Wednesday, November 1, 2017

You've Got to Start Writing to Finish #NaNoWriMo #IWSG

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.

The Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


IWSG Asks: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Today is the start of NaNoWriMo! For anyone unfamiliar with NaNo, according to their website:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your pants approach to creative writing 
On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. 
Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel

I've had the great pleasure and hair-pulling torment of having participated in NaNo for several years now. Some years I win, other years I barely manage an oddly mangled outline. However, I usually go on to finish those novels...eventually. I love participating in NaNo every year, despite having to struggle to find time to get those extra words written within this month. I'm not a fast writer. I'm a mother of four children ages 2, 7, 10, & 11. My family loves to keep me busy and on my toes with very little free time to call my own. I don't have the writing time like I used to even when I worked management in retail full-time. However, I love writing and I enjoy supporting other writers with their goals which makes this a fun event for me even if I'm not keep up with my word count goal.

Some writers are blessed to have families and friends who support their writing endeavors. Some writers struggle to find 10 minutes of their day to scribble a few lines. Whether we write 50 words or 5000 words a day, we are all writers. The important thing is to start writing! Equally important, in my mind, is to finish what you start!

That's what I think is so important about NaNo. There are many people out there who have always wanted to write a novel. This is a great time to start! When you have so many others encouraging you to keep going! Don't give up! Write that story!

And among those many people out there who have started writing, how many actually finish their projects? Those are the true winners! Whether they do it in a month or a year, I don't think it matters. To finish a WIP is one of the greatest accomplishments and one of the best feelings in the world.

Having that novel published? Icing on the cake!

I've had two of my NaNo projects published. The Witch's Thief and The Witch's Kiss. Hopefully, I'll have more to add to that list soon.

Do you NaNo? If you do, you can check out my NaNoWriMo profile and we'll write every day this November! Have you finished or published any of your past writing projects? Let me know in the comments! I'd love to check them out!


Be sure to visit the other writers in the 

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!
Happy Writing!
Tricia

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Coming Soon! Pirates! #anthology #shortstories


I'm thrilled to announce that my short story To Kiss a Pirate has been selected for publication in Pirates: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology edited by the fabulous Delilah Devlin.

Coming Soon!
January 2018

Here's a line-up of authors with stories included in the book with just one missing. Delilah will have a story in there, too!

Alicia Aringdale – Rough Seas
Alyssa Drake – A Lady’s Bargain
Augustina Van Hoven – Prophesies
C. Marie Bowen – The Corsair’s Tempest
Downey Greene – Stealing the Crimson Witch
Genevive Chamblee – Cargo
Jayce Ellis – Plunder
January George – Captive Desire
Joyce Palmer – Mistaken Identity
Lana Sloan – Perinacht
Lisa Fox – The Treasure of Devil’s Crag
Lizzie Ashworth – An Adventure for Burgess
M. Marie – Commanding Neptune’s Mistress
Moxie Marcus – Captain’s Cabin
Rhidian Brenig Jones – Full Fathom Five
T.D. Rudolph – Lust in Space
Tricia Schneider – To Kiss a Pirate
Winter Blair – Bountiful Skies

Congratulations to all the authors!

Happy Reading!
Tricia

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Year of Harry Potter

I have a confession to make. For the longest time, I did not like Harry Potter.

I can hear the gasps of horror from Potter fans all over the world. Trust me, this is the reaction I've received for many years. Let me explain my irritation with The Boy Who Lived.

I worked at Waldenbooks during the HP phenomenon when fans went crazy with passion to read each new book release. Do you remember stores opening at midnight to greet lines of customers who had camped out (yes, camped out!) on the sidewalks to await Release Day? Were you one of them?

