Weather and the Writing Mood

I grew up back east. Not exactly the cold New England but neither the temperate southeast. I grew up in good ol’Virginia, right around DC. I loved the summers and hated the cold winters. I loved and still love the spring and fall but that unforgettable cold of winter, the kind that seeped into my bones, made the move to the southwest extremely appealing. It was beyond a matter of how warm or cold I felt but really how weather motivated and inspired me to work and act.

Have you noticed how the weather affects your mood? I’m sure if you think about where/when you’ve felt your best and most inspired or where in general you feel a bit “down in the dumps,” weather may have some sort of influence.

My trip up to northern Arizona this past weekend only brought back some memories of cold and gloomy winters where I have been less than motivated. I have a different view now. I still am not wild about the cold but I find it strange that now I am excited by the rain (something I definitely wasn’t when I lived in Virginia). It’s something so rare in the desert that when it does happen it creates an almost surreal environment which can be quite beautiful at times and very inspiring for my mood and my writing.

What about you all? When it comes to the weather, what inspires you to write or how does it affect your mood? Hopefully wherever you are, this November weather is proving helpful.

Happy writing this week!


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Nanowrimo Week Three By Mandy Rosko

I really feel a little on the dead side at this point. The later hours are starting to catch up, and I’m torn between how much I’m enjoying myself, and how much I wish I could take some more time off of writing. I missed two writing days for Nanowrimo this month so I could catch up on working on my Siren books. I think I still need to hand in a cover questionnaire that’s a couple of days overdue, as well  -_- But I’m going to stick with it! I’m really happy with the word count I have for the next book in my series, even if I’m still fairly sure that it sucks. A lot.

Really suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks


Anyway, I’m 36k words into it, on top of the writing I got done for Siren, so even if I don’t finish it at 50k, that’s still a nice chunk of writing done on another project in a short amount of time. I just wish I would stop getting other ideas in my head that look so amazing. The other books are shorter. The first book in the series is novella length at 45k, and when I’m done with the second one, I imagine it will be about 50 or maybe 55k.

With the rough draft of this one topping off at 50k for Nanowrimo, I’m not sure how long it will be. I do delete paragraphs on my edits, but I also add in a lot more that was previously missed. I’m weird like that.

Anyway, aside from Nanowrimo, I’ve also spoken to Eve Langlais and a little bit to Opal Carew at the last book signing they went to at the big Chapters near my store—I bought a ton of books! ;)—and after talking it over I’ve decided that Burns Like Fire won’t just be exclusive to the box set anymore. It’s been exclusive for a couple of months, and now I’d like to try and put it into print and get it up on kindle by itself to see how it does. I’ll  need to update the cover first, and get it formatted to be by itself, but I think this is the right decision, especially if I want to publish the sequel by January.

My only worry is that I might annoy people who bought the set because the story was exclusive for the time, but I don’t have nearly a big enough fan base for that to be much of a problem. Hopefully :)



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Chilli Times Paranormal-Scope by Susan Hanniford Crowley

With snow in the air, it’s time to think about comfort food.  There’s nothing like chilli for chilly times.

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal-scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Hobbits are rather confused this week. Chilli is not in their normal diet. But trying something new is in the cards.

Dragons love chilli.  They already breathe fire.  It’s a good fit. A lot will fit well this week.

To add in beans or not, that is the question. Gnomes like to try things different ways. Add a new spice to life this week.

Ground turkey in chilli is under consideration by the elves. Turkeys have taken this as a hint to run for the hills.  Stay out of the way of stampeding turkeys this week.

Shapeshifters love the addition of bacon in chilli.  An new addition is coming into your life. Be prepared.

Werewolves are all about the beef. Make something delicious to share with friends.

Vampires avoid chilli, as it has garlic powder in it. Avoid things bad for you.

Unicorns are great at dicing tomatoes and onions, but they are better at making kabobs. Show off your talents this week, and compliment others.

