#ISWG Thoughts for August: Pet Peeves While Reading, Writing & Editing

#ISWG logo

Q: Do you know an insecure writer?

A: Well, now you do…

I confess that I’m a devoted follower of the ISWG (aka the Insecure Writers Group),  a community of writers whose purpose is “to share and encourageeach other. It’s a place where “writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” If you haven’t discovered #ISWG, click the link above and check us out!

The first Wednesday of every month is #ISWG Day. Members post a response to a pre-determined question, reaching out to readers and fellow group members, sharing their thoughts, support, encouragement, doubts, and fears about a writing-related topic. This month’s question is,

What are your pet peeves while reading/writing/editing?

Our #ISWG Day co-hosts for August are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner.

Be sure to visit their blogs and see what they have to say!

And, after I’ve shared a few of my personal pet peeves, feel free to comment with your own, as a reader, writer, or both.

Pet Peeves While Reading…

Pet Peeves while Reading-Interruption

I know I’m not alone in this one, but being interrupted while I’m reading is the worst. Sometimes I resort to putting my noise-cancelling headphones on, if for no other reason than to broadcast that I’m not available for conversation. Or texts, phone calls, cooking meals, or basically anything other than running from a fire. I will signal my willingness to be interrupted by closing my book. Until I do that, approach at your own risk.

Pet Peeves About Writing

Again, interruption is the worst, and in our house, with an extrovert husband, a greyhound, and two neurotic lap cats, it’s nearly impossible to avoid. I unplug the landline, turn off notifications, activate my Freedom App, and even post a sign outside the door, but some days I’m lucky to get a paragraph done without interruption. I’ve found that I write best on a long airline flight, because, again, noise-cancelling headphones, and a look that says, “back away slowly. There’s nothing to see here.”

I have one other writing peeve, and this one concerns being a writer. Simply put, I’ve found that many folks just don’t think writing is a serious job that requires work and time. Lots of work, lots of time, all the time. When someone asks what I do for a living, and I say, “I’m a writer,” I can feel the blank stare before I see it. And those who show enough interest to ask what I’m writing seem to have no idea what to say when I tell them it’s a contemporary romance. Even when talking about writing with other authors–presumably those who don’t write or read romance–I’m usually on the receiving end of a sigh, followed by an awkward pause. And then there’s the inevitable, immediate assumption that I write smut, which I don’t . . . but if I did — and I might someday — deserve the same respect that every other writer does. Whether it’s Hemingway-level prose, a travel blog, a children’s book, poetry, or Writing for Dummies, it’s hard work. Even more, to serious writers, it’s an investment of the mind, heart, and soul.

**steps off soap box**

And Finally…Pet Peeves About Editing

1) Editing Causes Wrinkles

and

2) Editing inevitably includes an extended period of time during which my insecurity comes out to play. But I’m not alone in that, either …

Having said all this, the truth is I live for the experience of reading and writing. (Editing my own work, not so much, so I work with an amazing editor who “gets me.”) But, despite the drawbacks, the awkward moments, and the crippling self-doubt, when my debut novel is finally published, it will be totally worth it.

P. S.

If you’re so inclined, you can read the first few, unedited chapters of my work-in-progress, Where Angels Sleepon Wattpad and Goodreads.
Thanks for reading this month’s #ISWG post!

 

A Summer to Remember — Join the Divine Promotions Blog Hop!

Divine Promotions Summer Blog Hop 2016To celebrate the launch of Divine Magazine’s new author service, Divine Promotions, readers & authors are invited to join their Summer Blog Hop, July 25-August 8!
The theme for this blog hop is: Your favorite summer memories, summer tips, destinations, recipes or activities.
There’s a great GIVEAWAY, with a Grand Prize and several other enticing surprises; authors & bloggers are also hosting their own giveaways, so join the hop, and enter today!