From a bookseller's viewpoint, it was both glorious and overwhelming to have so many customers clamoring for these books. Over time, however, it simply wore me out. Customers kept calling and asking about the newest HP book. Preorders were recorded in a huge binder for months before the release date. Each and every customer had to be called as a reminder. Shipments kept arriving week after week filling our tiny backroom until we could barely reach the bathroom. We needed to co-ordinate with mall security on release day to control the crowds of people. Our entire staff needed to work that day (no exceptions!) to assist all the people who couldn't wait a moment longer to read what happens next to Harry Potter. We had meetings to discuss and plan events for the big day. And, then, after unpacking hundreds (dare I say thousands?) of these books, we had to find floor space in our small mall-based store. I grew weary of hearing Harry's name.

Every single day.

For years!


Frankly, I didn't understand the appeal of these books. Our staff was required to read the first chapter of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone so that we might have knowledge to chat about and sell these books to our customers. Honestly, I was unimpressed with J.K. Rowling's writing. I'd seen better writing. A lot better. Being in my early 20's, I had moved on in my reading choices and it wasn't a genre I was interested in at the time. Also, I was studying the writing craft and I had become critical and choosy about the books I read. That first chapter did not entice me to read more.

But, I continued my job, chatting with customers about this magical world and the witches and wizards who lived there. From these conversations, I grew to understand the stories, the characters, the plots and settings. Still, wasn't interested though.

Of all people, my husband (then boyfriend) jumped eagerly onto the Harry Potter bandwagon. He bought the books and devoured them, sometimes in only a day or two! This is a man who at that time only read Stephen King books.

Then the movies were released. At that time, my husband and I spent each Friday with our best friends for movie nights. I was out-voted and forced to watch the HP movies. Thankfully, Alan Rickman, made this endurable by far. If he didn't play in the movies, I'd really have had no reason to watch them. Alan Rickman was and remains to this day one of my favorite actors. And I loved his portrayal of Professor Snape. I loved him being a bad guy! He really played bad guys wonderfully!

And then Gary Oldman was cast as Sirius Black. Another of my favorite actors! And to my pleasure, David Thewlis played a werewolf. Now, we're talking! Werewolves are a weakness of mine. Suddenly, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban became one of my favorite movies. Although, I wouldn't admit so to my husband who kept trying to turn me into a HP fan. Still, I refused to read the books.

Fast forward, many years later. My husband and I now had children and they were reaching the age that they'd become interested in these Harry Potter movies. I would read books to my kids at night, and one night my oldest asked me to read Harry Potter.

Being a book lover, how could I say no to my son? And HP was a kid's book, after all.

So, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my 2 young boys.

And, I hated it.

Yeah, I finished the entire first book and was still completely unimpressed with J.K. Rowling's writing. How in the world did this woman get published? She's addicted to adverbs! I kept hearing Stephen King's writing advice in my brains talking about adverbs. It was difficult to read. I got half-way through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets until I just couldn't take anymore and stopped reading. My boys didn't ask for anymore, so I moved on to reading other books to them.

Fast forward again to March 2017.

Now, I have 4 children between the ages of 1 and 10. I was singing lullabies and reading Goodnight Moon to get my youngest to go to sleep at night.  After several, several, several weeks of reading Goodnight Moon every night, I asked the kids to suggest a new book to read. One of them suggested Harry Potter.

I groaned. Not again.

But, I was out-voted, so I reluctantly picked up the books. Every night I read a chapter from The Sorcerer's Stone. Again, I found the adverbs grating my nerves. However, I found a new determination to read at least until Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This has remained my favorite HP movie and I was curious to see how the story was handled in the book. After all, the books are inevitably better than the movies, and I wanted to read more about Sirius Black.

We finished the first book, and I made it through the second. Finally, I figured I could finish with the third. That was as far as I was willing to go.

But, something happened.

I don't know how, or exactly when (probably with the third book), I began to enjoy reading about Harry Potter. Actually, I was slightly disappointed with myself. After all these years of finding The Boy Who Lived irritating, I was starting to get interested in the books.

