Back again to finish up our chat on love and romance!  If you’re just joining us, we are romance authors talking about love, romance and marriage today in honor of the Royal Wedding.  If you missed the first or second parts of the chat, check out the previous blog posts…and don’t forget to comment for a chance to win in our book giveaway.   Okay, ladies, here we go…

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So, we’re back with Killarney again.  What was the most romantic moment in your life?

Killarney – If you have seen Letters to Juliet this year I will refer to a quote from the movie 'Englishmen are the most unromantic men in the world'.  Unfortunately I hadn't heard that quote before I married my English husband.  LOL!

Saw that movie.  Can understand.  My husband isn’t English; he’s Italian and contrary to the stereotype, he is not romantic.  Although, he shows me he loves me in his actions.  Love you honey!  What about you ladies?  Are you married to a true romantic or is it like pulling teeth to get your husband to do anything romantic?


Cara – [My husband] sat up all night watching me once when I was sick.  He was afraid I’d throw up in my sleep and die.  He sat in a chair and didn’t sleep at all.  He’s not a romantic, but he loves romance movies.  We watch a lot of Lifetime romance movies, and he cries during the movies.

Now that is romantic dedication in its truest form.  Very nice that he watches romance movies with you.  I get my husband to watch them too, but I pay the price and have to watch his action movies also.  Elaine Cantrell, what about you?

Elaine Cantrell – It’s like pulling teeth with very long roots, but he’s getting better as time goes on.

Funny!  At least I’m not the only one.  Anyone else have a romantically challenged husband or are you married to a real romantic gem? 

Killarney – Definitely like pulling teeth.  Hubby thinks romance is asking if I want to fool around tonight.  LOL!

Hmm, is my husband related to yours!?!?  Please, there have to be some romantic husbands out there!

LoRee – He has such a soft heart that he knows when I need a little boost.  The best is flowers on no special occasion.

Now that is sweet!  Anyone else want to share? 

Roseanne – Pulling teeth.

Ok, ladies have any of you done something romantic for your husband?

Elaine Marie Cooper – A month after we married, my husband and I went to the mountains in Big Bear, CA, and I brought my guitar into the woods and serenaded my husband.  He still likes to remember that he was the sole member of my audience!

That’s nice.  I’m sure he felt very special.  LoRee, have you done anything romantic for your man?


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LoRee Peery – He’s not much for a romantic candlelight dinner.  But a good cheesecake makes him feel loved.

They say the way to a man’s heart is by his stomach.  Then I guess learning how to cook my husband’s favorite Italian foods from my mother-in-law classifies as doing something romantic in his eyes.  Elaine, what about you? 

Elaine Cantrell – I’m not sure.  We don’t look at romance the same way.

I agree.  Just thinking about it now, my husband loves it when we go out and do activities together like hiking or going to the gym, or playing catch outside.  Men and women are two totally different species.  Any good books you’ve read on marriage and relationships?

Killarney – I tried to read 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' but never got past the first chapter before I picked up a historical romance purchase and lost myself in a tale of love most rewarding. 

I can definitely see that.  I’m not one much for reading non-fiction how-to books; although, I did find Dr. Gary Smalley’s The DNA of Relationships extremely helpful.  Anyone else have a good book to share?

LoRee – I would say the Bible is the best resource.

Very true.  Any last minute things you ladies would like to share?



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Roseanne – I tucked love notes in his lunches, sometimes in his sandwiches.

Thoughtful of you.  I write love notes to my husband and put them by his cell phone so he finds them every morning when he wakes up.  I started this when we first got married.  He loves it and finds it very encouraging.  Cara, what’s one of the most romantic lines from one of your books?

Cara – There are so many romantic lines, and I can’t remember all of them.  This is one from “Logan’s Redemption,” my romantic suspense.  My hero Logan says this to the heroine, Doriana:  “You never fail to surprise me.  Or excite me.”

Very nice.  Anyone else want to share a romantic thing their husband did for them?

Elaine Cantrell – The most romantic thing he [my husband] ever did was to come home with reservations for a weekend getaway to celebrate our anniversary, but I didn’t like that any more than the sweetest thing he ever said to me.  We were on our way to the grocery store to buy some dog food, and he took my hand and said, “You’re even prettier now than you were on our wedding day.”  I just melted even though the next day I made him an appointment to have his eyes checked.  I’ve changed a bit since our wedding day.

Love that!  Very sweet.  



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Elaine Marie Cooper – He [my husband] sent a trio of singers that sang love songs to my place of work.  They sang two songs to me and presented me with a red rose.  It was so sweet!

Maybe I should have him talk to my husband!  Any last minute advice for the Royal Couple?

Killarney – I have been married 16 yrs and honestly I don't think there is anything I could tell them that they wouldn't be better off discovering for themselves.

Cara – Marriage takes a lot of work. When you fight and you feel like ending it all, remember what made you marry him or her in the first place.

Thank you, Killarney and Cara.  It’s true, they’ll need to figure things out on their own and marriage does take work.

LoRee – He [my husband] really is such a romantic guy, and does sweet stuff a lot. I’d have to say now it’s when I find a note from him, usually when I’ve been in craze mode.

Very sweet!  It’s nice to see we have another romantic husband among the bunch.

Roseanne – Maintain a good sense of humor. Never go to bed angry.

Great advice.  I’ve always tried to make it a practice to not let the sun go down on my anger. 

