THE 2014 OUR WRITING PROCESS BLOG HOP

Writer’s write, that’s what we do. Find out why and how in this new Blog Hop for 2014:

Thanks so much to J.R. Richardson for inviting me to join this blog hop. I have never done anything like this before so bear with me. I was supposed to find three people to tag at the end of this but didn’t manage that many. I did get two, though!  The hop hops on! 

1) What am I working on right now?

I actually just sent in the manuscript for my next book, The Better Man.  The story centers on a widow and mother, Kendall Montgomery, who is not only dealing with the death of her husband but her son’s difficulty coping with it. Simon is a selective mute. His anxiety makes it impossible for him to speak in front of anyone other than his mother. That is until he meets Max Jordan. 

This is my Max


Max has moved to Chicago to be closer to his son, Aidan. Max hasn’t been the father he wants to be and his ex doesn’t believe he’s capable of caring about anything but himself and his career. When Max meets Simon and Kendall, he’s surprised the little boy finds him so interesting and his mother looks at him like he has a third head. That may have something to do with the fact that … he looks exactly like Simon’s father/Kendall’s husband.  Let the drama begin!
With that off to my editor, I am beginning the second book in this series of three I am writing for Harlequin Heartwarming. The second book is tentatively titled The Better Plan.  The series follows Kendall and her two sisters, each dealing with their own drama and finding love where they never expected to find it. I am so very excited to share these new characters with the world!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That’s a great question. I have been writing for Harlequin Heartwarming, which is their clean romance line. I think what I bring to clean romances is a good mix of humor and drama. I’ve been told my sense of humor is a strength and hopefully that comes through in my writing. 

3) Why do I write what I do? 
I often ask myself this considering that erotica seems to be the thing to write right now. Throw some sex in there and the book sells like hotcakes. I’ve chosen this genre because it was important to me that I could share what I write with everyone in my family, from my seventy-eight year old mother-in-law to my eleven-year-old daughter. I wanted something that my children could feel proud about showing their friends and teachers. One of my proudest moments was when my youngest son brought a copy of THE WEATHER GIRL to school to show his whole 4th grade class because he thinks it is so cool his mom wrote a book.

I write romance because I love putting my characters through all this drama only to find their happily ever after in the midst of all the darkness.  I’m a sucker for a HEA. 

4) How does my writing process work?

I love technology and I use a writing program called Scrivener. It is a fantastic tool that allows me to plot out the whole story on virtual note cards and move chapters and scenes around easily. But at the very beginning of any story, I always use an old-fashioned notebook and pen. I start out by writing an outline that simply consists of a sentence or two about the overall idea I want to get across chapter by chapter. Then, I write out more detailed notes on some key scenes and general character traits. What are the emotional stakes? Where is the hero/heroine at the beginning of the book and where do I want him or her by the end? Why are they the way they are?  What drives them? Sometimes those things end up in the story and sometimes they are just for me to better understand my character’s motivations. I even write out little bits of dialogue that I hear in my head so I don’t forget. Once I do all that, I transfer the info into my writing program and start writing. Things usually (always) change once I start writing. I love how things evolve when you get into the heart of a story. Sometimes the characters take me in another direction once I get to know them a little better. 

Well, that’s it for me. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Don’t be a stranger! 

xoxo,
Amy
For next week’s entry, I’ve tagged two lovely ladies to find out how they answer the same questions.  You won’t want to miss it.

Jennifer Garcia’s lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Originally from Boston, she currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, was released August 2013 and her first novella, In My Mother’s Footsteps, was released July 2013.

Jennifer’s website: http://jenniferfgarcia.com

Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. 
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

Carrie’s website:owww.carrieelks.com/blogn, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of int

Cursed be the Wicked by J.R. Richardson

I have a very dear friend, who just happens to be an amazing writer. Her debut novel is coming out this spring and I am thrilled to participate in her cover reveal today. 

Title – Cursed be the Wicked 

Author – J.R.Richardson

Genre – Paranormal Mystery Romance
Release Date – March 5, 2014






Synopsis: 
Cooper Shaw lives his life under a pen name and enjoys the anonymity it provides during his journeys across the globe as a seasoned writer for a travel magazine. When his job lands him in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts to cover the famous Festival of the Dead, he soon realizes that he can’t stay invisible forever as he faces ghosts from a past he’s been trying to forget ever since he left.

