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.

The SEAL’s Temptation is Live- @Jacqbiggar #Romance #mgtab

The SEAL’s Temptation

Wounded Hearts Book 7

by Jacquie Biggar

Genre: Romantic Suspense

I’m thrilled to share my new release with you today!

It’s been four years since I’ve written anything in the Wounded Hearts world, so you can see why I’m excited to get back to these characters who have become old friends over the years 🙂

DEA Agent Magdalena Holt is one of my favorite characters. She has high moral standards and is willing to place her life on the line for those she deems vulnerable.

In Maggie’s Revenge, Maggie was captive of a high-ranking official in the Sinaloa cartel. She’d gone undercover in order to discover why young women (sex trade workers) were going missing amid a spreading opioid crisis. It takes everything she has to escape the clutches of her nemesis, leaving her battered and broken.

The SEAL’s Temptation opens on SEAL Chief Frank Stein’s ranch where the DEA team has come to recuperate.

Exclusive Excerpt

Frank Stein sat at the scarred wooden dinner table that had graced his family home since long before he was born. The combined aromas of roasted turkey, sage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and poultry gravy had his mouth watering and stomach growling. No one cooked better than his momma.

On his right, best friend, Jared Martin and wife Annie, visited with Frank’s mother, Emily, and her new beau, Spencer, while Adam and his boss bickered in the background, but it was the silent woman on his left that commanded his attention.

Magdalena Holt.

His fascination with the mysterious DEA agent had grown almost embarrassingly obvious to everyone, it seemed, except her. She was too focused on stopping an international human trafficking ring to worry about his tender feelings.

Emily’s black lab, Sugar, lounged on the floor at Maggie’s feet, as though he sensed her underlying torment. Every now and then, Frank caught her sneaking a piece of meat to the dog, but he pretended not to notice. She could give the animal the whole damn bird if it made her feel better.

Her recent abduction left him angry and helpless. The vibrant, commanding agent he’d met months ago, when Jared called from Las Vegas asking for help, was nowhere to be seen in the timid, pale imitation sitting at a table full of laughing, chattering friends.

The dark place in his head wanted to reach out and shake her silly. How could she have allowed herself to be placed in danger that way? At the same time, his arms ached from the restraint he placed on himself not to grab hold and never let go. He’d gladly protect her with his life.

But, that was the problem; she didn’t need him. She never had.

And to prove his point…

“Hey, Mags, any word on the girl you saved from that crash?” Her partner, Adam, turned his mega-watt smile her way and grasped the fingers fiddling with her fork instead of eating.

“Hmm?” she murmured, the low hum sending vibrations through Frank’s gut, and lower. “Molly? No, but the hospital promised to keep me informed.” She gave a faint smile. “Thanks for helping her parents with the repatriation order. I was worried she’d have to remain in Mexico over Easter until trial was set.”

He gave her a warm hug, his blond hair a stark contrast to the inky darkness of Maggie’s. Frank wanted to rip them apart. Not a good reaction for a SEAL Chief, even if he was retired. He had no right to feel jealous. Maggie had never shown any sign of interest—it was all wishful thinking on his part. Which was ridiculous. He was a thirty-seven-year-old war veteran acting like a kid wet behind the ears with his first crush.

DEA Agent Maggie Holt knows what Hell is like…

After eighteen months undercover in a Mexican cartel, Maggie is broken. The kickass agent she once was, is gone, leaving her riddled with guilt and nightmares. Forced to take paid leave, Maggie accepts the offer of a vacation on the ranch of the man who’d rescued her from an almost certain death.

Frank Stein knows the signs of PTSD, he’s suffered the symptoms himself as Chief Petty Officer of SEAL Team Five. Honorably discharged from duty, Frank has found peace at the family ranch and hopes it will do the same for Magdalena. Ever since he’d first met her when she was interrogating his buddy, Jared, Frank has been fascinated by the raven-haired beauty and wants the chance to see where their relationship could go.

Adam O’Connor is Maggie’s partner. He knows her. He loved her once and could again, if she’d let him in. But he’s also angry she took the chances she did by going undercover against orders. And now, things are different. She’s different.

When a right-wing militia group infiltrates the area, will DEA Agent Maggie Holt, her partner, Adam O’Connor, and ex-SEAL Chief Frank Stein be able to set aside their differences to stop them before someone dies? And who will Maggie choose, the handsome cowboy, or her charismatic DEA partner?

