Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New Book Release

Hey everybody, my book comes out TOMORROW! 


Learning to Love is the third book in my Serendipity Series, but each book stands alone, meaning they can be read and followed in any order (in fact, book 2 was actually supposed to be book 1, originally, but that’s another story).

If you or anyone you know likes romance, or if you like really smart, quirky females, males who learn they have a soul, witty banter and a happily-ever-after ending, then this book is for you.

To celebrate the release, I’m hosting a Facebook party on my author page tomorrow. Simply pop on by to https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/?eid=ARC2XAN3EEW9f_EX-KEieB7UxOOpV5SSAn3mC-wCKaZ1RBNrit_M2x0Mh4eJYZS3RHei4sNJRMnv-FXt and scroll through the page. I’ll be posting information about my book and other authors will also be there posting about their books. Who know, you might discover your next favorite author. We’ll all be offering giveaways and there is a grand prize drawing of eight or nine e-books that you could win. 


It will be fun. At least pop over and say hi. 

That’s all for now. I have a lot left to do to get ready for the book launch tomorrow. Thanks for your interest!




Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Welcome Rhonda Gilmour

Welcome to Rhonda, a fellow Wild Rose Press author, who writes as Sadira Stone.


Hi, Jennifer. Thanks so much for hosting me today and giving me the chance to meet your readers. 

1. What is your writing style or schedule?
Remember that old Dolly Parton song that starts “Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition…”? That’s me, minus the office clothes and commute. I pull on yoga pants and stand at my desk until midday-ish, when my vision starts to blur. Then I take a walk around the neighborhood, perhaps hit the gym with Hubs, maybe even clean the house a bit. If it’s a good day, I hit it again for two or three hours in the afternoon.

2. Where do you actually write? 
I’m blessed with a little office of my own, painted celery green and stuffed with books, plus a comfy reading chair. Recently, I bought a standing desk thingy that sits atop my regular desk, so I work standing as much as possible, practicing shimmies, hip circles, and undulations while searching for the right word. (I’m a belly dancer.)

3. Do you write linearly or not?
Pretty much, yeah. Theoretically, I have more than one story cooking at a time, but I tend to stick with one manuscript until I’m satisfied it’s ready to launch.

4. What sort of other activities keep you from actually writing?
Well, my daughter’s grown, but if I want to hang onto my husband—and I do—I have to actually talk to him from time to time. Isn’t it astonishing how a “brief trip” to run a “few errands” can turn into a whole afternoon? And it turns out you do have to exercise now and then—imagine that! So yeah, ordinary life stuff. My step-son’s getting married this month, so there’ll be lots of family time, for which I’m grateful, gobbling my writing time. I’ll try to contain my grumbling.

5. Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?
My husband’s support helps tremendously. I belong to a fabulous weekly critique group whose insight really helps polish my work. Through the RWA, I’ve connected to so many helpful writers, including my dear beta readers. (Waving at my Olympia, Washington chapter) Ours is truly a supportive community, especially among the Wild Rose Press authors.

6. How long does it normally take you to write a novel? 
About a year, start to finish. I’m hoping to speed up over time.

7. Who or what are your inspirations?
I’m inspired by the fabulous, fascinating women I’ve met. I want to tell their stories, giving them the happy ending they deserve.

8. If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it?
My own tendency to write fat is frustrating. My current project, Book Two in the Book Nirvana Series, weighed in at 107K words as a first draft. It’s down to about 88K now. Sharpening/tightening a manuscript takes a lot of work—and coffee.

9. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
I’d love to have a bigger office with a view. All I see is the side of my neighbors’ house. They’re lovely people, but still…

10. Tell me about your latest book.
Through the Red Door is the story of a widow who’s trying to keep her indie bookstore afloat when faced with corporate competition. Her best chance to draw customers is the extensive erotica collection, curated by her late husband and kept behind a locked red door at the back of the shop. Since Jared’s death, she hasn’t had the heart to enter that room, leaving its care to her trusted shop assistant. One day, a handsome visiting professor arrives, looking for historical erotica. On the same day, her shop assistant introduces her to his younger cousin, a charming local guy with whom she has a lot in common. Clara faces a dilemma: start dating again? In dreams and signs, her late husband encourages her to open her heart and rejoin the living. But to Clara, that feels like a betrayal. And which guy should she choose?

11. Where did you get your inspiration for your book?
Ever since I first read the lyrical erotic stories of Ana├»s Nin, I’ve been fascinated by historical erotica. People who lived long ago were just as amorous as we, and just as creative in expressing their desires. And who doesn’t love an indie bookshop?

12. Do you have a favorite character and if so, who and why?
I’m very fond of Harry, Clara’s 75-year-old shop assistant and wise father figure. I hope to write his story one day.

13. What are you working on now?
I’m doing final edits on the second book in the series. I can’t say much about those characters without spoiling the first book, but I can tell you the hero and heroine are both runners, and their romance goes viral on social media at the perfectly wrong moment. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the heroine’s feisty, artistic, ninety-year-old great-aunt.  

Blurb:

Clara Martelli clings to Book Nirvana, the Oregon bookshop she and her late husband Jared built together. When rising rents and corporate competition threaten its survival, her best hope is their extensive erotica collection, locked behind a red door. In dreams and signs, her dead husband tells her it's time to open that door and move on. When a dark and handsome stranger's powerful magnetism jolts her back to life and he wants a look at the treasures of that secret room, she can't help but want to show him more.
Professor Nick Papadopoulos is looking for historical erotica. Book Nirvana's collection surpasses his wildest dreams, and so does its lovely owner. A widower, he understands Clara's battle with guilt, but their searing chemistry is too strong to resist. Besides, he will only be in town for two weeks, not long enough for her to see beyond the scandal that haunts his past.

Excerpt:

The amber flecks in his eyes danced in the candlelight. Their glow drew the truth out of her like a magnet tugging metal. Deep breath. Just ask. He won’t bite.
“Nick, how did you know when it was time?”
“Time?”
“To move on. To let someone in.”
He shifted away, but the saggy sofa cushion slid him back against her thigh. “Can’t fight gravity.” He chuckled and draped his arm across her shoulders. “Honestly, my body was ready before my heart was. Even if the heart is withered, nearly dead, the body goes on—eating, breathing, feeling, wanting.” He fingered a strand of her hair, his gaze far away. “A friend saw how closed off I’d become, and she…helped me.”
“How?”
“By seducing me. There was wine involved, and music. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.” He cupped her shoulder. “And I’m so glad she didn’t.”
Avoiding his penetrating gaze, Clara focused on the flickering candles. “Did you love her?”
“Not really. And yet—yes, very much.”
“Huh?”
“You see, I’ll never love anyone the way I loved Diana. She was unique in all the world. But she wouldn’t want me to spend the rest of my life pining for her, miserable, alone. My friend helped me see it’s okay to enjoy my life. She helped me realize that one day I might even love again. She told me it’s not something you can rush, but it will come in time if you relax and open your heart.”

Buy links:
About the Author:
Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. But it wasn’t until her 50s that she tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at www.sadirastone.com.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Inspiration for Eye of the Eagle by Sharon Buchbinder

Please welcome Sharon Buchbinder to my blog today.

Eye of the Eagle is the third book in my Hotel LaBelle Series. Many would say it should have been easier than the first two, but in fact, it was my most challenging to write. The reason is that out of all my books, the heroine in this story is my most personal. Phoebe Wagner is based on my grandmother, Bessie T. Engelman, who gave me unconditional love when I needed it most. t the age of three years old, my mother put me on a plane in Washington, D.C., and sent me to Connecticut to live with my deaf grandmother, my aunt, uncle, cousin, two Chihuahuas, and a parakeet. At night, I would cry because I missed my family. As I sobbed, my grandmother would take me in her arms and hug me. I’d fall asleep to her wordless lullaby of love, wondering if I’d ever see my family again, not knowing that my parents were divorcing.

