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Genevive Chamble: How one writer stays organized…
Monday, March 16th, 2020

A question I’m frequently asked is how do I keep my characters, storylines, etc. organized? The first answer that always lingers on the tip of my tongue is that I don’t. However, that isn’t true. It merely seems that way at the time. Let me explain.

First, according to results on the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), I’m what is known as an ENTP. For those unfamiliar with the MBTI, it is a self-report personality questionnaire developed by Isabel Myer and Katherine Briggs that identifies a person’s personality attributes and preferences based on theories of personality archetypes formulated by the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung. Now, I’m not going to diving into Jung’s theory. (Been there; done that in grad school. His writings aren’t exactly light reading.) Fortunately, one doesn’t have to be familiar with Jung’s work to understand the MBTI, as the creators already did the work.

The MBTI divides personality archetypes into four categories.
1. Extroversion – Introversion
2. Intuition – Sensing
3. Thinking – Feeling
4. Judging – Perceiving.

These four categories in combination form sixteen personality types. I won’t be discussing the ins and outs of the MBTI. Readers interested in learning more or taking the MBTI for themselves are encouraged to visit the Myers & Briggs Foundation website.

As previously mentioned, my personality type is ENTP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving). The N is what denotes my creativity; however, it is the P that causes me issues in organization. I generally like to substitute the P to mean procrastination instead of perceiving. Oof! However, I have an organized type of procrastination going on. For other Ps that probably made a lot of sense while all the Js are likely scratching their heads. See, I’m aware of deadlines and schedules and am mindful of how long it will take me to perform tasks. From the moment I’m first aware of a task, I begin mentally preparing a plan. Granted, this may not be a good or solid plan, but it’s a start. Don’t come for me. It is the P in me that has me, um…should we say lacking in organization? Which brings me to my second point.

I’m a panster. Yep, card-carrying. I know most of my fellow writers who are plotters have just come unwound. It’s okay. We’re all different. Look, I tried doing the outline and was about to cast myself into the Pontchartrain, but these waters have gators. When I write, I don’t need a bunch of Post-Its telling me what comes next. I write the scene as I’m feeling it. If it doesn’t belong in the final draft, I cut it.

I’ve heard the argument that creating an outline prevents plot holes and allows one to write faster. Uh huh. It does only if your mind is designed that way. Outlining slows me. I get caught and hung up in details and forget what I want to say. My work comes across as being contrived and forced. This isn’t a criticism of being a plotter. It’s just not a process that has worked for me.

According to the MBTI, women are more likely to be Fs than Ts. My T score is much lower than all my other scores. In fact, my scores on all the other scales are towards the falling off extreme end, while my T score is in the single digits. Instead of going on emotions, I really analyze matters. If one asks my friends, I analyze too much. This over-analyzation is the N in me trying to find a deeper meaning. Typical Ts make judgments that are based on logic. I must see and identify the problem before I am able to formulate solutions. If I tried to outline that, I’d extinguish an entire ecosystem with the number of index cards. As they say here, “Naw, sis, that ain’t happening.”

But make no mistake, there is organization. I do jot down ideas. I have two notebooks that I use to track ideas as well as things that I’ve learned in the past. For example, when I receive constructive criticism, I make a note of it. These notebooks are also where I write all of my notes. Now, why don’t I write them electronically? Two reasons. First, I’ve had computers to crash and suffer premature death, losing all of my work. I do back up, but I’ve had flash drives to be corrupted and cyber storage (e.g., Cloud) to be wiped out and vanish. Now, if this isn’t this next example isn’t the dumbest thing to happen to me, I don’t know what is. I was using my laptop while in bed. I sat it on the mattress to go to another room. As I was leaving, I tripped over the cord, and the computer slid onto a bench at the foot of the bed. The flash drive splintered.

Second, it’s easy for me to have my notebook beside me as I write and easily flip through it instead of bumbling through multiple screens. It’s an easy reference for me, especially when I’m editing. A lot of what I write in the notebook, I don’t keep long term. For example, I often use editing checklists. As I edit, I scratch items off or make notes. Since I make multiple self-edits, use the list several times. Often, my checklists are specific to the story I’m writing.

There’s also a third reason that I didn’t want to mention but guess I should if I’m being completely transparent. I really just like pretty notebooks and doodling in the margins.

As far as keeping my storylines and characters organized, I don’t find that difficult since I give them each a distinctive personality and image. If I find myself unable to remember my characters, that’s a problem, and that character either needs a major overhaul or the guillotine. One thing about me is that I’m not afraid to slash into my story to bring readers the best story possible.

I think a huge element in my organization is that much of my story is written in my head prior to my sitting down at the computer. I know most of the key elements, and I need to get them on paper before they evaporate. Once I get the large chunks down, I can add the sprinkles. It’s the life of a panster. Don’t hate.
And that’s how I keep organized.

For more of how I write, my stories, and my shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

And also, don’t forget to check out my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series.