Thank you to all the wonderful authors here for participating in the party today.  I hope everyone had an awesome time and I look forward to having another party again! 

Don’t forget if you’d like to enter to win one of their great romance novels, comment on one of our three blog postsWinners’ names will be posted on this blog next week and you’ll be contacted by the authors if you won a book.  Have a great weekend!  


 
 
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We’re back again.  If you’re just joining us, we are romance authors talking about love, romance and marriage today in honor of the Royal Wedding.  If you missed the first part of the chat, check out the previous blog post.  Okay, ladies, here we go…and anyone who comments is entered to win one of the books in our book giveaway.


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Any ladies have a funny wedding day story to share?

Delia – My father-in-law-to-be performed our ceremony, and it was his first. He was as nervous as I was! He mispronounced my name, forgot to have us repeat the vows, and failed to tell my husband he could kiss his bride. LOL My husband’s brother, who was the best man, finally hollered, “Kiss her already!”

Would've loved to be there that day!  Elaine Cantrell, what was the most romantic moment in your life?

Elaine Cantrell – The most romantic moment in my life was when I walked down the aisle of the church where I’d grown up and saw my husband-to-be standing at the altar waiting for me.  Oh, the look in his eyes!  If I ever had had any doubts about his feelings for me, those doubts would have been erased when I saw the love and pride in his face.

So sweet!  Love that!  Cara, what was the most romantic moment in your life?

Cara – When I first met my husband, he said he never wanted to go anywhere that he couldn’t take me.

You must’ve known he was a keeper after that comment!  Let’s turn to our other Elaine!  Do you have any funny stories about your wedding day?

Elaine Marie Cooper – We were so tired after a long day of visiting with family and friends. We didn’t care where we stopped to eat, so our first meal as husband and wife was eaten at—McDonald’s! Very romantic! LOL

I’m sure at that moment, you both were happy to just be together and eat!  Definitely a memory making moment, I’m sure.  Killarney, where did you go on your honeymoon?

Killarney – Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  A beautiful place in the spring with flowering trees, blooming tulips & daffodils and of course amazing sea views.  One day I would like to take my kids there to see it.

Sounds beautiful.  Can just see the amazing sea view now!  



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LoRee, can you share your engagement story?

LoRee – My husband bought a loose diamond and sent me on a scavenger hunt. The last envelope was on the tree. I whipped it open, expecting another clue, only to hear a gasp. The diamond flew and narrowly missed the heating vent in the floor.

Oh my goodness!  I can only imagine your husband’s face at that moment.  Roseanne, do you have any funny stories about your wedding day?

Roseanne – Actually, we eloped.  But halfway there our car broke down.  We spent the day getting the transmission fixed, which took a good portion of our money.  We continued on to our destination only to find we had to wait 3 days.  Knowing we didn’t have enough money to stay in a hotel that long, after we applied for our license, we came home to see if we could borrow some money.  We had already rented an apartment.  No more did we go in and figure out who to call, my sister and her husband showed up – I had left a note for my mother with the address.  They talked us into going home and getting married properly.  We had a proper wedding 3 months later.

Wow, another story to make memories.  Did anything memorable happen on your wedding day?

Roseanne – I got married in November, normally a cold, dreary month.  Just as I was about to walk down the aisle, the sun poured through the windows and shown on the aisle.

Must have been a beautiful sight!  Does anyone else have a memorable wedding day story? 

Cara – When I threw the bridal bouquet and hit one of the wedding guests in the face.

Wow, that must’ve been something. 



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Anne, do you have any advice for the Royal Couple and other newlyweds? 

Anne – I’d advise any couple to cherish each day together.  Even if it’s only for a few minutes, making time to acknowledge your love and commitment to each other every day counts.  Be spontaneous.  Give your partner a smile or kiss for no particular reason!  Thank him for being him.  Do something nice for each other at least once per day.  Again, it can be as simple as pouring your partner a morning cup of coffee, but those little signs of love and appreciation add up over the years.  It also helps to be forgetful.  By that I mean, don’t dwell on the difficult times or words said in the heat of the moment.  Above all, be realistic.  Life isn’t one big flashy event after another.  Be thankful for what you have, not want you want.

Sage advice.  Thanks for sharing that!  Delia, what’s your advice for newlyweds? 

Delia – I’ve been married 37 years, and what I always tell newlyweds who ask for advice is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Love that…something I need to remember.  Penny, do you have any quotes on love or marriage that you like?

PennyMarriage must be a commitment.  A lifelong decision to remain in that same one and only loving relationship.  If there’s an attitude of “we’ll end this if things don’t go my way” on the part of either person, there will always be a reason to end it ~ Melinda Watterson Evaul, Author of Grow Old With Me, and married 32 years

Very true.  In our premarital counseling, my husband and I were told never to say the word divorce to each other…it shouldn’t be in our vocabulary if we wanted to have a successful marriage.  Anyone else have a quote they’d like to share?

Anne – “Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths.  No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.” - Mark Twain's Notebook

Thanks for sharing that.  Do we have one more quote?

Delia – “True love stories never have endings.” – Richard Bach

Awesome truth in that.  Ok, I think the Prince and his bride need more advice.  One more quote?

Elaine Cantrell – A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. – Ruth Bell Graham

Forgiveness is definitely an important ingredient to any marriage.  