Leprechauns like to add a beer but it must be Guinness. Time to celebrate your heritage. Travel to your ancestral land or research your roots.

The Gryphon likes a sprinkle of cheese on chilli.  Watch fun entertainment and eat warming foods to get through the week.

The Owl is wise in the ways of nature. Cumin is hot but also medicinal and good for colds. Protect your health.

The faeries love dancing and chilli inspires.  Be warmhearted with friends and colleagues this week and feel the joy in return.

Susan Hanniford Crowley
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle


Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, Susan Hanniford Crowley, vampire books, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Obligation of Promotion


Some authors, old and new, don’t realize just how much your life is not your own once you sign a book contract.  Your publisher now has invested time and money into publishing and promoting your work.  They expect, and you are obligated, to assist the publisher in the promotion of your works.

Okay, so how bad could that be, really?  You write a blog or two a week, you participate in an online chat, you set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, and 303px-Goodreads_logo_svga website and maintain them all.  You perhaps do blog tours, you get interviewed, you interview and review other authors, you comment on others’ blogs, you join Yahoo Groups and/or Goodreads groups.  All with the intent of getting your name and your book titles out there to the paying public.

The problem, you ask?  Time. All this promotion takes time.  Time you could spend writing more wonderful books for your publisher to sell.

Thus begins the juggling act.  How do you keep all these promotional balls in the air and still add one for every project you are currently writing, one for critting, one for your family, one for your job, and one for God knows what else may crop up (always expect the unexpected!).  Octopus arms seem a good idea about now.

How on earth do you fit everything in?

twitter2The truth is, you don’t.  You can’t. So this is where time management and the art of prioritizing, walk hand in hand up to the author and say “Tell ya what we’re gonna do…”  You are going to make a plan.

1) Decide which ways you plan to promote your work.  Your publisher may suggest things to you and, working with them, decide on several (not more than 4 to begin with) ways you will be able to promote your books.

2) Make a list of these promotional events and the days/times you will devote to them.

3) Set aside time EVERY DAY just to write.  If you don’t produce new works you will be the literary equivalent of a “one hit wonder” in the music business.

4) Set aside time each week to critique your crit partners works (if you don’t do them, you won’t receive them).

This simple plan can help you carve out precious time to write, to spend with family, to read, or just to sleep. Your obligation is also  to YOU

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Interview & Contest with Contemporary Romance Author Anna James

Nights of Passion is excited to welcome Contemporary Romance Author Anna James. Her book, KeepingHerGuiltySecret1800Keeping her Guilty Secret, has recently been released.

Anna, welcome and please, tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Connecticut and grew up in Western New York, returning to Connecticut in my early twenties where I now live with my husband. We have five children who are grown and on their own (except for the youngest who is still in college). I have a full time job, marketing by day, author by night.

What’s your favorite color?
Definitely red. To me it signifies excitement, motivation and energy.

What’s your favorite dessert?
That’s easy, pretty much anything chocolate. While I prefer milk chocolate I am trying to acquire a taste for dark chocolate as it is better for you.

What inspired you to become a writer? Did you always think you would be a writer?
While I have always been creative (I like to design clothing and sew), I am not one of those people who knew from the time they were a child they wanted to write. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I even considered it, which was about the time I discovered romance novels. I loved the idea of creating some happily ever after stories of my own.

Which authors were your early influences?
Nora Roberts. I love the way she tells a story.

Where do you find your stories?
My stories are about conquering life’s trial and my ideas come from a variety of places like the news or an article I’ve read or sometimes they just come to me.

I’ve been reading Keeping Her Guilty Secret, and I have to tell you how impressed I am by the storyline. I especially love your heroine, Nicole. Please, tell our readers about her and how you came up with her having bad luck with men.

Nicole’s bad luck with men came from someone I once knew. She always seemed to pick the wrong guy for her.

Max Paradis is a wonderful hero. Please, tell our readers about how you developed him. Is he the perfect man? What makes Max so irresistible?