Ice Gladiators

• Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Lsg90b
• All Retailers: https://books2read.com/icegladiators
• Add TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48084505-ice-gladiators

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

Genevive Chamblee: Frank Talk about V-Day
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

I love the fall. I don’t know why. It’s not that we have much fall weather here. And I prefer when the flowers are in full bloom and the extended daylight hours. I enjoy the warmth of the sun on my skin while walking in the park. In essence, I’m really a summer/spring girl, but I don’t dislike fall.

Fall is fun. With fall comes the warm tone colors of browns, golds, and oranges—all colors that I look fantastic wearing. Well, some browns and a few oranges, but that’s a story for a fashion post. I like to think of fall as the beginning of the festive season. Typically, spring is seen as the season of rebirth; it’s said that mother nature springs to life. (See what I did there?) But if one thinks about it, it’s the fall that things happen that people get moving. Fall is where everything starts booming and falls into place. (See, that I did it again?) Before anyone disagrees, think about it.

In the U.S., it kicks off with Labor Day—the official storage of white clothing. At least, traditionally, that was how it used to be prior to the invention of “winter white” and “I wear whatever the heck I want.” Kids go back to school with the latest uniform fashions. (Being a high school fashion icon is no longer what it used to be and slowly becoming a relic.) Television fall lineups premiere. Usually, there’s a string of fall festivals/Oktoberfests. Pumpkins start appearing and then transform into jack-o’-lanterns. (Does anyone used that term anymore?) Things start to get spooky with the anticipation of Halloween.

Actually, the spook factor is no longer a given with more and more people opting for cute and over-the-top sexy as opposed to ghoulish. People gorge themselves on chocolates and candies (not once or twice, but several times during this season). People get jovial with pranks and having someone make the hair stand on the back of their necks.

Then, there’s a shift towards focusing on family and togetherness and the commercialization of buying overpriced gifts that no one needs, and spirals buyers into debt. In the meantime and in-between time in the U.S., there’s a huge feast fest where no turkey is safe that mainstream media—but not the Board of Education—basically ignores. Dinner tables are stacked with Grandma’s sweet potato pie and Aunt Helen’s (everyone has an aunt Helen) stuffing.

On a side note, when I was in grade school, we got two days off for Thanksgiving—the holiday and a day of recovery from gluttony… Well, that and the fact many people traveled to see family. Nah, the teachers just wanted the day off. Now, kids get the full week and adults are promised earlier and earlier bird sales. What started as opening early at 7:00 AM or 6:00 AM long ago was scaled back to 5:00 AM, 4:00 AM, 3:00 AM, midnight, Thursday evening. Anymore and “Black Friday” will begin November 1. And let’s not forget: Cyber Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. At this point, it’s all ridiculous in my opinion.

But this joyful (for many) time is saturated with nostalgic movies, tall trees with branches sagging from ceramic ornaments, snowball fights (or so southerners are told), and more food (and weight gain). Good will becomes a theme, and red kettlebells can be heard ringing across cities. There are tree lightings and parties after parties. By now, people are calling it winter.

There’s lots of buildup, and before long, Christmas has come and gone. There isn’t much time to recuperate before people drink themselves into a new year with a hoard of self-promises (you know, a.k.a., resolutions) that they break within a month.

Lurking not too far around the corner is V-Day. (No, the other V-Day and not the one that happened on May 8, 1945.) I’m talking about the red heart, baby wears a diaper and shoots pink candy arrows at folks (allegedly). Yes, I’m speaking of Valentine’s Day, which leads us to the present. (Talk about a dissertation for an intro. I think I’ve outdone myself.)

I’ve always known Valentine’s Day to be a crazy bipolar type of day. By bipolar, I mean the mood of most people/shops are to the extreme. Either people love or loath this day. Some consider it one huge money grab, and from the way it is promoted, I honestly can’t disagree. Locally, schools and businesses have limited, restricted, or even barred deliveries on this day. I remember my school office looking like a funeral visitation for a dignitary. Balloons, flowers, and stuffed animals covered ever available surface space. My understanding is that the situation has grown worse, and on Valentine’s Day all deliveries are redirected to tables erected in the gym. Students are allowed to visit at lunch to see if they have a treat and only remove anything after the final bell. A teacher is posted throughout the day to monitor and guard deliveries. Reportedly, public schools have taken steps further and disallowed any school deliveries but allow the student council to sell Hershey’s Kisses and paper heart cutouts.

During my time (to make myself sound antiquated), this was a day of great distress. Students with overly indulgent parents, puppy love-stricken significant others, or birthdays close to that date would hit the jackpot. They would be loaded with so much loot that they had to make multiple trips to load all their goodies into their cars. Other students were left feeling unloved, forgotten, and abandoned as they received nothing. Most times, their feelings were unjustified. Flowers are expensive, and not all families could afford large bouquets, especially for parents with several children. And it wasn’t like today where one could make a run to Walmart or even the dollar store and purchase a bouquet for a couple of bucks. And other parents were clueless. (That would be me.) Who would think to send a kindergartener a dozen roses? Yes, parents did that. Talk about peer pressure at it’s finest. I felt horrible having not thought to send my five-year-old anything and having her see all the other kids with gifts. For what? She didn’t even like flowers. I took her for a Happy Meal that afternoon, but you best believe the next year I didn’t forget. But where I work, they make Valentine’s Day baskets filled with chips, a soft drink, and candy for a reasonable price.