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Let’s move back to some more fun topics on love.  Anyone have a flirty line from one of their books they’d like to tell us about?

Elaine Marie Cooper – “Well,” Mary said, flirtatiously hugging herself with her cape, “I do remember him kissing me once secretly behind the meetinghouse.”  She stared innocently up at the rafters of the barn, waiting for Daniel’s reaction.

Like that line and loved the book!  Do we have another flirty character out there?

LoRee – “I doubt that you are any more combustible than I am.” (Geneva to Rainn in Rainn on My Parade)

Nice…loved the excerpt you shared on my blog this week, LoRee.  What about the most romantic line from one of your novels…any takers?

Killarney – Sarah smiled down at him. “Stand and deliver your heart, so I might steal it like a thief in the night.”  The love shinning in his eyes said more than his lips ever could. “I speak the truth, my lady, when I tell you it has already been delivered and is forever in your possession to do with as you please.”

How romantic.  Thanks for sharing!  Okay, now the romance is in the air.  Before we get to more romantic lines, Cara, where did you go on your honeymoon?

Cara – Martha’s Vineyard.

Oh, one of my favorite places to visit.  I’ve been there several times with my family.  My husband hasn’t ever gone yet and I can’t wait to go there with him someday.  Any more romantic lines? 

Anne – It’s not what Mac says in DEFENDING GLORY, first book of the Piedmont Island Trilogy series, it’s what he does:

He kissed her, savoring the delicious sweetness of her lips, and presented her with the wildflower he’d picked especially for her.  “Happy anniversary.”

“You remembered.”  She accepted the marsh marigold and tucked it behind her ear.

“Always.”

A contented smile spread across her face.  “Our seventh.”

He kissed her again.  Seven incredible months.  He was truly blessed.

Very romantic as well.  I’ve just started reading your book and already love the characters of Mac and Glory…can’t wait to finish!  Time for one more.

Delia – This is tough!  I like to think my heroes say lots of romantic things!  But, since Kylie’s Kiss releases TODAY, I’ll use this line from that book.  It happens just moments before Rick proposes to Kylie:

Slowly, she raised one hand and brought it to his lips, tracing their outline with a trembling finger.  “Rick?”

“Hmmm?”  His hands buried themselves in her hair.  He tugged gently, easing her head back and opening her neck to his exploration.  Kylie moaned when his lips seared a trail down her throat, pausing on the pulse point at the base of her neck.

“I feel your heart,” he whispered.  “It’s beating with mine.”

All you ladies are creating such romantic characters!  Can’t wait to read this book, Delia.  Okay, let’s take one more break and we’ll be back to ask Killarney a question.  See you all soon!


 
 
Everyone loves a good romance, right?  Well, in honor of the Royal Wedding today I’ve gathered a group of awesome authors to join together in a blog party and celebration on love and romance.  So glad you stopped by today.  Please stay and chat with the authors and everyone who comments on the blog party posts will be entered for a chance to win some great romance books by these wonderful ladies!  Come along, grab a cinnamon bun and a cup of chamomile tea or your favorite coffee and meet these authors.    

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Delia Latham: http://www.delialatham.net  Born and raised in a California farming community called Weedpatch, Delia moved to Oklahoma in 2008, making her a self-proclaimed California Okie. She loves to read and write in her simple country home, and gets a kick out of watching her husband play Farmer John.

Penny Zeller: www.pennyzeller.com  www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com  Penny is a wife, mom, volunteer, and author of several books and numerous magazine articles. Her most recent books include Kaydie and McKenzie in her Montana Skies Historical Romance Series (Whitaker House). Penny loves to hear from her readers

Anne K. Albert: Website: http://www.AnneKAlbert.com
Blog: http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com  Anne’s stories chill the spine, warm the heart, and soothe the soul…all with a delightful touch of humor. She is author of the Piedmont Island Trilogy series and Muriel Reeves Mysteries.  When not in her home office, she enjoys traveling, visiting friends and family, and of course, reading.

Cara Marsi: www.caramarsi.com  Cara, a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller, is published in romantic suspense with The Wild Rose Press and in paranormal romance with Noble Romance Publishing, and writes short romance stories for women’s magazines. Cara and her husband share their house with a fat black cat named Killer.

LoRee Peery: www.loreepeery.com  LoRee writes contemporary Christian romance. Two of the four stories in the Frivolities series have been published by White Rose Publishing. Her reading is eclectic, but mostly contemporary.  She likes reunion stories, suspense, western historicals, and a good read.  She is a member of RWA, FH-L, and NRW.

Elaine Cantrell: http://www.elainecantrell.com  Elaine was born and raised in South Carolina.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Books.  At present she teaches high school social studies.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, collecting vintage Christmas ornaments, and playing with her grandchildren.

Elaine Marie Cooperwww.DeerRunBooks.com  Elaine grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest with her husband.  A retired registered nurse, Elaine has been a magazine freelance writer for many years and is the author of her debut novel called “The Road to Deer Run.” The sequel, titled “The Promise of Deer Run,” will soon be available.


Killarney Sheffieldhttp://killarneysheffield.bravehost.com  Killarney is a married mother of five, currently residing on a commercial beef farm in Alberta Canada.  She writes historical romance for MuseItUp Publishing Inc. http://killarneysheffield.yolasite.com
http://killarneysheffield.blogspot.com

Roseanne Dowell: www.roseannedowell.com or her blog http://roseannedowellauthor.blogspot.com  An avid reader, Roseanne writes various types of romance - paranormal, contemporary, and mystery and has over 40 articles and short stories published. She lives in Northeast Ohio and enjoys life as a wife, mother of six, grandmother and great grandmother.  