After we finished reading The Prisoner of Azkaban, I asked my kids if we should continue with the series or take a break from HP and move onto other books. Here I was out-voted (I should be getting used to this), so we continued with Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. The ending of that book is probably what clinched it for me. The resurrection of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was a powerfully gripping scene. Adverbs aside, that scene was good! Page-turning, suspenseful, exciting, and scary!

Okay, so it took JK Rowling about 4 books to make me a fan. After that, I was eager to keep reading to my kids, even after my youngest had already fallen asleep at night, I just kept reading to the older kids. Now, its became our bedtime routine for all of us to gather round the rocking chair after pajamas and teeth brushing are finished so I can read the next chapter. And that's how we continued our nights from March until October. This is actually the first time that I can recall that I read an entire series back-to-back. Most times, I take a break in between reading books in a series.

What made reading these books even more enjoyable was the conversations I had with my children during those nights, too. They already knew I loved Professor Snape, but they couldn't understand why. They hated Snape. He was the bad guy! From watching the movies to the conclusion, I knew what to expect of Snape's character, so I kept quiet. Spoilers! My younger two kids had never even seen any the HP movies, and my older two had watched them when they were so young that they didn't remember much.

So, after completing each book from the series, my kids and I would watch the corresponding movie with a great big bowl of buttered popcorn and then compare the differences between the books and the movies. We'd talk about character and plot development. They'd tell me their favorite parts and the characters they liked or didn't like. Our discussions would sometimes take up our reading time at night.

And, now our year (or almost) of reading Harry Potter has come to an end. We finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last week. We watched the Part 1 movie last weekend and have the Part 2 planned for this coming weekend. And then we're done.

To my amazement, I'm sad that we've finished. I want to read more! I enjoyed reading and living in the wizarding world so much that I feel bittersweet about finishing the books. Finally, after all these years (decades?) since my days of selling HP books, I now understand why my customers were clamoring for more. Writing style notwithstanding, these stories are good! Page-turning. Addicting. The story is the appeal. Not the writing style (adverbs!).

I'm now a Harry Potter fan. Yes, I admit it. But, I can honestly say that I never would have read these books if not for my children. I read them because they asked me to. I owe them!

Our Harry Potter year is finished, but our reading is not. We've established a routine that, frankly, I enjoy. I'm reluctant to end that, so this week we started reading a new book. I pulled together a list of possibilities, books that I loved to read when I was a kid. So many books on my list, but again, I let my kids vote.

They've chosen The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

My children are awesome! 

Are you a Harry Potter fan? What do you think of the books? Do you have a favorite? How about a favorite character? 

As always,
Happy Reading!

Tricia



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#BookReview: Murder the Light by Ash Krafton #urbanfantasy

MURDER THE LIGHT by Ash Krafton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—especially the woman scorned by the King of Hell himself.

Chiara has been abducted by her own mother: an Enochian defector who has taken up arms against the Light. Luminea will use Chiara to ensure the future of her empire—and to burn away her painful past with the man who had stolen everything from her, so long ago.

Unknowingly, that’s exactly the guy to whom Simon Alliant turns for help. The exorcist mage makes the ultimate deal with Chiara’s father to get her back...but he’ll have the Devil to pay.


My Review:
This is the second book in The Demon Whisperer series. Because it was a continuation of the first, I highly recommend you read the first book, Charm City, before you read this one. Charm City introduces the reader to the main characters and the plot that arises in Murder the Light.

So, we left Charm City with Chiara abducted. We discover in Murder the Light that she's been abducted by her mother, Luminea. It takes Simon a little longer than the reader to discover this, however. After searching for a while, he becomes desperate and summons her father. Simon thinks her father is a demon, but discovers his error when he meets Lucifer himself. After making a deal with the Devil, Simon goes to Chiara's rescue where he has to battle her fierce Enochian mother and the fallen Angel who has become Luminea's protector.

In this novel, we learn about Luminea and Chiara's childhood. It was interesting to see the development of Chiara's mother and their strained relationship with each other. This greatly explained the motivation behind Luminea's actions. By the end, we are given the whole story with a clear understanding of why these things have happened.