Grand Prizes:

18K Gold Filled Crystal Pearls Heart Party Dress Jewelry Set
Divine Promotions – 10 Days Promo Tour ($90)
Divine Promotions – 3 Day Release Blitz ($35)
$75 credit from Dreamspinner Press
$30 credit from Dreamspinner Press
I decided to focus today’s post on GREAT SUMMER READS. I never go anywhere without a book, and I never have. Reading is and always has been my escape – from the heat, from boredom, from airport noise & crowds…there’s nothing that a good book can’t cure!
My favorite summer reads are usually shorter, “lighter” reads, generally in the romance genre — but not always. Some of the books on my favorite summer reads list this year are anything but light – but others are absolutely hilarious. Most are reasonably shorter, easier reads — I tend to hold back on reading complex stories, thrillers and ‘heavier’ fiction until the days get shorter and cooler.
Here’s a partial list of books I’ve loved this year – and a few that are on my TBR list for the rest of the season. Check them out, then enter the Summer Blog Hop Giveaway at the end of the post!

Contemporary Romance:

The Hudson Valley SeriesNuts and Cream of the Crop, by Alice Clayton
(hunky farmers, snarky heroines….fun, funny, sexy and sweet!)
The True North Series:  Bittersweet and Steadfast, by Sarina Bowen (deeply romantic, with beautifully conflicted heroes and strong heroines…sexy and literally ‘bittersweet’ – with guaranteed HEAs)
The Royals Series: Paper Princess and Broken Prince, by Erin Watt (the pseudonym for two best-selling, favorite authors — Elle Kennedy & Jen Frederick!)  Heartbreakingly beautiful, incredibly hot, and intense. There are cliffhangers, but don’t let that stop you from reading these books now!

Romantic Comedy:

Going Down, by Katherine Stevens, a new author you need to read! (She also contributed to Felony Ever After, below…) – This is #1 of her Elevator Series, and I laughed until I cried.
Felony Ever After – Thirteen fantastic authors, and one hilarious story! Authors include Helena Hunting, Debra Anastasia, Liv Morris, Vi Keeland, Nina Bocci, Penelope Ward, Tijan … and more!
Hard Luck, by Liv Morris – Baseball is THE summer sport here in the U.S., and in Hard Luck, cocky chases sassy around the bases. Prepare to laugh. Hard. (<— pun intended.)

M/M Erotic Romance:

Him (2-book series), by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen. This story is unforgettable. A sports romance with humor, tenderness, and so much more. Your heart will swell, and break a little, but you’ll laugh so often it won’t matter. I’ve read these more than once and will read them again before summer is over. If you’ve never read a M/M romance before, start here.
The Burns-Fitzgerald Mysteries – a boxed set of 4 novellas, and two recent releases by Erin O’Quinn.  A historian and a cop solve mysteries together, but the greatest mystery of all is their relationship. Set in Scotland, the series weaves a tapestry of deep passion and suspense, with compelling characters and lyrical descriptions that bring their stories to life.

Some other great debut authors & books to discover this summer:

QUAKE, by Jacob Chance – A private investigator discovers more than he bargained for…it’s sexy and funny on the outside, suspenseful and tender on the inside.  Erotic Romance.
Like A Boss, by Logan Chance – Yes, he’s Jacob’s brother, and writing talent runs in the family! A workplace romance set in Miami’s South Beach…this book has all the feels, and is as hot as the Florida Sun. Erotic Romance.
Billionaire Takes All by Jackson Kane – Two brothers face a crazy challenge to claim their inheritance…and the results are as wild as the terms of their father’s will. A story of second chances. Erotic Romance.
122 Rules, by Deek Rhew — Crime, Witness Protection, Breath-taking Suspense…this book has it all. A stunning debut novel by a promising author. Mystery-Suspense, with a hint of romance yet to come…

Now for the Summer Giveaway…

To enter the Grand Prize Giveaway:
Visit the Divine Promotions Website:
leave a comment — your best summer memory, favorite summer tips, activities, foods & drinks…whatever you like!
To enter the Passionate Reads & Reviews Giveaway:
Leave a comment on today’s blog post: In one word, list ONE book you’ve loved this summer (include the author, too, please!).