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We’ll now that we’re all acquainted, let’s get started chatting.  I’m sure everyone has a favorite movie.  Anne, what’s yours?

Anne – The Princess Bride. It just sings to me!

One of my favorites too.  Love Westley and “As you wish.” Delia, what’s your favorite?

Delia – It would be a toss-up between Ghost and The Notebook – for different reasons, of course. Ghost because it’s just romantic to think not even death could keep a guy from taking care of the woman he loves. And then, of course, there’s that famous potter’s wheel scene…wow! And in The Notebook…oh, man, what’s not romantic? What kind of man goes to the lengths James Garner’s character did to be with his wife, who doesn’t remember him most of the time? Oh, the sweet tears!

Saw both of those.  Really loved The Notebook.  Elaine, do you have a favorite?

Elaine Cantrell – Maybe The Notebook because of the hero’s life-long devotion to his wife.

Two for The Notebook.  Anyone else have a favorite?

Cara – That’s a hard one. The only movie that comes to mind is an old one from 1943.  It’s called “The More, the Merrier,” and stars Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea. There’s such sexual tension between them and McCrea is a hunk.  I’m an old movie buff.

I love the old classics, too!

Elaine Cooper – OK, I’ve decided I can’t possibly narrow this down to one, so I will list my favorites: “While You Were Sleeping,” “Return To Me,” “Emma,” and “Last of the Mohicans.” Sigh. I can watch all of these over and over—and I do, much to my husband’s consternation! They all just wrap the romance around you and draw you in.

Love While You Were Sleeping and Emma is one of my all-time favorites.  I love Jane Austen and Mr. Knightly is one of my favorite male characters.  Killarney, what’s your favorite story?

Killarney – Emeralds & Sapphires. It was an old harlequin historical romance I found many years ago in a used bookstore. My debut historical romance releasing in June is based on the concept of that book.

Never read it, but love the title.  Anyone else want to share?

LoRee – I would have to say Gone With the Wind, because it made me feel so grown up to read it. That story is also the one that hooked me on romance.

I never read that classic book, but I finally did see the movie last year at the urging of my husband.  He actually thinks that’s one of the best movies.  Roseanne, what was the most romantic moment in your life?

Roseanne – The first time my husband said he loved me.


I’m sure that was a sweet and romantic moment.  


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Before we take a break in our chat, Penny, can you share your engagement story for us?

Penny – Ah, the wonderful days of no caller I.D. It made for a much more successful prank phone call. Yes, here’s a frightening confession: my sister, cousin, and I would spend countless hours making innocent prank phone calls. It was long before speaker phone technology, but that was fine with us. We had two phones in the house, both always being used at the same time.

Our prank phone calls were never anything that could harm someone, and I am a firm believer that prank phone calls do have their benefits. Case in point - I met my husband, Lon through a prank phone call. Yep. It's true. 

Lon and I will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary this year. And to think it all started with the humble beginnings of a white rotary dial phone…

I saw Lon's high school football picture in the county newspaper. He went to small school in the same county as I did, but in a different town 20 miles away. He was a state champion football player and I was cheerleader. I was sure I'd never seen such a fine specimen in all my teenage years. 

So my sister, cousin, and I called him. He was a chatty fellow and he and I immediately hit it off. I soon looked forward to our daily phone calls. Over the next several weeks, he began to call me before I left for work as a bookkeeper and clerk at a department store and before he headed out to work in the fields on his dad’s farm.

A few months later, I met Lon in person at the gas station parking lot where he rode up on his motorcycle and I drove up in my 1971 souped-up Chevy Malibu. He was wearing parachute pants and his #78 football jersey. He'll still argue after all these years that it wasn't parachute pants he was wearing, but sweatpants. But now that it's in writing, here's the proof: he was wearing parachute pants (and after all, it was 1991 when parachute pants were the thing to wear!) I even recall that I wore my hair in a high ponytail that day and wore my Michigan State t-shirt and a pair of jean shorts.

Accompanied by my sister and a friend, we pulled into the gas station and I nonchalantly filled my car with gas. I watched him out of the corner of my eye. Not paying attention, I forgot to put on my gas cap after filling my car with gas.

I drove up to the curb. “Hi, are you Lon?” I asked.

“Just a minute,” he said. I watched as he walked over to the gas pump and retrieved my gas cap. "I think you forgot this," he told me. I was so embarrassed! I gazed deep into his green eyes and suddenly felt a bit faint.

“I- I’m Penny.”

He leaned against my car and smiled. “I’m Lon.”

I offered a quick and silent prayer toward heaven. “Lord, please, please, please let him like me!”

We must have stood there in awkward silence for awhile until I remembered I needed to pay for my gas.

After that day, we began to date. One night three months later, we stood in the driveway of my parents’ house getting ready to say goodnight. I was caught completely off guard when Lon asked, “Will you marry me?” No kneeling to one knee with an engagement ring. No airplane in the sky with a huge banner for all to see. Nope, just a humble out-of-the-blue “Will you marry me?”

I didn’t hesitate, but quickly answered “YES!”