Even though Max doesn’t want to get involved in a romantic relationship, he always comes to Nicole’s rescue. For Nicole, it’s a welcome relief to share some of the burden she’s shouldered. She’s been both mother and father to her younger sisters since their parents died six years ago in a car accident.

What did you enjoy most about writing the book?

I loved letting the characters fall in love, despite the obstacles. Creating that happy ever after moment is the reason I love romance novels, whether I’m reading or writing the story.

Now that you have everyone’s attention, please, tell us more about Keeping her Guilty Secret.

Passion ignites between Nicole Bradford and Max Paradis the moment they lay eyes on each other, but despite the sizzling attraction and Max’s to-die-for-kisses, Nicole is reluctant to get involved. She’s been burned by love before.

Carlo had been her ideal mate but the dream became a nightmare when his drug smuggling past was revealed.

Now all Nicole wants is to get on with her life and keep the secret she’s been hiding for the last six years.

Still, how can she resist the handsome and sexy Max when he’s everything she’s ever wanted in a man? And what will she do when Carlo returns and threatens to expose her ugly past?

Nicole will have to trust Max with the truth if she wants to win his love and get Carlo out of her life for good. If she doesn’t Carlo could destroy everything that matters most to her.

Please, share an excerpt with us.

Nicole finished tying an apron around her waist as she rushed toward the table. “What can I get for you this evening?”

The man lowered his menu.

Nicole started to sweat. No! It can’t be. But, oh god, it was. She’d recognize him anywhere with his black, slicked-back hair and dark aviator sunglasses, the gold rope chains draped around his thick neck and the long-sleeved shirt with the top four buttons undone to showcase his wide, hairy chest.


“Hello, baby. Long time no see.”

Not long enough. “What do you want?”

His eyes wandered down her body, back up, and came to rest on her breasts. She felt the chilly slime of his leer as he said, “Whadda ya say? One last fuck for old times’ sake?”
Her stomach heaved. She shoved a fist in her mouth to stop the bile from rising up.

Idiot, her brain sneered.

Yes, idiot pretty much summed it up. Carlo was yet another example of her lousy taste in men. Only he’d cost her more than a broken heart.

Much more.

Lord, what had she ever seen in him? She’d been young, impetuous, and carefree. Caught up in the glamour and mystique that was the fashion industry. Carlo had been fun and exciting. If only she’d looked past his suave exterior, maybe she would have seen the danger. Instead, she’d jumped in feet first.

It had been the same with Joe, too, and even Henry. They’d seemed perfect. They weren’t, of course. The signs had been there with both, but that impulsive part of her had plunged in without a second thought.

“Not in this lifetime or any other.”

“You might want to rethink that. Six years locked behind bars makes a man a little desperate. It would serve you well to remember that.”

A shudder ran through her. I won’t let him intimidate me. I won’t let him intimidate me. She repeated the mantra over and over, forcing herself to remain cool and composed. “You don’t scare me.”

He lunged across the table and she almost fell in her haste to get away. His bark of laughter echoed in her ears and had her stopping in mid-stride. Get a hold of yourself. He’d be crazy to try anything in a crowded restaurant. One scream from her and the manager would come running. She turned back and glowered down at his still-laughing face. “What-do-you-want?”

His expression sobered. “The way I figure it, you owe me and—”

Her eyes rounded. “I. Owe. You? Are you high, or what?”

“You cost me everything,” he sneered. “And now it’s time to pay up. I want twenty-five thousand dollars in cash or I’ll tell everyone your dirty little secret.”

For another juicy excerpt check out my website by clicking on the link below!

Where can our readers buy Keeping Her Guilty Secret?

The book is available at Amazon:

The book is part of a series. Without giving up any secrets, what can you share with us about your next book or books?

Ashley and Reed’s story –

Ashley and Reed seemed so happy when they married a few short weeks ago, but an unplanned pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage throw their marriage into turmoil. Now all Ashley and Reed want to do is get on with their lives, but they’ll have to decide if theirs is a love worth saving.