But let me tell you what I think the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift is. It is showing kindness. It is being there for others. It is taking an extra step to make someone feel wanted and loved. And this isn’t something that is done one day of the year. It is something that is done throughout the year. It is an action that should be shown and expressed daily. Because one day, there will not be another Valentine’s Day.

Over the years, I’ve received Valentine’s Day gifts, and honestly, I don’t remember most. But I do remember the day when I was still in high school when thunderstorms cropped up without much warning. Either the meteorologist had missed it or it didn’t show up on his radar. That afternoon, it was pouring. Few people had come to school prepared. When I exited, I saw my father standing with an umbrella, waiting for me. Not only had he thought about me, he’d taken the time to act. That is something I’ve never forgotten. Now that he’s gone, it’s one of my most precious memories. And that day wasn’t Valentine’s Day.

So, the message is don’t look for love in one day. Don’t only store the sincerity of feelings in diamonds and flowers. Many people make wedding vows and exchange rings only to pawn them after a bitter divorce. Flowers die. Chocolates can grow stale and mold. But true love in action is trapped in our hearts and extends into eternity. Have a happy Valentine’s Day.

For more of how I write, my stories, and my shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, www.genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com. And speaking of giveaways, I have one coming soon in celebration of my new steamy, sports romance, Ice Gladiators, guaranteed to melt the ice. It’s the third book in my Locker Room Love series. Ice Gladiators is being released February 15, 2020. Check her out. If you like makeup, you won’t want to miss this beauty of a prize.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Missed the two books in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty. Defending the Net can be ordered at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance.

Nalini Warriar: New Release Sizzling Contemporary Romance! Karma’s Slow Burn (Excerpt)
Monday, February 10th, 2020

Thank you Delilah for this opportunity to showcase my newest release, Karma’s Slow Burn, about a sports journalist and a pro-ball pitcher turned chef. This incorporates my second and third passions: food and baseball.

This book is out of my hands now and out there, finally! Each time this happens, it is a thrill. Which I why I keep doing it. I’m actually exhausted by the planning and slotting of promos this requires. Which means I’m less inspired to write which in turn pisses me off. Which brings me to the eternal mystery: Why am I doing this?

Ah yes, I bloody love it! Things are quiet now before a new storm of promos hits me early next week. I will be googly-eyed after that. Still grabbing the time here and there to work on my next contemporary romance, the second in my East meets West series, 100 Acres of Separation: The Princess and the Cowboy. The first, Bollywood Blues, is somewhere out there, and I’m waiting for that boomerang to hit me any time now.

I know many of you are seasoned writers comfortable navigating NetGalley and Edelweiss, but I will not be using NetGalley or Edelweiss for my next book. It was a waste of money for me (as an unknown writer) and all stats and testimonials should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.

Karma’s Slow Burn

Karma’s Slow Burn, only $0.99, new release!
Buy Links:
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZJSZD5X
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/957769

Sportswriter Karma Huntington is going to hit Rafael Henley, star pitcher for the Sliders, hard to avenge her husband’s death. Rafael cannot ignore the chemistry between them and decides a one-night stand is in order. Karma agrees. Just to get that itch off. But once they get into each other’s pants, things get complicated. Revenge and guilt take a back seat with sizzling chemistry in control. Rafael likes willowy blondes and women who don’t look to him as their protector. Yet here is, lusting after the complete opposite: petite, raven-haired, Karma with a rose tat running up her neck. Can Rafael overcome the dark secret he hides and give in to what his heart wants? Will Karma finally admit she needs Rafael?

Excerpt from Karma’s Slow Burn: X-rated

Henley got back the very day the Sliders swept the White Sox. He got in late but Karma heard him anyway. She was reading, her face illuminated by the light from the e-reader. She put it down when she heard the door click. He came in, kicked his shoes off and sat down next to her, sighing deeply. She knew the feeling. He was happy to be home.

“I see you were up to the challenge.” He undid the top four buttons on his shirt and un-tucked it.

If he took his shirt off she was going to scream. Or jump him. It all depended. She was not going to ask him if he had eaten or if he wanted a drink. She was not his maid or his wife. He could very well get anything he wanted from his kitchen.

“Yep, I was. Great trip sweeping the Sox.”

A smile bloomed on his lips. “Indeed it was. Thanks for making it happen.”

“No worries. What are friends for, right?”

“So I’m a friend now?” He stood up and unclipped the cufflinks, pecs flexing, drawing her eyes to them.

“You’re not a lover. And friends cannot be lovers. That’s rule number 5.”

“In what book?”

“In my book of life.”

“What’s rule number 4?”

“You’re not an enemy. Enemies cannot be lovers either.”

He frowned then a smile twitched on his lips. “Hmm. Good to know.”

“Wait a sec! What was the smile all about?”

“Oh, just that I’m not enemy so I can be a lover.”

“No way!”

“That’s what you said. I heard you clearly. You said and I quote, ‘You’re not an enemy. Enemies cannot be lovers.’ I distinctly heard you say it.”

“Yeah so?”

“It means I can be a lover.”