As calmly as if we were discussing the weather, Lon answered, “All right. See you tomorrow.”  With that, Lon turned and climbed into his car (which, I might add, had a stereo worth four times what the car was worth).

I remember standing in the driveway shaking with excitement, wondering if he had really asked me or if it was a dream. Yes, it was late, and yes, she was asleep, but my younger sister just had to know about this!

In June of the following year, Lon and I were married in a tiny Baptist church in my hometown. There was a storm that day, and half of the time we had no power. But it all worked out and several years later, we started our family. Today we have two beautiful daughters.

We’ve had our share of good times and bad, serious times and funny times (like the time Lon overdosed on no-bake cookies right before a blood test and was denied his CDL license renewal because his sugar readings were off the charts!) But through it all, I thank God every day for the husband he blessed me with.



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Penny, thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us.  Let’s take a quick break and we’ll be back for more conversation.  Please feel free to comment.  You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to win one of these amazing books! 

Delia Latham is offering a free eBook copy of Kylie’s Kiss.

Anne Albert is offering a free pdf copy of Defending Glory.

Elaine Cantrell is offering a free ecopy of A New Dream.

Elaine Marie Cooper is offering a free print copy of The Road to Deer Run.

Killarney Sheffield is offering a free ecopy of Guilty Kisses (not out til June 3rd)

LoRee Peery is offering a free pdf copy of Rainn on my Parade

Roseanne Dowell is offering a free ecopy of Stranger on the Shore

Cara Marsi is offering a free ebook of Murder, Mi Amore; a free ebook of Cursed Mates; and a free signed print copy of the original version of Logan’s Redemption

Penny Zeller will be a guest author on my blog, May 3rd, so come back and comment that day to win a copy of her book, Kaydie.


Also, don't be a stranger...join my yahoo group: Authors and Readers of Romance and stay connected with some great romance authors.  Link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Authorsandreadersofromance


 
 
In my life, I’m a very detail oriented person.  However, when I write, sometimes I forget about the details because I’m too excited to write the story.  Details are very important—sharing too much information might bore the readers and not sharing enough could leave the readers dissatisfied, wanting to know more.  

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As with so many things in life I believe in finding balance in the usage of details in my books.  I’m learning to meet in the middle and add more than what I did before because I was lacking in my presentation of the story. 

Sophie absently listened to the girls’ conversation and sat down at the table.  Her love of architecture and design drew her eyes up to admire the big arched windows close by.  She liked the secluded area where the host seated them.  She took a quick survey of the surroundings and noticed the ceiling, at least thirty feet high.  Massive arched and square windows lined the parallel walls.  The chandeliers sparkled beautifully and that light combined with the sunshine made a glorious sight.

Alexander came over and interrupted her thoughts.  “This was the hot spot since the eighteenth century.  I bet you didn’t know that.”

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Admiring the great architectural design of the room, Sophie sat down at the table and absently listened to the girls’ conversation.  Alexander came over and interrupted her thoughts. “This was the hot spot since the eighteenth century. I bet you didn’t know that.”

Which example do you think best utilizes detail?  I’m sure we’d all agree the first one does.  Without going on forever, the first example gives just enough detail to pull you into the scene; whereas the second example leaves you wanting to know more detail about the “great architectural design of the room.” 


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How can you utilize details to your advantage?  You can be stingy with your details.  What?  Wait a minute, you say.  I know I just got done sharing that you shouldn’t skimp on details.  To clarify, you need to value each and every detail you include as if it were a gold coin.  You don’t want to include details just to include them.  Really, every word we write should have a good reason behind it for why it’s included in our novel. 

So, if you want to tell the reader that someone is wealthy, should you write?

Jasper Jenkins was a very wealthy man.

Or would you go with option two?

Jasper Jenkins drove his BMW (or whatever other luxury car you’d like to include) up to the iron gatehouse and punched in the security code.  The gate opened and he drove down the long, tree-lined private driveway.  He came to a stop near the Italian fountain and exited the car just as Nigel, his butler, came rushing down the front steps to assist with carrying the luggage inside the sprawling mansion

Remember that you are creating the movie or word picture in the reader’s mind.  Of course, the reader will create his or her own picture while reading—but the point of being an author is to give the reader all the details he or she needs to see the picture you want him to see…in order to correctly portray every aspect of your story in the best possible way. 

Where do you stand on details?  When you read, do you like to know as much information as possible or do you think less is more?  For the authors, do you load on the details in your books or keep it simple?  


 
 
The featured book selection today is Rainn on my Parade by LoRee Peery.  Ms. Peery has graciously offered a free electronic book in a giveaway for one winner. Details at the end of this blog post.  

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A lifelong Nebraskan who has lived in the country most of her life, LoRee Peery enjoys a busy life. She's involved in the lives of her grandchildren, sings in choir, and loves contact through women's ministries in her local church. LoRee, an overcomer, has been married 37 years, and considers herself blessed.

LoRee, can you share an interesting tidbit about yourself?

I lost a diamond ring the night of my first kiss. (Why would I wear such a gift from an aunt on a hayrack ride?!)

Wow, now that's a real situation of finding a needle in a haystack!!  

You can find more information at LoRee's website: www.loreepeery.com


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Can you tell us about Rainn on my Parade?  