Simon's struggle in this story is, dare I say, even more intense than the last novel. The physical demands he endured because of his deal with Lucifer made me cringe. Seriously. Simon suffered severely in his quest to find and free Chiara. It was distressing to read what he had to go through. At times, I wasn't sure how much more he could take or if he would make it to the end.

This is a fantastic series! I'm in love with Simon. He's a well-rounded character with flaws that make him real and believable. He tries to do good things, but makes mistakes along the way. The action is fast paced making this another terrific page-turner, the dialogue is snappy and like the first filled with sarcasm and wit. Ash Krafton's writing style is a joy to read! Also, like the first, the ending is a cliffhanger that will undoubtedly lead us into the next book of this series. I'm excited and eager to read more!



 Learn more about Ash Krafton
author of The Demon Whisperer Series



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Writing Blues #AuthorUpdate #amwriting

Summer is in full swing! Many of you are currently on vacation or have plans for a nice summer escape whether its traveling somewhere or staying at home to simply turn the pages of a good book. Or maybe both!

My favorite part of summer is lounging outside on a comfy porch swing and reading the day away. Honestly, though, I haven't had much opportunity for such luxuries. My kids are keeping me rather busy this summer. Busier than most other summers.

And, oh, how my writing has suffered as a result! I barely wrote a word for the entire month of June! It's been constant chaos and noise (varying from laughter to crying, depending on which of my  children are getting along and which are fighting). I have 4 children (ages 2, 6, 9, & 11). Then there's swimming lessons, kid's craft workshops, Scouting activities, trips to the library and local museums and summer camps. I'm also working with my oldest this summer to prepare him for the upcoming school year. Last year, he struggled with his grades and I don't want him to suffer the summer slide that the teachers tell me often happens to students during vacation.

Needless to say, my typical writing during the baby's nap time schedule has gone with the summer wind. I resorted to writing at night again, after the kids go to bed, but I continue to struggle with this time frame since I tend to fall asleep early. Really, I love them dearly, but my kids exhaust me! Since writing at night isn't working to my liking, my next option is negotiating with them.




Maybe this will work...

"If Mommy doesn't get any writing time, 
then kids don't get any PlayStation time."

I haven't dared implement this...yet. It's my secret weapon. I'm still trying to figure out which part of the day I'm going to squeeze in a writing hour or two before I make my demands.

Also, to encourage me to buckle down and make this work, I've joined Camp NaNo. With the summer Nano, I can choose my own word count goal to suit my needs and change it as I see fit. I can also choose my own type of writing project. I've started a new novel. Realistically, I know that I won't be able to churn out 50k so I've shaved that in half for a goal of 25k this month. I'm hoping that will give me a nice chunk to begin and I can continue on in August.

I did well enough last week. This week, I've faltered. The Summer Writing Blues hit.

No time. No quiet. No escape. 

However, I know I won't give up. I've tried to in the past, it just doesn't stick. So, I'll figure it out. It might take me all summer, but I'll find my precious writing time. Even if I have to resort taking 5 to 15 minute sprints I used to write when my two oldest boys were toddlers.

I'll make it work. 

That's what writers do. 


Happy Reading!
Tricia

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

#BookReview ~ Charm City by @AshKrafton #urbanfantasy

Charm City by Ash Krafton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The darkness is rising and one man stands against it: the exorcist mage Simon Alliant. But in Baltimore, he finally meets his match...a part-mortal divinity with the power to whisper away demons.

Simon Alliant is an exorcist who battles demons, whether he wants to or not. Sometimes it's not so bad...he gets to play with magic, after all. But for Simon, magic represents a demon of another kind. He's addicted to magic and it takes more than a handful of charms to keep that particular demon at bay.

Chiara is part Light, part Dark, and stubbornly mortal. The woman has a way with words: she literally talks demons into abandoning their human hosts. Simon thinks that's not the only trick she has up her sleeve-and that's pretty high praise coming from a mage like him.