“Yes a lover, just not mine.”

“You will not admit defeat.” He turned away from her. “Going to hit the shower. Be right back.”

His shirt flapped open as he walked away, patches of tanned skin flashing at her, leaving her hungry for more. She knew she should skedaddle out of there while she still could. But she was moored to the sectional, an unusual lethargy invading her limbs. Henley after a shower would be impossible to resist. She was a sucker for challenges and this one had her name written all over it.

Rafael stood in the doorway to the corridor leading to the bedrooms, watching Karma as she stared out into the night, her e-reader by her side. She’d gone way beyond a simple favor. And she’d done it, no questions asked. Karma was beautiful and he wanted her in his life. She was loyal and honest, all five feet nothing of her. From the top of her ebony head, down her luscious body to the tips of her delicate feet, she was in his dreams all the time.

He had to accept it. He had to forget the past. What was done was done. She was gorgeous and brave. He wanted her. He craved her touch. And right now all he wanted was to take her in his arms and make her disappear in them. Kiss her sexy mouth and see her with the lights on. That night had been unforgettable. It was not a one-night thing for him anymore. He had a hunch it wasn’t for her either. Her kiss told him that. He wanted to be buried deep inside her again feel her slick velvet folds clench around him and relieve him of this sweet torture.

He came toward her. She turned her head and watched him approach. He wondered if she was wearing the blue lace thing under the black satin top. Her hair was loose and hung down her back in soft waves. He wanted her body on red satin sheets, black hair fanning out and legs spread out for him to feast upon, her brown eyes watching his every move.

Hot desire welled up in him. His dick thickened. From his towering height, he looked down at her. Gray eyes hit her smoldering dark ones pulsing with black and gold flecks. Wisps of her irresistible scent lit sparks and fanned the embers of his desire into a raging fire so hot he took a step back. It would consume him. He would devour her. She would make him forget who he was.

It was what he craved.

He dropped to his knees by her side.

“I want to break the deal, Karma.” He heard her take in a sharp breath. “What happened was not a one-night stand for me. I dream of you all the time, of burying myself deep in you. I can’t forget that. I want to touch you again. Taste you again. Sweetheart, this is not something I can forget.”

He didn’t know it but the endearment was the third strike against her disintegrating defenses. She fell into his arms. He wrapped them around her and she disappeared.

“Rafe, break it then.” Her voice was a husky whisper.

And the deal was toast.

*~*~*

Fireflies in the Night

Literary Fiction, winner of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award; Best Books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews; Starred Kirkus Review; Finalist Foreword Reviews Indie Fiction Award. A historical, coming-of-age novel.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HZS28CW

The Enemy Within

Literary Fiction; Women’s Fiction

-Profound, Heart-Wrenching Story 4.5 stars, Amazon.com: Recommended for the mind and the soul

– Intense and Beautiful Look at Life, Love and Purpose, 5 stars, Amazon.com: From the familiar of India to the total unfamiliar of Quebec, Canada, where emotionally unsupported by her arrogant, selfish and traditional new husband, Sita must chart a way for herself through the myriad of problems being a different coloured, different cultured immigrant brings.

-Beautiful but heartrending, 5 stars, Amazon.com: …covers a multitude of issues from the iniquity of arranged marriages to the racism inherent in Quebec’s society to the rivalry and jealousy in the academic world.

Buy Link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N6QVRHJ

About the author

Nalini Warriar dreamed of being a writer then forgot the dream for a bit as she went on to garner a Ph.D in Molecular Biology. While in her lab, the dream came back and hit her on the head and she’s never looked back writing through her years as a scientist. After more than a decade in cancer research, Nalini returned to the creative part of her soul and now devotes her time to dreaming up the perfect alpha male and feisty woman to appear in her books. Her novel, Fireflies in the Night, was a Foreword Reviews Fab Award finalist and won the Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2017. Kirkus Reviews awarded Fireflies in the Night a starred review and named it Best Books of 2016. Karma’s Slow Burn, a contemporary romance will be released in February 2020. She’s working on her next romance, a Crenshaw Brothers book, to be released in 2020. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Author Links:
www.facebook.com/authornaliniwarriar
www.amazon.com/author/naliniwarriar
Twitter: @nwarriar

Genevive Chamblee: When romance gets real… (Contest)
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

I think it’s pretty obvious that I love romance. I mean, how can a person write about romance without loving it? One of my favorite past time is curling up with a good romance novel or snuggling under a blanket while watch on television. And it’s fair to say that I love almost everything about romance. Yes, almost. There are some things that I don’t fancy—the biggest one being perpetually beautiful heroines. Now, I’m not saying that heroines can’t be beautiful, and I’m not hating on the pretty girls. And I’m certainly not saying that there is no such thing as natural beauty. However, most women I know put some effort into their appearance. No, I don’t mean facial injections, cosmetic surgeries/procedures, or slathering on layers of makeup. If a woman feels that she wants to do any of those things, it is certainly her prerogative. I’m referring to the heroine who dashes through an obstacle course of fire and water, tumbles down the side of a mountain, sprints ten miles to the nearest roadhouse in stilettos, downs half a dozen shots of premium tequila, hooks up with the local hottie for an evening of adult fun, and manages to look absolutely gorgeous the next morning with barely a hair out of place.

