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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's time to go Perfectly Crazy with Author Linda O'Connor #RB4U @LindaOConnor98 #99cents


Hi I’m Linda O’Connor! I live in Ontario, Canada in a house with a view of Lake Ontario. I love to write listening to the waves in the summer and overlooking the ice in the winter. I balance writing with my work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons. I read a wide variety of genres, but my favorite stories are romantic comedies and really anything with a happily-ever-after ending.

I started writing 4 years ago and published my debut novel, PERFECTLY HONEST, with Soul Mate Publishing. Turns out double double, chesterfield, and pop are very Canadian – who knew? I’ve had fun learning to write for an American audience and have since published a second story with Soul Mate Publishing and 4 more romantic comedies in the Perfectly Series as an indie author. The Perfectly Series are mostly about doctors, mostly set in small towns. The secondary characters from one story become the main characters of the next one. The six books in the series are stand-alone stories, but the characters pop in again to give readers a glimpse into what the characters are doing now. It’s like an insider secret – readers of the whole series can have fun with that additional layer! PERFECTLY CRAZY IN LOVE is a Perfectly novella about two of Dr. Mikaela Finn’s co-workers in her new hospital.

Linda hangs out at (net as in networking :D)
 Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Amazon Author Page   |   Newsletter

About Perfectly Crazy in Love (Perfectly Series novella)

Dr. Patty Kelt is trying to get Dr. Ken Marshall’s attention. They’ve been friends for four years, and it’s time to turn it up a notch. She wants him to see her as smart, competent, strong, and sexy. So far she’s just managed crazy.

Ken’s used to solving problems and giving advice. Crazy he could handle. But dealing with crazy in love? That’s entirely new.

Perfectly Crazy in Love…it’s not as easy as it looks.

Perfectly Crazy in Love is one of 22 hot romances in the Sultry Nights Boxed Set. Preorder now for only 99 cents. 

Release day is November 7th.

Landing pages: 
Buy links:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More puns for intelligent people!

Can't procrastinate any longer, this post needs posted. !!!! I've been working hard re-writing my very first published book, Druid's Daughter. As you know a lot of my old books have been in limbo for a while, and Druid's Daughter has always been a favorite of mine.  It's almost ready to go again, and now I'll concentrate on my post. I know you all seem to like my columns of puns, so here are some more....

1. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger.  Then it hit me.

2. A sign on the lawn at the rehab center said, 'Keep Off the Grass.'

3. The midget fortune teller who escaped from prison is a small medium at large.

4. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

5. A backward poet writes inverse.

6. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes. 

7.  When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

8. If you jumped off the bridge in  Paris, you'd be in Seine.

9. A vulture boards an airplane carrying to dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry sir, only one carrion per passenger."

10. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says "Dam!"

11. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron. The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive."

12. Did you have hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

13. Two Eskimos sitting in a canoe were chilly so they lit a fire in the craft. Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

14. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends in the hope that at least one of the puns would make the laugh. No pun in ten did.

Once again, you've got to vote for your favorite.  It's always a hard choice. But I love to know what you think.  

You can find me and my books at all the usual places. My Elusive Earl debuts next month, but more about that later. For now just enjoy the puns....


Friday, September 15, 2017

Meet The Cowboy, His Countess and Her Companion by Suz deMello (#naughtyliterati #boxsets #romance)

Say hello to another fabulous, entertaining short story anthology from the Naughty Literati!

This autumn, we welcome Guest Authors Ever Coming and L.J. Garland, who have contributed wonderful stories.

Here's what my story is about:

The Cowboy, His Countess, and Her Companion

(England, 1870) The Honorable Amelia Haddon must marry, or lose the income that supports her and her "companion."  Averse to men, she is desperate until an American cowboy proves to be her unlikely rescuer. But will judgmental society drag this happy trio apart?

And here's a snippet from Chapter One--the setting is Almack's, of course :)

Leonore Wingate turned to her bosom-bow, Amelia Haddon, bending slightly so the smaller woman could hear over the music and chatter. “Can you see that chap? He’s new.”

Amelia blinked. “Really?”

“Yes, and he’s coming toward us.”

