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Falling For the Villain


I'll be hosting a workshop at the Easton, PA Book Festival this fall.  It's the first time I'll be speaking to an audience of readers and writers in quite a while and I've started thinking about what I'd like to say about my author brand. I've prided myself on reforming former villains. And though I've often told readers I do this because I believe everyone deserves a second chance, that isn't the whole truth. Yes, I do believe everyone who has the desire to do better deserves a second chance. But it isn't the bigger reason why I started doing what I do, where villains are concerned. Recently, CBS's Young and the Restless recast the role of Adam Newman. Due to circumstances beyond the produc...
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  58 Hits

Real Life Love vs Life as a Romance Author - Which is the Greater Challenge?


I've had a busy year. Though 2019 isn't nearly over, it has been one of the busiest years of my life as I planned my wedding, got married, and purchased my first home. Writing time suffered at the mercy of my hectic schedule and at times I considered abandoning one dream at the expense of another.  Things calmed down eventually and, as I spent some time in the quiet of my imagination I realized I am still a writer at heart. I have a long journey ahead of me as an author, one I am excited to embark upon.  Of course, it is easy to get discouraged at times. Though the reasons behind it were happy ones, I've been off the horse for a while now and this was a difficult game to play even when I was...
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  71 Hits

Finding Strength of Self - What SHOULD be Every Authors' Secret Weapon


I've watched the movie Baby Boom dozens of times. It isn't only the great 80s music that draws me in, though that is definitely a big plus!   There is much to love about this throwback romantic comedy, but the part that really hits home for me is the main character, J.C. Wyatt's determination to make it on her own in the business world. When a distant relative dies and a baby comes into her life, this driven career woman is forced to take a step back in her current job, and eventually realizes she doesn't really want to make the sacrifices she's been told she must in order to succeed, IE, love, romance, home and family. J.C. dreams of living in the country, as I always have, and also like me...
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  81 Hits

Crazy Country Living and a New Lease on Writing


I've always dreamed of living in a more secluded area than the one in which I grew up. The yard I played in as a child was full of trees, many of which collapsed during hurricanes. The same was true of our neighbors' yards, and though living in the suburbs isn't exactly the same as living in the city, I still longed for that feeling of seclusion one can only get from being in a remote, wooded area. I've always written my best work when surrounded by beautiful scenery. To have it all around me, what excuse could I have not to write the best book possible? When my husband and I started looking for a house, it came as no surprise to me that the ones capturing my attention were in rural neighbor...
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For the Love of Writing


Throughout my lifetime, my mind has often been at work, creating a story. I did this long before I ever identified as a writer. But it wasn't until I'd written my first full-length novel when I realized how truly exciting writing can be. There is a feeling of empowerment which derives from creating a world spurred solely by way of one's imagination, a world in which the author alone determines the players, the chain of events and the outcome. Storytelling is addictive. The bridge between fantasy and reality, the path of a writer is a visionary's dream. Reality is that which can never be fully escaped from, even when our imaginations are hard at play. For me, this has meant different things a...
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  118 Hits

It's All About the Antagonist


Have you ever read a novel in which the very twisted villain played a prominent role and thought, "I can't put this book down!  Does that make me weird?" I can honestly say I've been there more times than I can count! Villains, for me, are what give a story its excitement. I imagine I'm not alone in this thinking. Stories thrive on conflict, and without conflict, our stories would fall flat. Villains are a great tool for writers, as they can serve to develop both internal and external conflict for the hero and heroine. They may also serve to embellish elements which might not have occurred to you, for instance, humor. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a good historic romance, so I picked ...
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  156 Hits

Vacation For Inspiration


I've just returned from Manchester Vermont, where I spent a glorious weekend skiing, snow-shoeing and reconnecting with nature--something that we residents of New Jersey tend to shy away from doing during the hard months of winter. No, I'm not a skier, and my 80 year old ski instructor would certainly attest to that! But, I do love nature and I have always found the peace of the outdoors to be a great inspiration both to my writing and to my life in general. Seeing the magnificence of the Green Mountains during a time of year during which I have not typically spent any great amount of time outdoors in the past, I was provided with a fresh pair of eyes. Looking at things in a different way re...
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  152 Hits