What is even funnier is when, in movies, the “ugly duckling” is beautiful from the beginning. Granted, it is difficult to make bombshells like Julia Roberts, Gabrielle Union, Scarlett Johansson, Ashleigh Murray, Keira Knightly, Zoe Saldana, or Megan Fox look homely or even average. However, it is not impossible. Just look how they transformed Charlize Theron in the movie Monster or Mariah Carey in Precious. One of the biggest criticisms of the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is that Hermione Granger’s transformation for the Yule Ball is underwhelming. That was due to Emma’s Watson’s stunning beauty never being downplayed. And no, I’m not suggesting a woman should have to downplay her physical appearance. The point is, most women that I know need to take a few minutes to make themselves look presentable. They don’t roll out of bed looking like a supermodel.

When I discussed this topic with a colleague who is single, she laughed and expressed her fear of what would happen if she got married or a serious boyfriend. She said, “I don’t know how my husband is going to react to sharing a bed with a sea creature. I sleep with a seaweed mask or facial cream nearly every night. I have extremely dry skin and tons of blackheads on my nose. If I don’t follow a beauty routine nightly, my skin looks and feels horrible in the morning. And it’s not in my head, either. Since I started this routine about three years ago, I began receiving compliments on my skin, even without makeup. I’ll be waiting in a checkout line, and a stranger will comment how even my complexion appears.”

Another colleague expressed the following: “It’s difficult seeing unrealistic expectations of beauty. I have a teenage daughter who compares herself with the images she sees on social media. I try to convey to her that most of these aren’t real images because the photos have been airbrushed and retouched. But when these are the images she sees on a daily basis, it’s hard for me to get through to her. I want her to feel positive about her body image, as she is.”

Yet, another colleague said this: “I’m not high maintenance and do the bare minimum. In the mornings, I shower and brush my teeth and hair. I wear comfortable clothes that may not be stylish but are clean and unwrinkled. I wear my nails short and natural but trimmed. I wear sunscreen as a preventive health measure to avoid sun damage and lip balm to prevent my lips from cracking or chapping. I make myself presentable for my job which is very laidback. I’m content that this is my aesthetic. My sister, however, does the most. She is in an industry where fashion matters. She doesn’t go a single morning without either curling or flat ironing her hair unless she has to wear it up. Her face is always beat to the gods. I don’t see how she does it, but she does. She puts a lot of effort into looking that way. But neither of us can hop out of bed and just go to work without doing any grooming. That’s not realistic.”

Realism is an element I want to see in romance novels. This is not a knock at romantic fantasies or science fiction romances. Even in those genres, I must buy into the characters and relate to them. And sorry, I just can’t connect with a character who awakes looking like Sleeping Beauty, and I like a reject from The Walking Dead. Therefore, I write heroines who need a little work. But I don’t stop at my heroines. My heroes are conscious of their appearance—some more than others. No one in my romances gets a free pass. However, I do like getting free stuff.

Contest

The only thing better than receiving is giving, and that is what I’m doing. So, in celebration of the release of Ice Gladiators, my latest sports romance in the Locker Room Love series, I’m giving away the Moon Child Glow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I picked this palette as a giveaway because it reminds me of many of the themes in Ice Gladiators. The names of the shades include Blue Ice, Star, Purple Horseshoe, Pink Heart, Blue Moon, and Lucky Clover. To enter my giveaway, go to my Instagram page for instructions. Details of the giveaway will be uploaded soon.

Coming February 15, 2020 … Ice Gladiators

Preorder: www.books2read.com/icegladiators

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of my romance short stories, anthologies, books, and novels are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed on my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my stories or novels.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou. New posts are made on Wednesdays, where no Creole, Cajun, or Louisiana topic is left unscathed. Plus, get how-to self-help tips, how to writing tips, and keeping the romance alive and fresh suggestions. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Finally, take the fear out of rush/pledging. If you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. In these posts, you will find information about both formal and informal recruitment for both NPC and NPHC organizations. Don’t know what NPC and NPHC are? No problem. It’s all explained in this series. This series also provides loads of information for parents who are unfamiliar with the processes, what is expected of parents, and how to be supportive. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

Genevive Chamblee: Holiday Guilty Pleasures
Saturday, December 21st, 2019

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good holiday romance. It is one of my top guilty pleasures. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching two characters fall in love at this most special time of the year—a time when most people are filled with joy, kindness, charity, forgiveness, and hope. Visual reminders (ignoring the commercial ones) are spread widely throughout cities and across media. Family and friends gather, or at least, take time to reach out to each other to spread a blessing of good fortune or word of cheer. And if you’re like me, you always have that one friend—that Debbie Downer or Bitter Betty—who proclaims you’re delusional because romances like that don’t exist and never happen. Ugh! Well, my life will never be like a Hallmark movie, that I can agree upon since I live in a city far too large to be considered “small-town USA” and there’s rarely snow. (See my blog Not Dreaming of a White Christmas on my blog page Creole Bayou about this holiday snow business.) However, that does not mean I can’t invent a little holiday romance for myself. So, here are some ways to give the holidays a festive romantic boost.