As intriguing as that may be, Simon has too many reasons to distrust her...one of them being his more-or-less partner, an angelic Watcher. Amidst all the celestial warnings of the rising dark comes a new prophesy that makes him wonder: is Chiara a threat to him and all of mankind?

Or will she be his salvation?


My Review:
This was such an entertaining story! I loved it! It is dark, gritty and emotional with delightfully superb writing, just what I expect from a novel by Ash Krafton. Simon Alliant is a man tormented by his past. He struggles to right a wrong doing the only thing he knows how to do. He exorcises demons to save human lives. And in doing this, he meets Chiara, a woman unlike any he has ever known. When he first meets her, he thinks he's saving her from a demon, but she, in fact, is trying to exorcise the demon in her own unique way. She whispers to it until the demon listens to her, sending it back to Hell. She is a powerful ally and amazingly strong woman. But, she's more than that. She's a mystery to Simon, one that he needs to solve along with his pursuit of defeating the rising darkness.

Simon pulled at my heartstrings in a way few characters do. He is a complicated man who fights evil while guilt eats away at his soul. As Chiara (and I) learned about his past, it explained his current dark attitude toward life and his existence.

Oh, and I loved the dialogue! Sarcasm oozes from this guy and Chiara is sassy on her own terms. This was a fun book to read! It was full of action, magic and mayhem, mystery and suspense and since I'm really a romantic at heart, I wonder if perhaps there may be a little romance between Simon and Chiara in a future book. This tale is a page-turner! And the ending hits like a fist, leaving the reader gasping with surprise. I'm eager to keep reading this series to find out what happens next.

Learn more about Ash Krafton

Monday, May 22, 2017

New Release! Murder the Light by @AshKrafton #urbanfantasy

Simon Alliant is back with Ash Krafton's newest novel, 
Murder the Light!  



International bestselling author, Ash Krafton, is playing with magic in her newest series, THE DEMON WHISPERER. The series debut Charm City introduces the exorcist mage Simon Alliant. For Simon, magic isn't just a curiosity or a skill. It's the source of a bone-deep addiction.

Fighting demons is dirty work but someone has to do it. Sometimes, you win. Sometimes, the demons fight back...and every once in a while, the demon wins.

That's because that particular demon is all your very own.
________________________________________________________________________

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned-especially the woman scorned by the King of Hell himself.

Chiara has been abducted by her own mother: an Enochian defector who has taken up arms against the Light. Luminea will use Chiara to ensure the future of her empire and to burn away her painful past with the man who'd stolen everything from her, so long ago.

Unknowingly, that's exactly the guy to who Simon turns for help. He makes the ultimate deal with Chiara's father to get her back...but he'll have the Devil to pay.
 



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Looking for a Hero #MFRWauthor #writing #characters

 Blogging is an opportunity for authors to connect with readers. Despite being writers, blogging is an entirely different style of writing and often stumps us. To help our authors blog consistently, thoughtfully and with purpose, Marketing for Romance Writers is announcing the 2017 Blog Challenge. Each week, authors use our writing prompt to create a meaningful blog post. We'll be posting every Friday... join us as often as possible.


Week 18: "The Ideal Romance Hero"

When I think of the ideal romance hero, I imagine a man who is flawed or in need of redemption. Isn't that the perfect hero for a woman to rescue? There's more...brave, honorable, loyal, and funny. He needs to make me laugh. Very important. What else? He doesn't necessarily need to be handsome. I know, most women look for Mr. Tall, Dark and Sexy, but I look for more than a person's face to make them attractive. Intelligence is far sexier. That's not to say that I don't mind a good-looking guy. I'm just pointing out that its not necessarily a priority.

Let me give you some examples of what I think of as a romance hero. I'll use characters from movies and television as examples, since those are the ones that most people can easily relate to.