Leonore grinned. “What shall we tell this one?”  They had been inventing stories to explain their unusual closeness since they'd met at boarding school. Their most innocuous story was that she was Amelia’s hired companion, which was fairly close to the truth. They enjoyed telling others that they were engaged in the study of Sapphic poetry; in the main, their peers had no idea to what they were referring.

Amelia eyed the stranger. “Intuition tells me that this one might not be easily fobbed off. You do remember that Madame Esperanza told me that my intuitive powers are usually great.” 

Leonore withheld a sarcastic retort, but rolled her eyes.  

Amelia continued, “Perhaps we should encourage his suit.”

Shocked, Leonore lost her breath and therefore her voice for several seconds. Then she managed to say, “But—but—”

“You have not yet heard my news.”

“That letter you received from your father?”

“Yes. He threatens to cut me off should I fail to marry before my next birthday.”

“But you can’t marry! You can’t!” Heads turned at the vehemence of her tone, and she lowered her voice. “Why?”

“Of course I do not wish to marry, but what else can we do?”

Leonore pressed her lips together. “I’ll not leave you.”

Amelia touched Leonore’s hand briefly, so quickly that she was sure no one else saw. “Of course not. 
We shall maintain the fiction that you are my paid companion.”

“But what about at night? You can’t, Amelia! It would kill you!

Amelia drew a determined breath. “We all must do what we must. And I will have to bear his attentions, at least some nights.”

“You’ll lie quietly and think of crown and country? Ha! I’ll not allow it!”

“We don’t have a choice. I shall have to bear his attentions, at least on some nights. Many men keep mistresses for such...activities.”

Leonore paused, thinking. “Hm. You are right. Without your funds, we are left with only my tiny portion.” Her birth was impeccable but her fortune small, her parents having inconveniently wasted the Wingate estate before dying in a carriage accident.

She looked at Amelia. Amelia looked back. They sighed in unison.

“Good evening, ladies.” The stranger sketched a clumsy bow.

Leonore raised her brows as Amelia raised her fan. The stranger was so untutored in the social graces that he did not realize that he ought not address ladies to whom he had not yet been introduced. But...

“Your accent is not English,” Leonore said.

“No, I’m from Texas.” He smiled.

“In America?” Amelia sounded excited, and Leonore felt a spark of hope. Perhaps this foreigner would be different than other men. Perhaps he would not demand what Amelia couldn’t comfortably give.

“Yeah. From the good ol’ U.S. of A.”

Leonore winced at his speech. He seemed like a nice fellow, but...

Amelia said, “And what brings you to our shores?”

“I’ve inherited an estate that is in poor shape, and I’m here to claim it and find a wife to help me get it to where it should be,” the man explained in a rush.

Given the accent, Leonore understood perhaps half of what he said. She exchanged glances with Amelia, then said, “Umm, with all respect, sir, we have yet to be properly introduced.”

“Oh, sorry, miss. I’m Nate Fortune.”

“Of the Darlingside Fortunes?” Amelia asked, closing her fan.

If Leonore raised her brows more, she was certain they’d disappear into her hairline. She controlled herself. “You must be the new Earl Darlingside.”

“Yeah. And you?”

She and Amelia again exchanged glances. Despite the social solecism, Amelia responded. “I’m Amelia Haddon, and this is my...companion, Leonore Wingate.” She hooked her arm through Leonore’s elbow.

He eyed their linked arms and raised his brows. “Your...companion?”

“Yes,” Leonore said with emphasis. “We are quite inseparable.”

Now the stranger—Darlingside?—raised his brows. “That’s good.”

Leonore stared at him.

“Well, it would be very hard to choose between you. You are both such lovely ladies.”

“Flatterer,” Amelia said flirtatiously. She rapped his knuckles with her fan.

“Ow!” Darlingside made a show of rubbing his hand, as though he’d actually been hurt.

Amelia giggled while Leonore smiled.

He smiled back. “So the only question is, which one of you will I marry?”

If you like what you read, find it here on Amazon
or any other etailer you prefer

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Year, My Way

I spent too many years either in school, teaching, working with schools, or having school-aged children, to really consider Jan.1 the start of a new year. The new year begins with the fall semester. (Even though, technically, it's still summer in the Northern Hemisphere.) My logical brain may know better, but my inner nerd still thinks, "I need new pencils!"