International: https://books2read.com/The-SEALs-Temptation

Recommend on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-seal-s-temptation-wounded-hearts-book-7-by-jacquie-biggar

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56244631-the-seal-s-temptation-by-jacquie-biggar

Exclusive Excerpt

Maggie stared at the evening sky, fingers clenching and unclenching in the folds of the blanket around her shoulders. She was almost preternaturally aware of the man sitting like a silent guardian in the too-small rocker a few feet away.

Desperate to break what felt like an awkward silence, she gestured toward the sparkling constellations over their heads. “Do you study the stars, Mr. Stein? You have quite the view out here.” Maybe not as reach-out-and-touch them as she’d felt on that mesa in Mexico, but a hell of a lot safer. The melancholy that was never very far away filled her chest, a black cloud covering the silvery moon. Her best friend was buried on that hill, a victim of the monster who’d ruined the lives of countless women.

“Not really. My brother and I got into it some as kids but then he… disappeared and I kind of lost heart.” Frank’s voice flowed over her like a warm breeze, dispersing the darkness of her thoughts.

“I’m so sorry,” she murmured. “I think I remember reading something about that in your file—the part that wasn’t confidential anyway.” She smiled.

He nodded. “It happened a long time ago. We’ve accepted it, though that’s not to say we’ve stopped looking. Hope lives on, you know?”

Yeah, she did.

The only thing that kept her alive through those hellish months with Chenglei and his band of assholes was hope.

Well, that and a craving for revenge.

**Check out the rest of the Wounded Hearts series here! **
USA Today bestselling author Jacquie Biggar loves to write Romantic Suspense novels brimming w/Attitude.
Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of romance who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!
In her own words: “My name is Jacquie Biggar. When I’m not acting like a total klutz I am a wife, mother of one, grandmother, and a butler to my calico cat. My guilty pleasure are reality tv shows like Amazing Race and The Voice. I can be found every Monday night in my armchair plastered to the television laughing at Blake and Adam’s shenanigans. I love to hang at the beach with DH (darling hubby) taking pictures or reading romance novels (what else?). I have a slight Tim Hortons obsession, enjoy gardening, everything pink and talking to my friends.”
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$20 Amazon

Also Available in our Author’s Billboard Spring Box set!

IRRESISTIBLE – SPRING INTO LOVE

#Romance #Kindle #Reading #Boxset

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SWFH93Y

International: https://books2read.com/IrresistibleSpring

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/irresistible-spring-into-love-by-jacquie-biggar-and-jen-talty

Add to your reading list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56685760-irresistible—spring-into-love

Love at First Sight…

Your eyes meet, and just like that, you know that you might have met THE ONE.

SPRING INTO LOVE with EIGHT BRAND-NEW, NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED STEAMY STORIES From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

Apocalypse not welcome here

Apocalypse: an epic, life-altering disaster. Yup. That’s the last five days.
Friday, February 12: The weather forecast for my small, end-of-the-road town was for snow. Instead, we got freezing rain. Life went on, but the county shut down. That meant our little church didn’t get the food we normally redistribute later that day. We did get a paltry (but welcomed) 223 pounds of bread from the next town (thank you, Dallas Food Pantry!). We had potatoes, onions, apples, tortillas, and a few winter squash on hand, so residents went left thoroughly chilled but not empty-handed.
Late that night, it got worse. The wind blew extra portions of frozen rain. Trees creaked and moaned with the extra weight of their icy coats. Creak, snap, pop, crash! Limbs and branches dropped, sometimes taking transmission lines with them. The whole town lost power. Roads were shut or narrowed to one lane because of downed timber.
The next day, we found out firsthand how extensive the damages were. My husband and I traveled to four towns before we found a place to buy gas. By the fifth one, we were able to get propane. If you could find a place open, the lines at gas stations and fast food restaurants were unbelievably long. I thought I was back in the seventies during the gas shortage. Cell phones didn’t work, either. For the first time in at least a decade, I heard ‘All circuits are busy. Please try again later.’
It’s been five days now. We made do. My husband reconnected our old gas heater and propane tank. We have two generators alternately running the laptop, house refrigerator, sump pump, and battery packs and last night, the big screen TV and blue-ray player.
What I miss the most? Hot showers! By the second day, I couldn’t stand it and took a ‘saucepan’ shower. I heated water on top of the gas heater. You’ll have to believe me that the rest was accomplished by determination, not convenience.
We still don’t have internet. Email service is sporadic if I stand at the end of the porch or in the yard. We still have intermittent rain, so I’m porching it. I can’t search the internet, though, and I can post but not look at Facebook.
I started to get fed up with it yesterday. Now we didn’t have cell service! ‘Can’t connect to a Network’ showed on my phone. We drove to Dallas and picked up a signal. I called my daughter, told her the latest updates, then after grabbing some Mexican food takeout, came back home.
Still waiting for power. Will the world stop if I don’t have internet? No. Am I frustrated? Yes. What have I learned? I’m more prepared than I thought (lots of matches, food, and candles), but next time, I’ll have more movies downloaded on my Kindle and more battery packs for my flashlights.
Be prepared. Download a few good books in case you lose power, too.


