A-Z Challenge for writers…X is for…Quad X

X is for Quad X…I don’t know quite how to explain this one…it’s an inside joke between me and my friend, Greg. It started with Mr. X and then he decided that one, two and three X wasn’t enough–it had to be Quad X.

Nobody’s really sure what he looks like except maybe my alter ego, Vi. Once again, I think of my favorite comedy, “Seinfeld.” Hmmm…maybe S should have been for “Seinfeld”? Maybe if I do this next year, I’ll have an A-Z of TV shows since I’m kind of a TV person…A is for American Idol, B is for, etc. Quad X makes me think of the lawyer in the cape who helped George’s father and Elaine’s friend. Quad X goes around the city solving people’s problems. So I guess he’s kind of a super hero. Maybe he looks like Clark Kent and changes to Quad X?

I hope this post makes you laugh like it did when Greg started the inside joke.


A-Z Challenge for writers…W is for…Washington County, Maine

W is for Washington County, Maine…my first-ever romance novel, “Tempting Jonah,” takes place in the fictional town of Mensocket, (now Morganville) Maine, in Washington County. Washington County is the first part of the United States to see the sunrise. They have puffins and rocky beaches and ice storms (my alter ego is working on a story set there that features an ice storm).

They have gorgeous flowers and I can’t remember all the names of them. I know my artist friend, Keith, painted some of them on the “Tempting Jonah” cover. Washington County is famous for pine trees, which are also on the cover.

I’ve also set some of my short stories there and some of them feature the Morgan family like “Hidden Treasures,” which is about Gus and Sarah (Jonah Morgan, hero of “Tempting Jonah’s) aunt and uncle. Aunt Sarah is one of my favorite “Tempting Jonah” secondaries. My husband’s favorite short story of mine was “Lilacs and Limestone” featuring Lynn Harris and Jonah’s uncle, Steve Morgan.

I enjoy taking a trip to Washington County when I’m writing stories or books set there. What about you? What are some of your favorite settings?

A-Z Challenge for Writers…V is for… Vi LaNance

V is for Vi LaNance, my alter ego, who writes R-rated romantic comedies. She is the complete opposite of me and gets to do things I can only dream about. She gets to be a stay-at-home writer, no day job. She definitely has a naughty side, and writes from that prospective. She’s rich, so she can have help with cleaning and cooking, and lives in her dream condo. Her beautiful clothes and accessories make people envious. She looks like Lauren Graham from “Gilmore Girls.” (I definitely do not).

This summer (hopefully), Vi’s first R-rated romantic comedy, “Love in Disguise,” will be published by Crimson Frost publishers. Here’s a little bit about the book:

Darlene Dover has physical and emotional scars from a burn accident wnen she was in high school, ten years ago. She hides these behind her Little Red Riding Hood Costume as mascot for the hometown baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Wolves.

Sy Bonaventure is known for stealing bases and hearts. When he gets to home plate, Darlene decides to take a chance and kiss the handsome Sy, then run off. The team goes on a road trip, but Sy’s mind is on the lovely mascot. Can he be the one to take her scars away, and release the passion she’s held inside for so long?

You can also check out Vi’s Pinterest page.

A-Z Challenge for writers…U is for United

This was the hardest letter for me so far. University? Unconditional love? I finally ended up with…U is for united…as writers, we’re united. As Indie authors, we’re united.

I’m also united with my mom and my friends, my fake brothers and sisters. Someone asked me the other day what the difference was between fake siblings and real siblings. I wanted to say “du-uhhh” (but I guess that wouldn’t have been very nice). If you’re an only child, you get it (or if you’re one of my fake brothers or sisters–LOL). I love them unconditionally and I hope they love me, too, even if some of them don’t say it. They don’t have to. I know by things they do–by their smiles, by making me laugh when there’s not much to laugh about, by helping me out if they can when I need it, by making me feel like I can do anything, even if they only make me feel that way for a few minutes. (and now I’m starting to cry so I’d better stop before I short out the computer).

And this also reminds me of one of my favorite “Seinfeld” quotes from the finale, when Jerry asks Elaine what she meant when she said “I’ve always loved you…” Elaine says, “I’ve always loved United Airlines.”

A-Z Challenge for writers…T is for (you knew this was coming…) tasteless

T is for Tasteless…as in “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless” and “Tasteless Holidays.”

Tasteless was voted word of the year by me in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, my novella which had a different title at the time, got a tasteless rejection. I re-wrote it and it became…”Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless.” In 2013, I wrote the sequel, “Tasteless Holidays,” which was just released at the end of March.