Seasons of Romance


There's nothing quite as romantic about reading a good Christmas story at Christmas time. Or is there? Many authors choose to write novels centered around a particular holiday or time of year. Doing so can breathe new life into a story, and it may offer the reader something of a guideline suggesting when the story is to be read, namely, during the season in which it is set. It can be a lot of fun to read a story set around the time of an upcoming holiday--it gets you into the spirit. But, in my humble opinion, doing the opposite can be equally fun. Sometimes it's even better! Though it has been freakishly warm here in New Jersey over the last few days, it has been very cold this winter overa...
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  172 Hits

Starving Writers, Struggling Heroines


A popular discussion has spurred among authors, regarding how difficult it is to make sales nowadays. I've spoken with other writers in ongoing conversation over the last decade, talking about ways that we can improve our marketing skills but never have I known so many authors to have the same concerns, nor have those concerns ever seemed so critical. Everywhere I look, I see Facebook posts, or read articles circling the same issue, that being that it is becoming increasingly difficult for authors to make money doing what they love. No one ever said this was an easy business. But much like a recent college graduate heading out into the workforce for the first time, many of us were not expect...
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Soulmates / Spotlight on YA Fantasy Author Diana Rose


It is New Year's Eve, and though this post will not go live until next week, I am excited to have completed the final story that I will read in 2018, Forbidden Love, the debut novel of friend and fellow author Diana Rose. This story, which showcases a Romeo and Juliet trope got me thinking about soulmates, an idea which seems to be rather controversial in this day and age. Many people don't believe their soulmate exists, or perhaps they did at one time but their hopes have been dashed by the harsh reality of the world today, or the overall cynical attitude that seems to dominate our modern society. I'm fortunate, not only to have found my own soulmate after years of searching, but to be a pa...
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  162 Hits

Joy of Historical Romance / Review of Eden's Promise by Cassie Edwards


I don't recall the title of the first romance novel I ever read.  I have only a vague memory of the book's premise.  But one thing I do remember was that the title was a historic romance. If you read romance novels regularly, if you attend writers conferences or if you keep up with what's going on in the industry, then you are probably aware that romance novels remain a popular genre of choice in our world today and that many of the titles purchased in a year are historic romance. Though historic is not the sub genre that I've chosen to write in thus far, I greatly enjoy purchasing these titles, and oftentimes the books that I wind up keeping on my shelf are set in historic times. What's so ...
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  201 Hits

Interview with Poet and Short-Story Author Jack Donahue / I Hear You Mom


I'm so excited to welcome Poet and Short-Story Author Jack Donohue to Passion Between the Pages!  Jack will be chatting with us about his Writer's Journey, and sharing one of his short stories with us, I Hear You Mom. Welcome, Jack! Tell us a little about yourself.  When and how did you decide you wanted to become a writer? I began writing poetry when I was in my late-teens, and it came naturally to me. I wrote poetry sporadically over the years except at Christmas when every card I wrote has at least one or two unique verses in it. I began writing prose about eight-years ago shorty before I retired; it was difficult for me at first, and I find it more challenging than writing poetry, but I ...
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Interview with Contemporary Romance Author Jennifer Wilck / New Release Learning to Love


Happy Wednesday, Readers and Writers! Contemporary Romance Author Jennifer Wilck joins me today. She's sharing an excerpt from her New Release, Learning to Love. Welcome, Jennifer! Tell us a little about yourself.  When and how did you decide you wanted to become a writer? I think I’ve always entertained the possibility of being a writer in the back of my mind. There have been several writers in my family, so I grew up around the excitement of published books and name recognition. I’ve always loved writing but didn’t consider seriously pursuing it as a career until I joined the New Jersey Romance Writers of America and saw that it was indeed possible. My kids were young then, so I wrote when...
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  132 Hits

Joy of Dancing / Happy Release Day, A Sultry Performance!