After firefighter Rainn Harris rescues Geneva Carson from being stuck in a tree, she feels she owes him. Helping to care for his autistic niece comes easy, but her attraction to Rainn is a different story. Being drawn to a man twelve years her junior metes internal havoc as Geneva attempts to balance responsibility and personal fulfillment. And the prospect of becoming a middle-aged mom to a special -needs child sends Geneva into a tailspin of conflicting emotions.

As the custodial parent for his young niece, Rainn is determined to be a better parent than his absentee sister. When Geneva agrees to help care for Mia, Rainn is overjoyed. He admires Geneva ’s compassion and enthusiasm for life, and expects she’ll be a positive influence on Mia. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the beautiful and vital woman. But Geneva ’s hung up on their age difference, and he must convince her of his sincerity before they will ever have a chance at happiness together.

As tension threatens to pull them apart, both must learn to rely on the Lord to direct their futures—whether that means two lives joined or paths in opposite directions.

That sounds like a great book.  I can't wait to read it.  Can you share an excerpt?  I know I'm excited to get a taste of your book.

Get a grip, woman, and act your age.

The sirens drew close. She soon heard activity below, but she kept her eyes clamped shut.

“Hold on, Ms. Carson. Don’t be scared,” a disembodied voice that didn’t belong to her future son-in-law spoke from below. “Just hold on.”

“I assure you, I’m too scared to let go.” Geneva ’s voice quivered. But she couldn’t help smiling at her predicament.

The extension ladder whirred softly and creaked as it reached for the top branches of the tree.

She squeezed her eyes tighter.

“I’m right behind you now.”

“Thank you, Lord.”

“Not God, just me.”

The firefighter chuckled.

Her eyes popped open when she felt him close behind. Thankful for the cropped-pajama bottoms she wore instead of a nightgown, Geneva frowned at the unexpected shiver as she attempted to place the voice.

“Whenever you’re ready, just let go.”

“Thought you told me to hold on.”

“Well, I’m here to catch you now.”

She caught the humor in his voice. And hated it.

“Oh, good grief. I’m too heavy for anybody to catch me.” She lowered her eyes to half mast.

“Spunky, most likely,” came from under his breath.

She doubted he meant for her to hear.

Is that professional behavior? Well, that’s pretty nervy of the guy. But then again, I am caught in a tree. She snickered, wondering if she was hysterical. She tried for a deep breath but it turned into a gulp around her sternum. “Are you sure I can let go?”

“Geneva, trust me.” That popped her eyes wide open.

The confident urging voice and the use of her first name drew enough courage to peer downward.

Rainn Harris.

And he was way too close for comfort.

Eric would never live this down at the firehouse. His future mother-in-law rescued from a tree, by his buddy.

She remembered her first look at him. Rainn was a few years older than Eric, but they became fast friends when they met at University. Geneva may have heard Rainn’s name a time or two before Eric started working on Moselle ’s loft, but she hadn’t any reason to pay attention. Since then, she’d seen him with Eric many times.

Rainn probably knew more about her than she did him.

Before she could fathom any further thought, Geneva let go and found herself wrapped in the strongest arms and pressed against the strongest chest imaginable.

I’d climb the tree again if this firefighter would come for me.


LoRee, I'm so glad you stopped by today and your book could be featured.  For anyone who is interested in entering to win a copy of Rainn on my Parade, please feel free to comment on this book feature.  You have two chances to win -- comment today and on Friday during the Romance Author Blog Party where LoRee will be one of the featured authors.  


 
 
Naomi Musch and the opening paragraphs from her historical novel, The Green Veil.
CONGRATULATIONS, NAOMI!
Naomi takes the title in her clash against the very worthy runner-up, Karen Baney, author of A Dream Unfolding.
A snippet from Naomi's winning passage:
Pain seared Colette's temples, neck, and shoulders. Behind her eyelids, everything blazed like a powder keg of dynamite going off inside her. Explosions roared and blasts glared - red, and now and then a streak of hot white. She stirred on the bed, and her satin dress rustled.
Naomi says her best ideas come from overlooked portions of history she stumbles upon and in The Green Veil those include lumberjacks, land barons, and mill owners racing to control the pine lands in 1840s Wisconsin Territory. To read more about the book and find out what her favorite reads of the last year were, check out her interview ith COTT's Senior Editor April Gardner here.
What did readers have to say? A few comments from our voters:
"Excerpt A grabbed my heart. I found myself hurting for Colette, wishing there was something I could do to save her from her plight. Beautiful work."
"I wished I could pick both. I chose A simply because of the references to the book of Esther, one of my favorite accounts in the Bible."
"Wow, I really enjoyed that pine book."
Naomi responded to her win: Oh WOW! Thank you to everyone at COTT for allowing me to be part of this month's clash, and for all those who stopped by and voted for either mine or Karen's book. What a way to start the Easter weekend!  There are two more Opening Hooks to vote on this week, so head over to Clash of the Titles and let your voice be heard! A free copy of each competing book will be given away to two lucky readers--you can increase your odds by voting, commenting, sharing our link, or joining our Blog AllianceTell us whose blog sent you here to give them an extra entry too!
Have fun! bio: Michelle Massaro is a homeschooling mom and aspiring novelist, as well as Assistant Editor for the literary website Clash of the Titles . Connect with her on twitter @MLMassaro, facebook, and her blog Adventures in Writing
 
 
Glad you stopped by my blog today.  You get to meet author, Cami Checketts.  

