Bridal Shower

After an unusually windy and cold winter in Florida, today we welcome spring, and with warmth and flowers, we expect the season’s events. Graduations for two of my grandchildren, weddings and bridal showers for three young cousins, engagement for three relatives–a happy time to enjoy.

The last bridal showers are attended were years ago, long before the covid that messed up our lives. Three of them popped into my mind this morning.

My niece’s shower was kind of conventional with the women of the family bringing household items from the bride’s registry.

But my daughter had two unusual showers. The first one organized by her high school friends had a lingerie theme. With only me and my sister from the ‘older’ generation in attendance, the bunch of young women had a blast, giving the bride a collection of bedroom…hmm…cute things!

To compensate, one of my friends threw another shower attended by our friends. The guests were asked to bring a useful gift and more importantly to write ”good advice” for the bride. Several of our friends put together a cookbook for my daughter. As the mother of the bride, I prepared a Ten Commandments for a Happy Long-Lasting Marriage based on my experience. Later many mothers asked me a copy for their daughters/sons about to get married.

Another unusual bridal shower I attended was that of my daughter-in-law. The bride already had a shower organized by a friend and this one was prepared by my daughter. My son and his fiancée had recently bought a house and she wanted him to remodel it, so my son asked to ‘borrow’ her second shower and make it a wedding shower or more specifically a ‘groom shower’. The guests (male and female) received a copy of registry at Home Depot and Harbor Freight Tools. On the day of the shower, the happy couple opened their gifts together, and my son received every tool you can think of, from electric saw, to electric drill, tool cabinet, etc… We never laughed so much.

If you have a wedding or shower coming up, use your imagination and gift the young couple with something that will really help.

We’re All Heroes

They’re all heroes who pay a big price for freedom—The Ukrainian mom who spies for her country; her three small kids who struggle to survive; the wounded major who gets them out of a war-zone; Lauren, the flight attendant who brings them to the US; her parents who receive them in their home; and her ex-fiancé, Dr. Jake, who operates on the injured. And let’s not forget the two German shepherd puppies that dive in a pool to save a two-year old. Will the many crises they face head-on strengthen or destroy Lauren and Jake’s relationship?
We’re All Heroes is book 12 of the Love Plans Series.

FAKE FIANCEE ebook Audio book

Romantic Suspense FAKE FIANCEE “It was so good I couldn’t put the book down. I literally cooked while reading! Awesome! Thank you so much for making my world a better place.”

Joshua Dutton’s lifestyle and tabloids pictures threaten his father’s senatorial campaign. His parents insist on finding him a sweet temporary fiancée to repair the damage. With only her German shepherd for friend, Emma Cassiero struggles with a heap of problems. Attraction sizzles between her and Josh, but no one mentions the secret deal made by her stepmother and the Senior Duttons. When the truth comes out Emma is devastated. Were Josh’s kisses part of the charade? Has Josh lost her or would he be able to team up with her German shepherd to love and protect her?

A Bride For Prince Paul

A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL ebook Audiobook

“Mona Risk has written another winner. Prince Paul is handsome and noble, and Amy is a dedicated doctor. Enjoy the sights of Paris and France, while reading this heartwarming romance.”

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown! To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito as her driver, during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and Paul, but the unexpected announcement of her engagement to the Crown Prince of Rensy Island infuriates her. Can Paul convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission? Would he be able to persuade her to put aside her medical dream and become his princess? The inspiration for the story: While cruising the British Isles, I visited Guernsey, in the English Channel. This quaint island with special privileges and autonomy became the setting of my new story—Rensy Island. 

February, a Time for…

It’s Valentine’s Day: a time for romance… Did you receive or give flowers, chocolate, cookies? Did you go out to celebrate, start or revive a relationship?

It’s Lent: a time to fast and pray, but not to go on a diet! “Give Love and Time to your neighbors, your family, friends or anyone who is lonely and in need of help,” our pastor said.

It’s snow time: a time to stay warm. Avoid careless and unnecessary driving. Get someone to shovel your driveway if you’re not in your best shape. OR it’s snow time: do you ski? What better time to enjoy a fun weekend on the slopes!

If you’re a student, it’s time for hard work and thorough studying. Keep the social gathering, partying, and celebration for vacation time.

It’s also time to get cozy: relax on your couch, sip a hot chocolate or tea, and enjoy a good book.

DOCTOR’S ORDERS

DOCTOR’S ORDERS series (a set of three winning novels): Babies in the Bargain, Right Name Wrong Man, No More Lies ( previously titled Rx for Trust)

We’re All Heroes

Contemporary Romance with emotion, passion, action, and humor.

Tropetastic: A Romance between a Reader and a Writer? by Rachelle Ayala #mgtab @AyalaRachelle @mimisgang1

A New Trope: Reader-Writer Romance

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a romantic relationship with your favorite writer? Would you start your flirtation by joining their review team? Or perhaps be the first to read everything they wrote? What if you find yourself falling in love with a writer as you read and discover every one of his or her books? Would you finagle a chance to meet your idol? Or dutifully attend their events and talks? Maybe you’re one of the select readers who get first dibs on your favorite writer’s chapters or are either the leader for his or her fan club or you’re dying to have that writer write a story about you.

Look no further than my next romance in the unlikely trope of a romance between a reader and her favorite writer. For years, Phylis Carpenter was a rave reviewer and avid fan of her favorite romance author, Maxine Foster. She was first on the beta team and she became her author’s trust confidante. She helped with brainstorming, gave early feedback, and was a supportive soul for the writer of the romances that touched her heart. She especially loved Maxine’s tough but tender heroes–those grizzly and gruff alpha males who were made of iron and hid their hearts behind mirrored sunglasses, muscles, and grit. She yearned to meet one of those heroes in real life, so she saved and scrimped her pennies to attend a Maxine Foster reader’s convention at the Unexpected Paradise Resort set in the Caribbean island of Ile d’Amour.

Unbeknownst to Phylis, the real writer behind the Maxine Foster books is not a woman–the publicist whose photos appear on social media–but an intensely private man named Max Donovan and he is exactly the type of man he writes about under his female penname.

Of course, this is an unknown trope, the Reader-Writer Romance, so I asked my Writer’s Room* for their opinions. Here are their responses.

Request for Opinion

Hey writers room friends, please help figure out why readers might like a romance between a romance writer and a reader. Here is the blurb for the romance called Where Love Unfolds. Give me your opinions about why avid readers might like or dislike this story. An avid romance fan discovers her favorite author isn’t the woman she imagined, but a mysterious man with secrets to protect. Phylis Carpenter, a die-hard romance reader, arrives at the Unexpected Paradise resort, eager to meet her cherished author and online confidante, Maxine Foster. Dreaming of sunny days and deep discussions about passionate heroes and enticing plot twists, she’s in for a shock. Max Donovan, the man behind Maxine Foster’s tales, isn’t just any man—he’s the embodiment of the alpha heroes he pens. Preferring to remain in the shadows, he disguises his identity, letting his ex-lover, Joanna Jenkins, bask in the limelight of his success. Sparks fly and chemistry ignites when Max and Phylis are inexplicably drawn by their shared love of story and intrigue. Max reminds Phylis of every romance hero she loves, and Phylis’s enthusiasm and infectious charm is irresistible for both the author and the man. From thrilling scavenger hunts to unraveling a ghost’s ill-fated love story, their bond grows stronger over shared tales, furtive kisses, and stolen moments. But as Phylis draws Max towards the allure of romance, his hidden identity becomes a looming threat to their unfolding love. Joanna, desperate to hold on to her position as the face of Maxine Foster, schemes to keep them apart. The island, with its enchanting locales and spirited inhabitants, tries to play matchmaker, but the impending masquerade ball threatens to shatter the illusion. As Phylis inches closer to unmasking Max’s true self, she grapples with a heart-wrenching question: Is Max the genuine article or just another fictional hero? Dive into this sweet contemporary romance, where love stories aren’t just written but lived.

Writer Room Responses

Chad: Well, I’ve seen my share of romance stories over the years. The first thing that strikes me is the trope inversion—usually, it’s the woman hiding behind a man’s pen name in genre literature. Here, it’s more about identity disguise, which allows for a significant plot twist. Readers who are fond of seeing genre expectations subverted will appreciate that.

Gloria: Oh, I love the idea! It feels so modern and relatable. Think about it, in the age of social media, we often fall in love with personas, not knowing the real person behind them. This story speaks to that, making it exciting for the younger crowd who navigates these complexities daily.

Jack: From an action standpoint, you’ve got thrilling scavenger hunts and unraveling a ghost story—those are high-stakes scenes right there! It adds an adventure element to a romance story that’s already intense emotionally. It’s like fuel to the fire.

Brian: The setting sounds so compelling. “Unexpected Paradise Resort”—the name itself holds a promise of adventure and surprises. A well-built locale can serve as a catalyst for character interactions and plot twists. From your blurb, it seems the island even plays matchmaker, so it’s more of an active participant than a backdrop.

Samantha: I love how you’re focusing on dialogue in the blurb already—deep discussions about passionate heroes and plot twists. Readers who adore authentic conversations will find it charming that the characters bond over the kinds of stories they love. It makes the romance feel well-earned.

Jameson: Structurally, this has the makings of a well-crafted narrative. You have a clear arc for the protagonists, a complicating factor in the form of Joanna, and a climactic event—the masquerade ball—towards which the story seems to be progressing. It’s a tight narrative loop.

Lila: Ah, the essence of romance here is the mutual love of stories, which allows for deeper emotional connection. Romance readers often feel this with their favorite authors but never get to explore that connection. This story offers a fantasy where that bond crosses over into real-life love, bridging the gap between fiction and reality.

Greg: While it’s not exactly a horror story, the ghost’s ill-fated love story can add an eerie, emotional layer. It’s not just surface-level romance; it goes deep into themes of loss and unrequited love.

Rita: With a setting like an island resort and a masquerade ball, you’ve got the perfect setup for some comedic moments! Imagine the silly misunderstandings or awkward situations Phylis might find herself in before she realizes who Max really is.

Chad: To sum up, it appears we’ve got an appealing blend of humor, adventure, emotional depth, and modern-day relevance here. There’s something for almost every reader to latch onto. Would love to read it myself!

*ChatGPT Custom Instructions

Pitch

Are you intrigued? If so, please pick up a copy (on pre-order) of Max and Phylis’s Reader-Writer Romance for 99c. Yes, it’s a new trope so I’m not charging and arm and a leg for over 70000 words for Where Love Unfolds: Hidden Identity in Paradise: A Masquerade of Whispered Love, Island Tales, and Hearts Unveiled by Rachelle Ayala [It’s my 85th fictional work and 95th book]

Love a Beach Read? Romance, adventure, and fun by Rachelle Ayala #RachelleAyala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Summer is prime beach reading season, and women’s beach reads are a genre all their own. The perfect beach read for women combines several key elements that make it compelling, entertaining, and ideal for reading on vacation.

A beach read should be light and fun. Women often choose easy page-turners with a generous dose of humor when lounging by the ocean or poolside. Plots are fast-paced and focus more on fun, witty banter between characters rather than complex world-building. Compelling characters and addictive drama are a must, but the overall tone should be feel-good rather than heavy.

The setting plays a huge role in immersing readers in summer vibes. Beach reads usually transport us to sunny, tropical locales like a Hawaiian resort, Caribbean island, small coastal town, or European vacation hot spot. The glittering blue ocean, flowy sundresses, icy cocktails, and warm sand between toes create the ultimate escapist backdrop for temporary getaways between the pages.

Travel and adventure are common themes, as beach reads allow us to live vicariously through characters while we relax and recharge. Following a heroine as she checks items off her wanderlust bucket list or reinvents herself in an exotic new environment provides exciting yet comfortable literary journeys from the security of our beach chair.

Of course, romance is a must for any successful women’s beach read. Flirty banter, meet-cutes over piña coladas, and passionate affairs under the moonlight satisfy readers’ summer cravings for fantasy and fun. Scandalous love triangles, fake engagement plots, and romances between seemingly mismatched characters provide playful and irresistible romantic tension.

The best beach reads for women combine all these elements into page-turning books you can’t put down until you find out what happens. The stories whisk you away to an imaginary getaway full of summer fun without having to leave your lounge chair. With the sound of crashing waves in the background, these entertaining tales make for blissful beach reading any woman will enjoy.

These are all the reasons why I love reading and writing beach reads. I get to travel to fun and exotic locations, create adventurous situations and of course, add in a hunky hero, matchmaking locals and animal friends, and we get an irresistible romance to spice up the soothing sounds of the surf.

My latest beach read, Where Love Blossoms, provides the perfect escape if you’re looking to relax with a side of sweet romance. Maya Chance finds herself instantly attracted to the dashing and somewhat mysterious Luke Hastings. The fictional island of Ile d’Amour is the perfect setting with its tropical scenery, quirky locals with an eye for matchmaking, tall tales of its pirate heritage, and natural beauty. Add a pet monkey who’s endearing but mischievous, a wise innkeeper, an observant bartender, and a taxi driver full of stories and tales, and you get a heartwarming romance with plenty of humor and fun.

Where Love Blossoms by Rachelle Ayala (99c or KindleUnlimited)