Ever Glad in the Everglades by Stacy Hoff

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Recently I guest-blogged in BTS eMag (Book & Trailer Showcase E-Magazine) about how writers tackle story location http://bit.ly/1HkpC3o & _______. I am glad to say that just a few days ago I was able to re-visit one of the locations I spoke about in BTS—Florida’s Everglades. The last time I had traveled here I was a teenager. Back then, my parents took me, a New York City girl, on the adventure of a lifetime. The impact of that breath-taking experience stuck with me strongly enough that I set the scene for my very first published novel, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, right there. A good portion of this book was based on my memories. Ones that, even thirty years later, never faded.

This year, my husband and I had a unexpected opportunity to take a family trip. My kids, who are raised in New England, had already ventured as far South as Florida, but only to Orlando (not too surprising a location, I’m sure). This time I was determined that we do something quite different during our Florida trip.

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My kids are old enough now (ages fourteen and ten) that they don’t need to be dependent on a theme park to have fun. I wanted them to appreciate the raw (and sometimes intimidating) beauty of Florida itself. More importantly, I wanted them to live the same awe-inspiring experience in the Everglades that I had as a child. As an extra bonus prize, I would also get to watch my husband’s reaction, because he had never been to this area either.

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The first thing we did in Florida was to book a tour company for an airboat ride. Airboats are really the best way to get around the Everglades. They are surprisingly fast for things that look like aluminum siding slapped together with a giant fan shoved to the back. Our airboats had headphones that allowed us to hear the tour guide over the sound of the boat’s movement and fan noise (which is really quite loud). The minute our boat took off I watched the faces of my family light up. This included my teenager who typically dons a “too-cool-for-you” attitude. I’ve got to say their awe-struck expressions left me feeling very gratified (if not outright triumphant).

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The amount of animals we saw on the tour was as wondrous as all the breathtaking scenery. Some of the “residents” we saw were countless alligators (from tiny to frighteningly large), rare Great Blue Herons, cranes, red-winged blackbirds, and woodcocks. Everywhere we turned new animals were either popping up, submerging themselves, or flying off into a distant cluster of “cabbage palms.” We even saw an unexpected animal – a hog that was the pet of the tour company. Seeing this “pet” was remarkable to me, since hogs (albeit wild ones) play a very crucial role in my story. They are rare to find in Florida, but yes, they do live there.

I’ve included some of the pictures I took on this unexpected escapade. Including the one below of a dragonfly that landed on my husband during our airboat ride.

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I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them. I truly felt like I was living the life of Stephanie, the heroine in my book, instead of just Stacy—regular, plain ‘ol me.

What’s the most unusual place you ever visited?

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WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorStacyHoff

Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com

AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES by Stacy Hoff:

DesireintheEverglades1800

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NFSMCYG?creativeASIN=B00NFSMCYG&linkCode=w00&linkId=6PCZIZBWKBWUSNHI&ref_=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til&tag=stacyhoffcom-20

AMAZON LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC by Stacy Hoff:

DesireInTheArctic1800

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AMUVJKW?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B01AMUVJKW&linkCode=xm2&tag=stacyhoffcom-20

AMAZON LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS by Stacy Hoff:

LawfullyYours1800

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U7U2WCC?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00U7U2WCC&linkCode=xm2&tag=stacyhoffcom-20

AMAZON LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVE (Box set with Stacy Hoff):

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X3ZAR3E?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00X3ZAR3E&linkCode=xm2&tag=stacyhoffcom-20

AMAZON LINK FOR HOT SEDUCTION (box set with Stacy Hoff):

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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014RQX8GU?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B014RQX8GU&linkCode=xm2&tag=stacyhoffcom-20

Posted in A writer's life, romance, Romantic Places, Stacy Hoff | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Romancing the Villain by Heather Novak

I love villains who tug at my heart strings and evoke my emotions. Loki from the Avengers? Perfect example (and I’m not just saying that because I’m in love with Tom Hiddleston.) I also love strong heroines who aren’t lovable until we’re forced to love them. 

While I was recovering from a neck injury, I binge watched Jessica Jones on Netflix and it had everything I adore! …and a lot of blood. But I digress.

Jessica Jones’ character cocktail was enticing:

  1.  A damaged heroine who was just an a**hole who also did some terrible things in her life. Still, I adored her.
  2. A fantastic hero who also kept me guessing. He’s got some good, some bad, and some edge. And he’s very pretty.
  3. A villain who played with my heartstrings and my mind sockets (who is also my favorite Dr. Who! There. I said it.)
  4. A twisted web of lies and love that kept me hitting play over and over again on each episode
  5. Solid, 3-dimensional, supporting characters
  6. Strong emotions interspersed with humor

Season one wrapped leaving me satisfied yet just a little hungry for more. Just the perfect amount of cliffhanger.

This is the recipe for a good story.

I am a strong supporter of the idea that you cannot write what you don’t understand. This is why it’s so important to study the genre you want to write, and then study everything around that genre. While Jessica Jones may not seem like the obvious choice for a budding YA/NA romance author, it was the perfect story to get my mind turning. I even drafted a proposal for my next book after.

What are you watching on Netflix these days?


On this day in 1930 – The first organized night baseball game was played in Independence, Kansas.


Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Instagram: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak

Hunting Witch Hazel: Spring 2016
Threat of Raine: Spring 2016
Rosemary for Remembrance: Spring 2016

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Layers and layers

If aliens were to come down and visit our planet, I wonder what they would say? Would they find us a bunch of superficial creatures as we stress about our clothes or latest sports bracket or game. As we walk or uber around the streets, electronics in our face, would they determine any depth of character? My hypothesis is they would if they hung around long enough.