Han Solo 
Movie: Star Wars (Episodes 4, 5, 6 ,7)
Occupation: Smuggler
Portrayed by Harrison Ford
This man has been my hero since I was a child. I fell in love with this scruffy-looking Nerfherder right alongside Princess Leia. When he first met Luke Skywalker, Han was all about making a profit to save his hide from Jabba. It was a long road of redemption for this guy as with each turn, he thought about his own welfare before anyone else. But, it was difficult not to fall in love with the charming and witty rogue even when the rational side of your brain keeps telling you that he's not the type of guy for a decent girl. That doesn't stop Princess Leia from nudging Han and encouraging him (in her own sassy and sarcastic way, of course) to be a better man. By the end, this roguish hero redeems himself by returning to rescue Luke right when he needs help, thereby saving the galaxy from the evil Empire. And, that's just the first episode. In my opinion, Han has more developmental growth than any other character in these movies.

Indiana Jones
Movie: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; 
Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark; 
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 
Occupation: Professor and Archaeologist 
Portrayed by Harrison Ford
You might think I have a thing for Harrison Ford (and, really, you're not wrong), but its just a fact that when I think of heroes, these are the first two that pop into my brain. I grew up wanting to be an archaeologist because of this guy. He's probably one of the inspirations for my love of history and learning languages. Indy is a lot of things. Brave, intelligent, resourceful, quick-witted, loyal and with a sense of humor and humility. He's a tweed-jacket wearing professor as well as a whip-cracking adventurer. But, he's also a man with faults. He doesn't always have the answers. He makes mistakes. Misjudges people and distances (as when he tries to jump across a chasm). He has a strained relationship with his father. He falls kinda easily for a pretty face, and on the same note, he's not a decent fellow at first to any of the ladies of his acquaintance. He's stubborn and materialistic (think fortune and glory). And, he hates snakes. Really, Jock. He hates 'em. Even Reggie. In each movie, the character development grows as Indy learns about his place in the world, his abilities, his strengths and weaknesses, and his relationships with those close to him, whether its Marion, Marcus or his father which makes falling in love with this guy inevitable.

The Doctor
TV series: Doctor Who
Occupation: Time Lord
Currently portrayed by Peter Capaldi 
Ah, the Doctor! I have a few memories of Tom Baker with his incredibly long, multi-colored scarf from my childhood, but I didn't become a true Whovian until the reboot starring Christopher Eccleston. Each regeneration brings different qualities to the character but in essence, The Doctor is mysterious, adventurous, brave, extremely intelligent, eccentric, and compassionate. He's also rude, arrogant, cowardly, ruthless and selfish. He is full of hope and regret. He is both fun and terrifying. Throughout it all, his companions are what help him become a better person. He needs them. He can barely survive without them. It's proven in a few episodes that when he travels alone for too long he becomes rash, judgemental, wild and reckless. He needs someone to hold him back, like when Rose stops him from killing the Dalek in the 6th episode of the reboot. And, he also needs someone to push him in the right direction as Donna did in "The Fires of Pompeii" when she asked him to save at least one family from Volcano Day. He's the kind of guy that a girl would dream of going on any adventure with, but he'll keep her on her toes! There's very little down-time with the Doctor. Instead, there's running. An outrageous amount of running involved.

Nathan Drake
Video Game: The Uncharted Series
Occupation: Treasure Hunter
Voiced by Nolan North
I know I said I'd restrict this to movie and television shows, but I just had to include Nathan Drake in my list of heroes. I've never actually played the game (my husband did), but I watched it like it was a movie, especially all those wonderful cut scenes. Nathan Drake is another lovable adventurer (maybe I have type?) with an incredible sense of humor and sharp wit. He's fun, easy-going and charming. A bit roguish and rough around the edgings but in a boyishly adorable sort of way. As with any other well-drawn character, Nathan Drake has his flaws, too. He's had a rough childhood with only his brother to help him guide him to adulthood. He's a thief, a liar, and a miscreant. He's an extremely human character by making many mistakes in his adventures. His sarcasm is rather legendary. And he has an unhealthy obsession with treasure that leads him into unending trouble. However, he's loyal and extremely protective of those people he deems close to him such as Sully, Elena and his brother, Sam.       