A year after being shipped north, I was reunited with my family. Another year later, we moved out of my aunt’s basement and into government subsidized housing. Now when we visited my aunt’s house, I had to share my grandmother with my siblings. On birthdays and graduations, she created scavenger hunts for us, leaving a trail of written clues. She must have spent hours planning the hints, writing them out in her beautiful calligraphy, and placing them throughout the house. As I grew older and wrestled with the demons of poverty and abuse, my desire to break away from my home life dwarfed my relationship with my grandmother. Opportunity arrived in the form of a large scholarship to a university in Texas, over a thousand miles away from my mother. During the first semester of my freshman year, my grandmother became ill and died at home at the age of eighty-nine. Claiming that she didn’t want to “disrupt” my studies, my mother withheld the knowledge until I came home months later. I was devastated. I never had the chance to say good-bye to the woman who loved me unconditionally. 

As I hit my fifth decade, I began to reflect on my life and lack of closure regarding her death. I felt compelled to research my family tree, beginning with my grandmother. My only clues were embedded in childhood memories of kitchen table conversations between my mother and aunt. The family legend, told and re-told, with hand-signed consultations for verification, was that my grandmother was born hearing and healthy to a wealthy family. My research gave me much more than I expected: it gave me a love story and insight into this feisty woman.

Born in 1881, my grandmother contracted spinal meningitis at sixteen months of age and lost her hearing. She was a resident at what is now the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville, Kentucky from age seven to twenty-one. An educated and strong woman, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for a Congressman addressing envelopes with her beautiful penmanship. She met my grandfather, Carl Rhodes, on a blind date. A wild man on a motorcycle, Carl was born deaf, became a ward of the Department of the Interior, and attended Kendall School which is housed on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Disobeying her wealthy Kentucky family, my grandmother married her “bad boy” and raised six hearing children in Washington, D.C. where my grandfather worked for the U.S. Botanical Gardens and the White House. 

Every day I thank my grandmother for defying her parents, for marrying my grandfather, and for showing me the most important of all abilities: persistence, hope, compassion, and love. I know she is my guardian angel, always looking out for me and my family. Eye of the Eagleis my love story for my grandmother, inspired by her love for me.




One soars like an eagle. One strikes like a thunderbird. But for both hearts, revenge can be deadly when it's nourished.
Anomaly Defense Director and shapeshifter Bert Blackfeather doesn't need a boss with no experience. So what if she's beautiful or gives him a jolt when she shakes his hand? He never plans to get seriously involved with another woman—not in this lifetime.
Phoebe Wagner, an empath with psychometric abilities and an advocate for the deaf, gets more than she bargained for with Bert. One touch and she relives his IED injuries. So what if he's handsome and hot? She doesn't need to add his secrets to her own. Phoebe's are bad enough. 
When his niece goes missing from Hotel LaBelle, Bert goes to Montana to help—and Phoebe insists on going with him. Can these two hard-headed people share their darkest secrets in order to work together? It may be the only way to save an endangered child—and their own hearts when Bert's past rears its ugly head.
Short Excerpt: 
His heart stuttered and heat flushed his face. “You sure you’re ready to see me—in the daylight?” 
She frowned and pursed her lips. “Do I look like someone afraid of taking on a challenge?” 
“No. You look like a kick ass heroine named Thunder Heart, and I would be honored and privileged to share your bed.” 
“You promised me flying lessons.” 
“And you shall have them. Now, where did we leave off?” 
She stood, placed her hands on the sides of his chair and leaned in for a long passionate kiss. He closed his eyes and gave her a preview, taking her with him in his memories, soaring over the hotel, and then swirling and swooping down to the river to grab a fat flopping trout in his talons. 
She pulled back, breaking the connection, blue eyes wide, her full red lips agape. “Amazing. I want more.” 
“Advanced flying lessons require both of us to be naked—and in bed, as close as two people can get.” 
Phoebe stood back. “What are you waiting for? Let’s get going.” 
He chuckled. “Well, you are my boss. I don’t want anyone to say you coerced me or I forced you. Do we need to put this in writing?” She tilted her head and gave him a puzzled look. “A legal document perhaps? I, Phoebe Wagner, hereby enter into consensual sex freely and without coercion with one Bert Blackfeather…” 
She stomped her foot. “Give me your phone.” He handed her his cell.


Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. She is the author of the Hotel LaBelle Series, the Jinni Hunter Series, and the Obsession Series. When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, herding cats, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL. 

Author Links
Facebook: Sharon Buchbinder Romance Author https://www.facebook.com/sharon.buchbinder.romanceauthor
TwitterID @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Rainbow Story

Last week I talked about burnout. Since then, I’ve been plotting. No, not against anyone, although that’s tempting. A book. I’ve been plotting a book. Now, I’m not a plotter. A plotter is someone who plans all the details of the book—characters, motivation, goals, settings. They outline what’s going to happen to whom and when. And then they take that outline and write the book.

The last time I tried writing a book from an outline, I forgot the kissing. All of it. And considering I’m a romance writer and my characters kiss, well, that’s a problem. So I don’t typically write an outline until I’ve written my first draft. Then I go through and make an outline as a summary to remind myself what happens when and what everyone looks like, thereby ensuring no one quits their job before actually going to it, or changes their eye color from blue to brown mid-story (yes, it happens way more than you might think).

But even though I don’t plot, I find that I’ve started to need a little support before I jump into the story. I need to know why my characters are behaving the way they do and where my story is going to go. So I decided that since I’m having a hard time getting inspired, but I know I want to write something, I’d use this time to plot. Nope, not with an outline, though. With colors. 

So for the past week, I’ve been creating a story—a who, what, where, when, why and how list that I’m hoping will inspire me to actually write it. I sketched the bare bones of it—think of the summary on the back cover of a book (or the inside flap jacket)  and then cut it by about three quarters. Slowly, I’ve been expanding it. A guy walks into a bar. What guy? What’s he look like? How does he walk? Where is he walking from? What kind of bar? No, that’s not actually what I’m working on, but an example. 

And then, because I’m trying to jumpstart my imagination, I color coded everything. And hey, it’s pretty, and the world needs more pretty right now. I’m going to take all those colors—each color has a different purpose—and expand upon them to see if I can create enough of a story to sit down and write it. I’ve never worked this way before. Then again, I’ve never hit this kind of wall before, either. 

And as they say, the definition of crazy is doing something the same way and expecting a different outcome. So, I’m trying something new and seeing where it leads me. Hopefully to a book. 




Monday, November 5, 2018

Burnout

I’ve been writing non-stop for twelve years. Wow, just looking at that sentence makes we realize how long I’ve actually been at this endeavor. Every day for twelve years. That’s a long time. There have been good days and bad days, like any job. And it’s become a job. I get paid for my work—every time you buy my book, I get money. The more people who buy my books, the more money I get. That’s why reviews are so important, because they help spread the word. But that’s a topic for another blog.

This blog is about burnout. I’ve got it big time. I’ve always written because of the voices in my head. Non-writers think I’m crazy. Writers understand. There are characters whose voices I hear speaking to me. Well, not to me, but I do hear them speaking. Sometimes I even hear their accents. And those voices are what lead me to write. When I write down what they say, they leave my head, enabling me to create stories in which they can bloom.

Except for the past month my head has been quiet. No one is talking. As someone who values quiet, this could be considered a good thing. Except it makes it hard to fall asleep at night, and when I’m awake, I feel like I should be writing. My critique partners suggested I take some time off.

The timing actually works well, since I need to promote my new book that comes out later this month. So most of my time is devoted to that. In my downtime, I’m trying to plan a new series, actually plan it, instead of just going by whatever hits me at the time. Even though I’m not a planner, I’m hoping that by fleshing out some ideas, I’ll be inspired all over again to sit in front of a blank screen and fill it with words.