Hop Along With Us … Check out the Blog List on the Divine Promotions Website!

Divine Promotions Summer Blog Hop 2016

 

New Year, New Favorite Reads – Coming in 2016 (Part 1) …

Photo of book covers-favorite new releases for 2016

 

Favorite Authors, Favorite Books on the Way 

I’m starting the year on Cloud Nine of Reader’s Heaven with some new favorites by a few of the best contemporary romance authors I know. Hyperbole? Maybe – but it’s sincere. Some of these I’ve read, some I’m currently reading, and the rest are sizzling on my Kindle waiting to be savored. And the best part? It’s not even a complete list – it’s only the beginning. Read along with me in 2016 and discover some new favorites of your own.

Authors & Bloggers – If you have some new releases coming that aren’t on my list yet — please call them out in the comments, or email me at passionatepromos@gmail.com, and I’ll feature them the next time around!

January & February Releases 

AbruptionJanuary 2nd:  ABRUPTION, by Riley Mackensie

I’m absolutely in love with this story, by favorite authors Riley Mackensie. I received the ARC and it’s my first “official” read of 2016. I’ll be posting a review tomorrow – but in the meantime, don’t wait — one-click it today. If you love sweet, sexy, highly emotional romance novels with unforgettable characters – but especially if you love medical heroes & heroines — these authors, and this book, will NEVER disappoint.

Synopsis:

Everyone has a plan. Dr. Guy Hunter secures his dream fellowship with a beautiful free spirit by his side. Two unexpected blue lines don’t even shake his resolve—he is on his way to having it all. Until he isn’t. Abruption: a sudden breaking off Jules Chiappetti loves her boisterous over-involved Italian family but is determined to pave her own way. An MBA and boardroom job is her ticket out. Until it isn’t. Abruption: an unexpected event Four years later, Guy is consumed by the challenges of being a single father, still struggling with the aftermath that derailed his life and left his son with special needs. He doesn’t realize his world went dark the same day his wife’s did, until Jules, his son’s new nurse, shows him the light.

Order it on Amazon  |  Add it to Goodreads

 

Favorite author Emma Chase is releasing the third and final installment of her Legal Briefs series, APPEALED, on January 19th. I’ve read the ARC and it’s a perfect Appealedending to a great collection of steamy, tender, often hilarious stories about a group of attorneys that practice in Washington, DC. In true Emma Chase style, each hero is a keeper, and Brent Mason is no exception…he meets his match in Appealed, and his journey from player to lover to partner is well worth experiencing. Each book in the series may be read as a standalone, so read them in any order you like, although I think the stories build especially well when read in order. Review to follow on release day.

Synopsis:

When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate – and prized – parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Christian Louboutins.
Brent has never let the loss of his leg in a childhood accident affect his ability to lead a fulfilling life. He sets high goals–and then he reaches them.
And now he has his sights set on Kennedy.
**
When Kennedy looks at Brent Mason, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue-worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell.
She’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore – she’s a DC prosecutor with a long winning streak behind her. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case and she thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.
But things aren’t exactly working out that way.
Because every fiery exchange has her wondering if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. Each argument and objection only makes him want her more. In the end, Brent and Kennedy may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.
APPEALED is a sexy, humorous romance about first crushes, second chances and the final verdict of the heart.

Buy it on Amazon | Add it to Goodreads

 

Photo of the cover of Pucked Over, by Helena HuntingJanuary 24th:  PUCKED OVER, by Helena Hunting (Pucked, #3)

Grab a glass of wine, crawl between the sheets and warm up your winter nights with the latest installment of the PUCKED series, by Helena Hunting. This hockey-themed series of romantic comedies is at the top of everyone’s list, with some of the most outrageous – and drop-dead sexy, snarky characters you’ll ever meet. Again, you can read these out of order, but to really enjoy them, start at book one and don’t stop until you’re panting for the next in the series. Forever Pucked is coming later this spring!