  1. Hot chocolate. This can’t be any old box hot chocolate. This must be the real deal—you know, homemade. There are some great recipes out there. I recently bumped into one made in a slow cooker with red wine. Talk about getting your sexy love vibe going with that one with your special someone. Making hot chocolate works romantically in so many ways. First, it gives a reason to invite someone inside or to extend a stay. Second, it’s a process. It’s not just boil some water and dump in a packet. It has multiple steps during which the time can be filled with conversation. The smell is simply delightful. It makes one feel tingly just by sniffing. And the taste is divine. It is wonderfully smooth and chocolately. (Yeah, I know that isn’t a real word.) But the best about this treat is that it gives you a reason to snuggle with that special someone as you sip.
  2. Fire. When I was discussing this post with my bestie and stated fire was on my list, he replied, “No one is going to want to burn down their house.” You just got to love friends like that. But no, I wasn’t talking about arson. I meant a fire in a fireplace. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I live in the deep south. We rarely have a need for a real roaring fire. If we had one, instead of roasting chestnuts, we’d likely be roasting ourselves. So, if your situation is one as such, a faux (cause there’s nothing sexy about “fake”) fire will suffice. Dim the lights, turn on soft music, put on the fuzzy socks, and chill in front of the faux fire with a cup of eggnog. (You may want to spike the eggnog for good measure.)
  3. Sleigh ride. This may be a little difficult to pull off, especially if you don’t have access to a horse, sleigh, or snow. For most people, the sleigh would be pretty much out of the question. But no fear. There is an alternative. See, here in the south, a hayride can be just as romantic (granted, probably a lot itchier) as a sleigh ride. Just hitch up a mule, throw on a couple of bales of hay, and trot off into the woods. Add a few blankets, a bottle of wine, and cheese and crackers in a picnic basket, and you have yourself a grand date.
  4. Holiday scented candles. One can never go wrong with a nice smelling candle. (Well, almost never.) The selection of designs, aromas, and wicks to choose from are abundant. And the best part is that they do not have to break the bank. Plus, there’s no rule that states they can’t be swapped daily to invoke a new mood.
  5. Mistletoe. Yes, it is a thing, and it won’t kickstart the allergies since it has no discernible scent. It’s pretty, inexpensive, and can be statically placed to garner a kiss from that secret office crush or hot next-door neighbor. It’s the perfect excuse to lock lips. Just don’t eat it and keep your pets away. Mistletoe is poisonous if ingested. If you’re feeling especially amorous, check out these Kiss Me There Mistletoe Plaid Christmas Box at BestGot.myshopify.com. (DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored or affiliated.) And kind of overlook the fact that origin of the word mistletoe roughly translates to mean dung hung on a tree. That totally kills the romantic, sexy vibe.
  6. Reflection. I love this one so much. This can bring two people closer together, especially if the two people in question have been going through difficult times. Reflection involves taking a moment to look back and remember good times. Share those thoughts with someone who is or you want to be special with you. Usually, these types of memories are deeply personal and cherished. Sharing will allow a type of bonding. And speaking of sharing…
  7. Give of yourself. This may not seem like something especially romantic, but giving to others and giving of yourself makes you feel good. This act not only will make the holidays so much better for others, but it also will put you in the headspace to enjoy the holidays more. Thus, you will appreciate that someone special even more, and that’s very romantic.
  8. Going to church. Not everyone is religious, I get that. But for many, it is the reason for the season. Being in touch with one’s spirituality can be enlightening.
  9. Treat you and your boo to something ritzy. Every now and again, a person deserves to be pampered. What better time to do that than doing the holidays? Give yourself a gift and make it a fancy one. How about a trip to a swanky spa with that special someone? Or if you prepare to stay in, why not feast on upmarket delicacies, such as lobster tails, foie gras, hanger steak, caviar blinis, paella, or Scotch egg. Not only are these delish, they also can be fun and romantic to make with the right person.
  10. Twelve days of (Christmas) dating. Instead of singing this classic tune, go on twelve consecutive dates. Make it even more special by giving each date a unique theme or doing activities you’ve never done before.
  11. Snuggle up with a good movie. I would say book, but unless you’re willing to read aloud, reading would be difficult to create a romantic experience with another person. If you’re alone, reading a lovely romance would be a great ending to the night or spending the afternoon. However, if you’re with your significant other, bundling on a couch and watching a movie together can lead all sorts of places. However, I would suggest shying away from slasher films for romance to be in its full effect.

BONUS ROUND

  1. Go on a cruise. I like this idea a lot, but two of my critique partners said this wasn’t something that should be on the list because a cruise may or may not be romantic. Well, shucks. Is anything guaranteed? They always raining on my carnival. I say if you can get a good deal, why not sail the Seven Seas? After all, the Love Boatwas a real ship and cruise.
  2. Building gingerbread houses. Okay, let’s talk. I put this on the list per request (and insistence) of one of my closest girlfriends, but I honestly added it under distress. Why? Seriously, have you ever worked with gingerbread? It isn’t as easy as people crack it up to be. And “crack” is the most appropriate word. Gingerbread has to be at that exact consistency or it will split like the Weber Deep fault or cave like a nasal valve collapse from a botched rhinoplasty that leaves one looking like Lord Voldemort. No one has time for that. Oh sure, they make it look as simple as painting by numbers. Lies, all lies! Gingerbread is extremely temperamental. Now, I’ve said what I said.