Kate and Rafe’s story –

Kate Bradford fell for Raffaello D’Onofrio four years ago, while attending a semester abroad in Italy. She thought he loved her, too, until she found Annalisa De Luca in his apartment dressed nothing but the shirt Rafe had been wearing the night before. When he’d been with her.

Now Rafe is back in her life, and much to her chagrin, the attraction between is stronger than ever, but Kate will have to decide if his love is real or just an illusion.

Now for the contest: Anna is going to give away to one lucky commenter an ebook copy of Keeping Her Guilty Secret in Kindle format. To enter, put “I want Keeping Her Guilty Secret” in the comment box with your name and email (valid email required). This contest is worldwide and void where prohibited by law. Good luck, everyone! The deadline is Sunday, Nov. 16 at noon Eastern Time.

Thank you, Anna. I can’t wait to get to the end of the book. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for anyone.

Thank you, Susan, for having me on Nights of Passion.

For more information about Anna James, see:
Contact e-mail: authorannajames(at)yahoo(dot)com

Facebook: Twitter:

Author Bio
Anna James writes contemporary stories with strong, confident heroes and heroines who conquer life’s trials and live happily ever after. She has been writing professionally since 2010, is a member of RWA, CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers of America), CORW (Charter Oak Romance Writers) and RWA Contemporary Romance Writers. Publishing credits include two category length novels, five novellas and one short story.

Anna is married to a wonderful husband who spends countless hours picking up the slack around the house so she can pursue her dream of writing, and is the proud mother of five fabulous children.

Although she’s lived in several locations throughout her life she now calls Connecticut home. When not writing, she can be found spending time with family and friends.

Posted in Anna James, contemporary romance, contest, Interview, romance | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Interview with Author Madelyn Hill by Stacy Hoff

Today on Nights of Passion, I’m featuring a fabulous writer, Madelyn Hill!

WolfsCastleMadelyn Hill Photo

Madelyn, Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a mom, wife, and writer just living life to the fullest. I’m married and have two college girls and one son in high school. We love to watch sports (especially when our children are playing), cook, and go to the movies. Life is exciting, exhausting, chaotic and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You sound like a busy lady. How did you manage to get started writing?

I started my professional career as a Mechanical Engineer, which has influenced my love for technology. I remained in the field for almost 5 years. Then after the birth of my second child I stayed home with for 10 years and began writing.

As my children grew, I went back to school to become an English teacher. I currently work as an Instructional Technology Specialist in which I work with teachers and student to integrate technology into the classroom. My position helps me meld teaching and my love for technology.

What genre(s) do you write?

I continue to write historicals today, as well as dabbling in contemporary and young adult. But I keep going back to the British Isles with those brawny Highlanders and strong heroines.

Brawny Highlanders are definitely in vogue nowadays. Do you have to spend a lot of time researching these types of books?

The internet has made writing historicals much easier. In the past I used to copy reams and reams of research and now, I search and confirm 3 times in a fraction of the time. I think the elements I love about writing historical is the history and research. In my current novel, Wolf’s Castle, there are unusual elements such as alchemy which I stumbled upon during research and it helped me plot my novel. I’m constantly looking for different or unusual historical facts to bring into my stories. Even in my contemporary and young adult novels, I like to bring in a bit of history and something unique for the characters or plot.

How has your diverse professional background helped you as a writer?

My other careers have helped my writing career in many ways. With my technology knowledge, I can build a website from scratch using code and I am always learning about different tools and technologies that will help with social networking, the writing process, and promotional materials. I think nothing of going to Google Earth to take a “closer” look at a location so I can gather the details in my writing. In addition, my English background obviously helps with the writing process and my love of reading.

Please give us a book blurb about your current release

 Current Release: Wolf’s Castle (Soul Mate Publishing)

Can he forget the past and embrace the future? He’s the beast of Lomarcan Castle. Tortured, angry, and bound and determined not to allow Vivian Stuart to invade his lair. Lord Galen Maclean refuses to be endeared to the lovely woman who has landed on his island looking to study alchemy. The island possesses secrets, secrets too horrid to share with the gentle woman. However, her beguiling nature brings light to the darkness of the castle and edges into his heart.