So in keeping with that, I'm using my own internal clock to help get my career--and face it, my life--back on track. We've had a rough go for the last couple years in my family, and as thing slowly start to look up, I'm hoping to add my own momentum for improvement.

My husband began a new job 2 weeks ago, which means our biggest financial worry is fixed. I couldn't be more relieved and I couldn't be more proud of him. He's going to help another Michigan community restore and revitalize their downtown area. My granddaughter is in a stable situation and just started kindergarten! I couldn't be more proud of her, either. Both sons are doing well, and we're working on finding better housing solutions down the road, but for now, all is well.

So the next thing that I need to fix is, well, me. My writing career has been in a downhill spiral between life things and publishing things. But it's time to turn that trainwreck around.

So far I've: gotten a car, so I can be more independent; renewed my coworking membership so I have a place to work free of kids and dogs; committed to a 31-day writing challenge (14 days in and I'm up-to-date!) rejoined a word-count accountability group, and submitted to a new potential agent.

I'm working at getting my Ellora's Cave backlist republished, some heavily modified, and some with just a gloss coat or extra edit. You can find all of the ones I've finished here. So far, I've only got most of them up on Amazon, but after that I'll be working on other vendors.

My newest re-pub is one of the more heavily modified, and you can find it in the RB4U SUMMER NIGHTS OF DELIGHT anthology! Check out Unawakened (formerly Awakening Augusta) a historical romance. Here's my cover for the separate story.

Blurb: Regency Scotland can be a lonely place, but Augusta MacLeish has four mischievous younger siblings for company; now if she only had money to feed them! Colin Fordyce has recently inherited an earldom, along with five wards in a remote Scottish castle. When he travels up there, he discovers his predecessor was skimming their funds. He also learns the oldest Miss MacLeish is absolutely stunning. A knock to his head leaves him seeing two of the buxom beauty, just as one kiss from her tempting lips leaves him longing for more.

A night spent together forces Colin and Augusta to marry, leaving them all the opportunity in the world to explore the sexual hunger between them. Colin delights in teaching Augusta all the pleasures of the flesh, awakening the wanton lover beneath her ladylike veneer. From Scotland to London, the flames burning between them refuse to be doused, and oh, how they will set the Ton on fire.

Happy autumn, everyone! Thanks for reading!

Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after. Multiple award-winning author of the best-selling Gaslight Chronicles, she has released almost sixty novels and stories, which blend fantasy, adventure, science fiction, suspense, history and romance.

Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and a bunch of spoiled dogs. When not hard at work writing she can be found restoring her 1870 house, dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book.

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

TREATISE IN DEFENSE OF THE MALIGNED CLICHÉ: A Personal Opinion Regarding The Use Of Cliches

Posted by Author R. Ann Siracusa

We hear over and over again at writing conferences and from people who are editors, agents and successful authors, that there are no rules. "You have to do what is right for you." "Whatever works." But if there is one rule, it is: "Don't Use Clichés or Exclamation Points" if you want to get published. 

So let's examine the cliché, which happens to be one of my best and favorite languages.

First, what are its origins? 
Both the words cliché and stereotype are related to a French printing method introduced in the late 18th century, a process by which metal plate casts were made from woodcuts. By the 20th century the words had acquired figurative meanings -- cliché as any overly used word or phrase, and stereotype as an oversimplified image of a person, place or thing. So the word cliché didn't exist in the early 18th century.

Second, what does the word mean today?
We all know what it means, but each definition I read has a slightly different twist.

●The Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines a cliché [with or without the accent, by the way] as "A trite stereotyped expression or anything that has become commonplace through overuse."

●The Oxford English Dictionary defines a cliché as:"1) A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought, 2) A very predictable or unoriginal thing or person, and 3) A stereotype or electrotype." 

●The Writing Center says clichés "are general statements that do not add any detailed evidence or unique support to a piece of writing, whether that writing is a personal statement or an academic essay. Clichés are expressions that either have a general meaning or have lost their meaning over time. These overused phrases do not provide a specific meaning or image."
Okay, okay! We get it. ["Oh! Sorry," she apologized.]

Actually, we all use clichés in our speech at sometime or other, and most writers have to work at getting rid of them when they write, which means at least beginning writers use clichés when they write, just as they use them when they speak. That's because they are, in fact, a legitimate part of the English language. Listen to the people around you and how they talk. Listen to the television; go to the movies; even listen to your English teacher. If you want to write authentic sounding dialogue, you will probably have to use a few clichés.

Author Rivka Galchen writes that "Usually clichés are used correctly and unthinkingly. So correctly and unthinkingly that mostly we don’t hear them, especially when we say them ourselves."

We use clichés in our writing and speaking precisely because the expressions are commonplace from usage and, therefore, most people know what they mean. The listener has had the same experience or heard the manner of speech so often there is no question what the phase is intended to mean. They work! ["Oh! Sorry!" she apologized emphatically.]

Notice the operative words are "intended to mean". Most people who recognize the intent may have no idea about the original and/or real meaning, only the situation or action the words represent at this point in time. Unless you are a gardener, you may not know that nipping something in the bud actually means pinching off the bud or growth of a plant so that new growth will emerge on either side and make the plant fuller, or have more blooms.
That's right. You'd better nip in bud your sixteen-year-old daughter's infatuation with your husband's best friend before things get out of hand. [Or don't you know what "getting out of hand" means?]

First, not everyone considers the same phrases as overused and worn out. One person can feel that it is, and to others it isn't. You can't write for everyone…but you need to know your audience. One person's cliché may well be another's striking figure of speech.

Second, author Tobias Mastgrave, while not an advocate of using clichés, writes "However, we have to remember that clichés are clichés for a reason, they say something true or enduring or honest about the world we live in or the human experience."

Third, a word or phrase has to be used in speech and writing often enough to become a cliché in order to be added to the dictionary.

In addition to the fact that it's boring to read the same thing over and over, I believe that readers, writers, editors, and agents dislike clichés because they often represent laziness in the writing. It's easier to use a cliché than to give a detailed description. Easier to use than to think. Remember the reference to "original thought" in the definition?

Author Leslie Jamison writes, "I resist them because I want to grant room for nuance and complexity … It comes back to whether you think of clichés as portals or conclusions. Clichés work against us when they replace our tongues entirely, when the greeting card messages supplant our own. They work best when they link our singular experiences rather than efface them. -- when they function as dangling strings around which the rock candy of individual experience crystallizes."

Editor Patricia O'Connor observes in Woe Is I (Putnam, 1996), we can’t possibly eliminate all clichés: “It would take a roomful of Shakespeares to replace them with fresh figures of speech, and before long those would become clichés, too.”

Human beings -- and apparently the writers of dictionaries fall into this category -- are perverse animals rife with the tendency to be inconsistent [in my not-so-humble opinion]. While my handy dandy Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines a cliché as a word or expression that is overused and trite, those are precisely the requirements they use for adding certain words to the dictionary. Go figure.
I would never presume to put my opinions above the advice from the likes of Catherine Coulter, Jennifer Cruise, and the other published, and unpublished, authors you've heard speak on writing. They know -- I don't. But I do know that English is a very rich language. We have many ways to explain and describe things.

In 1947 American College Dictionary, one of first to include new words, boasted 132,000 words, one of the largest of its time. Today, it includes over three times that many and grows every year. The average person's speaking vocabulary is only 15,000 to 30,000 words; the average passive or written vocabulary can exceed 100,000 words.

We are writers, my friends. People learn from us. We learn from each other. We should be skilled enough at our craft to command the use of as many of those three hundred thousand plus English words as possible. I can assure you that every book I read by one of the authors I've heard speak at my RWA chapter or at a conference, includes at least one new word I have to look up and uses at least one cliché if not more.

As writers, it's our job to know the language; to know the words, what they mean, and how to use them – then make the choice of which ones best suit the story you are telling and the way and to whom you are telling it. Wield the words of your language with skill and assurance, and make every one of them count, even if you do choose to use clichés every now and then. 

And never, but never, trust your computer's spell check.

Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue with a Novel by

● The Last Weekend In October
● All For A Dead Man's Leg – Book 1
● All For A Fistful Of Ashes – Book 2
● Destruction Of The Great Wall – Book 3
   Release January 2018
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