And those are some ways to spice up and have a very romantic holiday season. What do you have planned that is romantic? What should be on the list that I missed? Let me know in the comments. Happy Holidays! Be blessed and merry.

Taz has problems: a stalled career, a coach threatening to destroy him, a meddling matchmaking roommate, and a thing for his other roommate’s boyfriend. The first three are manageable, but the last… well, that’s complicated. Because as much as Taz is attempting not to notice Liam, Liam is noticing him.

Coming February 2020… Ice Gladiators… Hockey so hot it melts the ice.

Preorder: www.books2read.com/icegladiators

Enjoy sports romance and athletic bad boys? Check out my adult romance, Defending the Net. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It is sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. DTN is the second in my gay sports romance novel series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first book in my Locker Room Love sports romance series? No frets. Out of the Penalty Box, where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime, out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. Visit www.books2read.com/penalty.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy about what could go wrong on vacation, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of my romance short stories, anthologies, books, and novels are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed on my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my stories or novels.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou. New posts are made on Wednesdays, where no Creole, Cajun, or Louisiana topic is left unscathed. Plus, get how-to self-help tips, how to writing tips, and keeping the romance alive and fresh suggestions. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Resources:

Recommended

Nalini Warriar: Karma’s Slow Burn (Excerpt)
Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

What I’m working on…

When Worlds Collide is the first book in the Crenshaw brothers series. It is the first ever—my extensive research supports this assumption—pickleball romance. Pickleball is a racket sport, a hot one at that, and I feature this sport in my very first pickleball romance. I’m in the editing process, a crucial part in my approach to writing. This is the place where I see my characters solidify as they evolve with the narration. Two-dimensional aspects turn realistic. Contrary to the creative process when I’m just beginning a book, the editing stage is intense and deeply satisfying. I call this my “holing up” period. I’m off everyone’s radar for a bit which can mean anything from a few days to weeks. I come out of my hole when friends begin to question my whereabouts.

In between I add on to promoting my new romance to be released in February 2020 as I wear many hats being the writer, publisher, publicist and marketing CEO of Karma’s Slow Burn.

Karma’s Slow Burn

Karma’s Slow Burn, promo price of $1.99 on pre-order until date of release on 1 Feb 2020!

Buy Links:
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZJSZD5X
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/957769

Sportswriter Karma Huntington is going to hit Rafael Henley, star pitcher for the Sliders, hard to avenge her husband’s death. Rafael cannot ignore the chemistry between them and decides a one-night stand is in order. Karma agrees. Just to get that itch off. But once they get into each other’s pants, things get complicated. Revenge and guilt take a back seat with sizzling chemistry in control. Rafael likes willowy blondes and women who don’t look to him as their protector. Yet here is, lusting after the complete opposite: petite, raven-haired, Karma with a rose tat running up her neck. Can Rafael overcome the dark secret he hides and give in to what his heart wants? Will Karma finally admit she needs Rafael?

Excerpt

Reverie? What kind of a man used such an old-fashioned word?

Karma hoped he wasn’t expecting polite conversation and was glad when he maintained silence. Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore and opened her eyes. His features were bathed in the silver light of the moon. Dark hair maybe. That nose. There was something about it. And those lips. She’d seen them before.

“Henley! What are you doing here? On my spot?”

He peered at her, angled his face and his features came into focus. “Your spot? I distinctly heard you say this is free and not yours to own, Karma.”

“This,” using her index fingers, she made a square in the air right before her face, “is my spot. That,” she jabbed a finger in a vague direction away from her, “is yours.”

“All right then. Now that’s clear.”

“Anyway Henley, what are you doing here?”

“Getting back from my mother’s. She lives up there,” he pointed with his chin.

“You’ll have to spell that out. Can’t see a bloody thing in this moonlight.”

“Right over on Miranda Ave. And you?”

“Midland area.”

“Right, I forgot. Small world.”

“Yeah. How’s that baby of yours?”

“The most beautiful thing on this earth.”

“ Remind me, boy or girl?”

“Girl. Alicia.”

“Think we could get together for some pictures?”

“Sure. Just let me know.”

After that, nothing more was said. Clouds wandered in bit by bit until they extinguished the light from the moon, shrouding them in its pale afterglow. Karma became increasingly aware of the figure beside her. She crinkled her nose. Definitely something woodsy maybe even citrusy. She felt the shape of his arm next to hers and had an unbearable urge to touch him. The light from the moon turned diffuse before it became dark.

When he did something, she nearly jumped out of her skin, she had so tuned out. His hand was under her chin cupping it, turning her face to him. She made out the shape of his face before he lowered his head further.

“I’m going to kiss you, Karma. You have five seconds to stop me if you don’t want this as badly as I do.”