Here’s an excerpt from “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless.” The hero is loosely based on my husband, but looks like Jared Padelecki. The heroine is a little like me and looks like Katie Mixon.
Murphy’s Law certainly applied to weddings, especially in the Galloway family. Lorrie Galloway should have known how the day was going to go when she heard her brother singing “I’m Getting Married in the Morning” in the shower. He had a great voice, but that was the worst British accent impersonation she’d ever heard.
The day just kept getting better, Lorrie thought sarcastically. She saw Reese and the maid of honor, chatting and giggling together and had the feeling they were talking about her. She’d known Reese for a while, though, and she didn’t think her brother’s fiancé would make fun of her. She didn’t know Mallory Gideon, however, and didn’t like what she saw.
Mallory was tall and slender with a crown of perfectly straight black hair that fell down her shoulders. She didn’t have Lorrie’s “virgin ears.” And she had her eye on the best man, her brother’s best friend, Scotty Caldwell. Scotty had no idea Lorrie was alive. She knew that was a cliché, but it was true. Lorrie, Scotty and Jay had been friends since they were kids growing up together in Deer Park. Jay and Scotty looked out for her, but Scotty didn’t realize that she’d had a crush on him since she was fifteen years old.

And here’s an excerpt from “Tasteless Holidays”:

Lorrie Caldwell paced the floor of her kitchen, the family cat, Arielle, pacing with her. She had the feeling that Arielle was more hungry than sympathetic, but she wasn’t giving in until Scotty walked through the door. Of all nights for the love of her life to get home late from work. She had something to tell him, and she wasn’t sure how he’d handle the news. Of course, the news had to arrive two weeks before the holidays. Naturally, fine, barely visible snow had started falling outside. Lorrie liked big, fat snowflakes, not something that looked more like kosher salt.

Tasteless? You decide!

A-Z challenge for writers…S is for…short stories

S is for short stories. I love to write them. I’ve sold more than sixty of them and people seem to like them. I have a short story collection called “Three Strikes–You’re in Love” available on Amazon. What I like about writing short stories is that you have to introduce the hero and heroine and their conflicts in a limited amount of time. Another thing I like is that you can write about spin-off characters from a book, and get readers interested in them, too.

“Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny” started as a short story, but I knew Jay and Reese had to have their own book.

The first short story I ever sold, “Sherman’s Law,” started as a book, but there wasn’t enough of a meaty plot for that. I recycled it into a short story.

Here’s an excerpt from the title story of the collection, “Three Strikes — You’re in Love”:

Babe Carter shifted nervously in her seat in the radio broadcast booth at the ballpark where the Cincinnati Red Wolves played. She had been through many interviews, on the radio, television, newspapers and magazines. She knew that guys found her attractive, though she didn’t know why. She still considered herself that tall, gangly teenager who was always reading. L.M. Montgomery, Maud Hart Lovelace…she went back to her childhood for a moment, remembering her book friends, who had never let her down.
Bernie Chapman brought her out of her thought process. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an author here with us in the broadcast booth. Amanda “Babe” Carter wrote a series of books that takes place right here at the ballpark. Her heroine is the official caterer of the Cincinnati Red Wolves. So, Babe, tell me about your latest book, “’ Kill the Umpire.’”
Babe looked into the sparkling blue-green eyes of Bernie Chapman. He was an ex-pitcher for the Red Wolves, and now a broadcaster. He had straight black hair and was slim with broad shoulders. He had a black mustache. Once again, Babe felt suddenly shy. She took a deep breath, willing herself not to be so timid. Speak up, she told herself. Then she spoke about her book, forgetting as she talked how good-looking Bernie was.

A-Z Challenge for writers…R is for … reviews

R is for reviews…I’ve gotten good ones, and bad ones (more bad ones than I’d like). I personally love to write reviews, but I’m way behind on my reading so haven’t been writing as many. Some people hate to write them. When I write a review, I try to find something positive to say even if I didn’t like the book because that’s what I want when someone is reviewing mine.

As writers, we need reviews to help sell our books and to get people talking. I love the ones on Amazon because they have the Critical Review vs. the Positive so people can make up their own minds.

I wrote my book, “Tasteless Holidays,” with the readers and reviewers in mind. People didn’t like the hero or heroine so I tried to make them better in the sequel and dedicated my book to the readers.

And I promise, I’ll get back to reading and writing reviews soon.