free shorty. All you have to do is post your wish (and thank you very much in advance!), post your short story preference (link below to the page), and leave your email address in the comments. Happy Birthday from me to you!

Choose a story from this page!
(All excerpt “Invite Me In”)

Psst! And how about giving me a gift? See the “Follow My Blog” on the left? Sign up!