His sexy voice slithered into her ears and five seconds later, his silky beard brushed against her cheeks and then his mouth was on hers. His other hand moved to her back pulling her closer to him and then she was in his lap.

Fireflies in the Night

Literary Fiction, winner of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award; Best Books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews; Starred Kirkus Review; Finalist Foreword Reviews Indie Fiction Award. A historical, coming-of-age novel.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HZS28CW

About the Author

Nalini Warriar dreamed of being a writer then forgot the dream for a bit as she went on to garner a Ph.D in Molecular Biology. While in her lab, the dream came back and hit her on the head, and she’s never looked back, writing through her years as a scientist. After more than a decade in cancer research, Nalini returned to the creative part of her soul and now devotes her time to dreaming up the perfect alpha male and feisty woman to appear in her books. Her novel, Fireflies in the Night, was a Foreword Reviews Fab Award finalist and won the Next Generation Indie Book Award in 2017. Kirkus Reviews awarded Fireflies in the Night a starred review and named it Best Books of 2016. Karma’s Slow Burn, a contemporary romance will be released in February 2020. She’s working on her next romance, a Crenshaw Brothers book, to be released in 2020. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Author Links
www.facebook.com/authornaliniwarriar
www.amazon.com/author/naliniwarriar
Twitter: @nwarriar

Linda O’Connor: Hockey & Table Settings (Excerpt)
Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Thanks so much for welcoming to your blog, Delilah. I always enjoy visiting! I’d like to share the spotlight with Sarah, the heroine from Between the Pipes.

Hi everyone, Sarah here! I thought I’d pop in and introduce myself. From nine to five, I’m a family doctor, and two evenings a week I run a mobile clinic —essentially, I bring the clinic to teens living on the street.

Working at the mobile clinic is the best part of my week. It’s something I founded when I moved to Clarington after graduating, and I’m extremely proud of it. I’ve been in Clarington for 4 years now and share a lot of adventures with my three friends — Danni Angelo, Kelly Danali, and Jordyn Kendra.

I love Clarington, but I have a bit of a confession. I don’t like hockey. I mean, I really don’t like hockey. I know, shh. I think I’m the only one in all of Clarington who isn’t crazy about the hometown team, the Clarington Quakes. But frankly, if I never step foot in an arena, I wouldn’t miss it. But that’s okay. I’ve lived very happily and pretty easily under the radar — so far (despite my best friend being the team doctor!)

My favourite hobby when I’m not working is setting tables. I like to entertain, and I enjoy the creative process of creating a lovely tablescape. Funny — when I visit other people I’m happy to eat off paper plates if they want to make a meal for me. But when I invite someone over, I get just as much enjoyment from setting the table as I do sharing the meal. Here are a few of my favourites. (I have a lot of dishes 🙂 )

Between the Pipes
(In the Game Hockey Romance, Book 1)

In the Game Hockey Romance series
Medical Romantic Comedy
Sports romance – hockey

Sarah Jain is a family doctor in a hockey-crazy town. She hates hockey. She hasn’t gone anywhere near a rink in years, until her friend, the team doctor, calls in a favour. Mike Wallace is the starting goalie for the Clarington Quakes, the local professional hockey team. He’s not about to let an injury slow him down or a rookie doctor call the shots.

Sarah and Mike don’t respect each other’s jobs. When they have to work together, sparks fly and ice melts. Can they play a game they both can win?

Amazon Link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078SHLX8T/

Excerpt

She’d love any excuse to spend time with him. It’d be so easy to say yes. But going for coffee together veered into the realm of personal. If she could keep their relationship professional, it wouldn’t be a problem, but she was already attracted to him. Much as she wanted to say yes, her conscience said no. First, he was a patient, and second, how could she think about getting involved with a hockey player? Passion for hockey was the last thing they’d ever share. As tempting as it was, she needed to give this one a miss.

“I’m sorry. Unfortunately, I can’t.”

“You sure?” Mike smiled slowly. “I could spring for a jelly donut.”

She laughed. He didn’t have to sweeten the invitation. He was eye-candy enough. “Tempting, but…”

“Too much sugar? How ’bout an apple fritter? Sounds a little healthier.”

It really was too bad. “Ah well, I was going to go for a bike ride.” That was good. Sounded athletic…she had plans. Nothing personal.

“On your own?”

She nodded reluctantly.

“You know, I have the day off. I could come along and prove that my ribs are okay. If I can cycle, then I can play.”

His eyes looked so hopeful. She felt awful, but she needed to dissuade him. “I don’t go very fast.” Sarah winced silently. He potentially had a rib fracture. He needed slow.

“I don’t mind.”

“It might rain.” She scowled at the beautiful blue skies, without a trace of clouds.

Mike laughed. “I don’t mind getting wet. Why don’t I grab a picnic lunch, and we can meet at the South Lock parking lot in an hour? We can cycle along the river, break for lunch, and come back. How does that sound?”

Perfect, she thought glumly. For a bad idea, it sounded perfect.

About the Author

Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, sexy romances — with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Website: http://www.lindaoconnor.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaOConnorAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaOConnor98
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
Newsletter Sign up: http://www.lindaoconnor.net/contact/