Sam and Dean Winchester
TV Show: Supernatural
Occupation: Hunters
Portrayed by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
I admit, I might be slightly obsessed with Supernatural in more ways than one and maybe I'll delve further into that obsession with a future blog post. Today, however, I'll try to limit my views on the main characters as romantic heroes. These two have been to Hell and back, literally. After their mother was murdered by a demon, their father kept them traveling throughout their childhood as he hunted the thing that killed their mother. Dean was taught to protect his brother, Sam, at all cost, a trait that continues into his adulthood. As adults, Sam and Dean continue their father's work and hunt the supernatural monsters that people don't know exist in this world thereby saving lives by sacrificing themselves. They are brave, loyal, trustworthy, resourceful, and strong. They're both gifted with a sense of humor that keeps the show light and fun-loving even during the darker moments. However, their lives are not exactly filled with black and white. They wade through several shades of gray as they determine who is good and who is evil, which isn't always easy. They make mistakes and sometimes need to make tough choices that aren't always right. They lie, steal and impersonate FBI agents to get to the monsters. They kill and torture and sometimes innocents are sacrificed or caught in the crossfire. And despite all the good they do, all the people they save, they suffer from guilt and regret for those they've lost. These are the kind of guys that you just want to hug close to your heart and keep them safe from the evil they expose themselves to.

Want some more heroes? 

Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly
John Crichton in Farscape
Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows
Tony Stark in Iron Man
Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
Rick O'Connell in The Mummy
Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean

What qualities do you look for in an ideal hero? Can you suggest any heroes that readers should either watch or read? I'd love to discover more heroes to add to my list!

Be sure to visit the posts for the MFRW's Blog Challenge!

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!

Happy Reading!
Tricia

Saturday, May 6, 2017

When I Need a Laugh #MFRWauthor

Blogging is an opportunity for authors to connect with readers. Despite being writers, blogging is an entirely different style of writing and often stumps us. To help our authors blog consistently, thoughtfully and with purpose, Marketing for Romance Writers is announcing the 2017 Blog Challenge. Each week, authors use our writing prompt to create a meaningful blog post. We'll be posting every Friday... join us as often as possible.

Week 18: "What makes me laugh out loud?"

Life gets stressful. That's true for any of us. There are days I know I'm near my wits end and when that happens I need a laugh. Desperately. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say.

Today, I awoke to a gray, dreary day. When it still looks dark outside, I have a difficult time crawling out from under the covers. I could hear my 11 year-old and 6 year-old already fighting. They hadn't even gotten out of their bedroom, yet. My 9 year-old had his head hiding under the pillow to block out the noise and chaos his siblings were creating. Wise move. The only one smiling was my 2 year-old. But, really, unless someone takes away his sippy cup of milk, he's always smiling!

Some day's just don't start off well and occasionally it keeps heading downhill. On those days, I know I need to put a halt on my crankiness and in order to do that I have a few tricks up my sleeves to turn my frown upside down.

What do I do when I need a laugh?


My kids

Usually, my kids are a fantastic source of laughter for me. They are goofy, fun and silly. I'm highly entertained by their antics, even when they're up to no good. However, this dose of laughter is usually provided on a daily basis. And, I do my best to make them laugh in return. I love to hear them laugh. Especially, those belly laughs that sometimes turn into snorts! Those are the best!

But, what do I do when my kids are driving me absolutely crazy....?

Graham Norton

When I need a guaranteed dose of laughter that even my kids can't provide (usually because they are the cause of my crankiness), then I turn to a TV program that has never failed me, yet. Graham Norton is the host of a British talk show aptly called The Graham Norton Show. Every week there are new celebrity guests on his couch being interviewed and you never know what is going to happen. There's a lot of laughs and hilarious moments. And Graham, himself, is just too funny for words! He's adorable!

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I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!

Happy Reading!
Tricia

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Best Research Trip Ever! #IWSG #writinglife



The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.

The Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


IWSG Asks: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Although, its never made it's presence significantly into any of my published works, yet, the coolest research trip I ever made was to Bamberg, Germany.

A vacation, you call it?

Not for a writer.

Every experience that occurs to a writer can be used in a story and I knew going into this trip that I would use something of my experiences there in my stories in some way or fashion.

Several years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit some friends in Germany and we jumped at the chance. I love to travel! I'd already been to many places, but never to Europe. This was also my first experience on an airplane. I can't deny that I was nervous especially since I'm nervous about heights. We took a short flight from Philadelphia to New York. This was amazing! I was scared I'd have a panic attack in mid-flight, but the view was just so incredible that it didn't bother me. And I was in a small airplane! How cool is that?

The flight from New York to Frankfurt wasn't as much fun, but still an experience to remember. Stuck in the middle isle, nowhere near any windows, I couldn't see anything outside. Incredibly, the turbulence didn't bother me. It felt like I was riding in a bus driving down a bumpy highway.



And then we arrived in Germany. We stayed in a town called Bamberg. It's a beautiful, quaint town unlike anything I'd ever before seen filled with amazing medieval and gothic architecture. We strolled along the cobblestone streets in the Altstadt (Old Town). Seated on seven hills, the town was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Heinrich II.






There's a beautiful area known as Kleine Venedig (Little Venice) that used to be the fisherman's district. The medieval-style structures create a picturesque scene that is quite popular among the tourists.








Situated on an artificial island in the Regnitz river, Bamberg's Alte Rathaus (Old Town Hall) was first mentioned in 1387 and redesigned between 1461-1467. There are two arched bridges connecting it to the mainland which separates the mountain town and the island town. This is a great area to people watch (for a writer that's wonderful research for creating characters!). I also spotted some guys kayaking in the river just below the bridge.






My husband and I stayed there for two weeks. We visited the cathedral, the monastery, and a brewery museum. We toured palaces and trekked a mountain forest to reach castle ruins. We visited caves and a racing track. We partied in a tavern that only played 80s music and drank a lot of beer! We strolled along the streets and wandered palace grounds. We also did some shopping (I loved the bookstores!) Also, we talked with a lot of people, learning about the area, the town, the history and the culture. 


Such as one day, my husband and I sat along one of the fountains in the center of the square to relax. While sitting there eating our ice cream cones, an elderly gentleman approached us. Somehow, the locals can immediately identify American visitors. He spoke perfect English and chatted with us. During our conversation, we learned that the man had served as a German soldier in WWII. He flew in the planes that attacked London during the Blitz and was shot down. He survived with injuries and was sent to one of the English hospitals where he recovered and formed an attachment with one of the nurses. Years later, after the war, he married the nurse and they moved back to Germany where they raised their family. I thought it was a charming love story. To this day, I'm so pleased that the gentleman decided to take some time out of his day to talk with us.

The German people are probably one of the most friendly people I've ever encountered. I never felt like a foreigner there. They accepted us with gracious courtesy and kindness. I had taken five years of German in school and had a fair grasp of the language, but as soon as I spoke they recognized my American accent. All but once the person I spoke with switched to English for my convenience without my even asking them to. Such as the day we took a tour through Schloss Seehof which I wrote about in one of my previous blog posts. The tour guide who showed us around the palace spoke in German until the other couple who were on the tour with us realized we were Americans. They asked the tour guide to give the tour in English so that we could better understand. The tour guide happily switched to English and the couple even added a few details for us on the tour. It was such a pleasant experience and I will never forget their kindness.



It was really an amazing trip and one day I will definitely use it in a story. As it is, I've set the beginning of my Regency paranormal romance, The Witch's Thief, in an area I recall from my trip there. Even the palace where the hero, Basil Merriweather, breaks into is heavily influenced on the combinations of the palaces that I visited in Germany.

So, I guess, I've used some of that research material already!







 

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I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!
Happy Reading!
Tricia