My own Valentine’s romance #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab

My 40 year romance. Happy Valentine’s Day!

As a romance writer, I’ve written over seventy-five love stories, from princesses and kings, to ranchers and busybodies, to demigods and bank greeters and all points in between. But funny thing, I’ve never written my own forty year old love story with my husband, Jose.

We met at Cornell University in 1982 at the International Living Center, heretofore known as the International Loving and Living Center. I was brand new, fresh off the turnpike from California and going from suite to suite introducing myself. “Hi, I’m Clare from California (Rachelle is my penname),” I’d chirp. “I’m so glad to meet you and experience the East Coast.” Never mind that Cornell, in Ithaca New York is in the Fingers Lake region and not East Coast. To me, anything west of Arizona was East Coast. I had most recently lived in San Diego, at the time known as America’s Finest City or Sandy Eggo. All my friends thought I was looney-tunes wanting to leave but I told them I wanted to see what life was like outside of this most southwestern corner of the United States. I mean, if Maine is the head of the beast and Florida the front leg, Texas the back leg, then what exactly is the southernmost corner of our country? At least it’s not Hawaii, LOL.

My future husband was sitting in his dorm room contemplating his future when one of his suitemates said, “Hey, meet Clare from California.” I kid you not. I never have inklings but I had a strong sense of, “What if this is my future husband?” run through my heart. Of course, I didn’t say anything and later one, he thought I was too happy and too chirpy. He’s a native New Yorker.

Fast forward to spring time skiing. I hadn’t seen Jose around and he didn’t see me, but on my first run down Greek Peak on a beautiful, sunny day, I skidded to a stop on top of a ridge to admire the view. The next thing I heard was a man screaming, “Ahhhhh!” and then my right leg crumpled. This wild skier literally tripped over my ski boot and fell face forward over his skis. His first reaction was to get up and ask me how I was doing. I was actually numb or in pain, I don’t know which, but he had a bleeding cut on his forehead from hitting his ski.

The ski patrol was called and the man and his buddies followed down to the medical center where the biggest strongest ski patrol guy pried my boot off my injured leg [as painlessly as possible].

If this was a romance, the man who cut his forehead would be Jose, or even the strong ski patrol guy, but nope, I never saw them again, although the cut forehead guy did come by to apologize as I lay there waiting for my friends to drive me to the hospital.

Instead, Jose had stayed back in the dorm over spring break to STUDY! Get this, I stayed to ski; he stayed to study. So here I was, a day later, sitting in the TV lounge with my crutches and leg in a cast watching daytime soap operas. Jose walks by probably with a stack of books in his hand and says, “What happened to you?”

From then on, he carried my books, walked me to the dining hall, and bussed my trays. And that’s how a real life love story started. Not quite a cute meet but a sweet one just the same.

How about you? Please share one of your real life love stories. Tell your children or a friend this Valentine’s Day and give your honey an extra kiss for being your real life Valentine.

My Valentine Romances are either FREE or on sale this month of February.

Valentine Hound Dog [free download]
Valentine Wedding Hound [on sale 99c]
Going Hearts Over Heels [on sale 99c]
Valentine Puppies and Kisses [free download]

For more freebies and a chance to win a $25 gift card:

https://mybookcave.com/g/5bbf53fd/?bcsrc=pmf38a

Hugs and Kisses and have very Happy Valentine’s Day, Rachelle

The Playlist to Cry For: who listens to music while they read anyway?

By Stephanie Queen 

Confession: I listen to music while I write. It gets me in the mood, if you know what I mean. (Myren, my chauffeur just rolled his eyes.)

What Do I mean?   Music—the right music—enhances the emotional experience. Because let’s face it, what’s evokes emotion more quickly than a love song. Romance stories do a pretty good job although they make take a little while to sink their emotional teeth into you, to grab you and shake you up.

So I think listening to a love song that shares the same theme as the story I’m writing is a heck of a way to warm me up, to get me into the world and make me feel like I’m there.