When I was in college, I spent some of my free time working as a swim instructor. To clock in for my shift, I had to leave the pool area and go upstairs, to the main office, where the time cards were located. I'd pass through the gymnasium along the way. Going to clock in one Saturday morning, I noticed that the gym had been transformed into a beautiful, romantic vision. Men were dressed in formal wear, women in gowns--the ballroom dancing team was having a competition. Never having been a dancer myself, I had not yet before had the pleasure of seeing, or being a part of such an inspiring vision. As dances are no longer the norm for our society, such events are reserved exclusively for those...
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  188 Hits

A Sultry Performance Available for Pre-Order! / Trends in Romance Novels: Conform or Dare to be Different?


When I was in junior high, a number of the kids in my class went out and purchased the same Tommy Hilfiger jacket, all in different colors. With billions of fashion items available for sale in the market, their statement had obviously been a planned one, and one thing was clear. A trend had been born, one that others would take notice of and ultimately, emulate. It's hard to say what makes something catch on with people and something else not but when my parents bought me that same jacket in yet another color I felt as though I had conformed somehow. The popular kids in my school might believe I'd gotten the memo somehow, but there was nothing unique about my style. I'd lost my originality, ...
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  174 Hits

Romance is Happiness, A Sultry Performance Releases December 4th and My Review of When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak


As an author, one of my favorite questions to be asked in an interview or panel discussion is "Would you ever write in any other genre besides romance?" Though I rarely say never to anything, my answer to this particular question is always a resounding, "No!" Why? Because romance is what drives me to write the words I do, romance excites me in ways nothing else does. I'm a writer second, a romantic first. It's love, passion and happily ever after that are running through my veins. I didn't realize it at first but romance was what got me into writing in the first place and what made me the author I am today. Recently, I had to take a long hiatus from writing. I was juggling a million differen...
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  179 Hits

Power of Creativity and A Sultry Performance Cover Reveal


Sitting at breakfast at the New Jersey Romance Writers Conference several years back, I remember being especially moved.  Conferences are designed to motivate us as writers, to bring together a community of people who share a similar passion so that we can all learn, motivate and inspire one another.  But this particular speaker blew my mind.  I'm embarrassed to say that I can't even remember who our breakfast speaker was at this particular conference but she had me walking away from the table feeling like I was going to change the entire world by writing romance novels. I don't believe I've done that as of yet, but give me a little time! I started writing very young, and have been motivated...
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  206 Hits

The Digital Age - Delightful or Dangerous?


I recently received a letter from fellow author Jel Jones.  Though Jel and I have never met in person, we have a great deal in common, and we bonded over our similar interests in books and tranquil imagery, on Facebook.  It's ironic that we met through social media because it was Jel's instinct to send me an "old-fashioned" snail mail letter, which got me thinking about how much our world, and more specifically the world of books, has changed in such a short period of time. I am rather new to the world of publishing, as I have only been a published author since 2011. But things have changed rapidly in our industry in the last seven years and I wonder, as I observe social media outlets consta...
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  253 Hits

How My Love of Soap Operas Inspired My Passion For Writing Romance


Yesterday, on social media, I took the liberty of posting the following comment: Preempting soap operas for news briefings at the expense of loyal viewers is the real crime in America. This needs to be stopped! Though I was not making a political statement, and was pleased to see that I did not receive any negative commentary in reply, I did hesitate, at first, to make this comment, as I was unsure of how it would be construed. Fortunately, my friends in the writing and book community took my words exactly as I intended them, to, through a bit of light humor, convey the notion that soap operas are a very important part of my life. I don't feel that humorous romantic fiction should be brushed...
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  237 Hits

Joy of Storytelling


I've just returned from my summer vacation, which, as many of you know, I typically take once a year, to the White Mountains. My home-away-from-home inspired my debut series, and it often serves as a place where I can gather my thoughts, recharge and reflect on the past year. In this secluded paradise of pine trees, rocks, rivers and lakes, I can relax and concentrate in a way that is nearly impossible to do at any other time throughout the course of a busy year. I cherish my opportunity to be in this place and I often use it to focus on something I love more than almost anything else in the world - a good book! This year, cruising the book sale at the Naples Public Library, I stumbled upon ...
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  353 Hits