#Writing like a Beast #Romance #mgtab

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Have you ever been up against a deadline and the words won’t come? Yep, welcome to my world.

 

I have a holiday novella due by the end of September and it’s kicking my butt. Some people thrive under stress- I’m NOT one of them, lol.

I’ve been staring my climatic moment in the eye for weeks now and it just won’t cooperate. My vision for this story is a sort of cross between Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney® version but the 1987-1990 television series) with a sensitive, lonely ‘Beast’ and the beautiful kind-hearted woman who draws him out of his shell.

 

 

And the Hallmark® Christmas movie, The Mistletoe Inn featuring an aspiring writer 🙂 who signs up for a writing retreat after being dumped by her novelist boyfriend.

 

 

I took these two concepts and came up with my hero, Noah Kincaid, a scarred, lonely man (though he thinks he’s fine) in need of a new publicity partner after the recent death of his aunt, and the young and pretty single mother who takes the job.

Molly McCarty is used to tough challenges. Divorced and raising a five-year-old boy is no easy task, especially when she’s surrounded by her ex’s friends and family who all want to help get them back together again.

Desperate for some breathing room, Molly searches the web for opportunities and comes across the position of innkeeper in Christmas, Michigan. Her curiosity about the town named after a famous holiday leads her down a road filled with possibilities.

If only she can break through her partner’s tough shell.

 

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Here’s a short exclusive excerpt

Molly hurried to keep up as Leo wove in and out of the evergreens on display, the air tinted with the scent of pine and balsam. His childish laughter warmed her heart. He’d was unhappy leaving Alberta and his family behind. She couldn’t blame him, she’d been feeling down herself. Ever since her divorce from Jason, she’d been coasting, searching for… well, she wasn’t really sure. She just knew it wasn’t in Edmonton. That was her past, Christmas was her future.

Or, so she hoped.

“Leo, where are you?” she called, half laughing, half worried. The fairy lights strung in graceful arcs across the large gazebo-type structure were pretty, but they didn’t make finding a little boy in a dark jacket easy. Nearby couples glanced in her direction, then joined in the search. It wasn’t that big an area, but there were a lot of hiding places a mischievous little boy might discover.

“I’ve got him.” Noah strode out from between two thick conifers with Leo in his arms. He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered. He really was a handsome man.

She thanked the searchers and shook her head as Noah reached her side. “He was there one minute and then he was gone. You seem to be making a habit out of coming to our rescue.”

He gazed at her with those dark eyes, his hair ruffled by the chilly breeze, and she had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss those uncompromising lips. He’d probably think she was crazy. She’d have to be to try, he hadn’t given any sign of a mutual attraction, and besides, they barely knew each other.

“He was just chasing after a puppy. I’m sure he’s sorry he worried you.” He nodded to Leo. “Better apologize to your mother, now.”

Leo looked at her, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Mommy, you gotta come see. The puppy is so cute. He’s as white as snow and has blue eyes. Can I have him, Mommy. Please.” He kicked his booted feet, narrowly missing Noah’s groin. Noah winced and set him down.

Molly gave him an apologetic glance, then crouched beside her son. “Honey, you need to calm down. First, Noah is right. You should say sorry for disappearing the way you did. That’s a dangerous thing to do, and I don’t expect you to do it again. Capisce?”

Chastened, Leo scuffed his feet in the snow. “Capease.”

 

 

I’m close. I just have to rip out their hearts so I can hand them back again.

Easy, right?

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Jacquie Biggar

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.

Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:

http://jacqbiggar.com

 

Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins #Recipe @DonnaFaz

Toe-Curling Blueberry MuffinBecause September has arrived with its cooler temperatures, we can turn on the oven and begin baking again. (Baking is a favorite pastime of mine!) I’m using this recipe for Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins in a new novella I am currently writing. The recipe will be included in the book, but I just couldn’t wait so I’m posting it here. Blueberry muffins with crumble topping are my favorite. These are easy to make. If you decide to give this recipe a try, I hope you’ll let me know if they make your toes curl!

Toe-Curling Blueberry Muffins

Makes 8 large muffins

For the muffin batter:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the topping:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. To make muffin batter: combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, milk, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Gently stir in the blueberry just until they are well distributed. Do not mash the fruit.
  3. To make topping: in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the softened butter and stir with a fork until all ingredients are combined. Topping will be crumbly.
  4. Fill the muffing tins to the top with batter and top each muffin with a heaping tablespoon of topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.

I currently have 2 wonderful deals to offer you.