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Cami Checketts is a wife, mother of four boys, exercise scientist, and author. When she isn't refereeing wrestling matches or cleaning up magic potions, she enjoys reading, running, and strength training.

Where can we find information about you and your books online?

www.camichecketts.com
http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com
http://fitnessformom.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/#!/camichecketts
http://twitter.com/#!/camichecketts

Can you tell us about your current release, The Sister Pact?  


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Savannah Compton is devastated when her sister and best friend, Allison, falls into a coma after a tragic accident. Or was it an accident? Even with a charming and handsome detective at her side, it seems Savannah may never discover the truth. But if she doesn’t her family could be in even more danger. And Savannah’s past holds its own secrets that could change everything.

You've got me hooked...sounds like a great book.  Where can we find it online?

http://www.amazon.com/Sister-Pact-Cami-Checketts/dp/1599552671
http://deseretbook.com/Sister-Pact-Cami-Checketts/i/5030214
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Sister-Pact/Cami-Checketts/e/9781599552675/


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Now we get to the best part...we'd love to learn more about you.  

Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?

After my second baby I was dealing with postpartum depression and sleeping a lot. My mom woke me up from a nap and told me, "You need a hobby. You should write a book." I started writing that afternoon. Haven't had time for a nap since.  


What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction? 

I had a nightmare about a man attacking my younger sister. It terrified me. Had to use writer therapy to calm myself down. 


Wow, I would hate to have had that nightmare.  I have a younger sister also and it would terrify me, too.  Definitely get using writing as therapy.  

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Both. I usually base my books on a nightmare so someone I know is always in the dream, but the characters really take on a life of their own. I love that.

How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story?  Is the process the same for every book you write?  How long does it take you to write a book? 

I stew about an idea for several months, living with the characters, and bouncing ideas off of my sister and sister-in-law. Sometimes they'll tell me my idea is too crazy. I am awful at describing things verbally so when they listen with interest to an idea or a scene description, I know I'm on the right track.

I can write a book in about six weeks but it takes me six to nine months to revise it.


Who is your favorite contemporary author?  Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?

Favorite is so hard, usually the one I'm reading right now. I'd have to say Davis Bunn. I love the way he weaves words and his books are always intense.


I've read some of his books.  He's a great writer.

What’s your writing schedule like?  When do you find time to write?

With a five-month old I am struggling! I usually write in the afternoon while my youngest naps or late at night. Lately I have to beg my twelve-year old or husband to hold the baby so I can fit ten minutes in. Honestly, I'm enjoying that chubby baby so much I haven't been too upset about my low writing production.


Congrats on the newest addition to your family!

How have your friends and family received your career as an author?  Are they supportive?

They've been amazing. My husband is great. He told me when I started, "Just think of writing as your golf. You might win some money at a tournament, you might have days when you're so frustrated you break a club, but you do it because you enjoy it." How can you not love a man like that?


That's some great advice!  

What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you?

Description. I get annoyed reading too much description. I have to force myself to include it because it never works when the reader doesn't know what color of hair the heroine has.  


Cami, thank you so much for stopping by today.  I enjoyed our chat.  I hope everyone stays around for a visit!

 
 
I have always loved to read ever since I was a little girl when I first discovered books.  Reading fueled my appetite to learn to write and the rest is history—well, almost.  For a while I was focusing so much on writing my current WIP’s that I didn’t read any new books for over a year.  Of course, that’s not beneficial to my writing and I finally realized that.  
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I recently started doing some book reviews and that has whet my appetite again to reading and why I love it so much.  It’s also reminded me how much (as a writer) I need to read other books, both fiction and non-fiction.  


Reading how other authors write is beneficial to sharpening your own writing skills.  If you’re looking closely enough, you’ll see what works for other authors and what doesn’t.  Your skills will be honed.  That’s the point, right—we should always want to do what is necessary to sharpen our skillset and write better novels.  At least that’s my goal. 


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I know with my first book, I did not know what I was doing other than basic grammar skills and that I really, really wanted to be an author.  However, wanting to be a real author and truly being one—two totally different stories.  Being a successful author takes hard work and determination and you always need to take the good with the bad.  Are you able to handle constructive criticism from editors, publishers, book reviewers and even readers…without getting offended?  It takes me time to process the criticism, but usually I can get a handle on it and use that to make my writing better. 

Now that my second novel has been published and I’m working on my third and fourth, I’m excited that I’m still learning more on how to write better and get a truly polished novel that readers are waiting with bated breath to read.  Starting to read other books again has truly assisted in that journey. 


There are different levels of writing and I want to strive to make it to the highest level that I can write.  Reading more books can open your mind to those different levels of writing skills and you can compare that to your own set of skills and figure out where you need to improve.  Obviously, your end goal is not to copy another author’s work.  That would be plagiarism and wrong!  My point is that reading good, quality work can inspire you to see where your writing skills are lacking and open up your eyes to see where you can improve.  


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I recently received a Kindle and let’s just say that I LOVE it!!  I never thought I would enjoy reading on an eReader since I was an advocate for print books, but after my mom got one (and she was more against the eReader than I was)…she convinced me that I would love it.  I’ve only had the Kindle for a week and I’ve fallen in love.

So, just curious what other people think on the subject of eBooks vs. print books.  Do you think print books will become obsolete?  If you have an eReader, which kind and what do you like about it?      