Can she tame the beast within him to gain his love? She was stranded on a remote island, her father dead and dishonored by her betrothed. Still, the lovely Vivian Stuart wears her heart on her sleeve and strives to redeem Lord Maclean. She knows his heart is good and the castle can be filled with love. Through science she learns more about the troubled lord and slowly but surely, the torture lord’s icy heart begins to thaw as Vivian shares the magical healing power of love.

Sounds great! Any works in progress?

There are two, actually. Here are some short blurbs about them:

For The Love Of A Gypsy (Soul Mate Publishing)
Torn between love and the duty to protect her secrets, Gypsy Martine Petrulengo fights her attraction to Lord Declan Forrester. Accused of a heinous crime, Lord Declan Forrester is a man trying to prove his innocence and refuses to fall for the beguiling Martine. Together Martine and Declan fight injustice and prejudice as they fall in love despite the forces working against them.

Current Work in Progress: Heather In The Mist

Lady Rogan Cameron fights for the right to choose her husband, yet finds herself betrothed to two men in a matter of a fortnight. Sir Ian Albright wants nothing to do with Scotland or the bewitching Lady Rogan. At every turn, he fights the growing attraction while he helps Clan Cameron find the infidels who have stole from the clan and injured men. Together they work to save the clan, while their hearts become more entwined they find fighting their love for each other may prove futile.

Any interesting facts about you to share with our readers before you go?

Sure, I’ll give you three of them:

(1) I’m a horrible speller (ironic, I know.)

(2) I moved from Rochester, Michigan to live in Rochester, New York

(3) Can still do the splits even though I’m in my mid 40s

Wow, I’m in my mid-forties, and trust me, I sure as heck can’t do that! Last question, how do you readers connect with you? Twitter? Facebook? Blogs?

I love to hear from readers! Here’s all my contact info:

Amazon Link:
Wolf’s Castle:

Thank you, author Madelyn Hill, for your time. Wolf’s Castle is going on my TBR list!


About Stacy Hoff

You can find Stacy on Social Media: Twitter: Web:

Her contemporary romance, Desire in the Everglades is available on Amazon now.

Posted in A writer's life, Interview, Stacy Hoff | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

First Snow by Gerri Brousseau

Here in Connecticut, we are bracing for the arctic blast and our first snow storm of the season. The weather man is telling us it will be a dusting to about one inch. That’s not a lot, but it may be enough to cause a few fender benders because of the timing. It is starting just prior to the morning rush hour. Oh the joy.

I like winter, but that doesn’t mean I like to drive in the ice and snow. I suppose if I had a car that was good in the snow I wouldn’t mind it. Years back I had a Jeep and once an Oldsmobile both of which were great in the snow. Right now, I have an Isuzu which came with me when I moved back here from California. Of course in California there was never an issue, but here in the cool blue north, having rear-wheel drive is not a good thing.

A few years ago, we had 18 inches of snow on October 29th (I think it was) and we lost power for 6 days (some lost it for much longer). Then, the following year at the exact same time, we got hit with Hurricane Sandy. Both years Halloween was cancelled. This year we were thankful not to get nailed with some horrific storm. I was happy because my two-year-old Granddaughter got to go around to Trick-or-Treat to the six houses on their street.

Still, here in New England when we hear the weatherman say snow, we think twice. I suppose for November 13th we can’t complain. We’re getting into the holiday season and doesn’t everyone in this area want a White Christmas? I know I do.

Speaking of getting into the holiday mood, what better way to get into the spirit than to wrap yourself in the holiday spirit with Season of Magic Holiday Box Set. Five romantic stories filled with fun and forever after. Hopes and wishes. And holiday kisses…the Season of Magic. For a limited time this box set is on sale for 99 CENTS.

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