The city holds nothing but bad memories for Coop until he meets a quirky young woman with an old soul and curious insights by the name of Finnley Pierce. While she acts as his tour guide through a town he thought he knew, Finn helps him unearth the truth of his childhood and might even begin to open up his heart.

By unraveling the mystery of his father’s murder, Coop may finally accept who he is, where he came from, and perhaps even realize what he wants for his future.

About the author:
A writer of stories and lover of life.
Jo grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity.  Today she lives in Florida with her two girls and a husband that shares her same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.

Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner. 
She’s always loved writing, so in her spare time, she wrote a novel that’s been picked up by the good people at Soul Mate Publishing.


Links:
Website: http://jrrichardsonfics.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JRRichardsonAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoFictionFreak
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JRRichardson

I was lucky enough to read a very early version of this story before she even submitted it to any agent or publisher. It didn’t surprise me that it was immediately snatched up by Soul Mate Publishing as soon as they read it.  It was good then, I can only imagine how amazing it is now.

Jo has a wonderful ability to mix humor, drama, romance, and mystery into her stories. Her stories make me laugh, cry, and turn the page to find out what the heck is going to happen next! 

I cannot wait to get my hands on this book when it comes out and I hope you will check it out as well. 

xoxo,
Amy

Sharing the Love

Another week, another blog post. December is flying by! With all the holiday preparation, I can barely keep up. Our tree is up, our stocking are hung, and a few of the gifts have been bought. But I still have a LOTS to do!

The gift I’m most excited to give this year is The Weather Girl, of course. I got word this week that my copies of the book are being shipped any day now. I won’t deny that I am constantly checking outside the front door for the big box to arrive. I cannot wait to hold a copy of this book in my hands.

The big news this week is that once they get here, I want to share them with some of you! If you look to the right, you’ll see a link to a Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of THREE signed copies of The Weather Girl! 

Yep, you can get a copy fo’ free if you have a Goodreads account starting today.  The contest runs until January 1st. If the link isn’t working today (since I set it up last night) keep checking back. It should be up sooner than later! 

But if you need something to read in the meantime, I have couple suggestions.

Since Christmas is coming, I decided to read something to get me in the holiday spirit. Fellow Heartwarming author, Jennifer Snow, and her novel The Trouble With Mistletoe was exactly what I was looking for. 

This is the first book in Jennifer’s Brookhollow series. This one introduces us to Luke and Victoria. These two were childhood sweethearts who were engaged to be married twelve years ago. Victoria, believing she needed to get out of Brookhollow, called the wedding off and moved to New York City to pursue her career. Luke didn’t follow. Now, she’s back in her hometown and has to face the man she left behind. The man she still isn’t quite over and who isn’t over her either. 

I loved this story. It was sweet and funny and had a great supporting cast of characters (something I love about the Heartwarming line in general!) And Luke … well, I’ll admit I’m definitely a fan. He’s everything a girl would want and then some. If you need something fun to read over the holidays, this will do the trick! You can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE or get the paperback by clicking HERE.

My other reading recommendation is a Christmas anthology that  includes a short story written by one of my very best and very dear friends. The anthology is called All I Want for Christmas is a Soulmate and the story I read and loved was Lost in Christmas.

J.R. Richardson, aka Jo, is one of my most favorite people and authors in the world. She has a way of writing characters who leap off the page. Their internal dialogue always cracks me up and she is a master of weaving together the most amazing mysteries with the sweetest romances. 

In this short story, she introduces us to Crystal Springfield, a single lady who’s spending Christmas with her most trust companion … a Golden Retriever named Berkley.  Away in mountains, she’s enjoying her solitude until a tall, dark, and handsome stranger gets lost and ends up stranded on her doorstep just before Christmas. 

I won’t say much more because that would give everything away, but I loved the snowball fight and the way she told a satisfying story in just a few pages. This is a quick read and, I won’t lie, it kind of left me wanting more. I guess I’ll have to wait for her full length novel coming out in March! 
Jo has highlighted and reviewed some of the other stories in the anthology on her website and blog, which you can find by going HERE. You can also pick up your own copy of this anthology for your kindle or e-reader over at Amazon by clicking HERE.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Happy Friday!

xoxo,
Amy