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USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #5.

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Identity Crisis #amwriting #life #mgtab

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Lately, I’ve been questioning my ability as a writer and it’s left me feeling lost and depressed.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

I think it began with the big change in our lives this summer. As many of you know, my daughter and grandson have moved over six thousand km away so she can continue with her dream to become a marine biologist.

While I’m incredibly proud of her, it’s also left a big gap in my days. I’m used to being there for my grandson, often picking him up for lacrosse or hockey or swimming practice.

He’s a key part of our lives and we are lost without him.

I’m empty inside and find it increasingly hard to put words on the page. I hope this is a short term thing, I mean it’s not like I can’t text or FaceTime him whenever I want. But, it’s not the same, either.

I’ve been working on a holiday novella for our Love, Christmas 2 collection set around the theme of our favorite holiday movies. Mine is Mistletoe Inn, taken from the Hallmark® movie, The Mistletoe Inn.

Here’s a short preview

 

For my story I’ve adapted the inn as more of a bed and breakfast with my hero as a scarred, bitter loner that the heroine, Molly McCarty, falls in love with.

 

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Molly McCarty has picked up roots and traveled across the country to run a bed and breakfast with a sweet-sounding old lady. Imagine her surprise when her partner turns out to be a surly, way-to-handsome recluse. It’s too late to back out now, she’ll have to mend his lonely heart in time for the holidays.

 

I’m enjoying this heartwarming tale, but it’s also making me realize Christmas won’t be the same this year.

What do you do to get rid of the blues?

 

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Jacquie Biggar

JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.

Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site:

http://jacqbiggar.com

 

Epic Endings by @JoanReeves #mgtab

One of the things an author always strives to do is to create an Epic Ending to a book. If the author can succeed in doing that, the reader will remember that ending, and, hopefully, that book.

I think the best epic endings are full of emotional truth. I remember watching the old romantic movie, An Affair To Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. One morning it was on TV so my daughter and I took a few minutes out of a busy day to watch THE one scene at the very end that is always gripping.

Actually, the ending is the only scene I ever really want to watch.

The scene is where Cary Grant is at the door. He’s basically reciprocated the brush-off that Kerr gave him. He stops and looks at her and talks about how he painted her wearing the lace mantilla, or shawl. He couldn’t take money for the painting so he told the gallery owner to give it to this young woman who fancied it because she liked it and because she was…

He pauses. His face reflects his thoughts as he begins putting two and two together. When he reaches four–even though that couldn’t possibly be correct, he’s thunderstruck. You can see the incredulity. Your heart literally clutches as he thinks, “No, it couldn’t be.”

He closes the door and comes back to the couch, placing his coat and hat on it. He goes to the other closed door in the room and opens it despite her protests. He sees the painting he’d been describing on the wall. More than that, he sees the shadow of a wheelchair.

That’s when he creates a memorable cinematic moment–a moment full of emotional truth. His face reflects how crushed he is, how his heart is in a vise as he realizes the woman he loves is indeed the woman in the wheelchair who visited the gallery and fancied the painting. He’s staggered by the knowledge. You see all this. You feel all this.

It’s a powerful scene full of heartbreak and love and grief at what has happened to her. From the ashes of that comes his joy at realizing she didn’t kick him to the curb because she didn’t love him because she loved him so much she wanted him to have a life with a wife who was “whole.” (You must remember this is an old movie from the 1950s when being in a wheelchair was even more devastating than it is today.)

Of course, my daughter and I were in tears when he goes to her and vows his love. Together they can be happy, but apart they’ll never be whole.

It’s the greatest of acting because of the actors’ ability to show that emotional truth. Cary Grant is so good in the scene that I forget he’s suave, debonair Cary Grant. He is Nicky, the devastated lover.

That’s an epic ending. I always try to create that kind of ending in my books. My latest is Second Chance Bride. You can judge for yourself whether I succeeded in my quest to make an ending that’s memorable.

Do you have a favorite ending in a book or movie that touches your emotions that way?

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. All of her books have the same underlying theme: It’s never too late to live happily ever after. She lives her HEA with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan online at her Blog and Website. Follow her at: Facebook * Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page. Sign up for Joan’s mailing list and be the first to know about new books and giveaways.

Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves—Keeping Romance Alive…One Sexy Book at a Time—is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. From Romantic Comedy to Romantic Thriller, all of her books have the same premise: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they grow fruit trees and grapes and make wine. Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List and be the first to know about new books and giveaways.

Visit Joan Reeves Website