Check out THAT MAGIC TOUCH, a sweet love story about a young woman brought up without electricity and other conveniences by her doctor dad as he serves the poor in the Appalachian backwoods, also part of Doctors in Love 2: Sexy and Determined box set.

https://books2read.com/DocLove2

Help! Please Enter My Name That Character Contest!

So there I was, sitting in front of a blank screen, the stupid big fat clock staring at me from the wall across the room. I would have been unnerved by the ticking if the clock had a ticker, but you know everything is digital these days–never mind, I digress. There I was, with the blank screen and the clock AND the DEADLINE.

Let me digress pause here to address the non-writers in the room–and I hope there are billions many of you–to let you know that the picture of the blissful artist working away in their turret spinning fancy words into mesmerizing stories is a bad joke hoax. We working stiffs authors really work at the kitchen table, the desk, the lazyboy chair, the drivers seat of the car (although we try to stop driving first), the dentist office waiting room … You get the picture.

Why? It’s the clock. And the deadline. Even if we don’t have a publisher or editor setting our deadline, we still have a deadline. Life throws them at us in the form of mortgage bills, grocery bills and the occasional prompt from a loving impatient reader.

What does any of this have to do with a Name That Character Contest you ask? Well, I don’t technically know if you’re asking, but Myren, my chauffeur, is asking and he’s the ridiculous unofficial stand-in for an below average reader for the purposes of this stupendous informative blog. I’ll tell you.

So there I was, not sitting in my turret, staring at the blank page and STUCK. Why was I stuck you ask? (Let’s not go over again how I know you’re asking.)

I was stuck because I needed a name for the bad guy and I couldn’t think of one. He was about to lower the hatchet and I had no idea what to call him.  X. That’s what I typed. Not for the first time. I was on page 152 and I had a story filled with X after X where the character’s name ought to be.

I threw down my pen closed my lap top (although this action lacks the dramatic appeal of throwing down a pen) and decided I needed to get rid of all those Xs. But how, you ask? (You’re so full of questions!)

Now backed into a corner, chased there by dozens of Xs, there was only one thing to do. Yes. I had to hold a Name That Character Contest!

(This is a true story, I swear.)

And so now, in order to get unstuck, in order to go on and complete my current work-in-progress, Beachcomber Love, I am reaching out and asking for your help, dear readers!

Enter the Stephanie Queen Name That Character Contest Here!

(Yes, there’s a prize in it for you, but I KNOW you’re really entering it to rescue me from my sticky spot.)

Here’s some details about Beachcomber Love and the character X:

BEACHCOMBER LOVE is the next novella in the Beachcomber Investigations romantic detective series. This bad guy, X, has come to town on Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland. He’s a he, a seedy low-life who mysteriously wants to extort money from the Lucky Parrot (local dive bar frequented by ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise and his partner/lover ex-Scotland Yard detective, Shana George, the hero and heroine)–and X thinks (incorrectly) that he can get away with it. Someone must have sent X to ruin Valentine’s Day. What’s his name?

Thank you so much for saving my life entering my contest to help me name X and get unstuck!

**Beachcomber Love will be released in the set A Valentine She’ll Remember, an anthology of 8 very special valentine romances, on February 1st. Look for it on Amazon for only $.99 or read the set for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Thank you for entering the contest!