 
 
Lorna Seilstad is a guest author here today.  She shares some great advice for writers.  You can find Lorna online at her website: http://www.lornaseilstad.com 

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Even though some of you might disagree, I live in what is arguably the Pothole Capital of the United States. Last spring, we had potholes that could swallow a mini-van, and I could have sworn bats flew out of some of the caverns on the main streets. Honestly, I saw the sewer system on two different occasions through HOLES in the street. Scary. And this year promises to be equal if not more prolific in the production of potholes of doom.              

The powers that be claim our plethora of potholes come from the freeze/thaw cycle we experience during the winter. The funny thing is, I only remember a freeze cycle and a lot of snow.  No thaws. That year in particular, the snow stayed around all winter. At any rate, last year’s potholes appeared about the same time as the Winter Olympics, so, in the spirit of things, I decided to create a new sport for my driving amusement–Pothole Dodging.

On any given trip, I scored myself. I lost a tenth of a point for not dodging a “rough patch” and half a point for hitting a small pot hole. Hitting a large one would cost me a whole point. Of course, there were long and short courses to correspond with the length of the trip.

During my very own, and very private, Olympic sport (and I can assure you that this is the extent of my athletic abilities), I discovered two things. One, I am a Gold Medalist in Pothole Dodging, and two, my husband is not.

While he is an excellent driver, he is looks at the end goal while he’s driving and regularly misses the hole right in front of him.  It got me to thinking about writing (as most things do). That’s how it is so often is with our writing journeys. We have our minds set so firmly on the goal of being published or writing the next book, that we miss the pothole on our path ready to trip us up. Not being aware of those potential dangers can really through us off the path or hut us along the way.

As writers, we have to be ready with a plan of action to handle writing potholes. How do you skirt distractions? Keep focused? Handle discouragement? 

Realize there are things out there ready to trip you up as a writer and plan how you will deal with them. And when you do hit a pothole, make sure you have a support group of other writers that will help you get back on the road.

And what advice does the self-proclaimed Gold Medal Pothole Dodger have to navigate those real life writing potholes? Let’s start with my favorite. Develop a habit of writing every day.  Whenever you miss days, it’s harder to get back on track. When you write every day, your writing has better continuity and you learn to make your creativity work for you and not the other way around.

So, dodge that procrastination pothole, put the pen to the paper, and give yourself a medal. Even imaginary ones feel pretty good!       


That's great advice every writer can use.  Thank you for sharing.        


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Do you have a favorite inspirational quote -- something that can encourage other authors and readers?

“I failed my way to success.” –Thomas Edison

Love that quote!  We're excited to learn more about your book, A Great Catch.  

She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change. When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next. Will Carter strike out? Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

Sounds like a great book.  What formats can readers find this book in and where should they look?

It's available in trade paperback, Kindle, Nook, and e-book and the link to find it online is: http://www.christianbook.com/a-great-catch-lake-manawa/lorna-seilstad/9780800734466/pd/734460 

Reviews of A Great Catch

"A Great Catch weaves humor, history, romance, and spiritual truths into a delicious story that will delight readers’ hearts. What a fun, relaxing read! I’d like to remain at Lake Manawa forever."--Laura Frantz, author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little

"A grand slam! In a story as refreshing and invigorating as lemonade, Seilstad raises deep questions about a woman’s relationship with God, her dreams, and the people in her life--while making me laugh so loudly my kids came running to get in on the joke."--Sarah Sundin, author of the Wings of Glory series


Lorna, thanks so much for stopping by today to share your inspirational story and advice to other authors.  Hope everyone can stay for a bit to chat with us.  

 
 
Authors and readers agree, those first words of a book are of vital importance. Some allow several chapters to convince them, others—no more than a few paragraphs. Authors feel the weight of this responsibility as they sit down to pen those first lines. At least they should! The older I get, the pickier I become about which novels I finish. I realized this last month, when I started a book and was struck by the lack of white space—those gaps between paragraphs. More white space = more dialogue. I flipped through the first chapter, then the book, and when I found massive paragraphs dominating the pages, I tossed it in my “donate to library” pile. Apparently, I like dialogue--so much, that a lack of it made me close the book before finishing the first page. I used to feel compunction over setting aside a book that didn’t hold my attention.  Now, my free time is more scarce and thus, more valuable. When I only have an hour a day to enjoy a book, I want it to be a good one. I want to be swept away to a foreign land or time. I want to be kept there until The End forces me home. The more I read, the more I define which styles of writing I enjoy and which I don’t.  This process is shorter and shorter every year, which means books have less time to grab my attention. I’m curious. How much weight do you, dear reader, put into the first pages of a book? Do you feel obligated to finish it once you’ve started? Below, you’ll find a survey that will remain open for at least the next week. Let’s have some fun! And be sure to visit Clash of the Titles throughout the week to read our author interviews! *** Article by April Gardner: A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her children, while her husband serves a tour in the Middle East. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. She is the best-selling author of Wounded Spirits. Contact April: aprilgardnerwrites (at) gmail (dot) com April's blog. Find April on Facebook.
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    In accordance with FTC Guidelines for blogging & endorsements, I want to post this disclaimer. From time to time, I do purchase and review some novels. However, most of the novels I review are given to me as a complimentary review copy by the author or publisher. I do not receive  monetary compensation for the reviews I complete.

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