Synopsis: 

Lily LeBlanc isn’t versed in the art of casual sex, but after seven years in an on-again, off-again relationship, she’s definitely willing to give it a shot. And who better to try it with than her best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend? What could possibly go wrong? Nothing at all.

NHL player, Randy Ballistic, lives up to his last name on the ice and in the bedroom. His best friend and teammate has recently given up the puck bunnies and traded them in for a real girlfriend. And she just happens to have a seriously feisty, extra-hot best friend on the rebound. Randy’s more than happy to be Lily’s spring board back into the dating scene.

Casual sex is only casual until those pesky things called emotions get involved. Once that happens, someone’s bound to gets pucked over.    Buy it on Amazon |  Add it to Goodreads

February 11th:  THE SCORE, by Elle Kennedy (Off Campus, #3)The Score

The Off-Campus series continues with THE SCORE, another sexy, funny, sweet new adult sports romance featuring hot hockey players, by Elle Kennedy. Each may be read as a standalone, so start anywhere, but don’t miss a single one. If you love relatable characters, a little bit of angst, a lot of humor, and some steamy, sexy college boys … look no further. I’ve got the ARC, and am loving the story. Will be posting a review closer to its release date. Stay tuned.

Synopsis:

He knows how to score, on and off the ice …

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over …

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition,girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to befriends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

Buy it on Amazon | Add it to Goodreads

 

Photo of the cover of The Shadow, by Sylvain ReynardFebruary 2nd:  THE SHADOW (Florentine Series #2) by Sylvain Reynard

Sylvain Reynard is, hands-down, one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time. I can’t shorten the list to just one author, because all three of my favorites are so very different in their approach to storytelling that it seems unfair to say one is better than the others. The Florentine Series builds on the beauty of his infamous Gabriel series and takes it to an entirely new level, blending art, history, literature, music, poetry, mythology and romance exquisitely with the mystery and breath-taking suspense of the paranormal. Truly a unique and unforgettable combination. I have the ARC for The Shadow, and have read just enough to know that I won’t be able to put it down when I finally have the time to savor it. It’s not just a book, it’s an experience.  The final installment of the series is underway, and SR reports that he is already working on his next collection. I’d order it TODAY if I could.

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Buy it on Amazon | Add it to Goodreads

 

Later in 2016 … a few to keep your eye on:

Us, by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy 

The highly anticipated sequel to their best-selling M/M sports-themed romance, HIM.

Cover Photo -HIM, Sarina Bowen/Elle Kennedy

 

 

 

Marry Screw Kill, by Liv Morris

I have been an avid fan of Liv since I read her Touch of Tantra series. I’ve re-read it more times than I care to admit, lest I be labeled a certified Liv stalker. But if you love alpha billionaires and the kick-ass heroines that make them see the light of day … do not miss this explosively erotic and tenderly passionate story. Trust me on this.

A Sneak Peek at M-S-K:

There are two men in my life.
I’m marrying one, want to screw the brains out of another, and by the time this love story is complete, you may want to kill me.
Marry Screw Kill
The choices are still pending…

Roman Crazy, by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci

Roman CrazyYou’ll have to wait a while, but it will be totally worth it. Releases on my birthday – September 13, 2016!

A delicious, sexy, laugh-out-loud modern romance about a newly single woman and her journey to find love again, from New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton and debut author Nina Bocci.

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new againromance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.

Add it to Goodreads | Order it on Amazon

 

And last but not least … MY most anticipated release of 2016 … this time it’s personal.

Photo of images from Where Angels Sleep, by Paula Radell

Yes, my own first novel, Where Angels Sleep – a dark but inspirational romance about a young doctor who had, and lost, it all – and finds himself left with a choice between life and death.

Cover Design by the amazingly talented Fiona Jayde, of  Fiona Jayde Media (cover reveal pending later in the year)

Banner photo by my amazingly talented daughter, Sarah Nicole Thomas, owner of Modern Scribe Photography, Virginia Beach, VA.

Stay tuned … Goodreads and Author Website pending with exclusive sneak peeks & more.