It can be misleading at times. As I’m in study mode for a financial exam, I spend every morning at Starbucks and occasionally, I get distracted. I find myself people watching. At first, I catch clips of conversation that make me feel like I’m on an alien planet. For clarification, this is in somewhat of a big college town so a lot of the technology referenced in daily concerns, isn’t something I have much exposure too or even want much exposure to. But after time, you see the same folks come in and get to learning a bit more about them day by day. In most cases, the glimpses improve the perceptions of our race as a whole. We ar made up of layers… Tons and tons of layers.

As I got to thinking about characters in a novel it really dawned on me how difficult it can be to convey all these characters and their depth of character. In many cases, we authors only get to know our characters through our writing–perhaps that first or second draft. Even more so, it may help to take a step back from writing to come back later and see if you’ve truly captured the essence of someone’s character.

An exercise to try this week. Describe yourself. What kind of character would you make and how would you introduce your many layers to readers? Try it, it might be fun and eye opening.

Good luck and happy writing!

Posted in A writer's life, romance, Toni Kelly | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ordered Some Books! by Mandy Rosko

Okay, so this got put off a lot longer than it should have been. I finally ordered the last of the books I’ll be bringing to the RTC signing in early May😀 This will bring the grand total of books I will be giving away to about 110.

That’s a little less than last year, but since I had to put this off for so long, it was too expensive to get more for the moment. Any other tiny bits of swag I want to pick up or make will have to wait until after I get paid.

I also had to rush the print version of Arrangement with a Billionaire, so I know there’s a couple of spots in there that aren’t formatted right. Scene breaks that aren’t centered, and on Chapter Three there’s a heading that shouldn’t be there, but I’m going to just count these as being my Proof copies of the book to be fixed up later for sale. I figure I can get away with this for now since I am giving these books away for free at the signing:)

Personally, I can’t wait. The writing goals I have to reach every day to make up for the time I spent in Vegas are starting to take their toll, though, so the sooner April is over, the better.

Which sucks just a little since my birthday is on the 28th, not looking like I’ll be able to do much on that day, but it will be worth it if I can just hit that 7k word count per day.

This is something I know I can do, but the problem comes when I have to do it 10 days in a row. That’s when it gets a little extra hard :S

So, speaking of writing, I need to get back to it. Hopefully by next week, I’ll have had enough time to be able to take proper pictures of my haul from Vegas, because it’s awesome, and maybe answer my emails, since they’d been collecting for a good little while.

#overworked

Cheers😉

~Mandy

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A Florida Paranormal-Scope

Love is in the air.  Baby birds are chirping everywhere.

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:

Aries:
Gators love sleeping in the sun. Look after your health. Are you getting some sunshine?

Taurus:
Pixies are buzzing in the subtropical climate. So much to do. Slow down your schedule and enjoy what you do.

Gemini:
Snowy Egrets pose for the perfect picture. Add to your wardrobe and take photos with friends.

Cancer:
Tampa Bay is party town. Not only for paranormals but for humans too. Plan a party wherever you are.

Leo:
The Skunk Ape is roaming. Keep a lot profile and focus on work.

Virgo:
T-Rex was hitchhiking. Beware of strangers.

Libra:
Dolphins are playing in the surf. Hang out with friends and you’ll feel better.

Scorpio:
Mermaids are singing offshore. Time to plan a vacation.

Sagittarius:
A Komodo Dragon is following you. A new friend is coming into your life.

Capricorn:
The winds blow against the sand making art of sand and shells. Be creative. Start a new hobby or revive one that you loved.

Aquarius:
Turtles are wise beyond our years. Seek advice on an important matter from someone older who has lived.

Pisces:
Swamp elves know how to keep secrets. Keep your secrets well.

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook and Print, and Kobo.
Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available in Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch (mythology romance) available in Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) available in Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas,Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available in Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love , Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
VampyreKingOfNewYork_higres (1)Poseidon HR FinalMrsBrightsCoverVampire in the Basement-large

 

 

 

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Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare!

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Yesterday was William Shakespeare’s 452nd birthday!

And the 400the anniversary of his death.

My school celebrated by selling cupcakes with candles and a Shakespearean insult.

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Shakespeare was a marvel at writing insults. Here are some of my favorite examples:

“All the infections that the sun sucks up”

“Elvish-marked abortive, rooting hog”

“Veriest varlet that ever chewed with a tooth”

“I do desire we may be better strangers”

“You dwarf, you minimus”

“Hang off thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing”

“I’ll beat thee, but I should infect my hands”

and my personal favorite:

“Would thou were clean enough to spit on!”

Happy Birthday, Will! And many more!

william shakespeare

 

 

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A Romantic Sunset for You!

FullSizeRender(2)In my adventures with my honey in the wilds of Florida, we found that we are really beach children. We’ve done a lot of fun things but always it’s the water that calls to us the most. My husband surprised me with a beautiful room in a glamorous hotel and this is the view from our balcony. Romantic greetings from Tampa Bay!

Only a few weeks ago I was talking to a friend and saying it’s important to our well-being to enjoy the sunsets in our lives. Now I look out over the bay at sunset and can’t stop smiling.

The gift of the sunset. A gift of love.

Do you pause for the sunset?

-Susan

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

Vampire King of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook and Print, and Kobo.
Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available in Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch (mythology romance) available in Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) available in Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas,Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available in Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love , Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
VampyreKingOfNewYork_higres (1)Poseidon HR FinalMrsBrightsCoverVampire in the Basement-large

 

 

 

vampchrist20copy1The Stormy Love Life of Laura CordelaisWhenLoveSurvives_LgWeb-version_smash2

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Sunset, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment