How Baking is like Writing #WritingTips #writingcommunity #amwriting @jacqbiggar @mimisgang1

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Do you like to bake?

I’ve had my share of ups and downs when it comes to the world of cooking. It’s long been a standing joke in my family that all they have to do is follow the smoke to our house and they’d know I was cooking.

And the thing is, I actually kinda, sorta, enjoy working in the kitchen.

There’s nothing better than the aroma of fresh baked bread, or peanut butter cookies, or chocolate cake, or…well, you get the idea.

I always connect those aromas to my childhood. We walked home from school and never thought twice about seeing my mom busy baking for the family. Often, there would be warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies on the counter waiting for our grubby little fingers, a roast in the oven tempting our taste buds, and a welcoming smile on her rosy cheeks.

She made it look so easy.

Then I grew up and realized just how much work went into those tasty treats we took for granted. My efforts were much more like Lucy’s:

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.

I equate baking to writing.

How, you say?

Some people are naturals. Anything they put on the page comes out sounding fresh and entertaining—perfect.

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But when you cut into the heart of it, the center may seem underdone, lacking in flavor—mediocre.

How do we overcome this to become true culinary chefs in our writing instead of merely cooks?

Maybe if Lucy had admitted to being overwhelmed, her boss might have offered her a few tips and a little guidance.

I’ve found the writing community to be kind and generous with information, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

I think one of the things that helped me the most is my critique group. I belong to a local group of ladies who are invaluable. We meet once a month (pre-Covid) and share chapters by email the rest of the time. Their insights and editing have made my books shine!

You have to be a little bit brave. Just like when you put the ingredients of your baking together and nourish it to completion, you have to send them out to be consumed. Your book is waiting for hungry minds to give it a taste.

It’s not always easy taking criticism, and yet, it’s so rewarding when that pan comes out of the oven and your family’s eyes light up with joy.

If you never try, how will you know what you can accomplish?

Check out our new release coming June 1st!

IRRESISTIBLE – SHH…IT’S A SECRET BABY (Irresistible Romance Book 8)

International: https://books2read.com/IrresistibleShhItsASecretBaby

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/irresistible-shh-it-s-a-secret-baby-irresistible-romance-book-8-by-jacquie-biggar-and-jen-talty

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Shh…it’s a SECRET BABY…

Some parents would do anything for the sake of the kids they love.

Here’s your SPECIAL DELIVERY of SEVEN BRAND-NEW, NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED STEAMY STORIES from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors.

Amazing Summer Adventures by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Vintage traveler suitcase with sunglasses straw hat old camera and maps.I’ve had the most amazing summer—and July hasn’t even ended yet. Let me tell you all about it.

I attended a high school reunion and met the first guy I ever fell in love with. He was a nerd in high school, but he left our small town and went to Harvard. Over the last ten years, his investments have made him a billionaire. Plus, he’s no longer nerdy looking. He’s completely gorgeous. He arrived at our high school in a stretch limo with his entourage.

I couldn’t believe he had come back to our little home town. For me, he was the one who got away.

Wait a minute. That didn’t happen to me. That happened to the heroine in JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES, the romantic comedy I’d written that went into the Sweet and Sassy Summertime Volume 1 Collection.

Nine SWEET AND SASSY STORIES of SUMMER, including Four Brand New, from New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors. “Some like them sweet, and some like them sexy, but if you’re looking for a little heat, spice up your summer reading with this hot selection of stories!”

Sorry about that. Let me tell you about going on a hunt for hidden treasure. This was unbelievable. My father never gave me anything but a hard time until he died and left me a key, but I didn’t know what the key unlocked. However, he had arranged for this guy to join me in a Quest to find The Key To Kristina. We traveled to a lot of different locations, and there were some shady people following us.

To my surprise, the guy accompanying me turned out to be the kind of man I never thought I’d find. We had so much in common: both had ex-cons for fathers, both had a strong will. He called me opinionated and bossy, but I’m really not. I’m smart enough to figure some things out that he can’t. It was the greatest adventure. You’ll never guess what the treasure was. In fact, you’ll have to read…oh, wait.

I’m so embarrassed. That didn’t happen to me. That happened to Kristina Rivera, the heroine of The Key to Kristina, a new book I wrote for Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure. Oh, my, I had so much fun writing about Kristina and her Quest and Wyatt her partner who is a crusader for lost causes.

Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure 

Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.

A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire five riveting action adventure tales of women and men seeking redemption and rewards, searching for legacies, revealing secrets, finding romance, falling in love and winning that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.

For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with five NY Times, USA Today Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Let me rhttps://amzn.to/3fR1hoYegroup. I know I had some kind of adventure this summer. Oh, right. I know. I went to Last Chance Beach. I’d read the legend before. It’s about a woman and man back in the 18th or 19th century, I forget which, who had fallen in love. She was a rich man’s daughter; he was a poor young man seeking a way to make a living by writing.

The father had him thrown into the hold of one of his ships and sent back to the new world. The daughter ran away to find him. She searched for years until she ended up on this island that had been newly settled. He was there! He’d washed ashore after a shipwreck. They reunited for their Last Chance at Love which is how the island got its name. Anyway, that place is a popular vacation spot now. I went there because I really needed to de-stress.

It’s hard being a woman cop, especially when you’ve been undercover for almost a year. I stayed in this adorable cottage called Blue Moon House. My friend Bogey owns it. I had just arrived when someone broke in!

Well, he didn’t exaclty break in. He had booked the cottage for the same 2 weeks I was supposed to have it. I guess Bogey forgot to notify the management company that I was staying there. Of all the men on the planet, why did it have to be him aka the Jerk?

He’s a celebrity chef all the women are ga-ga over refused to leave. Can you believe that? We knew each other and already disliked each other. What happened next was completely unexpected.

Oh, no! I did it again. That wasn’t me staying at Blue Moon House. That was Chelsea Elliot and Zander Rojas. They’re the “stars” of Hot August Night, my story in the LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End Romance Collection.

LAST CHANCE BEACH, the island paradise where Dreams go to live again, and Wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity. There’s plenty of time left to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances, hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, love at first sight and romantic delight, enemies to lovers and opposites to attract.

Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special romance collection of 14 all-new short stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. These summer stories—created especially for this collection—will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some are sweet: some are sizzling! Some are humorous; some are serious.

LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Being an Author: Best Job Ever

An amazing summer? Yes! I may not have left my home and office, but I did travel to all of these places in my imagination. Being an author is the best job ever because I get to create wonderful adventures and heartwarming small town stories—dramas, mysteries, and comedies. Then I’m the one who breathes life into the smart, sassy heroines and the brave, charming heroes who “live” the stories I write.

Click the “Keeping Romance Alive” image to subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll receive a free ebook when you confirm your subscription.

All of the box set collections mentioned above are only 99cents, and they’re all on Kindle Unlimited too!

Wishing you a fabulous summer of reading—the best and cheapest vacation for the mind and the spirit that you’ll ever find. Happy reading!

Top 3 Funniest Love Declarations in Books

Howdy, everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’m working on several projects at a time. I must say, building a multilingual career as an author is unexpectedly exhausting, and the rewards are slow to come, especially during these times.

As always, reading is what helps me stay sane, and last night I got the idea for this post while I was re-reading Nora Roberts’s “Angels Fall”, a book I particularly enjoy. The excerpt I’ll reveal below made me laugh out loud, as it does every time. The story’s main characters are Reece – a troubled woman who’s trying to escape some deep traumas, and Brody – a man who’s apparently an unfeeling jerk, but who develops a soft spot for the heroine in which many women will find themselves.

Unlike the typical, syrupy love stories, their romance is more interesting and unusual. So, without further ado, here is my Top Three Funniest Love Declarations in Books:

Love you worse 2

#3 is a scene from the very Queen of Comedy, Janet Evanovich and her well-known screw-up heroine, Stephanie Plum, forever torn between the love of two men, Ranger and Joe Morelli:

“How could you be tired? It’s eight o’clock. It’s time to get up! I’m leaving. Don’t you want to kiss me good-bye?”

Nothing. No answer. I whipped the sheet off him and left him lying there in all his glorious nakedness. Morelli still didn’t move.

I sat on the bed next to him. “Joe?”

“I thought you were going to work.”

“You’re looking very sexy . . . except for Mr. Happy, who seems to be sleepy.”

“He’s not sleepy, Steph. He’s in a coma. You woke him up every two hours and now he’s dead.”

“He’s dead?”

“Okay, not dead, but he’s not going to be up and dancing anytime soon. You might as well go to work. Did you walk Bob?”

“I walked Bob. I fed Bob. I cleaned the living room and the kitchen.”

“Love you,” Morelli said from under the pillow.

“I l-l-l-like you, too.” Shit.

 ~Eleven On Top, JANET EVANOVICH

 

#2 presents Claire and Jamie Fraser, the famous characters from “OUTLANDER”, the equally famous odyssey written by Diana Gabaldon, which has inspired Starz to create the TV series with the same name. This is when Claire first declares her love to her new husband:

“Oh, Jamie, I do love you!”

This time it was his turn to laugh. He doubled over, then sat down at the roadside, fizzing with mirth. He slowly fell over backward and lay in the long grass, wheezing and choking.

“What on earth is the matter with you?” I demanded, staring at him. At long last, he sat up, wiping his streaming eyes. He shook his head, gasping.

“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and you say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.

“You’re not verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let’s go.”

~Outlander, DIANA GABALDON~

 

And now…

Periods love

#1, the excerpt that has started this post, and one of the many reasons I love Nora Roberts’s books, full of edgy humor, among other things:

“I love you. I’m in love with you.”

She heard absolutely nothing for ten full seconds. And when he did speak, she caught the faintest trace of fear mixed in with the annoyance.

“Hell. No good deed goes unpunished.”

She laughed, rich and full and long. And the warmth of it soothed her raw throat, her raw nerves. “And that’s why, I must be out of my mind. Don’t worry about it, Brody.”

~Angels Fall, NORA ROBERTS~

 

And speaking of romance and fun, do check The Authors’ Billboard new release, Summer Shorts!

From sweet to spicy, and contemporary to suspenseful, these sixteen Summer Short Stories will be sure to heat up your heart and help you escape reality in a blaze of fun, drama, and romance.
Sixteen NY Times & USA Today popular authors have put together these delightful novellas to give you that spurt of entertainment you can often finish in one sitting. These Summertime stories will delight the romance lover until the sun sets in a blaze of glory.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if it put a smile on your face, as it was intended, feel free to share the fun! And don’t forget to enter our monthly home page contest! 😉

Texting vs. Talking

God gave us tongues and ears to speak and hear, and skin and arms to touch and hug. When we stay away from other people, we aren’t able to hug them and give and/or get the psychological comfort that human touch can give. And when we stop talking to one another, we remove the sound of the human voice. This is why solitary confinement is so hard on many of us.

There is great comfort in the sound of another human’s voice. If you can’t go see your friend or relative, then call them on the phone. Better yet, Skype them so they can see you talk to them. Don’t send a text message. Especially if they are isolated, they need to hear a voice, even if you say the same thing you would have texted. The human voice has a huge range of inflection to it. You can say, “I love you,” in many ways, giving those simple words many meanings, even being sarcastic when said. Those meanings do not come across in the printed word of a text message. People need to HEAR the meaning, along with the words.

When I’m working I turn on talk radio. I can listen when I want to and not listen when I’m thinking about other things. But I can listen to talk radio a lot longer than I can listen to just music, as much as I love music. The radio commentators make me laugh and smile, and sometimes get me angry at an injustice done, or sad for someone else. I can read the same information, but reading the words usually doesn’t evoke the same kinds of feelings. So instead of just texting, use your phone to call, especially someone who you know is all alone during this time.

Do your part for mental health, which can be harder on people than poor physical health. Let them hear the sound of your voice, encouraging them onward. Reading a good story will also help. Send your friends a copy of a book you love.

Turnagain Love was the first book I had published. I wanted a story that had humor, pets, and a situation that people found funny. It makes an ideal read for someone who wants a gentle story that is rated PG. Send this to an elderly relative to give her a spot of cheer. This is also out in a print edition with large type.

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