In writing my latest, soon-to-be-released angsty college romance about forbidden love titled I Want To Know What Love Is (yes, of Foreigner’s hit song fame), I chose a play list that evoked the kinds of emotions I wanted you, the reader to feel. And listening to those songs as I wrote, the focused me on those particular feels.

The only down-side? 

It’s gosh darn exhausting—emotionally speaking! Because I write angsty books and between listening to the songs and getting into the characters so deeply to get the words on the page, I get so steeped and overwrought that my heart actually pounds.

Good news? 

You, the reader get the enhanced experience, the deep feels—and you can take a break any time you need to catch your breath. Unless you’re in emotional marathon condition, then go right ahead and read I Want To Know What Love Is all in one sitting.

Ready for some angst? (Myren’s getting the tissues ready now)

The Playlist to Cry For

If you want to listen and read, you can pre-order the book at Amazon.

Get out! Perfect heroes who cook? 🥘🦐

Hello, friends!

I’ll start this post with a fun fact: did you know that today is National Men-Make-Dinner Day? Yep, you read that right! Today is the perfect excuse to get your man cooking, and although the rules say that no BBQ is allowed, I say you should take what you can get. 😉

I am lucky and blessed that my husband actually enjoys cooking, and in the little free time he has, he spoils me with dishes from great chefs like Gordon Ramsay. I don’t even care if he makes a little mess, if I get a delicious dinner (but he does clean up afterward!).

I know what you must be thinking: some guys sound too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not like us, women, are perfect, so I figure men are allowed to get away with a few flaws here and there. Even in fiction.

But if you do like romance with heroes that are too good to be true, I have a treat for you this weekend. My romantic comedy, Unabridged, is FREE! So if you’re in the mood for some romance, steam, and lots of laughter, take advantage of this limited offer and grab your copy from Amazon.

Whoever thought Cinderella had it easy didn’t stick around for the alternate ending…

Everyone believed I was an idiot to leave Blade Spencer—rich, handsome, and head-over-heels in love with me. But I did it for his own good, determined to take the secret to my grave.

I moved to Seattle, pursued my career as a journalist at Unabridged magazine, and almost convinced myself I didn’t need a man. I had enough virtual admirers, and my email was jam-packed with marriage proposals and X-rated pictures—not to mention hysterically funny letters from a clever fan.

Imagine my surprise when I show up at work, and Blade is my new boss. Did I mention he has no idea why I left him and thinks I’m a cold-hearted bitch?

Just as I decide to prove him wrong, I discover Blade’s life has changed in ways I never imagined. Having to work with him is the least of our problems…

 

If you prefer audiobooks, you can find Unabridged on many retailers, including SCRIBD, audiobooks.com, Kobo, etc.

Here’s a sample for your enjoyment! Click to play: 

Fondly,

 

 

 

 

Who’s Your Dream Lover?

Every author has a visual image of her characters in her head. If she finds the right words, her readers will see whom she sees, too.

Okay, that’s a perfect world. If books did it all, no one would ever go to the movies. Many times the visual I have in my head of a hero or villain is attached to someone I know or a celebrity. I have to admit, Blake Shelton was my inspiration for Benji, THE GREAT BIG FAIRY.

A younger Blake Shelton as Benji, The Great Big Fairy (time traveler).

I needed someone tall, blue-eyed, red-haired, and with dimples. Well, Blake Shelton is three out four…or four out of four if a box of Nice ‘N Easy is thrown in. And my Benji loves to sing. Would that make Blake a five out of four?

Pierce Brosnan as Marty Melbourne aka DANCES NAKED.

Pierce Brosnan’s rugged look here would be a great example of a 21st-century gentleman, stuck in the 18th-century backwoods, without access to a razor or a barber.

Do you have a movie star doppelganger to your book hero? Leave comments below. Maybe we share the same one.

The FIRST Cozy Mystery Box Set by The Authors’ Billboard!

Murder is to Die For

Four NEW stories